How to lure great employees away from the competition

Posted by Bob Corlett on January 29, 2015

I run an executive search firm, so you might assume that I often recommend recruiting top employees from your direct competitors. But trying to solve a business problem by hiring your competitor's "rock star" can be an astonishingly risky strategy.

It's tempting to "poach" key players from your competition in the hope that they can solve a troublesome business problem. You hear this when people in small companies say things like, "If we could just hire a key designer or engineer from a prestigious firm like Apple, it would transform our product line."

The decision to hire a rock star is often motivated by the desire to turn over all the hard thinking to someone who has solved the same problems before. But it won't work. One single new hire could not possibly hope to solve every issue that has thwarted your success thus far.

The underlying hope is that hiring someone "proven" will ensure your success. It doesn't.

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Topics: Hiring Managers, Recruiting On Your Own