How are millennials transforming traditional working practices and what impact are
they likely to have on the private equity industry? With people born between the mid 80s and 90s set to make up 30-50% of the work force by 2020, this is a crucial question
that private equity firms looking to hire and retain top talent will be asking themselves.
Thankfully, Greg Gille, Editor of Unquote, has done some of the hard work, speaking to experts from across private equity, including our very own Managing Director, Gail McManus, about how generational shifts are affecting the industry.
When it comes to getting younger professionals into private equity, Gail highlights the competition from venture capital and impact investment funds, which are new, growing and making an impact. She emphasises that the culture and values of the businesses they work for are crucial to millennials. As such, private equity firms are working to cultivate cultures that will appeal to millennials and prevent an industry brain drain.
Once millennials are on the team, retention is the next consideration for firms. The younger generation is happier to move for what’s important to them early in their careers, looking for ways to progress and searching for the right cultural fit. As Gail told Greg, an easy win for firms is to carefully consider employee engagement, including talking to employees about what’s important to them and promoting mental health and general wellbeing. All of this helps to create an environment in which millennials will thrive and will want to stay put.
Another important consideration, which Gail emphasises in her podcast discussion with Greg, is the need for firms to satisfy the millennial craving for regular feedback. Rather than stick to the traditional annual review and bonus, Gail explains that many firms have already adopted a more continuous approval and feedback process.
You can read Unquote’s cover story, Millennial moment, by downloading this month’s print edition.
To hear Greg and Gail discuss the impact of millennials on private equity, listen to the Unquote Private Equity Podcast: Generation game.