How private equity firms are adapting their people strategies amid fundraising challenges.

The private equity job market is experiencing a downturn due to a decrease in fundraising and deal-making, according to a new article by Real Deals, but Charlie Hunt sees a glimmer of hope.

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The private equity job market is experiencing a downturn due to a decrease in fundraising and deal making, prompting firms to adapt their hiring strategies, according to the latest article by Real Deals. 

GPs have adjusted by limiting hiring, with some implementing hiring freezes. When they do expand their teams, funds are actively seeking individuals with particular skill sets. Charlie Hunt, Director of UK, acknowledges the challenging labour market, noting a dip in hiring between September 2022 and June 2023 due to muted sentiment and confidence, but he does see things gradually shifting. 
"Things have started to improve since as fundraising targets and timelines become clearer, and exits start to pick up.”
Charlie observes that funds are becoming more institutionalised, and notes a shift towards more sophisticated roles that didn't exist 15 years ago, especially within deal origination.
“We are also seeing a big push towards data science, value creation and portfolio analysis. Secondaries funds are also boosting their teams in response to the shift that’s being seen in the market,”

Charlie's profile

What impact has this had on professionals entering the industry?

Charlie highlights that individuals entering the private equity sector are consistently contemplating questions such as "How can I advance in my career, what kind of training opportunities are available, and how can I secure promotions?" 

In this context, private equity firms that provide training and actively invest in the development of their team members will maintain a competitive edge in attracting talent compared to their counterparts. 

These policies not only serve as a reflection of a firm's culture but also influence candidates' decisions, with some choosing one private equity fund over another based on the offered maternity/paternity benefits.