A secret pact between private-equity firms and headhunters is pushing associate recruiting into 2021

The private-equity arms race for junior talent is seeing a temporary ceasefire this year, with top recruiting firms pressing pause on courting first-year investment banking analysts for 2022 roles.

Five recruiters told Business Insider that the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for upending the timeline, which has moved earlier and earlier in recent years as private-equity firms tried to one-up each other for the best young talent.

Private-equity firms have long recruited from investment banks to fill associate roles, with the thinking they’ll get two years experience of deal analysis before making a move to the buy side. 

But over time, PE shops got more competitive in hiring the best and brightest from the banks and accelerated their time table in extending offers to analysts. Eventually, candidates in their early 20s agreed to jobs that didn’t start for a whole two years out.

“It’s absurd,” one recruiter familiar with the situation said. “You started a job and then a month into it, you’re being asked by a recruiter, ‘What do you want to do next?’ when they’ve just started their first job out of college.”

Read the full article at: pe-insights.com