Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters

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Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Private-equity jobs are some of the most competitive on Wall Street. Samantha Lee/Business Insider
  • Jobs in private equity are some of the most sought after on Wall Street.
  • Recruiting of PE associates from investment banks is beginning after a year-long pause.
  • Insider has compiled all the things you need to know about landing a job in PE.

Private equity is one of the most competitive jobs markets for young professionals on Wall Street. The jobs are extremely lucrative: total comp for associate ranks can easily top $200,000.

Insider has mapped out everything you need to know if you're looking to land a job at firms like Blackstone and KKR, from the latest on the recruiting timeline for associates to the top headhunters to know.


The recruiting timeline for PE is ramping up after a hiatus

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Wall Street headhunters do battle year after year to line up the top banking talent for their investment-firm clientele. But, their aggressive recruiting process came to a screeching halt in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

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After a year-long delay, recruiting for 2022 private-equity associate roles is slated to start in the beginning of September.

A number of influential buy-side recruiting firms began sending out emails to second-year investment-banking analysts at the end of August to arrange intro meetings after Labor Day.

Want to know which firms have kicked off their outreach? We've got details on the headhunters involved on what the timeline may look like.

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Get ready, junior bankers: Private equity recruiting is about to restart after a year-long pause


Top recruiters tell you what to expect

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Odyssey Search Partners; The Carlyle Group; Bain Capital; Apollo Global Management; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

In December 2020, Insider spoke to the top internal and third-party PE recruiters to understand what to expect.

The group, which consisted of talent executives from Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, and The Carlyle Group, detailed everything you need to know to land a gig in PE.

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WATCH: Top talent execs at firms like Carlyle and Apollo reveal how to land a private-equity job in 2021

The typical cycle is changing for private-equity recruiting. Here are the new trends top hiring execs from firms like Apollo and Carlyle are seeing.

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Top private-equity recruiters share tips on how to craft a perfect resume and the best way to prep for interviews


How to get hired at Blackstone and KKR

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Drew Angerer/Getty; Skye Gould/Business Insider

In the world of private equity, few names hold more weight than Blackstone and KKR. Insider spoke with executives at both firms to understand what they're looking for in candidates.

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Blackstone president Jon Gray reveals how to stand out to land a job at the ultra-competitive firm

How to land a job at KKR, according to one of the private-equity giant's top HR execs

A KKR talent exec says the private-equity firm's college recruiting is expanding beyond core target schools

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PE pays wells

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
LPETTET/Getty Images

There's a reason so many people are keen to work in PE: It pays very well. Total comp for associates can easily top $200,000.

And as the market for young talent has gotten more aggressive, PE firms have been willing to shell out more to attract and retain employees.

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Private equity pay revealed: Here's a look at how much people are making, broken down by level of experience and firm size

Apollo is offering some associates retention bonuses of up to $200,000 to stay on until 2022 after a year of intense hours and rapid-fire deals

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Warburg Pincus is bumping pay by up to 30% for junior workers as private-equity firms and banks spend big to hang onto talent


Meet the top headhunters in the space

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
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Third-party recruiters hold a pivotal role in PE hiring process. These headhunters help top firms suss out the best talent.

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Insider identified the leaders in the space, in addition to creating a searchable database of more than 350 headhunters.

Read more here:

THE GATEKEEPERS: 12 headhunting firms to know if you want to land a hedge fund or private-equity job

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Use our searchable database to find more than 350 Wall Street headhunters for private equity, investment banking, and hedge fund jobs


PE firms are stepping up their training game for new recruits

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Matan Feldman is Wall Street Prep’s founder and managing partner. Wall Street Prep

Learning to model a leveraged buyout. Understanding the basics of diligence. Knowing what makes a good investment, and how to win over the support of more senior investors.

Having a mix of intuition and hard skills is key to becoming a successful private-equity investor.

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But, with an increase in the number of new job opportunities for undergrads to go straight into private equity after college, more megafunds are recognizing that the race to hire top talent early means their analysts and associates need to bulk up on their technical knowhow when they hit the desk.

Matan Feldman, founder of Wall Street Prep, an external firm that provides training for employees at megafunds, spelled out what that means in an interview with Insider.

Here's how technical training at private-equity firms has been transformed by talent wars, according to the founder of Wall Street Prep

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The buy-side is keeping an eye on undergrads

Everything you need to know to get a job in private equity: timelines, interview tips, and top headhunters
Annie Paydar, left, and Alex Crisses, right. Courtesy of General Atlantic

While hiring out of investment banks remains the primary path for young people to reach the vaunted world of investing, that, too, is starting to evolve.

At KKR, the private-equity megafund, the firm has been running an analyst program since 2020 that hires a small number of students straight out of college into full-time gigs. Grace Koo, KKR's head of talent acquisition, spelled out how it developed its campus outreach strategy during a year of virtual recruiting.

Plus, at $65 billion growth-equity investor General Atlantic, the firm's sourcing internship has been letting college students step up to the plate in pitching new investments for the past five years. Alex Crisses, the firm's head of new investment sourcing, and Annie Paydar, global head of human capital, gave Insider a special look at the hyper-competitive program, which selects fewer than 10 applicants - out of more than 500 - each year.

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A KKR talent exec says the private-equity firm's college recruiting is expanding beyond core target schools

Inside General Atlantic's undergrad internship, where just 2% of applicants are selected to pitch new investments in companies like Duolingo and Riskified

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Disclosure: KKR is a large shareholder in Axel Springer, which owns Business Insider.

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