I recently challenged my recruiting team to source hard-to-find candidates from a department of a local competitor, and one of the recruiters came back with a whole roster for us...unfortunately, she slept with one of their engineers to get it. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but I’m really concerned about using this information under the circumstances. What do you think?
Truthfully, I think you may have more to worry about than a roster of names here…but we’ll start with that.
There are lots of opinions about competitive recruiting practices
, and mine tends to be that all’s fair in love and war. You have employees? Somebody somewhere will eventually try to recruit the good ones away. And to be honest, if an employee is happily engaged in his work it will be a cold day in you-know-where before my recruiting call is going cause him to change jobs. In general, I think you're doing a disservice to your business if you don't
figure out who works for the competition.
That said, I would definitely address the potential risk that this incident poses, on two fronts. Companies have found themselves in more than a little hot water for poaching practices
over the years, especially when intellectual property is involved. Oh, and let’s not forget that you have an employee who crossed a potentially illegal line in mixing business with pleasure (is it a stretch to say that she was paid for sexual favors? I’m not sure, and I’m definitely not an HR specialist, but I’m guessing there’s a law that was broken or bruised somewhere in this mess).
This would be a good time to seek out at least two important people for a chat: the executive at the head of the business unit that will potentially hire from the list, and a trusted resource in your HR department. Have a serious talk about the information in hand, how it was obtained, risk and reward to the business for aggressively recruiting from the list, and any potential liability to the company for the actions of the employee. These kinds of decisions are best made with an eye toward what's best for the business as a whole, and not just the interests of one group or department.
On a lighter note, I’m really curious to hear what you challenge your team with next. They sound like a very creative bunch.
In my day job, I’m the head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage engagement for competitive advantage in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here
Do you have a question you'd like answered in this weekly forum? Drop me a li