Private equity portfolio companies have a unique set of challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. The stakes are high, as the success of a portfolio company can make or break a private equity firm’s investment.
That’s why it’s crucial to have the right resources and strategies in place to recruit effectively.
With so many portcos to manage, private equity firms can struggle to attract and retain the right talent.
Competition is fierce, especially if resources are limited and the portco isn’t a known entity. Additionally, not everyone is cut out for the fast-paced and high-pressure environment of private equity.
Let’s talk about what PE firms can do to hire standout performers for their portcos.
Effective Recruiting for Portfolio Companies
So, how can private equity firms overcome these challenges and recruit the talent they need to succeed? The key is to have a well-thought-out and proactive approach. Developing a strong brand and reputation can go a long way. So can having a robust pipeline of candidates and using innovative recruiting strategies and technology.
Having the right strategy in place isn’t always enough, though. It’s also crucial to execute effectively.
Step-by-Step Approach to Portfolio Company Talent Acquisition
Here are some steps private equity firms can take to attract and hire top talent:
Define the Roles and Skills You Need
Start by identifying the key positions and skills you need to fill at each portfolio company. This will help you narrow your list to only the most qualified candidates instead of wasting time with people who don’t have the right skillset.
To put it another way, you wouldn’t hire a chief technology officer with zero coding experience.
Develop a Strong Employer Brand
To attract top talent, you need to have a strong reputation and brand as an employer. This includes promoting your company culture, values, and opportunities for growth and development.
A great way to do this is by using social media to show off your company from the inside. You can also work with a PR firm – or someone internally – to connect with journalists at prominent publications that cover your portco’s industry.
A quality article by a reputable publication creates a lot of credibility.
Build a Robust Pipeline of Candidates
Having a deep bench of qualified candidates is crucial for filling positions quickly and efficiently. Use a variety of sources to find them, including employee referrals, job boards, social media and recruiting events.
You can also work with specialized recruiters who are skilled in finding best-fit candidates for specific situations.
At BluWave, we don’t actually “find” candidates when you contact us. That’s because we already have dozens of them on standby for whenever a need arises.
If you’re looking for a specialized recruiter to build the perfect team, we have the service provider for that, regardless of your industry. And if you want to get straight to hiring your dream individual, we have proven PE-grade candidates ready to interview.
Even if you’re not a PE-backed business, our resources are primed to work for private and public companies, too.
Utilize Innovative Recruiting Strategies
Don’t underestimate the power of technology. This can make for a more efficient process by helping with things like applicant tracking, conducting virtual interviews or leveraging data and analytics.
There are business intelligence and analytics resources who specialize in this. Let us know if you want to speak with one of them.
Continuously Evaluate and Improve
Finally, it’s crucial to continuously evaluate your talent acquisition processes. This includes regularly assessing the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts, making changes based on your results and staying up-to-date with the latest best practices and trends.
No matter how good your process is now, we believe in constant refinement. Especially in today’s fast-changing, uncertain business world.
Innovative Solutions for Finding and Attracting Top Talent
Once you have your system in place, you can focus on something we mentioned above: developing a strong brand.
All other things being equal, is a candidate more likely to work for a company of which they have never heard, or a well-known industry titan that will stand out on their resume? Probably the latter.
But even if your portco isn’t that big-name company yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t work toward it.
Here are some innovative solutions private equity firms can use to find and attract top talent:
With the rise of remote work, remote recruiting has become increasingly important. Virtual tools, such as video interviews and online career fairs, can help private equity firms reach a wider pool of candidates and make more informed decisions.
Even if you’re not willing to let someone work remotely, at least making the interview process as convenient as possible – especially if they already have another job – can go a long way.
Referrals are a powerful way to attract top talent. Encourage your existing employees to refer their friends and colleagues and reward them with one-time payouts, extra vacation days or gifts.
You never know when someone in finance could have a connection to the perfect fit for a new IT role, for example.
Employee Development Programs
Investing in employee development and training can help retain top talent and attract new hires. Offer opportunities for career advancement, continuous learning and professional growth to keep your employees engaged and motivated.
A prospective candidate may be willing to choose your company over a competitor if you pay for their school or send them to conferences on company money.
Maximizing Your Private Equity Talent Acquisition Efforts
Private equity firms that take a strategic and proactive approach to talent acquisition are well positioned to succeed. But it’s important to remember that the best strategies and solutions are only effective if they are executed effectively.
Here are a few tips for maximizing the impact of your talent acquisition efforts:
Partner with the Right Providers
The right recruiting and HR providers can help private equity firms execute their talent acquisition strategies effectively. Look for providers with a proven track record and expertise in private equity recruiting.
The BluWave network is full of expertly vetted interim CHRO candidates who know exactly what to do in these situations.
Foster a Culture of Collaboration
Open communication across departments – and between the PE firm and portco – can be a big help. Encourage regular information sharing to ensure a consistent and effective approach.
Continuously Evaluate and Improve
Whether using data software, as suggested above, or conducting face-to-face exit interviews, the better you understand what makes top talent leave – and stay – the better prepared you’ll be to find that next dream candidate.
At BluWave, we have helped hundreds of PE firms find exact-fit candidates for their portcos.
Whether looking for an interim CFO, or in need of a specialized recruiter to help you find a new CRO for a niche industry, we have talent and service providers on standby.
From there, we’ll be by your side from the first introduction all the way until your project is complete to hold resources accountable.