25 November 2013

Business Ethics: Poaching Employees

The global economy is at its weakest and this has seen businesses struggle to remain afloat. This may be the time for charity and sensitivity, but it is also the time to poach your competitors’ top staff. Retaining good employees normally means giving them salaries that are beyond industry rates as well as offering them a secure and exciting career path. However, when there is a downturn, doing so can be difficult especially for a business that is struggling to stay afloat.

For those companies who are bold and have the resources to top their competitors, you have the ability to entice the competitor’s top performer and have them move to your company. Poaching employees from a competitor might see you pay them more. However, paying say “$30,000”extra could turn out to be a bargain especially if the said employee’s contribution generates millions in revenues.

Is Employee Poaching Wrong or Right?

Over the years, there has been a notion that employee poaching is immoral and unethical but nowadays this seems to be a relic considering the shortage of various skills sets. The truth is, when it comes to business, it is all competition. You need to do more to win more, whether it’s customers or employees. 

How to Poach the Best Staff From Your Competitors

When it comes to poaching your competitor’s staff, there are several ways to go about it to ensure that you get the best staff.

  • Identify the competitors’ best performing staff:

You need to locate and identify the staff members from your competitors who perform the best in that sector. You can find them in industry conferences, alumni events and so on. The most resourceful way to identify the staff you would like to poach is by always being “in the know” on the top performing employees of that sector from different companies.

  • Preparing the stage:

Identifying staff is easy; the hard part comes when you have to get them to a place where they would accept jumping ship to your company. You cannot just give the potential employee a call and ask them to move jobs. Do a thorough background check on the employee in question and then you could approach a member of your own staff who may know the potential employee to act as a mediator.

  • Make the call:

When making the first phone call, you need to choose your words carefully; be gentle. If all goes well, that might be a sign of good things to come.

  • After the call:

It should not come as a surprise if your first call does not entice the target employee to come over. You should also avoid calling them frequently lest you are branded a stalker. Give them time to think about it and invite them over for lunch or to attend industry conferences.

  • Strike quietly and quickly:

If all your efforts work, the candidate will move to your company. When that time comes, you have to be prepared. Be ready for any additional requests and offers they may make.
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