Recession-Proof Talent Acquisition With a Strategic Talent Partner

Private equity firms and portfolio companies across the nation are bracing themselves for the possibility of hiring during a recession. Although no one can be certain, economists and analysts alike have issued warnings of a potential one on the horizon. The prolonged impacts of the pandemic, high inflation rates, fluctuations in the labor market, and continued supply-chain issues are all contributing to the growing economic crisis.  

Companies that rely solely on cutting their workforce have only an 11% probability of succeeding after a downturn. 

Harvard Business Review

So, what can your portfolio companies do to recession-proof their hiring strategy? 

An instinctive reaction would be to freeze hiring efforts, reduce headcount, and postpone major projects. However, talent acquisition experts encourage businesses to keep long-term goals top of mind and hire according to needs. 

While some layoffs are inevitable, companies that survived and thrived through past recessions were the ones who focused on continuing operations. Additionally, excessive layoffs hurt workers and company morale and can be costly for organizations down the line. 

Although no one can be 100% certain, portfolio companies must prepare for the possibility of a recession. Learn how Hueman PE Talent Solutions can help portfolio companies navigate the challenges of a potential downturn by leveraging one of the most essential resources – talent. 

Why Hueman PE Talent Solutions? 

As the country heads towards a recession, leaders need to consider hiring solutions to help them weather the storm. Out of all the options available for talent support, what makes Hueman PE talent acquisition solutions the best choice?  

“Private equity firms are continually improving the process of talent management, moving beyond traditional views of human resources to something more transformative,” explained Jason O’Briant, managing director of human resources at Blackstone. “This dynamic transformation in focus, and how it will help to improve everything from talent acquisition and recruitment to engagement and retention strategies, is now at the forefront of the entire sector.”  

The private equity industry places high demands on firm and portfolio company leadership. At Hueman, we operate on a configurable model that fits your existing structure and portfolio company support strategy. Focusing on rapid, scalable growth requires strategic investments in programs proven to bring value to your company. Our total talent solution consists of four specific programs, each of which resolves a unique recruitment challenge:  

  • Key Position Recruitment: Quickly fill critical roles of all levels through our experienced, on-demand recruiting team. 
  • Employer & Recruitment Marketing: Hueman’s employment and digital marketing solutions positions portfolio companies for growth by building modern recruitment marketing ecosystems. 
  • Talent Consulting: We provide various consulting options to help private equity firms and portfolio companies build best-in-class talent acquisition processes. 
  • Additional Recruitment Sources: Our team of professional recruiters can work on an as-needed basis across your portfolio to provide recruitment services at a highly affordable rate, traditionally less than <10% of compensation.

How Hueman PE Talent Solutions Can Help 

Scalable Support 

Flexibility is vital for businesses to stay afloat during times of uncertainty. Organizations can scale recruitment efforts up or down depending on hiring demands by partnering with a PE Talent Solutions partner. In a fluctuating market, portfolio companies need to avoid the vicious cycle of hiring and laying off recruiters.    

We have the recruiters, technology, and expertise needed to support our clients through affordable hiring strategies. History has shown that economic downturns can be followed by times of great expansion. Portfolio companies will have access to strategic talent acquisition leaders, experienced recruiters, marketers, and consultants who can fill positions quickly to ramp your business back to normal. 

Key Position Recruitment 

We developed the Hueman Key Position Recruitment program to find and hire the best candidates for portfolio firms. Because our business model is specific to private equity firms, it is more affordable than conventional direct hire or staffing services. Plus, it is scalable to fit an entire portfolio.  

Through this initiative, portfolio companies will have direct access to a group of skilled recruiters. These recruiters do more than scour applicants’ resumes. They use a variety of methods to find talent. Hueman places 64% of candidates who are passive and likely won’t engage with portfolio companies outwrite. 


Talent technology is constantly evolving, making it difficult for organizations to properly select and integrate it into their workflow. We provide deep knowledge, innovation, and the expertise needed to integrate and leverage technology to its fullest capabilities.    

With our technical expertise, you can leverage your existing technology to source better candidates, engage applicants, and reduce time to fill. Additionally, streamlining technology creates efficiency and allows your portfolio companies to operate with leaner teams and do more with their budget. 

Executive Search Management 

When recruiting for C-level positions, optimizing the executive search process, and driving growth should never have to burden internal stakeholders. Working with an executive search agency, however, can be expensive, slow, frustrating, and ineffective. 

With our knowledge and connections to executive search firms, we can offer support during the selection process, including contract negotiations. By overseeing the daily operations and deadlines of the search process, we ensure that third-party search firms supply quality applicants. Our program provides accountability, lessening the workload on your internal employees. 

Cost savings  

During a recession, businesses are looking to save on unnecessary expenses wherever they can. Believe it or not, outsourcing recruitment efforts CAN reduce costs related to talent acquisition. These costs include:   

  • Costs related to hiring: Portfolio companies can expect improvements in the quality of hire, employer branding, and time to hire.   
  • Costs during an economic downturn: Companies can avoid bearing the financial burden associated with adjusting resources and talent to meet their needs.   
  • Operational costs: Portfolio companies only pay for the services you need. This flexibility makes it easy to scale resources and predict costs based on your needs.   
  • Costs compared to traditional firms: Portfolio companies will only be accountable for 10% or less in success fees compared to standard staffing fees that are upwards of 25%. 

Improve Employee Experience 

Investing in employee experience and company culture can help your organization thrive during uncertain times. According to SHRM, a key factor to maintaining sufficient staff during a recession was focusing on employee engagement and morale. A strategic talent acquisition partner can help hire people that align with company values to ensure a strong workplace culture.  

Instead of luring employees with a paycheck, portfolio companies should focus on ensuring employees feel heard, valued, and engaged. Implementing strategies to increase engagement and retention creates trust within an organization and keeps top talent invested for the long run. 

76% of executives said they invested in training for their existing teams to increase long-term employee satisfaction. 


Ultimately, no one can be certain about when we will experience the next recession. However, preparing for the possibility can help reduce the risk of adverse impacts. However, connecting and integrating strategy with talent is where a systematic approach to maximize value creation provides a reliable buffer. 

Engaging with strategic talent acquisition partners can be instrumental in developing strategies in response to shifts in the talent space. As the dust settles from the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s more vital than ever to change hiring methods in the wake of a recession.   

Contact us today to learn more about Hueman Private Equity Talent Solutions.