Derek HermanAugust 22, 2018
Topics: Employee Experience

Employee Poaching: The Ethics, the Art, & the Process

Why is promoting from within so crucial to an organization’s success? Because those employees know the industry thoroughly; industry news, trends, trade shows, practices, and the competitor landscape. The latter is the most interesting.

Some companies, if internal mobility is not an option, might want to look at competitors’ employees as they are equally aware of the industry. Enter employee poaching - a practice that involves companies targeting, engaging, and hiring talent from the competition.

The Ethics: Know What You Can & Should Do

Employees are not property. They are human beings first and foremost. They work for an employer at their own free will and can leave at any time for any reason.

Employee poaching isn’t illegal (unless otherwise stated in a non-compete clause in the offer letter) rather it’s a useful method of acquiring talent that possesses a vast and invaluable knowledge base you couldn’t obtain from an average candidate.

If you’re nervous about your employees being poached by competitors, the best solution is to develop a strong employee experience that encourages a happy and healthy company culture. Regardless of the offer they could possibly receive from your competition, they’ll be too happy to think about going elsewhere.

The Art: Companies Have Gone to Great Lengths

Some organizations have been bold and aggressive with their poaching practices.

Electronic Arts put a billboard outside of their competitor’s office saying they were hiring for programmers but in code! Clever.

Electronic Arts put a billboard outside a competitor's office to employee poaching

Snapchat did something similar by creating a geofilter that was targeted at Uber’s headquarters of taxis driving around at the bottom of the screen with the caption, “This place driving you crazy?”

Other companies like Kohl’s and GM have launched similar campaigns. Kohl’s stamped a number on their billing envelopes to customers for them to text “careers” to which would take them to their career site. GM put an equivalent text campaign on their vans for drivers to see.

Employee poaching can be done creatively and effectively if you think outside the box.

The Process: How Phenom People Can Help

To tap into specific talent pools without using bold methods, Phenom People has a feature that can quickly filter out any white noise.

Within the Real-time CRM, users can sort candidates by seniority level, referrals, internal candidates, job titles, and location along with many others. One of those filters is by company.

Phenom People aides in employee poaching

If you’re a logistics organization, for example, looking to take on some top talent from your rivals, simply open the CRM and look for job seekers in your portal from the company of your choosing.

If they’re already in your system, it’s even more ethical to reach out as they are, or once were, interested in your opportunities.

Interested to learn more? Download your copy of the TRM Value Guide to see more of the benefits.

Derek Herman

Derek leads the Marketing Communications initiatives at Phenom People. He engages with Phenom customers to spotlight their stories in the media.

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