A good business is run by solid and skilled employees – be it startups, SMEs, or well-established corporations. No wonder, companies are in the competition to hire the best talents on the market. The challenge is that sometimes top talents are already working for a competitor. So how does a startup fight for these best hires? The answer lies in talent poaching.
What is talent poaching?
Talent poaching, also referred to as employee poaching or job poaching, is a strategy to recruit employees who work at competing companies. The term ‘poaching’ is associated with illegal hunting, but job poaching is not, for the most part, unethical or illegal. Instead, job poaching can help ensure a competitive talent market.
Why should you do talent poaching?
The idea behind talent poaching is to strengthen a company’s talent pool and missing skill. If successful, startup founders will find an essential talent with skills that they have been looking for.
An accomplished venture capitalist and entrepreneur Sanjay Anandaram noted that startups might need to be on the lookout every day. As startups are growing rapidly, there is an increasing need to hire talents. Teams need to be built and market shares need to be captured, meaning more people need to be hired. Therefore, talent poaching is always a good strategy.
In addition, poaching employees has advantages over traditional candidate sourcing methods. For example, when you are poaching, you will meet candidates who are already an expert in their job. It means that you can gain a benefit and insight from them as they have already worked for the same role before. Also, imagine if talents you are poaching come from a well-established company, they will bring about an immense skill and experience that can be passed on to other employees.
See also: Hiring for Jobs? Make Sure to Have Well-Written Description First
Social media and open forum can be your best source to poach talents
Before social media and online job forums made their appearance, the usual way to poach talent was by getting a recruiter or headhunter to do the poaching. However, now employee poaching is done differently and more subtly. Today, organisations rely on social media platforms and the Internet as a whole to make contact with targeted talents and first forge a relationship.
When using social media or forums, you should be thorough with your approach. The days when it was believed a talent could be successful in any business environment are long gone. Company culture has now gained more importance. The way a business is operated and how the talent can fit seamlessly in the working environment of the business are imperative to lure talents to your startup. It also is essential to ensure the skills and competency of the person, whether he/she is suitable for the company, rather than making broad assumptions based on their social media profile or resume.
How to poach successfully
Talent poaching might stay for a long period of time and it will become fiercer for companies, especially startups, to poach talents. Employees are generally willing to change jobs as long as they get a better remuneration package which might be difficult for startups to compete. Fortunately, remuneration and salary are not the only reasons why employees change jobs. Good and supportive culture, flexibility, and good career progression are among the top lists why talents want to leave their comfortable job for startups. As long as startups are able to highlight their perks and culture, there is a great chance they will be successful in their poaching strategy.
Here are some other thoughtful tips to successfully poach talents:
- Don’t poach an employee who does not want to be poached. If they are not interested in what you are offering, save yourself some time and move on to the next targets.
- Bring your legitimate offer the first time. In order to get the best hires, you need to offer something tantalising to the talents. You also need to provide them with a complete, captivating description of how their life will improve at your company.
- Know what your talents want. If you extend an offer for a very prospective candidate, you should be confident in their interest. Use your time wisely to know your prospective candidates better and align your offer with their life goals.
- Provide assurances and a good impression. Changing jobs can be highly uncertain and stressful. In order to successfully poach, you need to build a strong relationship with the employee in question, so they feel they can trust you in their career move.
- Poach from different types of companies. Your success in poaching employees will depend on how you differentiate your company from the one you are hiring from.
The bottom line
Talent poaching is here to stay and it will get more competitive in time to come. Talent poaching and grabbing is the norm in today’s business world. It is a lot easier than it was a few decades ago with more social media and advanced technology making people’s profiles easily accessed. The tough part is ensuring the talent is a perfect match for your organisation to have a positive impact on your organisation’s growth and success.
Read also: What Should Startups Focus on When Hiring through Social Media?