Headhunting Side Hustle: (1) Collect IB Analyst Resumes (2) ??? (3) Herd Monkeys (4) Profit

Use linkedin and bank syntax to aggregate analyst emails. Collect CVs. Plug into internal system (aka master excel spreadsheet). Filter by: IB Group, School, GPA, Location preference. Herd analysts into client office when they ask you to. How hard can it be?

Are there any HH on this forum who can illustrate what is so proprietary about their services? I assume the bigger firms lock in contracts with headhunters (not sure why the PE firm would agree to this) and a MF isn't going to let JM28 Search run their recruiting process, but I'm assuming some smaller firms would be open to an email saying "hey I have a list of candidates interested and they look like a great fit" or something to that end

Seems like they're grossly overpaid for how little they actually do. Zero overhead. Clip a check for every "placement". That's in quotes because it doesn't take much skill to throw 30 bulge bracket analysts with high GPAs in a conference room and see what sticks. These places must be printing money and they realistically work like 4 months out of the year. What am I missing? There must be something

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I don't know this space too well, but in the mid-2000s headhunting for temp/perm roles was red-hot (not quite white-hot) and headhunters were generating major commissions. I think now 'efficiencies' have entered (e.g. client won't give the headhunter an exclusive on a position to fill, fee ceilings) and its a super saturated market where these shops probably try to justify higher fees through differentiation (though not quite sure how well that lands with clients), but its really almost perfect competition where they compete on price. Cue marginal revenue meets marginal cost.

Additionally, if you send out a resume from someone blantly lying or are simply not at all a fit, then your reputation is effectively done at that shop. Given finance is a small world (at least in New York), it may hurt you. Thus, you'd probably need some quality assurance or diligence before sending over a packet of resumes.

Just my two cents.


That all makes sense. I definitely see the value in retaining a HH for temp roles. Much more of a value add there. The candidate pool is a totally different beast.

For IB to PE headhunting, the HH gets to fully leverage the rigorous recruiting / vetting process and HR infrastructure of investment banks at absolutely no cost. At this point candidates aren't even on the job long enough to have anything to lie about. It's a joke. I was being dramatic at first and agree there needs to be SOME quality assurance, but what does this even mean? From what I can tell, anyone from an IB analyst class who can be not a douche for 20 minutes and "walk through a deal" without vomiting on the table will get around every one of these so-called "gatekeepers".

Tell me if I am off base here but I heard they will get a commission of like $30k for each PE associate. If it's more like $10k then I guess that's fair. Sounds like you may have some more color there and I'd love to know. 


Hiring talent is mission critical and is low cost. Recruiting is a relationship business. 

$5bn private equity firm earns 2% in management fees, or $100 million per year. 200k in recruiter fees (6 associates at 30-40k each) is nothing. A single McKinsey report can cost $1 million, even if the deal doesn’t get done.

Senior investment professionals are expensive. A partner’s time may cost $1k per hour and a principal’s time may cost $400 per hour. Saving 50 hours from recruiting frees up their time to do deals. An effective recruiter makes their life easier and filters out bad candidates. 

The decision makers at the PE firms have a relationship with the recruiter. As you progress to more senior roles, recruiters are advisors and counselors in enabling career transitions. They often coach professionals and hold their hand through interview processes. If you’ve worked with that recruiter for 5, 10 years, and they’ve covered your firm for a similar length, why switch over an insignificant 100k per year expense. 

Recruiters market openings. If a PE firm uses an unknown recruiter, they will not get the best set of resumes. Many candidates will not send their resume to a unknown recruiter. 

I’m sure there are other reasons that I’m missing. I understand your point that PE associate recruiting is somewhat commoditized, but there are more factors at play here. 


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