More than half of PE firms (52 per cent) are open to hiring people via video calls, according to an April survey by PE and venture capital recruitment firm PER.
According to Rupert Bell, director of Dach at PER, there’s still a lot of interview activity going on in the industry, as everyone becomes accustomed to video conferencing replacing face-to-face meetings.
“Moreover, there seems to be a decline in firms putting processes on hold. Firms seem to have mainly paused hiring in the first weeks of the crisis,” Bell commented on the result of the survey.
According to PER’s Taking the Temperature report, few GPs or LPs are putting their deal teams on furlough schemes or introducing reduced hours. “It seems there’s plenty of work to be done on the ground in terms of firefighting and preparing for fresh deal activity,” Bell stated with regards to the findings.
In a podcast published in March, PER looked at how securing fundraising and returns in the ever-more competitive private equity market is an increasingly time-intensive process and investment teams have been growing steadily to cope with workloads.
The podcast discussion centres on the fact that while some short-term caution is being exercised in terms of hiring right now, the outlook for when the current crisis has passed remains broadly as before; and private equity is an industry that has to plan for the long term anyway.
In Bell’s view, the Taking the Temperature report supports this long-term view in terms of more general market confidence, as there’s a compelling difference between projections for fund performance in the next three months and in the next six to twelve months.
“Of course, as one of our contributors commented, projections will change as we get a clearer idea of the longevity of the lockdown period,” he added.
“However, medium-term planning seems to be continuing; we’ve seen a rise in willingness to restart investing, with significant groundwork being done on origination and some opportunistic behaviour,” concluded Bell.