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.
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