Showing posts with label family business private equity debt leverage succession leverage sell loan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family business private equity debt leverage succession leverage sell loan. Show all posts

10 Ways to get Hired by Private Equity and Family Business

Surprising to some, Private Equity is in all areas of business, big and small, public and private. The public market is doing what Sony and the big kingpins of music did – dying. More companies are partnered with Private Equity and the hiring practices are different.
Peter Ploughs from Phoenix Executive Network asked me to present to a group of top C-Suite people about how to get hired to work with Private Equity. Here is a list of the top ten ways to get hired by Private Equity, specifically when they are partnered with a family business:
1. Know how Private Equity works.
I recommend calling companies, not Private Equity, as the owner-operator tends to originate the jobs. Private Equity people are busy and are less likely to see you. The chart shows the wide range of companies working with Private Equity and they have degrees of bureaucracy and risk depending on the type of business. 
Match yourself to your preferred style. If you are a corporate “intrapreneur”, you will hate working for a family business with fewer systems, even if it is $500M in revenues. Know yourself and be honest.

2. Be Likeable
Unlike a corporate position, Private Equity jobs in family businesses will require 5 to 10 years of commitment. If the owner is meeting you, it is critical you make a connection and the owner can see themselves spending time with you and even your family. How you “feel” to the family business team will be the most important criteria for hiring. If the family business owner likes fishing and you do too, good news. Family business hiring is quirky.  If the owner does not like golf players as he believes they waste time, and you have golf listed as an interest, it could prevent a second interview.

3. Be Trustworthy
It comes back in spades. When hiring, family business owners and their private equity partners will call wide and far to find out details on character as well as competencies One story of questionable behaviour and they will turn down the candidate. On the resume, they will want to see you have not bounced around companies and have been promoted. Talk about why you switched jobs.
4. Engage
From the start of a conversation, the owner and CEO is imagining working with you. How will it feel and how are you with problems? Behave as if you are working with them already, rather than pitching for the job. Give ideas and email 100 day plans or strategy. One COO was offered a salary and he chose to send the “no” reply by email on a Friday afternoon. What a difference if he had just got on the phone. The owner and Private Equity asked “Is this how you will deal misunderstandings with our clients?”
5. List business details
The size of past company revenues and growth rates are of great interest to Private Equity and business owners as growth is their goal. They are looking to match the size of business where you have worked with their company. If you were in a $30M revenue company and helped grow it to $100M, this is what they want to hear. What did you do personally to add to the growth?
6. Be “Game On”
This has always been a tenet of good business, but when getting hired by a business partnered with private equity it will be critical. Pay attention to every “Moment of Truth” - how you present yourself to anyone involved with the position. One CFO was approved by the owner and needed the final nod from Private Equity. Thinking that it was fine to be casually dressed as if visiting the plant, this CFO attended a Bay Street lunch in a golf shirt. His insensitivity to social context meant he lost the job offer.
7. Develop Your Mantra
Give a quick verbal one liner to snapshot what you love to do. Think about an accountant. Would it be easier to get an idea if she says, “Empowering clients to reduce their business and family tax over the life of the business”. Position yourself as early in the conversation as possible to not waste anyone’s time.
8. Share stories
People love stories—about how you contributed to your last company, or about an interesting product or a business development program you did that brought in a surprising client. Keep the stories short and simple. A picture is really worth a thousand words too.
9. Remove the road bumps
Have your LinkedIn profile with a good photo (not with your baby) and recommendations. You will show your organization skills if you email your resume labelled with your last name, first name, date and if you mention you have references. Offer to buy a coffee. Make it attractive.
10. Family Business really means Family
For family owned businesses, the rules are very different. They may invite you for dinner. Your wife will be seated next to the owner. The CEO and Private Equity will be paying excruciating attention. Your wife could sink the deal – better to leave her at home if she is ticked off with you. Advise her not to share that “Joe is messy or lazy” or to flirt with the owner. Pay attention to the spouse because often, they own half of the business and are crtical to the hiring decision.

If you’d like to learn more about private equity and how it works, be sure to read Jacoline’s book, Money Magnet: How to Attract Private Equity to your Business. (Publisher: Wiley)