How PE Firms are Competing for Talent During the Great Reshuffle

June 2, 2022 – In the midst of the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle, private equity firms and their portfolio companies are learning to be much more strategic and competitive for talent, according to a new report from Julian Rives, managing partner of Chapel Hill Solutions, a healthcare-focused executive search firm. Over the last few months, the search firm has noted some dramatic shifts in recruiting. “Candidates are increasingly mobile and disengaged, and companies that are requiring leaders to return to the office are losing talent,” said Mr. Rives.

Chapel Hill Solutions offers three ways to increase your chances in competing for talent during the Great Reshuffle. The search firm refers to these as the three Ps – process, purpose, and pay. The faster a private equity firm or portfolio company can onboard new leadership talent, the sooner they can begin adding value to the organization, increase profitability, reshape culture, and more, said Mr. Rives. “The longer the process takes to find, interview, and extend an offer to the right candidate, the more opportunity is at stake across the board,” he said. “Additionally, the longer the hiring cycle, the more likely a candidate will become disengaged.”

Mr. Rives suggests examining bottlenecks in the hiring process to help streamline communications and outreach. Candidates value efficiency and transparency within the recruitment cycle, which are the foundations for creating a positive candidate experience, he said. “Many PE firms seeking to fill leadership positions as swiftly as possible and often forget about the candidate’s experience,” he said. “In today’s talent landscape having a seamless process for the candidate is just as important as having an efficient process internally.”

Purpose and Passion

When a candidate decides to work within a portfolio company, this is a conscious and intentional decision on their part, according to the report. “He/she/they have taken considerable time to think through how they want to make an impact in an area, sector, or product that they are passionate about,” Mr. Rives said. “Private equity firms can appeal to these drivers and key motivators within their recruitment marketing and employee value proposition (EVP). “To keep a candidate engaged, make sure that their values are highlighted and entertained throughout the entire recruitment process – instead of only at the very beginning,” said Mr. Rives, to appeal to their emotional side, the impact their leadership will have, and the opportunity for growth while doing work that they are heavily invested in.

Julian Rives is managing partner of Chapel Hill Solutions. The firm has grown in the executive search marketplace for 25-plus years, recruiting leaders and top talented individuals in its network to enhance its clients’ workforce. Chapel Hill Solutions focuses on the healthcare and life sciences industry, including all phases and business areas within the pharmaceutical, biotech, clinical research, medical device, and healthcare disciplines.

Pay For Performance

Private equity firms and their portfolio companies often work within tight margins and are challenged to get the most from their return on investment – even when it comes to talent. “In today’s talent market, trying to underpay or lowball can easily offend a candidate, and result in them withdrawing entirely from the process,” said Mr. Rives. “Offering a competitive salary structure for what the marketplace yields is critical. Conduct market research to find what other leaders at similar companies and levels are earning in salary, equity, benefits, etc.”

As discussed earlier, candidates appreciate transparency and efficiency in the hiring process, said Mr. Rives. “One way to gain this trust is to publish a reasonable salary range within the initial job description,” he said. “This communicates to candidates that you are both serious about finding the best talent available and willing to invest in them as they are investing in you.”

Chapel Hill Solutions focuses on healthcare as well as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, clinical research, and medical devices. The firm provides executive search services to these primary areas: healthcare, acute care, ambulatory surgery centers, information technology, healthcare financial services, surgical services, emergency room, OR, EMR, HIM, and case management. Other services include research capabilities, technological support, and relocation assessment.

Related: A New Lever for Private Equity Value Creation: Talent Optimization

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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