Shame on you Aunty B for telling us to poach

Aunty B,


I am usually a fan, but I must take issue with you and your publication over your recent poaching story. I find it unethical that you would advocate aggressively poaching your competitor’s staff.

I have recently lost several staff to an entrepreneur, which is operating in a very unethical manner. Can you please justify how your website could publish such rubbish?





Dear Evan,


Get over yourself. If you are losing staff to a highly aggressive competitor you need to have a long look at your business, not have a go at your well meaning, defenceless and SWEET Aunty B.


Look, I feel your pain. Honestly. You have spent all that money training your staff and put all that emotional energy into mentoring, advising and developing them. You see them as the future of your business! In fact staff have no idea how gutted bosses are when they announce they are leaving (most of the time).


But Evan, business is business. People poach all the time! You are being unrealistic and doing your company a grave disservice with your fuddy duddy attitude.


Evan may I point out something else? Many young people are registering on recruitment sites even when they are in jobs. They register in the “happy but looking” section – which means they are happily employed but hey, if someone was to offer them something they would certainly consider it.


Recruitment companies are also assisting clients to build lists of people they want to target. They encourage companies to start building relationships with candidates even before they are needed! In fact it’s recruitment bedlam out there, and you are sulking in your office writing to Aunty B!!!


So Evan, get with the times and start thinking of some aggressive strategies to grab yourself some great people.



Your Aunty B.


Steve from North Sydney writes in defence of poaching: I’m with you Aunty B. And, yes, I would say that given I own and run a small executive search business.

But you missed the key point in your defence of poaching to Evan of Perth. Evan said that he lost staff to an unethical operator – I say that if his staff are silly enough to move roles and end up in a bad company, they have moved for the wrong reasons and he is probably better off without them.

The other key point is about renewal. I tell my staff to get out there and look at other opportunities, so long as it’s not on my time. That way they see how good they have it with me, and I get to keep their requests for salary increases under control, too, because they get to know what the market pays.

We have quite transparent conversations about moving jobs for as low as $5000 a year (or about $10 a day after tax) as well, but perhaps also losing some independence and leaving a known fun place to work to risk going to a miserable environment. Being a small business, I also know that my employees will eventually want to stretch out somewhere else to keep developing their careers, and they go with my blessing, meaning that the door is always open for good people to return smarter, more motivated and more effective than before.

Basically, my turnover is very manageable for a small business, and the fresh talent I hire on occasion makes a positive difference to our energy levels and our thinking.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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