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Tapping the Talent Well

By May 14, 2018Newsletters

Professionals in the water business tell me that the following are common signs of a water well going dry:

  • Air in the system causing faucets to sputter on a routine basis
  • Low water pressure
  • Water looks, smells or tastes abnormal
  • Pump running a long time or cycling on and off
  • Neighbors experiencing similar issues

In talking with CEOs and private equity professionals, their number one concern is people, and after reviewing the common signs of a water well running dry, we humorously thought one could utilize this list as a starting point for signs that a recruiting well is running dry.

As further evidence of a tight labor market, below are some highlights from April’s Jobs Report:

  • 164,000 jobs added in April with 54,000 (33%) added in the “Professional & Business Services” category
  • Overall unemployment rate is 3.9%; “Management, Business, Financial Operations” unemployment rate is 1.8%
  • Participation rate for those with Bachelor’s degrees has increased from 73.4% in January to 74.2% in April
  • Number of people over 55 and employed increased from 35.455M in January to 35.941M in April

Our executive recruiting practice focused on the needs of middle market private equity are continuing to see increases in base and bonus for “been there, done that” private equity experienced finance talent. Furthermore, in certain industries (i.e. healthcare services and technology), we are seeing these “A” player CFOs requiring and receiving equity potential with a line of sight to $3.0M – $5.0M.

To keep the talent well delivering, we recommend the following to our private equity and CEO clients:

  • Cash compensation must be competitive in your industry to get candidates to even take an interview
  • The diligence and vetting process of candidates should include both a “speed” and “prudence” component
  • Flexibility in the “vision” of the ideal candidate is a key to securing a legitimate candidate
  • Do not over delegate the executive recruiting work stream (either through your network or with the help of a search firm) to an associate or analyst

Thomas Bonney, Senior Managing Director

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