Valuing digital skills and flexibility
Bower Talent: Best Operations & Finance Recruitment Company – The private equity industry values the important role support and operations staff play in a business. And although the COVID-19 crisis is throwing everyone off balance, it has brought two major trends into the foreground – digital and flexible working.
Georgina Bale (pictured), CEO, Bower Talent comments: “Private equity firms have become one of the best industries in appreciating how important support and operations staff are to a business – from reception level, all the way up the chain to COO.”
Private equity firms also invest heavily in technology, both from a portfolio point of view, and for their internal processes. This means staff need to be tech-savvy and as talent consultants, firms like Bower need to be testing for professionals’ ability to operate at that level. In fact, the firm started using unique testing and gamification to screen candidates in 2014. “This has meant that we have been able to test the tech skills of candidates as well as collect data on our industry to be able to clearly see what good looks like,” Bale notes.
She explains how a good understanding of technology and the ability to quickly grasp systems and onboarding of new technology is one of the key elements of core knowledge PE clients demand: “This ranges from the attitude our junior candidates have towards technology to the experience our senior transformation or operational candidates have in creating efficiencies using automation, harnessing AI and solving operational challenges using technology.”
Further, this technological aptitude is also proving beneficial in the current challenging environment.
According to Bale: “Despite the huge, negative impact that Covid-19 is having globally, is it going to support one of the key trends we expect to further develop in 2020 – digital and flexible working.
“One of our core business objectives has always been to work with fast-paced, digitally focused businesses that allow staff to work remotely and remain agile.”
Bale anticipates a greater emphasis on data analytics, business intelligence and ways to create better operational efficiencies within firms: “We expect this, alongside implementation of automation and tech, to help firms to stay lean.
“Innovation seems to be a strong theme with our clients and that trickles down from the kind of investments and specialist firms we are seeing, e.g. renewed focus on ESG, right through to investment in internal technology solutions and, crucially for us, the kind of talent they are hiring.”
Across the administration and operations sector, firms are challenged to find ways of winning top talent without solely relying on providing the best compensation package. This can help GPs overcome the issue of larger technology firms employing the best candidates.
“This ties in strongly with the need for PE firms to continually innovate as well as develop the funds. Talent want opportunities beyond just a day job and are looking for the chance to get involved in various elements of the business and be supported by the business in that,” Bale adds.
CEO, Bower Talent
Georgina Bale is the CEO of Bower Talent, a recruitment and training business focused on all levels of admin, operations and support staff from PAs up to C-Suite level. Bower specialise in both leveraging technology for operational excellence and well as promoting strong ethical policies and processes.
Before Bower, Georgie was a career PA & COO working for a succession of influential, UHNW and demanding bosses. She began her career in 1999 working for Bass Brewery and Intercontinental Hotels before moving to Ernst & Young in London. In 2004 Georgie moved to Government to work for the Home Secretary and later as the Head of Resources for the Private Office, before moving back to the private Sector in 2007. From then Georgie concentrated her career on Hedge Funds, UHNWs and Family Offices from New York to Qatar and London.
Georgie has a love for understanding the science and impact of talent; she developed the bespoke candidate testing for Bower’s recruitment business as well as designed the spec and content for Bower’s workshops.