Value of networking in on cycle PE recruiting

Is the value of networking in PE recruiting significantly diminished compared to IB recruiting because of the presence of headhunters in the process?

I'm thinking that networking will be less useful in landing interviews since headhunters are mostly responsible for that. But would I be correct in assuming that networking is still useful in that it can help you learn what makes the fund unique which can help you interview better? Or perhaps making your face recognized around the fund so that once you have an interview you're more likely to succeed since they've seen you before?

Any other differences to mention for PE recruiting networking vs IB recruiting networking?

Comments (8)

 
  • Associate 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 20, 2021 - 10:32pm

From my experience, for smaller firms (so LMM), they tend to not rely on just one HH. They may have a few HHs helping source, but they essentially act as just resume grabs. So your inbounds can merge here, and thus networking can be effective. For MFs and what is starting to be most MM's, the process is more structured and they rely on 1 HH running the whole show. The HH is the one coordinating the interviews, sending calendar invites, letting you know next steps, distributing the case study, etc - it's a lot harder to get your foot in the door this way with your own networking. For on-cycle processes this is exceptionally the case. 

Generally any firm that uses GoBuySide will be receptive to inbounds. Places that recruit using Oxbridge, CPI, SG, Ratio, Henkel, DSP - will generally not be. 

 
  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Feb 21, 2021 - 3:21pm

This is a great idea. Most analysts don't really know what they want to do so they sound unfocused / confused in HH meetings and don't come off as very polished in firm interviews. Understanding what goes into different investment strategies, industry coverages, etc. is very helpful and worth doing for its own sake. 

 
  • Principal in PE - LBOs
Feb 21, 2021 - 3:20pm

Networking can definitely help. Headhunters typically run the show (especially for on-cycle) but networking early can get you into the invite-only coffee chats / dinners and firms can direct headhunters to make sure certain candidates are on their interview schedules. 

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