Resource Centre Employer’s Corner Employee Poaching: Doing It Ethically

Employee Poaching: Doing It Ethically

Employee poaching

Poaching as a way of recruitment

The battle for talent can be tough in a competitive environment especially where the right skills are scarce. In order to find the best skills in the market, some companies resort to hiring employees who are already working for competitors.

If you have skilled people on your team, there is always a possibility that they are getting the attention of your competitors or recruiters. Worse still, they might be applying for open opportunities in other companies and getting called back for interviews. Either way, someone out there may be eyeing them for their skills.

As a recruiter or employer, getting a person whose abilities have been tested and found to be good makes the process of recruiting faster and easier. However, it has its own risks so it is important to be very careful about it. So, how do you do it well to increase your chances of success?

Be mindful of the non-compete clause

Non-compete clause

In highly competitive environments, companies safeguard themselves by having non-compete clauses on their contracts. The aim is to ensure that employees cannot work for a competitor within a specified period of time.

These agreements are often specific for direct competitors so it is wise to look out for this to avoid running into legal headwinds. Usually, those in the industry know about the legal frameworks within which competitors operate and the legal environment involved. Therefore, do your homework and you will avoid trouble.

Do a thorough background check

Background checks

Just because someone is shining when working for your competitor, it does not mean that they will shine when working for you. It could be that the competitor’s culture provides the right environment, or that they are part of a great team, or that the competitor provides the right facilities, which facilitate excellent performance.

Additionally, the person might be the right fit with your competitor but that does not mean that they will be the right fit for the available position in your company. Therefore, before poaching a person, ensure that they are cut out for the role you intend to fill. A thorough background check is absolutely necessary if you are to get the right candidate.

Make use of recruitment firms

Recruitment firms such as BrighterMonday are experienced in doing a thorough research on a candidate and giving you the right fit for the job. If you are keen on maintaining good relationships in the industry, a subtle approach through a recruitment firm goes a long way towards helping you approach the candidate.

The job of the recruitment firm is often to sell your idea to potential or identified candidates so as to determine whether they are open to the idea. This is a good way of ensuring that the candidate can take up the opportunity, before discussing the offer.

Sell your company

Approaching a potential recruit is like making a sales pitch to a client. You want to show them the value they will gain or how they can contribute to the growth of the company. Tell the candidate why it would be great to join your company.

A good way to make this happen is by finding out what the person might be looking for, and what motivates them. Tie these to your sales pitch and you will be halfway to success. Most people will be hesitant to leave their current jobs if they do not see any value in their next jobs. So, show them the value and they will be sufficiently inspired to join your company.

Appeal to their pain points

Employee poaching

Closely related to selling your company, an easy way of securing higher chances of success involves appealing to a person’s problems in their current company. Maybe a person is undervalued or does not get the right recognition or simply wants a new challenge. Whatever the case, giving the solution to their problems increases the chances of them seeing the value in your company.

People will not easily change jobs if their issues are addressed. Therefore, make sure that the value they are getting is clear and solves their problems.

Work on building your own brand

Build your brand

An indirect way of ensuring that people get attracted to your brand is by creating an attractive brand. People want to join reputable companies that are known to provide excellent opportunities to their employees. To make it easy to attract people, create a culture of growth and one where creativity is encouraged. This way, even when you approach potential employees they are likely to seriously consider joining your company.

Aggressiveness is not appreciated

Some people get tempted to aggressively pursue a candidate, which can be taken as harassment. Even if you are very keen on getting to someone on board, avoid bombarding them with messages and endless requests. Instead, request for a meeting where you explain what your intentions are and give them the space they need to make the decision.

Aggressiveness may come off as being an undesirable employer. Therefore, simply make your sales pitch and give the person time to make the decision.

Employee poaching is increasingly becoming a recruitment tactic in an environment where competition for talent is stiff. Everyone wants the best in the industry to drive their company forward and this means enticing your competitor’s top talent to jump ship. While this is not an entirely frowned-upon practice, it requires some level of tact to do it the right way.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.
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