💥PE Recruiting, Business Development & Retail Trends (Long Fiction Becoming Reality)💥

Summer is now long over which means we just went through all of the “holy sh*t, it’s only the beginning of September and private equity is ALREADY recruiting “talent” for 2021” puff pieces (paywall). Every year, recruiting season gets earlier and earlier and yet the business media still acts surprised/incredulous:

We swear BusinessInsider recycles this piece every single year. It’s like Runner’s World or Women’s Health publishing their “workout of the year” which is almost always the same “workout of the year” from last year.

Recruiting shenanigans have been going on now for years. And we’ve been all over it. Here’s what we wrote in June 2017 (Job Trends (Short Junior Associates/Analysts:)):

Despite rising junior associate salaries - which, notably, one loyal reader says is almost always a leading indicator of an oncoming downturn - millennials don't want that stinkin $180k starting salary, constantly-buzzing iphone, and flimsy business card. The beard is the new business card, brah. Just as investment bankers compete with Silicon Valley "tech" startups that drone deliver pinatas filled with kale chips (maybe we're kidding...maybe we're not), law firms are also struggling to retain young "talent." Why? Because millennials purportedly want to just mix drinks, cut hair, and have ephemeral existences. Good luck with the next recruiting season.

Then in mid-September 2017, we wrote in “Private Equity Recruiting is Bananas: M*therf*ckers Have Lost Their G*d-damned Minds”:

There is so much to unpack in this stupid piece about the annual private equity recruiting frenzy. First, let's stop calling kids who are weeks out of college "talent" merely because they got a job in an investment bank trainee program. They haven't proven that they're talented at anything just yet. Going to an ivy league school, having a trust fund and being a douche isn't dispositive of anything. So, everyone chime the f*ck down please. Second, these folks get paid $200k? And people say there's no wage inflation? Third, the idea that an ibanker trainee is going to be appreciative for the two years of training a bank has given them and, in turn, give later private equity business to said bank is ludicrous. As a practical matter, his/her connection to that bank lasts a mere few weeks prior to them securing the next bigger, better and more Tinderable gig with which they prefer to identify. This seems like an outdated model with bad assumptions baked into it. The only sure thing seems to be that no matter which one of the PE firms these trainees land at, they'll be hiring Kirkland & Ellis LLP as bankruptcy counsel for one of their busted portfolio companies. Fourth, we love this bit about recruiting being earlier than ever "after an agreement to hold back fell apart." Hahahaha. So, private equity firms - KNOWN FOR DEAL-MAKING - couldn't even come to a deal amongst themselves?? This is like mutually assured destruction among KKRWarburg PincusCarlyle Group LPApollo Global Management LLCBain CapitalBlackstone Group LPTPG and Golden Gate Capital. Here's a great idea: lets trip over ourselves - and each other - to hire people with literally "no work experience." Those interviews must be PAINFUL AF. And, oh, hey you Managing Director. We love that you're "often forced to cancel business meetings last-minute to interview candidates." We're sure a multi-billion dollar transaction can wait for some piss-ant Harvard bro who inexplicably and unnecessarily writes equations on glass to regale everyone with his rad math skills. So lit. On what basis are these kids REALLY getting hired then? We think it’s probably pretty obvious. And it’s questionable how this BS still flies. What does any of this have to do with disruption? Well, when you're competing with venture capital and tech to acquire "talent," desperate times seemingly call for desperate measures. Logic has been disrupted. And it's absurd.