Defense Against Executive Recruiters
Executive Recruiters are an essential part of businesses looking to find the right person for the right job at the right time. While this is fine if you are hiring, it is not so fine when recruiters are targeting your operation.
In the past all one had to do was restrict access to an employee directory. If the recruiters could not get ahold of your employee directory, then it would be hard to find and speak to your employees. Since LinkedIn has become a part of every professionals “networking” all one needs to do is subscribe to LinkedIn Pro and search for your company’s name and or the discipline desired and presto! – It is all there.
A person is vulnerable to be recruited at about 5 year’s tenure with a company. By that time they have assessed their promotion prospects and have either chosen to stay or have become job focused not company focused.
Employees should be reviewed each year, by peers, managers and themselves. Here you need to look for discrepancies in assessments. The wider the discrepancy the greater the change they will leave, either by recruitment or by their own choice. Non-compete agreements are more or less useless and cannot cover wide swaths of places companies and locations. If an employee leaves a company in Florida, and moves to Arizona and the company in Florida sues – so what? You may get a judgment or you may not and the likelihood of it being considered enforceable in another state is another bought of litigation. My favorite example was a woman who took several semiconductors secretes from a Texan company, after she was recruited by a Singapore company who was a direct competitor of the Texan company. Oh boy, those agreements were worthless!
There is some discussion about deferred benefits and compensation linked to non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. If the non-compete and non-disclosure agreements are violated these payments can be withheld and benefits terminated. The ability to craft and enforce these agreements varies state to state and country to country.
The point here is that you have a person that is not happy or disillusioned, deal with it now. Either help them or cut them.
Do period salary and compensation reviews. Find out what your people are worth and address it. Recruiters know industry averages and if they can get one of your employees away from you as you are underpaying them, then that is not much of a surprise, is it?
The next thing to do is to monitor access to LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Do not restrict them- monitor them. If you restrict them, they’ll just access them at home. If an inordinate amount of time is being spent on LinkedIn find out why. It may be part of a research teams internal looking for people on the outside or it may be a conference they are trying to set up, assess, or attend. Find out why.
Lastly, when a person is recruited away, check their phone log. Who have they been speaking to and find the recruiter. While you may not be able to stop the recruiter, you can flag their phone number to see who they are calling.
Recruiters help good people for appropriate work. If a recruiter is targeting your business you better find out why. Whether it be uncertainty of employment, a turbulent work place, bad management or per or post-merger / acquisition. Whatever the reason you need to find out why and address it.
Recruiters also do not just offer more pay, often the move is lateral if only for a person to work on something new, be closer to family, or seeking future opportunities for advancement.
Defense from a recruiter is both strategic by being authentic and possessing good management skills as well as tactical by monitoring access and behavior.