Supercharging talent acquisition: How Graphite drives success in PE portfolio companies

Supercharging talent acquisition: How Graphite drives success in PE portfolio companies

As we explored in our previous blog post, the tough economic landscape confronting PE firms in 2023 has inflicted severe blows, hindering deal volume and straining margins. 

Notably, a striking 92% of PE professionals reported underperformance in their portfolio companies over the past five years due to delaying talent decisions. The lesson? PE firms can't afford to hit the snooze button on talent acquisition, especially in such uncertain times. 

Driving value creation demands fast action and flexibility. That’s why on-demand talent acquisition platforms present the ideal solution.

Here’s How Graphite Empowers PE Portfolio Companies

On-demand talent acquisition empowers PE operating partners to help their portfolio companies rapidly identify, engage, and hire top independent talent — even in exceptionally tight time frames — to solve some of the toughest business problems.

By using a proven on-demand talent platform like Graphite, you can establish a consistent talent acquisition process that not only delivers results but also can be replicated across your portfolio of companies

Let’s dig into some real-life examples to see how to put Graphite’s pool of over 9,000 independent experts to work for you. 

Driving Value Creation in $19B AUM PE Firm

Successful PE firms prioritize talent, teamwork, and a high-performance culture to drive value creation. By investing significantly more in leadership, almost all of such talent-centric portfolio companies achieve their first-year targets and generate considerably higher returns on their investment.

These facts weren’t lost on one of the world’s leading private equity firms. Based in Northern California, the PE  firm boasts over $19 billion in cumulative committed capital, and its strategic focus spans consumer, financial services, industrial, and high-tech sectors. 

The Problem

One of the firm's multinational mining portfolio companies was undertaking multiple transformation projects. The operating executive at the PE firm, along with key stakeholders at the portco, analyzed the strategic workforce plans and identified a critical need for expertise: a seasoned leader who could establish and direct an effective project management office (PMO).

The Solution 

In its quest for an agile and cost-effective solution, the PE firm turned to Graphite. Within days, an independent expert with over 20 years of PMO experience at renowned consulting firms was onboarded.

Impressed, the operating executive decided to explore further opportunities to leverage the expertise available through Graphite. 

The firm ultimately also onboarded two more individuals in addition to the PMO expert:

  • IT Project Manager: To consolidate enterprise project management (EPM) processes, an independent expert with over 30 years of project management experience at companies like Goodyear and Diebold Nixdorf was onboarded.
  • Reliability Engineer: To support a supply chain optimization project, an independent expert with nearly 20 years of reliability engineering experience in lean manufacturing and expertise in Six Sigma Black Belt methodologies was recruited.

The Results 

By partnering with Graphite, the PE firm realized the following benefits, which exceeded their initial expectations:

Benchmark for future initiatives. The successful projects with Graphite's independent experts set a benchmark for future talent acquisition and hiring initiatives within the PE firm's portfolio companies.

Administrative efficiency. Graphite's platform eliminated administrative overhead by providing intuitive in-app invoicing, payment interfaces, and detailed project tracking.

Swift execution. Graphite's on-demand talent acquisition model allowed the PE firm to promptly address talent gaps and initiate essential projects without delay. And as we discussed earlier, talent delays can be costly for PE firms. 

Improved operations. With the PMO expert onboard, the mining portco established a comprehensive, high-quality Project Management Office, leading to streamlined operations and improved efficiency.

With Graphite, the PE firm secured the most qualified experts to achieve the strategic business objectives at its mining portfolio company – at a fraction of the cost of other recruitment models. 

Maintaining Continuity and Momentum at $4B AUM PE Firm

Although transitions in leadership and executive positions are often inevitable, mismanaging them can stunt portfolio growth, stifle value creation, and cost PE firms significantly. 

This PE firm with over $4 billion in assets under management – and a rich history spanning nearly five decades – couldn't afford to make this misstep. 

The Problem

After the VP of Finance at one of the PE firm’s recently acquired media services companies decided to move away from the role, the operating partner needed to quickly onboard an interim replacement to ensure business continuity and momentum.

The Solution

Recognizing that a lengthy executive search process would impede its growth goals, the PE firm turned to Graphite, and the process started with sharing key requirements: 

  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience
  • Ability to direct accounting operations and manage a staff
  • Competency with revenue recognition management
  • Strong knowledge of GAAP
  • Experience working with a PE-backed operation, among others

Using a combination of AI-driven search capabilities and rigorous vetting processes, the Graphite team quickly turned up four highly-qualified candidates.

Within a few days of contacting Graphite, the firm had onboarded an interim VP of Finance boasting more than 20 years of experience, including stints with respected PE firms like 3i Group and Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

The Results

Engaging with Graphite proved exceptionally successful in smoothing the leadership transition and enabling growth. The rewards included:

Maintaining continuity. The presence of the Interim VP of Finance brought stability to the portco during a critical transition period. 

Seamless operations. The Interim VP of Finance's seamless integration into the portco's operations ensured a cohesive and efficient financial management process. With this newfound rhythm, the portco was free to focus on what mattered most—nurturing its core business objectives with undivided attention.

Seasoned finance leadership. With the Interim finance leader bringing over 20 years of experience, the media portco gained valuable expertise to guide financial operations effectively.

Timely execution. Graphite's swift talent acquisition process allowed the PE firm to fill the critical role in less than a week, avoiding any gaps in financial management.

Cost-effective, flexible solution. Engaging with Graphite's on-demand talent model resulted in significant cost savings for the PE firm, as other methods would have been more time-consuming and expensive.

With the help of Graphite's AI-driven model, the PE firm quickly sourced and onboarded the precise expertise it needed to hit key performance milestones —  setting the course for a successful exit. 

Onboard an independent expert today

Graphite offers an agile, flexible, cost-effective solution for PE firms and their portfolio companies to fill key roles quickly. With a pool of highly experienced former MBB/Big 4 and Fortune 500 professionals, you can find the right individual for your project in days, not months.  Connect with one of our Account Executives today to learn how our highly-vetted independent experts can drive your portfolio companies forward.

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