The right way to poach technical talent, and how to be poach-proof

What do Google, Apple, Airbnb, Adobe, Twitter, Snapchat, Intel and Pixar all have in common? Well, apart from the fact that they’re all household names, each of these organisations has been involved in poaching technical talent from the others.

In fact, some of these big names at one time had ‘no poaching’ agreements in place, specifically to stop the to-ing and fro-ing of high-level technicians. But the US Justice Department soon intervened, claiming that the agreements limited job opportunities for employees, thereby reinforcing the idea that job poaching can be highly advantageous for everyone concerned.

How to poach technical talent

The number one of rule in poaching is to never, ever try to poach talent from a major customer, or a supplier, or a friend – it’s simply not worth the repercussions.

A great place to start is with companies where someone high up the career ladder has recently retired or moved on. Any period of change within an organisation causes a fair degree of upset, with everyone jostling to find their new role as the dynamics change. This is an excellent time to look for technical wizards who are less than content or looking for advancement. By the same token, any company experiencing a downturn and trimming staff costs accordingly is ripe for picking up concerned employees who are anxious about what the future holds in their present role.

A further source of technical talent that is generally undervalued is within the lower levels of an organisation, where the brilliance of some employees may have gone unnoticed by their present managers. Seeking out future stars can yield significant results, not least because the individual in question is likely to feel a high degree of loyalty to your organisation for recognising their potential and rewarding them for it.

Make sure that your new star hasn’t signed any contracts forbidding them from working for a competitor. And don’t try to find out any industry secrets from them about their last job. Ideally, the break from the employee’s previous company should have been as clean and as cordial as possible to avoid future negativity.

How to poach-proof your employees

It’s worth keeping in mind that happy and contented employees, who feel respected by their line managers and well-rewarded for the work that they do, rarely seek out new pastures. So, find out what your technical talent are looking for in their careers, and ensure that they get it. Maybe that’s flexible working, remote working, relaxation areas or even free fruit – listen to what your staff have to say, and act on it.

Introduce 12-month plans, so that your staff know what advancement opportunities are available to them. Clearly-defined career progression and training help to inspire loyalty and trust in your team, as they can see the benefits in remaining within your organisation for the long term.

With so many opportunities available, finding the right candidate can take up valuable time and resources. Why not get in touch and let us show you how we can make the process that much easier.

Join us for a chuckle at the sometimes comical situations we find ourselves in when recruiting and receive a weekly recruitment cartoon in your inbox. Sign up now and get the first one right away.

 

Don't just take our word for it

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. RC&A were quick to understand our needs, they only delivered high-quality people for interview, and succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

© Ross Clifford Associates. Website by Outlines Design.