EWM Global’s Tom Pittman led the third in our 2021 webinar series on best practices in recruiting for private equity talent. Our expert panelists – Jonathan Goldstein, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, and Khuram Bajwa, Partner at One Ten Associates – discussed the hiring environment plus ways to help investment managers maximize the value of recruitment at their firm.
Bajwa focuses on the hiring of finance and operation professionals in the middle and back office of private capital firms, while Goldstein focuses on front office positions and investment professionals.
To kick off the discussion, Goldstein described how this is a “candidates’ market” with the rapid growth of the private equity industry. He sees several applicants receive multiple offers, and firms that are not able to move quickly often miss out on the candidates they originally were interested in.
Goldstein and Bajwa discussed some of the demands from aspiring new hires when looking for a new position, noting that private equity firms have stepped up their game when it comes to retaining and rewarding their talent. It seems that carried interest is being used more as a progressive tool to reward and motivate talent. Bajwa added that has changed since he began recruiting for PE 10 years ago, and now most firms are incentivizing finance and operations teams with carry and co-investment opportunities.
Competitive pay is not the only reason for new role selection, but also culture, incentives, and advancement opportunities. “The candidates that are all about the money are not the ones that we want,” said Goldstein. With the onset of the pandemic, applicants are seeking more flexible work environments such as options to work from home for a portion of the time. This is especially present among the junior end of the spectrum and has become a major factor when making a decision.
The webinar ended on a hot topic: diversity and inclusion in the private equity industry. Both panelists said every client is focused on diversity by gender or ethnicity. Interestingly, Goldstein said it is easier to create diversity on the junior level of hiring because these are positions that don’t require senior level experience and frankly it is harder to find the diversity for senior level positions. “It is a zero-sum game. Recruiting for diversity at one firm, means the predecessor firm loses that diverse candidate. Diversity in junior level positions will eventually rise to the senior level, but that will require 5-10 years to take effect.”
Thank you to our panelists for their participation and valuable insight. If you would like to contact Jonathan or Khuram, please see contact information below: