Growing a business with the support of private equity

Janette Martin - Talos360

Janette Martin, CEO of the Year, on growing a business with the support of private equity

Ask any leader their number one business challenge and they are likely to respond: people. Ever since the dawn of commerce, company bosses have grappled with hiring the right people, motivating teams, and retaining talent. But now, finally, one company has developed a tech solution that tackles this perennial puzzle.

Talos360 is a Warrington-based talent technology business. Its proprietary software leads the way in candidate attraction, hiring, onboarding, and people engagement on behalf of growing companies with between 200 and 2,000 employees. Tech-first, it uses machine learning, AI, and years of talent acquisition expertise to help its customers make the right hire first time and have an engaged and high performing workforce.

Janette Martin became CEO of Talos360 nearly three years ago and since taking the helm in the summer of 2021, her approach has won Talos360 many coveted awards, including being named the UK’s Best Workplace in 2024 by Great Place to Work UK. In 2023 she was named CEO of the Year at’s Business of the Year Awards. 

She has also embarked on an ambitious expansion drive and partnered with LDC, the private equity investor which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, in 2022. Here, we speak to Janette about driving growth with the support of a private equity partner.

Why did you consider private equity as a route to growth?

“I’ve worked with private equity twice before, so I knew that was a route I wanted to explore. I wanted to bring investment into the business and work with a partner that could help us achieve our ambitions. I’ve always had a strong commercial focus; I’m a salesperson at heart and I am very results driven.

“I was also looking for a growth investor who would provide the support and the financial backing to help us to grow and scale at pace, without stepping on our toes. I’m passionate about revenue growth and achieving goals, with people and culture at the heart of everything we do.”

How did you approach choosing the right partner?

“We really did our homework. We spoke to LDC’s portfolio companies and took the time to explore the firm’s core values to ensure we were aligned. That’s my tip to anyone thinking about private equity – speak to investee companies who have completed 12 months with a backer.

“It was also crucial to find a partner that took a long-term view on its investments. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ in recruitment – you only have to look at the past few years. From the Great Resignation after Covid to the talent shortages in 2023, the talent market is always in flux.”

Where can an investment partner add value?

“I love leadership and think it’s a real privilege. I love setting a vision and providing the strategy and direction for the business. I know how to run a business, but it’s not possible to be an expert at everything. LDC brings expertise from across its whole portfolio to help us become best-in-class in everything from cybersecurity to ESG.

“Dale Alderson and John Clarke from LDC are my investment directors, and are wonderful sounding boards, and they also introduced me to my non-exec, Chris Herrmannsen. With Chris, I feel like I have someone who is entirely in our corner, and his industry experience and advice has been so valuable, he is a great asset to our business.” 

How will the partnership help you to meet your future growth goals?

“The business recognition we have achieved through our partnership has been phenomenal and so much more far reaching than I could have imagined. LDC is really supporting us on our growth journey. We are bringing new and innovative hiring and onboarding solutions to our customers and are exploring M&A opportunities as well as organic growth. Having the support of LDC we are able to choose to build, partner or acquire.

“I really feel like we’re just getting started. It’s not just about solving the talent problems that customers are facing today, we are truly solving the problems of tomorrow.”