Human Capital Forum: Navigating the Labor Market, Investing in Talent Development

How do firms and portfolio company leaders manage through current labor market conditions? What are the emerging trends in different roles, industries, and sectors? These were among the pressing topics in the latest BluWave-hosted Human Capital Forum on May 24.

Esteemed panelists Peter Allen of Aegis Ventures, Steven Berman of Accel-KKR, Michelle Nasir of Arsenal Capital Partners, Dan Grosh of Diversis Capital, and Damon Beyer of Warburg Pincus LLC, joined our own Erez Schnaittacher for this insightful virtual event.

Here are some highlights of what was discussed.

Summary Takeaways

  • Find a balance in preparing portfolio companies without being overbearing.
  • Encourage knowledge sharing and development through forums for functional leaders.
  • Invest in developing the next generation of talent within portfolio companies.
  • The demand for leadership roles has shifted from growth-centric positions to CFOs.
  • Understand candidate priorities and ensure alignment with the company’s goals for higher performance and retention.
  • Invest time upfront in C-Level hires, including comprehensive assessments and coaching.

This event was conducted with the Chatham House Rule in place.

Navigating Through Current Labor Market Conditions

Panelists addressed how they are supporting their firms and portfolio company leaders in navigating the current labor market conditions. They discussed various considerations that have both short-term and long-term effects and whether these considerations are complementary or conflict with one another.

Uncharted economic cycles require balance between providing necessary support and respecting the autonomy of portfolio companies. Emphasis was placed on coaching and working with deal teams, managing cash prudently, and hosting functional leadership forums. These strategies ensure a well-prepared and resilient portfolio despite the labor market uncertainties.

The need for a long-term perspective was discussed, with a focus on nurturing talent for future needs and aligning compensation structures to foster loyalty and dedication. Panelists highlighted the importance of creating a conducive environment for growth, where employees feel recognized and challenged.

Emerging Market Trends

The discussion shifted toward emerging trends in different roles, industries and sectors across the portfolio companies. The panelists also shared where their focus had been this year.

In 2021, the focus was on revenue and GTM leaders, but the CFO role has recently seen a spike in demand. Companies are looking for CFOs who can manage costs efficiently, so the company can maintain a position of strength.

Panelists highlighted the challenges in filling entry-level jobs and niche roles such as business intelligence and business operations. Also, the current labor market is very competitive, particularly for C-suite roles in the healthcare sector.

In some instances, portfolio turnover is greater than 50 percent for all C-Level roles, indicating the importance of nurturing talent internally and conducting thorough assessments before making C-Level hires. Industrial and Manufacturing businesses are currently experiencing a shortage of mid-level management roles.

When you’re ready to use the same resources as the world’s best PE firms, contact BluWave to set up a scoping call with our research and operations team.

Whether navigating the labor market, investing in talent or any number of other services for business builders, we have an exact-fit solution for you on standby.