Poaching is a term more commonly used in game hunting, and generally carries some negative sentiment about it. However when it comes to recruitment, when used strategically by hiring managers, can be of enormous advantage to both the company and the poached.
In the world of occupations, Poaching is practices that involve companies hiring employees from their competitors. Employee poaching oftentimes occurs in high-growth industries that rely on employees with specialized skills.
As industries grow, the demand for more talent is essential but growth rate of affordable talent is rather less than proportionate to overall increase in industry wide growth. Employees are quitting their jobs now than ever and employers keep struggling with keeping their best employees. So if you can’t keep you best then you might as well go chasing after some. One of the advantages of poaching is that it improves competition. Consequently, less efficient competitor will be forced out of the market so the efficient can use resources effectively. Desperate talent seekers sometimes really cross the line in their pursuits. And that’s when it becomes unethical and sometimes illegal.
Legal experts say that poaching in itself is legal but in some cases the Poacher might land himself or herself in some trouble. This is to help understand how you can poach talents and yet prevent yours from being poached.
To keep your best talents, you may specify a non-compete in the contract at the time of signing.
When it is established that your competition tried to intentionally induce an employee of yours who is bound by a non-compete agreements then they are liable for a penalty and compensation to you and even after they have paid this amounts they still cannot relieve the said employee of their non-compete. So you win and you win. But if there’s no non-compete, your employees can walk out on you at any time.
How then do you poach from others and not get into trouble.
- Look out for Non-Compete Clause in Offer Letter: Just make sure they don’t have any non-compete or the employee coming to work for you is not a breach of any contract signed by that employee with their former employer. Of course your incentives must be bigger. Bigger bait for bigger fishes.
- Research and Offer 2X or more incentives: Nothing can beat a good offer, especially in this part of the world where money is king. Most employees know their worth, and they know they are not paid anywhere close to it when compared to others in more developed countries. Offer a bigger bait, and they surely will take it.
- Build an enviable Organizational Culture hinged on high performance and continuous self-improvement. Why do you think everyone wants to work at Apple or Google or Microsoft? These are organizations that can push you to the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of need: Self Actualization. Employees from these companies either leave to build their own empires, or become CEO’s in other organizations. This is the ultimate aim of most employees. Once you build a work environment with such an organizational culture, you naturally become a magnet for attracting top talent.
And you should try as much as possible to use fair tactics to achieve this end. Remember poaching is always nice when it is gentle. It’s so fun when you are doing it to some other firm but not so nice when what you hold so dear snatched away from you by your competition.
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