Direct Recruiting from the Competitor -- Poaching or Aggressive Recruiting

There are many different opinions when it comes to this topic. In highly competitive niche industries the best talent is typically gainfully employed by your top one or two competitors. Why settle for table scraps (active applicants) when you can go after "all the fixins"? Is it more acceptable for a Corporate HR department to put this request into the hands of a Third Party recruiter? Is it unethical across the board?

Personally, I think it is the best resource for applicable talent in a niche industry. As long as your direct competitor is not a business partner in any form, rock it out!!!! You will find that it is beneficial to your organization because it will reduce the rampup time needed for a lesser candidate or one from a "similar" industry and also may provide you some "off the record" tips. Of course all of this can only be possible if you can get around the non-compete clause.


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Comment by Dan Nuroo on April 30, 2008 at 11:07pm
I honesetly don't see the problem with actively seeking talent from your competitors. In a world of competition, and tough competition that is what happens, no matter how you dress it up. If there are agreements between companies then of course stand by them, but otherwise... gloves are off I think. I tend to think if my people go to our competitors it is not a fact that someone "poached" them, but the fact that we lost them, by not doing something right by that individual to allow them the need to consider such opportunities.
Comment by Masood Sayed on May 1, 2008 at 6:22am
I agree with Dan. If the best replacement comes from direct competitors, why look anywhere else.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on May 3, 2008 at 7:40am
There's been some additional discussion in the past week over on RecruitingBlogs about this thorny issue of poaching.

ERE members have been talking about this practice of poaching stretching back into 2000, as far back as I can see. Some interesting past ERE pieces (going back in time from top to bottom) - on “poaching” that will give you the "temperature" of opinion on the network:
Top Places to Work Lists Are Valuable for both Branding and Poaching!
Cost and Benefit of Poaching
Aggressive Talent Poaching in Bathrooms and Parking Lots
Poaching Protection
Poaching article
"...competitors stung by poachers will look to use litigation competitively."
"Poaching" from Existing Clients
Signs of Infiltration
Passive Candidate Recruiting is NOT illegal
Poaching the Best Talent Worldwide
Ethics, Poaching and Competitive Intelligence
Poaching, Ethics, Slavery And Personal Opinions
John Sullivan's Article: Poaching, Ethics, Slavery And Personal Opinions
Recruiting Out of Competitors
Hire To Hurt: A High-Impact Recruiting Strategy
In the Trenches at the Talent Wars
Attend the MagicMethod FREE one hour phone sourcing chat on Tuesday May 6 at noon (est) here!
Chat LIVE with real time sourcers here!


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