Gen Z call for PE to boost ESG credentials

by Alice Murray 22 June 2022

Private equity firms should better highlight their ESG credentials if they want to attract the next generation of top talent within a fiercely competitive candidate market, new research finds.

Shift Research Group’s latest Gen Z & Private Equity report, which surveyed 64 respondents from the next cohort of UK PE professionals, found that more than 85 per cent say a company’s ESG credentials is a defining factor when assessing them as a potential employer.

A futher 59.38 per cent stated they want to work with a company that’s a leader in ESG issues, while 26.13 per cent said that they don’t want to work for a company that has a bad track record with environmental or social issues.

Despite a desire to want to work for a firm with ESG at its core, an overwhelming majority (90 per cent) believe that most private equity firms are not doing enough or should do more to improve the environment, while 85 per cent believe the industry should be doing more to help the local communities in which their investments are based. Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent believe that firms must do more to improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.

In spite of these concerns, for the most part, respondents see the private equity as a positive force, with 64 per cent describing the industry as one that enhances and supports businesses.

Gail McManus, founding director of Private Equity Recruitment (PER), said attracting and retaining top talent is becoming an intensifying challenge for private equity firms.

“The younger generation want to be really engaged in what they do and to feel that it has a purpose behind it. I think the younger generations, compared to those previous, are also equally prepared to work very hard. The key is they need to believe in the job and not just work very hard.” McManus said.

Andrew Thompson, managing director at Shift Research Group, said: “The views captured in the survey are a major issue for private equity firms seeking to attract and retain top talent. It’s a future trend, but one that is already having an impact."

Among the key traits PE firms are seeking in Gen Z candidates are articulated opinions, solutions based thinking, real world thinking and a different perspective.

This article was first published in our sister publication Real Deals. 

Categories: NewsPeopleESGESG policyESG regulationESG updateHuman CapitalHR / talent managementPeople movesRecruitmentRole CallWellbeing

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