It's tough to have a technology M&A or LBO deal and have word not leak out - such was the case Monday, December 9 when the Wall Street Journal revealed McAfee ($PRIVATE:MCAFEE) is in the hunt to buy NortonLifeLock, formerly Symantec, in a deal that could be in the $16 billion range. 

For both the buyer and the target this time, the M&A considerations were foreshadowed on the potential buyer side, as well as the target. At McAfee, it seems like considerations of this transaction were in place over the summer. Since late July, job postings have slid roughly 35% - a steep drop. 

But, at NortonLifelock ($SYMC), job postings have been getting slashed for even longer. That's likely due to it having dealt off a portion of its business worth roughly $11 billion to Broadcom earlier this year - but as it continues to draw closer to what seems like an inevitable sale, the business has effectively slammed the brakes on growth - which correlated to an 89% decline in job postings from their 2019 peak. 

As companies look to play down the job-killing aspect of deals, which is often brought up when a major LBO deal or M&A announcement is made, more and more are looking to curb growth that could quickly prove unnecessary pre-deal. And, from the technology space to private equity, to healthcare, it's increasingly apparent that job signals are a big tell. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

Ad placeholder