While the job market is stronger than it has been in years, the search for qualified talent is growing more and more challenging. Employers want to hire candidates that have theright experience, are familiar with their industry, and are a culture-fit. So for many managers, the only seemingly feasible way to find this perfect candidate is to hire them from competitors. While hiring from one’s competitors may seem like a simple recruiting solution, there are certain aspects, like non-compete agreements, that need to be considered beforehand. To help you determine whether hiring talent from your competitor is the right move for your company, consider these dos and don’ts:


People who are doing well in a role and are happy with their company are not going to risk leaving and becoming dissatisfied with their new position. This means that you are going to have to provide an incentive if you want a competitor’s employee to come work for you. The easiest incentive you can provide is a salary increase. It shows the candidate that you are truly interested and believe they are worth the investment. However, if increased compensation is not in your budget, there are other ways to incentivize a career move. For example, you can offer equity in your company like many early stage technology companies have done when cash was tight and prospects were huge.


Non-compete agreements are issued, amongst other reasons, to prevent employees from competing against their original employer in the event they leave. In other words, many non-competes are meant to prevent, or at least discourage, you from hiring your competitor’s talent. While some companies choose to disregard these agreements, it is imperative you have an attorney look over a candidate’s non-compete prior to issuing an offer letter. The repercussions vary based on how strict a company enforces their non-compete agreements, but in some cases lawsuits will be taken against both the employee and the new employer. So before even thinking about offering a candidate a job, make sure they 1.) don’t have a non-compete agreement and 2.) if they do, consult with an attorney before you find yourself in hot water.


Hiring a successful candidate from a competitor does not mean they will immediately be successful with your company. Just like any other new employee, they will need time to ramp up and to go through training in order to thrive. Like most training programs, they should gain a complete understanding of the company, what differentiates the company from their previous employer, the systems and tools needed to go about daily operations, and the company culture as a whole. By providing them the same training as any other new employee, you’re setting them up for success. Before deciding to hire talent from a competitor, it is important to sit down and evaluate whether it is the right choice for your company. While the benefits of hiring successful employees from your competitors can be immense, the risks are just as great.