Recruiting and Retaining Portfolio Company Talent

Senior female HR leaders within the financial services sector share their insight and best tactics for recruiting and retaining talent at their firms and portfolio companies

Amy Fields, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for HBM, participated in a panel discussion at the 5th Annual Kayo Women’s Conference held in Washington, DC, to discuss how to develop a successful strategy to recruit and retain talent at all levels of the organization.  She was joined on the stage by Melissa Henderson of Summit Executive Resources, Trish Gilbert of The Edgewater Funds, Susan Levine of Bain Capital, Melissa Mounce of Baird Capital and Dr. Kate Van Bremen of Thrive Partners.

The main theme was Portfolio Companies: Recruiting and Retaining Talent, which provided an opportunity for an insightful discussion on effective talent recruitment strategies. The panelists shared their experiences on successful recruiting tactics to place executives in a C-suite role, as well as how to best link talent to private equity deal outcomes. For instance, certain types of leaders are better suited to a turnaround operation versus a buy and build situation. The consensus among the panel was that when evaluating talent before or immediately after a deal closes, swift and decisive action is best practice when determining if there is a future fit for significant roles. Using assessment data, including personality data, leadership effectiveness insights, and critical thinking capabilities, accelerates the talent evaluation process.

The panel shed light on the fact that it is necessary for each firm’s recruiting strategy to reflect the needs and requirements of the firm’s overall focus.  For example, HBM’s patient capital approach to investing allows the firm to develop talent over time, placing value on identifying talent earlier in their careers instead of targeting seasoned executives.   Our Accelerated Development Program focuses on retaining MBA talent, placing them in a structured two-year program in preparation of assuming a future leadership role at one of HBM’s portfolio companies. This program, along with a multitude of leadership and talent development programs, is fundamental to HBM’s talent strategy and represents something of a contrast to the traditional private equity recruitment approach.

Retaining talent requires a strong cultural fit between the individual and the company environment. Similarly, it is important to provide meaningful developmental opportunities to top talent as a means to sustain engagement. Establishing clear alignment between the goals of the leaders and the organization is critical for successful outcomes in private equity.

More about the Kayo Conference can be found here.