Finding top talent is not one may consider an easy task. It’s a time-consuming and intricate process. According to research conducted by Glassdoor, the average company in the United States spends approximately 24 days on the interview process alone. However, if you hire an excellent talent onto your team, it’s all worth the effort and time. Thanks to the demand for talents with the digital skillset, recruiting mistakes are commonplace today. The competition of finding and recruiting the right talent is fierce. An additional downside of this competition that keeps CEOs awake at night is employee poaching.

What is ‘Employee Poaching’?

The term ‘Employee Poaching’ is used when one organization is continuously hiring talented employees directly from another organization. A direct reference to illegal hunting practices. This term also reflects the views of the business world about this strategy: illegal and unethical.

What Makes a Good Employee Vulnerable to Poaching?

In most employee poaching cases, the departing employee had already made up his mind—or at least no obvious desire to stay.

It is common practice for competing organizations to make lucrative offers with better benefits, higher salaries, or a promotional title. Nevertheless, if the employee is truly engaged at your company, they will be less likely to consider these offers.

Here are some common reasons that make your top employees decide that the grass is greener elsewhere.

  • Lack of autonomy and trust
  • Not being recognized or appreciated
  • Lack of respect
  • Little to no opportunity for development and growth
  • Feeling underutilized
  • Poor management
  • Poor communication

While there is no way to keep your competition from making promising offers and luring your valuable employees to join them, the good news is that companies can increase their employees’ chances of resisting poaching attempts made by the competition. Here are five ways.

1. Proactive Engagement Measures

Make engagement a consistent practice in your organization by measuring it often. According to research from Deloitte, many organizations, about 64 percent, only measure employee engagement once per year, and only 8 percent measure monthly or more often.

Try issuing a survey regarding engagement to your employees on a regular basis. Additionally, you can use quarterly performance reviews as a chance to discuss employee engagement. Understanding these engagement matrices will give you an overall impression of both individual levels and company-wide engagement.

2. Identify and Address Employee Needs

While measuring engagement, you should get an insight of employees’ needs. Pay attention to this feedback, especially when they come from your top performers. According to the hierarchy of human needs by Psychologist Abraham Maslow, basic needs consist of a liveable wage, reasonable working hours, and a safe work environment. Meanwhile, some higher needs include job recognition, positive co-worker relationships, and growth opportunities. It is important to meet the needs of your employees to meet the business goals of your company.

For instance, if any one of your employees must work overtime regularly, a few good friends in the office won’t be enough to keep him/her around when a better offer from a competitor comes along.

3. Promote Work-Life Balance

We tend to spend a lot of our time at work each week, particularly in these testing times of the pandemic when work doesn’t end in the office anymore. To keep your employees happy and not likely to leave your organization, it is essential to create a culture that encourages flexibility and engagement. Imagine how disappointing it would be to see your employee leaving just because the competitor is offering a few extra days of paid vacation. You can offer flexible or alternate work hours or, wherever possible, consider using technology to allow remote or WFH option.

4. Encourage Employee Growth

Many employees with calibre leave their lucrative jobs just because they don’t see a future for their careers. The Muse study shows that 58% of its millennial user base were planning to change jobs within the year due to lack of career growth.

Even your top employees are susceptible to stagnancy in their job, which may force them to look for growth and challenge somewhere else. You need to come up with a clear strategy to promote career advancement and growth plans for your employees.

5. Beware of Job-hoppers

Competitiveness for a good candidate is high and cutthroat. Good employees are hard to come by, yet when hiring, it’s sensible to cast a suspicious eye on a candidate’s resume who has jumped from job to job.  A potential hire can be a serial job hopper if his tenure with multiple companies is not more than a year or two, there’s no reason to expect that pattern will stop with you.

If you are ready to make a keen effort to address the issue of poaching and implement all of the five points listed. You as an employer is most likely to succeed, because you are satisfying the needs of your best employees.

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