Hiring Away From

Hiring away from

No, not like anchors away….

Hiring a new employee away from another business…  when you know the business owner.

  • Does it matter if he’s a competitor, or simply someone you know?
  • Does it matter if she knew the employee wasn’t working up to potential, and you have a great opportunity?
  • What if the employee approached you before you thought of making an offer?

People in my circle have a mixture of responses to these questions.  Small business owners who have fought hard to learn to hire good people lean a bit more to the “unethical” side.  People who have been laid off on the whim of a major corporate restructuring (or who watched their jobs go to India) think more along the lines of “every man for himself” and are less inclined to give weight to loyalty to an employer.

David Novak, in The Education of an Accidental CEO, says he never understood the impact of leaving a former manager in the lurch until one of his direct reports left on short notice.  He’s CEO of Yum! Brands, formerly at Pepsico, and before that Pizza Hut.  One might think those companies would have invested in succession planning.

Not hiring anyone who’s currently working for anyone you know is a tight limit to put on your business, especially in a not-so-big town.  (It’s actually not very much different from not hiring anyone who doesn’t currently have a job.)

The situation may never arise.  If it does, however, giving a little thought ahead of time will make the after-effects smaller.

  • How will you feel and more important, how will you respond, when one of your employees leaves to work for someone you know?
  • Have you given any thought at all to a succession plan, or at least to keeping the applicant funnel full (See Help Wanted, Help Found)?

On the theory that hiring is just like marketing, only harder:

  • It’s cheaper to do business with customers you already have than to go out and continuously find new customers.
  • It’s way cheaper to keep good employees happy and working for you than it is to find new employees.

What are you doing to keep the employees you have?  Let me know in the comments!  thx