picture depicting knot for article about family office recruitment for single family offices and the risks if family offices recruit direct

Why should a family office use an external recruitment specialist?

Single family offices (“SFOs”) vary enormously in purpose, culture and size. The recruitment of top talent is a critical endeavour, and finding family office recruitment specialists who truly understand the idiosyncrasies of SFOs can be challenging. Given the size of SFOs, recruitment is unlikely to be an everyday activity. This article explores the role that external recruitment specialists play in helping SFOs navigate the complex landscape of talent acquisition. 

Single family offices might consider doing their own recruitment but given most are relatively small entities (a significant proportion have less than ten employees) is there really the resource, time and in-house expertise to undertake such an exercise? What are the risks?

So, let’s examine the value an external recruitment specialist to single family offices can bring:-

1/Market Expertise: Possession of a deep understanding of the single family office market, its nuances, compensation trends, and the specific skills and qualifications required for particular roles. This intellectual property assists a family office to identify and attract top talent in a highly competitive job market, particularly relevant as family offices continue to grow.

2/The Best Talent: For the most senior hires (CEO, MD, Head of Family Office, etc) it can be tempting for Principals/SFOs to appoint an individual who is known to the family office through an existing professional relationship (e.g., banker, lawyer, accountant, etc) not least because trust has already been established. Whilst this can sometimes work, without any benchmarking it’s impossible to claim the best talent in the market is being hired – the purpose of any recruitment exercise. Ensuring full market coverage so the best individual is hired is a vital but considerable task.

3/Time Efficiency: The recruitment process is very time consuming. It involves tasks such as designing job descriptions, research, candidate sourcing, resume screening, interviewing, arranging interviews and reference checks. By outsourcing these responsibilities, a family office saves time to focus on core activities.

4/Anonymity: If SFOs decides to undertake a recruitment exercise, they have to declare their hand early on and potentially alert the market. The position is then in danger of becoming “common currency” among the target audience. By using a family office headhunter, anonymity is maintained and damaging leaks that can hinder the recruitment process are avoided.

5/The Target Audience: The most seasoned recruiters will have extensive networks with family office professionals built up over time and access to a larger pool of candidates, including those not actively seeking new opportunities. This non-active segment of the target candidate population is by far the largest and can help family offices gain access to candidates they would not otherwise be able to consider.

6/Comprehensive Assessment and Screening: Evaluating candidates for a family office based not only their skills and qualifications but also cultural fit is important. A recruiter with an extensive track record of dealing with SFOs identifies candidates who meet the specific needs and as important, values of the office.

7/Family Office Consultancy: The clue is in the name “recruitment consultant.” A skilled recruiter working with a family office should be a master of the recruitment cycle from conception to completion. For example, a family office can harness the recruiter’s views on compensation levels, optimal methodology, market conditions and the job description amongst other things before the process commences. Similarly, the offer and acceptance process is fraught with difficulty. A recruitment expert will advise the preferred candidate on the resignation process and counsel on counter-offer scenarios and assist in on-boarding.

8/Reduced Hiring Risks: Because of the intimate environment of family offices and their confidential nature, hiring an individual who does not “fit” can be disastrous in terms of time, disruption, cost and the impact on a close-knit family office team. Using a family office recruiter mitigates this risk.

9/Long Term Relationships: Recruiters can help family offices build long term relationships with top talent and create a talent pipeline for future needs. They can also provide guidance on talent development and retention strategies.

If you would like to discuss this article or if you are considering a hiring project for your family office, please do get in touch with Paul Avon for a confidential discussion on +44 (0)207 846 0025 or contact@truehousepartners.com

Headquartered in London, True House Partners is a specialist family office recruitment agency that works with single family offices in multiple jurisdictions. We execute mandates across all professional disciplines for single family offices (& multi). For new clients considering using True House Partners, we are happy to put you in touch (where appropriate) with family offices for whom we have undertaken work for references.