How can I poach an employee from a competitor?

This article first appeared on June 26th, 2011.


Poaching or headhunting is on the increase, particularly with a strong employment market and a shortage of good talent.


But before you start, it’s a good idea to consider a few key factors because if it doesn’t work out, it can be very costly to your business.


If you know a bit about their current employer, you can give some thought to:

  • Why they would want to jump ship and join you?
  • What they’ll need to stay motivated and happy and whether you can provide it?
  • Will they fit with your culture?
  • Is it inline with your future business strategies?

Your initial approach is to check out their level of interest. When you contact them introduce yourself and your company and ask them if they are in a position to be able to speak in confidence.


Tell them that you have an opportunity that you would like to have a chat about if they were interested.


Before you meet, make sure you have a professional position description and you’re very clear about the salary you are prepared to pay.


Don’t be tempted to overplay the position in an attempt to get them onboard.


It’s also a good idea to try and find out what would motivate them to join you.


Don’t just presume that more money is the only enticer, there are numerous other motivators that maybe more important in meeting their current needs.

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