Ensuring a Poach Proof Tech Talent

In simple terms, Employee Poaching is hiring employees from other companies who are competing with each other. There are some ethical issues due to which every IT recruiter needs to be aware of job poaching.

The company which has been employee poached faces employee investment loss.

The leak in trade secrets is common as well.

The former employee may suffer as s/he might be deceived about better opportunities.

Is Employee Poaching Illegal?

Strangely enough, although an initiative was taken by companies to make employee poaching and ‘cold calling’ illegal, the idea was later dropped down because several companies like Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, and Pixar were denied the importance of having legal agreements by the U.S. government, as it would reduce the competition between companies. Also, workers might face issues such as 

limited opportunities, 

reduced raise rates, 

reduced ‘job-hopping’ opportunities,

reduced ability to learn new skills, and

hampered career growth.

The threat is not only from ‘unicorn’ companies, because even traditional companies who are not competing with each other in the same market, can fall prey to employee poaching. In order to prevent job poaching, whereby, a former employee can not only work in a competing company, but they can also work against you in the other company. To battle this, we need to come out with new strategies. 

Steps to Ensure Poach Proof Tech Talent

Here, I will discuss some key points which will help you retain your employees and even executives and prevent them from working with your competitor. But first, we have to understand the psychology of the employees who choose to work for your competitors instead. So let’s find out.

Salary, Perks, and Compensation

It is nothing new that people leave their present jobs for a better salary structure. But, now, employers have updated themselves and are providing new compensation as well as perks. It is very easy to lure in an efficient and experienced executive whom you may have paid less than what s/he deserves. The perks and compensation also attract them at times especially when they do not find mental satisfaction in working for you.  

Career Growth Opportunities

It is nothing unnatural that people are always in search of better career opportunities in the tech industry. Also, it is considered a good thing in the tech industry to keep changing jobs after working for the same employer for many years. People are becoming more prone to ‘job-hopping’ because of severe competition between different tech companies. There is also this urgent need to add or extend curriculum vitae by showing work experience in various reputed companies.

Work Culture

There are various ways to understand if your company is suffering from a toxic work culture. Because then you will be able to improve your work culture and that will affect your employee anti-poaching strategies. Possibly,

you don’t have many people wanting to work for you,

your company has a high attrition rate,

your employees do not enjoy the working ambiance,

your employees are insecure about how long you will retain them,

there is miscommunication between the employer and the employees,

when you are continually denying their ideas for improvement, and

when the attendance is dropping.

Commutation and Living

It often happens that your employees are facing trouble in coming to work or are facing issues in meeting with other living expenses. This mostly happens because of the location of your company in a specific area that might be either cut-off from other areas or is an expensive region to stay in. It might also be that the employee is facing other issues in that specific area.

What can you do to ensure No-Poaching?

There are things you can focus on to see that no other competitor matches the benefits of working at your company.

Sign Noncompete Agreement

You can ensure no-poaching even before hiring the employee. This can be done by signing a non-compete agreement with the candidate which clearly states that there is a legal period after the termination of the employee, and only after the termination of the period can s/he work with a competitor or be your competitor. Before the period, if a former employee poses any threat to your company, you can sue them and the company hiring them for breaking the agreement. Although, it is advisable that you sign the agreement but it isn’t a legal agreement in many provinces.

Improve Salary, Perks, and Compensation

You can focus on how you can improve the salary structure of your sincere employees. Provide ample promotions as well. But sometimes you can even work on retaining the employees without giving a raise or promotion. You can achieve this by giving them decision-making allowances, letting them learn through their mistakes and provide them the autonomy to work on their own without interfering much if they are really that efficient. Also, you can provide them with reasonable working hours, permission for important leaves, work-from-home facilities, summer hours, sabbaticals, paid parental leaves, incentives, have transparency about your annual turnover, high-quality equipments, and help in team-bonding through friendly competitions. 

Enhance Employee’s Career Growth Opportunities

Engage your employees in seminars, conferences, and leadership programs, and provide them onsite tuition reimbursements. They will be able to learn new skills being an employee of your company.

Improve the Work Culture

It is important to improve your company’s work culture. You can achieve it by providing your employees with enough creative freedom. Provide them the freedom to choose their own projects, do not restrict them to a specific job role, allow them to explore, and include them while making important decisions for the company. 

Help in Commutation and Living

You can solve the problem of commutation and living by encouraging the remote work culture. You can also provide your employees with cab or bus services, renting allowances, communication allowances and other security facilities, especially for women employees. 

These are the tricks that can help you make your company anti-poaching. Always keep yourself updated, stay ahead of your competitors, and start working on these tricks because as Walt Disney said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”.


I hope you liked the article. If you have any questions or suggestions let me know in the comments.

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