Ever budgeted for your competitors' reaction when you pinch their talent?
The reasons to hire talent from rivals are obvious, right? You get a trained talent with some trade secrets who can hit the road running. It’s a great bargain for the talent too as they get a premium salary while they switch over to their rival. Win, Win? Not without its share of headaches though! Ever thought of the reaction of some competitors who might be sour with you for ripping off their prized possession? What do you expect them to do?
Does your opposite number buy you coffee or sent a legal notice? I got variants of both.
Let us start with coffee ️. I was pleasantly surprised that I would be called to Starbucks for a meet just after hiring a couple of talent from them. In hindsight, it was far 'two' many. Five minutes into the meeting, I was told that skeletons were found after they left, and he was glad that I cleaned up their dirty closet. Then came the threat; if any of their clients were contacted, their lawyers were ready. It ended on a hostile note, and we paid only for our coffees and drove away!
Their CEO ensured that his meeting with me went viral with his staff so that they think twice before accepting another offer from competitors. I think it worked, and I did not recruit from them for another year.🤫 Thereafter every time I bumped into him in a coffee shop I looked over his shoulder to see who he was meeting. I knew many of his team members were joining the competition and he soon built a reputation as somebody who goes after his ex-staff and peer group. You can say he was a possessive & passionate CEO or somebody who had time for all these distractions!
On another occasion, another country, the competing CEO, sent a legal notice to our new hire within a month of she joining us. As she was privately dealing with her ex-employer through her lawyer, I got a call from her ex-CEO saying there were integrity issues that we need to be aware of and highlighted about the legal notice sent to her. When we promptly asked for proof he said its confidential. The employee stayed with us for five years and we heard nothing really got achieved/proved except for some bad blood between the employee and the employer. Yes the competing CEO did put some doubt in our minds about the integrity of the person we had hired during the first 6 months and our antennas were up all the time.
In the world, we live in its quite possible that we will be hiring from or joining the competition 90% of the time. So, Whenever competition hires from you, is it a compliment, or should you feel cheated?
You like to visit the coffee shop and have a quite word with your competitor or prefer to frequent lawyers' office and get some sadistic kicks?