5 Ways Executive Search Firms Support Private Equity Needs - Private Equity Executive Search & Recruiters

      5 Ways Executive Search Firms Support the Talent Management Priorities of Private Equity Companies

      In recent years, private equity firms’ desire for top talent has reached an all-time high. This high level of demand is in response to a recognition across the industry that having the right people in key executive roles is a critical factor in how private equity firms are able to maintain growth amid significant market change. 

      Still, attracting and retaining top talent has been challenging, especially as competition continues to increase. If private equity firms aim to create long-term growth, they must know how to select the right candidates. 

      Many PE firms are turning to executive search firms for help in this regard, as these firms understand what makes an ideal PE candidate and provide access to talent that meets that criteria.

      To that end, here are five ways that executive search firms are helping private equity companies find success in their talent management endeavors:

      1. Valuing Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence

      Private equity is a people-oriented business. While having excellent financial and operational acumen is essential to getting the job done, having great people skills is equally important. 

      Consequently, soft skills and emotional intelligence are two of the qualities that private equity firms should strongly consider when evaluating candidates for executive positions

      The basic premise is that while private equity leadership skills can be taught, a value system cannot. PE firms are looking for people who truly value what their employees bring to the table.



      With that said, two soft skills stand out among the rest in terms of what makes a good private equity leader: communication and inspiration. These skills are especially important during corporate transitions, and many private equity firms are retooling their hiring processes to understand how candidates have supported and inspired their staff during times of turmoil or change. 

      They are also critical for deal-making and relationship-building with investors, as well as learning to work with board members to get things done. As private equity firms continue to focus on talent management, putting character at the forefront of their search criteria can pay off in many ways.

      2. Understanding Workforce Dynamics

      The nature of work in every sector has shifted in recent years. Many potential employees are enjoying the rise of the remote and hybrid work era and desire to continue that trend for the foreseeable future. 

      Candidates must realize that this conversation isn’t going away anytime soon, and private equity firms will want to understand how they plan to lead through this greater cultural shift. 

      It’s vital for candidates to have a keen understanding of how to balance the desire for remote and hybrid internal work environments with an assessment of what will produce the best outcomes for external partners.

      An integral part of getting workforce dynamics right is having the know-how to create an exceptional employee experience. When employees feel heard and supported, it translates to greater productivity and better outcomes across the organization.

      3. Garnering Expertise Across the Organization

      While it’s important that private equity firms choose candidates who have run successful businesses and understand the ins and outs of the industry, cross-functional expertise is also highly valuable. 

      The nature of business has become extremely complex as competition has increased in every sector, and firms need executives who understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together to create a big-picture vision. 

      As a result, many firms are searching for candidates who have worked in different roles within the organization. With direct experience in various areas comes a unique understanding of what needs to be done when things go wrong. 

      Instead of guessing at solutions, executives with cross-functional experience can take the reins with hands-on leadership and guide others through the problem-solving experience or step in themselves if needed.

      Adaptation and an operator mindset are key in the world of private equity, and cross-functional leaders often demonstrate these abilities better than others.

      4. Maintaining a Change-Oriented Mindset

      In today’s market landscape, things are shifting quickly, and private equity firms are placing a priority on executives who have the ability to lean into it and lead through it. Digital transformation continues to be a significant concern. Portcos are increasingly looking to digital solutions to increase revenue and accelerate exit times.

      In the same way, private equity firms realize that digital transformation can provide them with a competitive advantage when it comes to value creation throughout the deal lifecycle. In this day and age, firms are looking for executives who have the experience, instincts, and bold vision necessary to drive change in this area. 

      They desire to have forward thinkers who display operational excellence and can integrate technology and business strategy in a way that produces greater returns and long-term growth.

      5. Leaning Into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

      In recent times, diversity has become a top talent management priority for many private equity firms. A Gartner study found that 75% of organizations with diverse and inclusive decision-making teams exceed financial targets, while gender-diverse teams outperform more homogenous teams by 50% on average. 


      While private equity firms do realize that diversity can significantly enhance performance, it’s important to note that it’s not a priority for every firm. In their talent management strategies, it’s important for firms to understand a candidate’s values and keep cultural fit at the forefront of their minds. 

      Doing so ensures that PE firms attract candidates with similar value systems and that those candidates have a higher likelihood of staying long-term. 

      Retaining Top Talent Is About Finding the Right Fit

      As the business landscape continues to change, private equity firms must also shift their talent management priorities. 

      A diverse, emotionally intelligent, people-oriented leadership team can drive the results that firms are longing to see. Cross-functional capabilities with an eye toward operational excellence and digital transformation can help firms create immense value and increase their own bottom line.

      While hard skills used to be the name of the game in private equity talent management, this simply isn’t the case anymore. Inspirational, forward-thinking leaders who value culture and communication will take a firm further faster. 

      Private Equity Executive Search | Best Private Equity Executive Recruiters | Cowen Partners

      National Private Equity Executive Search Firm | How Our Private Equity Executive Recruiters Help

      Our hands-on private equity executive recruiters have extensive experience working with private equity-backed companies. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and include vice president sales, general counseloperating partners, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, our private equity executive recruiters find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technologyhealthcaremanufacturingretailreal estatefinancial service, and more.

      Learn how we deliver top private equity talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top executive search firm in New York, Indianapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond.

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