How to Prevent Employee Poaching

How to Prevent Employee Poaching

It’s been said that finding workers is easy but finding good workers is hard. You’ve probably had similar thoughts yourself at one point or another, likely while lamenting some new hire who just can’t seem to get things together. Finding quality workers for your crew does take some work sometimes, though the guys and gals who prove their worth are more than worth the effort.

Unfortunately, sometimes other contractors will try to take the easy way around and scout their workers from crews just like yours. If you’re worried that other contractors or employers will come sniffing around for your best employees, there are a few things that you can do.

Even if you’ve never thought about someone poaching members of your crew, it’s never too early to start making your workplace into one that people won’t want to leave.

Don’t Be Cheap

One of the best ways to prevent poaching is to make your employees happy enough to work for you that they wouldn’t want to leave. A good step toward accomplishing this is to make sure that they’re paid enough in the first place. Some crews demand a lot of work for very little money; if a better offer comes along from someone in the same field, there’s no reason not to take it.

Offer a decent starting wage as well as periodic raises based on how well the employee works or how long they’ve been with the company. Competitors will really have to step up if they want to poach employees who are already paid decent wages.

Offer Perks

In a lot of industries, perks can be worth as much if not more than a paycheck itself. Offer insurance for your employees, even if you’re a small enough company that you’re not required to. Try not to go with the cheapest option, either; decent coverage can be worth its weight in gold, even if the employee is paying part of the bill. Other potential perks include company trucks for team leads or supervisors, company phones and paid vacation days. Some contractors may balk at the idea of paid vacations, but they’re the guys who won’t be able to steal your crew away.

Show Your Appreciation

In addition to periodic merit-based wages, be sure to let your employees know that you appreciate the work that they do. Try to limit overtime and excessively-long work weeks, throw company parties for major holidays and consider implementing an “Employee of the Month” type of program where your best worker each month gets a gift certificate or other small token of appreciation. Most importantly, treat your employees with respect and tell them when you’ve noticed they’re doing a good job. Even if you only say a few words in private, it can make a huge difference.

The Legal Side

If you’re really desperate to avoid poaching, you can always take the extra step of putting a “no compete” clause in your employees’ work agreements when they sign on. This is essentially a clause in their work contract which states that the employee agrees to not work with any of your competitors for at least a specified length of time after leaving your employ. If a competing contractor poaches an employee who signed a contract with this clause, it gives you legal options to sue for breach of contract. Obtain a Business License or Permit. CorpNet® is Fast, Reliable, Affordable and Guaranteed.

While this is an option, it’s honestly not a great one; no-compete clauses can lead to animosity and can drag down morale if employees feel like they’re stuck working for you. You should always do what you can to ensure your employees won’t want to leave before taking such drastic actions to avoid poaching. Besides, in some jurisdictions, these clauses can be very difficult to enforce.

Have you ever had any of your employees poached? Have you ever poached an employee from someone else?