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The core principles of recruiting within Private Equity

by Ata Victor January 20, 2020
Private Equity

​For the finance world, private equity (PE) roles are one of the most sought - for companies and hiring managers, the scarcity of the roles can make it hard to develop innovative recruitment strategies that allow you to get the best candidates within this highly competitive industry. Private equity is a vital part of any thriving company. Candidates that ultimately succeed in this sector do so by using a skill they have developed over time to help to find solutions as well as innovative ways to lead and work within teams.

When speaking to recruiters about attracting the right candidates for Private Equity roles, you must identify what analytical strengths the role that you need to fill requires. Although analytical skills can be applied to most fields, the particular skillsets that you need candidates to utilise should be curated for your company’s’ long term goals – it will also eventually aide you in supporting the development of new skills for your candidate, as they progress in your company. Outlining these factors from the outset will ultimately improve your businesses retainment figures.

Understanding private equity recruitment

When looking to recruit, interviewing ex-investment bankers is always smart business. PE, firms traditionally look for candidates with industry and strategy consulting experience due to the undoubtedly amount of transferable skills - especially from the top tier firms such as Bain, BCG and McKinsey.

Strong negotiation skills and the ability to network and manage are all skills that are often developed within consulting, and are essential for the sector. This approach to recruitment is smart because candidates will have experience in presenting PE firms as an asset to enhance the shareholder value, negotiate labour union and cost-saving measures. This knowledge will translate correctly on the other side of the desk.  However, if you are looking to build your team, it is essential also to consider steps like using undergraduates for junior-level roles. 

The process of running a successful recruitment campaign no matter the candidate can be straightforward and beneficial for all parties, providing you consider three factors:

 1) Resilience

Look for a candidate that has previously faced roadblock within their career, even those who have made errors, but managed to rectify the issue successfully. This attribute will be essential for the quick turnaround situations, that likely to end negative results. Although Business plans don’t always run to plan, an adaptable team is what any business needs to avoid a loss.

2) Candour from the outset

Like resilience “authenticity” has become so overused within all industries, thus now its meaning is perceived as vague or empty. However, authenticity and honesty for the PE sector are vital. Look for candidates that have a willingness to deliver bad news quickly and honestly. Unlike in a public company, where sharing negative information is a delicate process— due to the fact it can move the stock price—in PE, real-time sharing takes precedence. Look for candidates that are okay with addressing situations that are happening in the business; this will prevent any reactionary business moves.

3) The Off Cycles & The On Cycle

Just as you look for candidates, candidates look for you! The off and on cycles within the PE sector fill prospective employees with dread, but for you and your recruiter, making the most of the on Cycle interest is vital.

On the Freshminds database, you’ll be able to find candidates with the transferable skills needed to work in the private equity space, so please reach out on how we can be of help to info@freshminds.co.uk.

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