In brief: Hiring for ESG is ‘a mad scramble for people’

Economic fears may take some heat out of the sizzling ESG recruitment market... but not so much in private markets.

Over on affiliate title Responsible Investor, Gina Gambetta has been taking the temperature in ESG hiring. It is no secret that ESG is one of the hottest areas in financial sector recruitment, she notes. The “mad scramble for people”, as one recruiter describes it, has been running hot since 2019.

The imbalance of supply (in the form of experienced ESG professionals) and demand from investment managers to staff up continues to swell compensation packages and force recruiters to look outside of conventional talent pools for candidates. However, there are signs, reports Gambetta, that economic uncertainty is taking some of the edge off demand. New Private Markets subscribers can read the article here.

But what of private markets? Lotti Hawkins, who focuses on private markets at specialist sustainability recruiter Farrell Associates, says that any possible hiring slowdown is less pronounced in private markets than the wider finance industry. This is because private markets firms are generally further behind on ESG hiring than public markets managers – often they are making their first ESG-focused appointment – so recruitment remains an “absolutely priority”.

As one sustainable finance banker puts it: “The problem we have at the moment is that we get in junior ESG people, train them up, and then after two years they bugger off to private equity.”