What is Job Poaching Employees? (2022 Explanation)

What is job poaching? When an employee possesses highly sought-after talents and expertise, it's natural for businesses to desire to recruit them to maintain a pool of top talent. If you possess these abilities, you can benefit from the attention of firms eager to provide you a better salary and more benefits in exchange for your services.

Employers can attract new personnel in a variety of ways. One strategy is to poach people from competing organizations.

what is job poaching

What does the term "staff poaching" or "job poaching" mean?

Employee poaching is a legal term that refers to an employer contacting a person at a competitive company to persuade the employee to apply for a position at their organization. Employee poaching is more prevalent in high-demand roles or industries because the employee typically possesses the education, experience, or talents that are difficult to find and are advantageous to the organization.

However, job poaching is not confined to high-tech industries; any organization can use it to attract excellent people.

If employee poaching is successful, the poaching organization benefits from having a highly qualified employee on staff while also stealing talent from a competitor.

what is job poaching

How employee poaching is carried out

Employee poaching is widespread in sectors where employees are required to possess specific technical abilities, such as coding, development, programming, and analysis. Employers and recruiters frequently contact these individuals to offer more compensation, additional perks, or a combination of the two to entice them to quit their current job and provide their expertise to a new business.

For instance, a recruiter may call a software developer at a large computer systems design firm and offer them incentives, such as increased income, in exchange for leaving their present job to join the new company. If the software engineer accepts the job offer, consider them poached from their existing workplace.

This is a common way for skilled employees to earn more money. Still, it also allows them to develop new abilities, moves closer to job promotions (which typically amounts to even more money), and work for high-quality employers who they can list on their CV when the employee is ready to move on.

While you may benefit from these benefits as an employee who is poached for another role, you may want to consider how frequently you allow poaching to occur or how frequently you change jobs, as too much change may signal to a new employer that you have a hard time remaining loyal to a company or that you lack the career focus the new employer is looking for.

Businesses employ a variety of strategies to combat poaching

Businesses may choose to implement anti-poaching procedures in order to retain top employees. Among these strategies are the following:

Utilization of a non-solicitation agreement

Companies may enter into no-poaching agreements with their primary industry competitors, in which one company undertakes to refrain from attempting to recruit staff from the other. The agreement may also cover hiring, even if an employee self-applies for the employment.

In either case, it prevented the company from losing its best and most skilled personnel. Still, it also prevents individuals from pursuing other options that may be more beneficial to them financially or otherwise.

No-poaching agreements may appear to be beneficial to the corporations that sign them. Still, if they are not properly drafted, the company may break antitrust laws. To avoid potential problems with no-poach agreements, many businesses instead utilize non-compete agreements.

Execution of a non-compete agreement

A non-compete agreement, often known as a non-compete clause (NCC), is a contract between a company and an employee, rather than between competing companies. The non-compete agreement specifies that the employee will not work for a competitor for a specified period after their present company terminates their job.

Additionally, the agreement may say that the employee is prohibited from starting a competing firm following termination of employment. Non-compete agreements get used by businesses to keep employees from disclosing sensitive information with competitors.

For instance, if a software developer leaves their position with a computer systems design firm for any reason, their non-compete agreement may say that they get prohibited from working for a rival or starting a competitive business for at least three months.

Typically, a corporation will prohibit employees from working for competitors for no more than a few months. A lengthier period may be unjust to the employee because it may hinder their employment possibilities in the industry they would typically seek work.

Employee engagement measurement

Organizations that continuously assess employee engagement can identify any employee pain points before they become severe enough that individuals seek employment elsewhere or become vulnerable to staff poachers. Employers can try conducting an engagement survey once or twice a year for all employees or encouraging managers to hold regular meetings with their workforce to discuss engagement.

Knowing how employees feel about the organization and how attached they feel to their jobs can help employers determine how to engage them more effectively.

Meeting the requirements of employees

Once you've established a baseline for employee engagement, you should be able to solve their concerns. It's critical to pay close attention to what your organization's top performers require so that you can keep these bright folks from being seduced by poachers from other firms. Employees may seek perks such as consistent working hours, a more favorable compensation and raise structure, prospects for promotion, safe working conditions, recognition, and opportunity to develop their talents.

Creating an incentive program

instead of or in conjunction with a non-compete agreement, a business may use an incentive scheme to retain personnel. An employee may earn more rewards and incentives over the course of their employment with the organization through an incentive plan. Not only does an incentive plan compensate an employee for their loyalty, but it also acts as a motivator for the employee to work diligently and remain focused, knowing that their efforts contribute to the organization's success.

Creating a corporate culture

A company's culture is defined by the values that guide its operations, strategy, and interactions with employees, stakeholders, and customers. A company culture that embodies the values that are most important to an employee might help retain that individual's loyalty to the organization.

For instance, if a company values collaboration and creativity and an employee is a highly creative person who thrives in a team setting, this may be the ideal place for them to work. Positive business cultures can result in increased employee engagement, loyalty, and productivity, as people are often happy in these organizations.

Through the use of a non-solicitation agreement

A non-solicitation agreement is similar to a non-compete agreement in that it prohibits a former employee from contacting the customers and clients of their former employer. Employees can still work for a competitor company even if a non-solicitation agreement is in place. Employees may be reluctant to quit an organization if they have spent time developing relationships with clients there but will have to terminate the relationship when they move on to work elsewhere.

For instance, a salesperson has likely developed relationships with clients and has grown to rely on these clients to help them meet their quota by upselling products or continuing to fill their regular orders. If the employee has signed a non-solicitation agreement, they may be opposed to leaving because it would require them to rebuild their customer base. This can thwart employee poaching attempts, as employees would prefer to retain their client list.

How often is a non-compete agreement used?

Frequently. Innovative companies frequently require their employees to sign non-compete agreements, which effectively prohibit individuals from pursuing employment with the company's clients or direct competition for a specified period following the termination of the employment relationship.

What is "poaching" or "employee raiding" in the recruiting industry?

In recruiting parlance, "poaching" refers to the act of hiring existing or former personnel from a competitor or similar organization. You have open positions that require specific expertise and education, and someone who already works in your field is likely to possess the traits you seek.

Is it illegal for a company to poach employees?

No. Talent poaching or hiring from a competing business is not illegal. It's acceptable to hire current or former employees from competing businesses. Taking workers from a competitor is not illegal in and of itself. Employers frequently want candidates with industry knowledge and an understanding of their client base.

How do you poach an employee?

Here's how to poach an employee:

  • Tap into their ego and passions.
  • Understand the "why" behind why they could leave.
  • Show them that they matter.
  • Show them the opportunity.
  • Show them more money.
  • Nourish their intellect and creativity.
  • Show how the new job will be more satisfying.

Why do companies poach employees?

If a competitor or competing company intends to bolster their team, they may seek to do so by luring personnel away from other firms. Alternatively, suppose a person leaves for a competitive company. In that case, they may seek to bring their entire staff with them, resulting in a mass exodus that can damage the company's ability to recruit new employees.

Do companies follow through on a breach of an employment contract?

While breaching an employment contract is a very typical occurrence. It is no less serious or destructive for its frequency. Depending on the severity of the offense, the repercussions may include costly legal fees, business-related restrictions, and other legal implications.

what is job poaching

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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