The Art Of Poaching Employees

Entrepreneurs are often obsessed with the hiring process, and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll often hear them saying things like “running a business is easy, it’s hiring the right people that’s hard.” Finding individuals who are perfect for your company who just so happen to be between jobs is difficult. The vast majority of the most talented people already have a job and are making other business owners very happy indeed.


So what can be done about it? Well, one option is just to wait. But if you’re running a startup or you’re experiencing rapid growth, this often is not an option. As sites like point out, hiring can be an expensive process. The alternative, therefore, is to poach employees from another company. But poaching is a tricky business. Entrepreneurs need to weigh the benefits of getting a new person against the costs of upsetting other people in the industry. It’s a tricky business.

If you do decide to poach, you might want to bear the following points in mind.


Test The Waters First

Many entrepreneurs imagine that in order to poach successfully, they’ve got to go to the person they want, offer them a better deal and hope that they hand in their notice. But often, it’s a good idea to test the waters first. Sometimes just asking another business whether you can have a particular person can work a treat. That business might be looking to downsize or get rid of the particular department.

team hands feet in a circle

You can also make the case for the employee. Say to the other company that the individual in question is likely to progress further in their career if they are able to come and work for you. Surely the other employer will want that for their employee?


Keep Things Respectable

Going in, grabbing the person you want and then demanding that they leave immediately isn’t going to make you any friends, and it can look unprofessional. What’s more, bad poaching decisions can come back to bite you if they involve a company your business works with closely, like a vendor according to

The best strategy is to allow as much time as needed for a smooth transition from their old job to the new one. Allow at least a couple of weeks, if not more. And try to avoid badmouthing former employers. That never goes down well.


Know When Not To Poach

Poaching is all about costs and benefits, like nearly everything in business. That’s why it’s so important to know when and when not to poach. Suppose, for instance, you’ve got your sights set on a candidate with an outstanding CV. You’d love for them to work for your business, but there’s a problem: they already have a job with one of your suppliers. In this situation, it probably doesn’t matter how good they are. If hiring them risks your supplier relationship, they’re probably not worth it. It’s not a good idea to take somebody on who is going to cost your business money long term.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that win. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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