PE On-Cycle Recruiting Question

Someone correct me if I'm thinking about this the wrong way, but if you wanted to maximize your chances of landing a PE offer, couldn't you participate in on-cycle your first year w/ only 1-2 HH's (as opposed to working with all the HH's that contact you), then if you strike out just contact the other HH's in a year?

Do HH's talk to each other about candidates?

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Comments (13)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2020 - 12:16pm

Are you actually certain HHs all talk to each other? There are ~10 reputable HH firms, and probably hundreds of analysts who choose to go on-cycle any given year. In what case would a HH check with every other HH about a candidate to see if they struck out last year?

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 6, 2020 - 1:15pm

Well I guess a counter would be that a HH wouldn't want to represent you if you already messed up with other HH's (lowers their chance because you're probably not as good).

But again, I just can't see all the HH firms being that collaborative or even caring enough to take the time to verify.

Can anyone who has gone through the process provide more thoughts?

Most Helpful
Aug 6, 2020 - 4:26pm

I just gave you all the straight TLDR answer and instead got hit by MS by presumably an Intern/Prospect/An1 who hasn't even received their first HH inbound because it wasn't the answer they were hoping to hear. I have actually gone through this process and have watched dozens of friends and colleagues go through it as well, and have posted a very comprehensive guide on PE recruiting to this site.

I can confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that HHs talk to each other. However that does not mean DSP, Henkel, Amity, Oxbridge and CPI all pick a day or two and meet at a bar and have a little chat about different candidates. Saying they all talk does not imply some type of formal/organized discussion. These firms are managed my mostly mid-20s - early 30s caddy women (sorry if this sounds sexist; it isn't my intention). Some of these firms are also spin outs of others (Ratio/Amity) and thus there are still existing personnel relationships between two firms. Are you really naive enough to believe that people don't talk to other people in their industry about work, either on a professional or casual level?

Because I'm moderately annoyed at the level of presumptuousness in the last few comments, the only further advice and insight I'll leave you with is don't tell one HH you want to do tech focused growth and another HH you want to do distressed credit.

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Aug 7, 2020 - 12:46am

Not sure why this is getting MS, pretty much 100% accurate.

As mentioned, a lot of these are spin-outs and there is a huge amount of movement between these firms (specifically SG, Amity, Ratio, Gold Coast, HSP).

If you want to recruit on cycle and then again the next year, do it with Gobuyside, Mercury and Opus -- you probably won't get any interviews, but at least it's very unlikely those guys would be speaking to anyone at the better HH firms.

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Aug 6, 2020 - 1:23pm

I think that used to be the case (if you didn't get an offer on-cycle you were sort of blackballed) but now it happens so early that as long as you didn't totally mess up most HHs are willing to give you chances again in off-cycle

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