Conference Networking – Headhunting – Poaching – Job Hunting?


It seems like after each conference, we see a new round of employee musical chairs. Before you start the bashing..I understand that business is business, but really people!

The job hunters, ok, I get that. You get a pass from me. It’s a great place to look for employment in our industry.

But the headhunting and poaching is another story. I am loyal to a fault. If I’m your friend, I run into the burning house to save you. I just don’t get how so many in this industry jump ship without a thought for others. The poachers baffle me!

Do you think about the time and money invested in you becoming “poachable”? Do you give any thought to the fact that the company you’re being poached from trusted in you. They gave you a chance to become part of their corporate family. They believed in you.

Poachers..train your own people. You invest in them if you think they are worthy. Don’t steal the person somebody else trained and molded into a great asset.

I always wonder about the ethics of those who poach or would be poached. It’s not so very different from a cheating situation in a marriage or relationship. Maybe not in huge industries but in our tiny industry it’s very similar and often times just as personal.

Poaching happens at industry conferences where somebody paid for their employees to attendance. They paid the employees expenses. They trusted the employee to do business on their behalf. They may have attended dinners and parties and bought drinks for the very person waiting to pounce on the opportunity to poach!

You might feel special being courted at these events. Generally you’re just a financial decision. It’s cheaper to hire you at a slightly higher price than it is to hire and train a new person if you are an entry – mid level employee. If your upper level executive employee, in spite of contracts and promises, your main allure is that you have info! Lots of info that the poacher would love to control. But like in any relationship or in any circumstances in life: If they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you.  Be careful that your primrose path doesn’t turn into a runaway train.

Be kind to each other and do the right thing. Always!

To keep this post well rounded, here are some links from some that say poaching is ethical and some that say it is not. It’s also important to add that not all movement between companies is poaching.

Ethical Recruiting at Industry Conferences

Often, industry conferences become a convergence of a host of top level candidates for recruiting. These trade shows are intended to broaden business name, as well as to attract new clients. Today, many industry conferences are often telecast online. These are managed by web hosts in particular industries with access to industry-related contacts.

Labor: 7 ways to protect your company when hiring from a competitor
Tips for the hiring process and how to behave once they start working for you.
Hiring is no easy task, especially when acquiring an employee from a competitor. If a company is not careful in this regard, there is a good chance it will be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Therefore, when hiring a competitor’s employee, it is recommended to take certain steps to reduce the likelihood of being sued.

Is Poaching Employees Ethical?
In highly competitive markets, it’s become the norm for companies to eye the best talents from rival organizations. The debate over whether employee poaching is ethical continues to rage—and a company’s stance largely depends on which side of the fence it finds itself on.

 How to Recruit and Poach Candidates the Right Way
Companies in search of qualified talent often look to the industry’s top performers for their next great hire. Recruiting the best to be the best? Go figure. There’s little wonder that the often criticized method would work. A candidate hired from a rival company knows the industry, has strategies to reach business goals, can anticipate trends, and is likely be connected to an extensive network that your team can leverage.


Watch for other Industry Pet Peeves soon! Next..An industry without consequences.


2 Responses to Conference Networking – Headhunting – Poaching – Job Hunting?

  1. Adam says:

    If you run a great organization, the talent comes to you. The rest fight like dogs for the scraps

  2. Charlotte says:

    What about those that are multi talented yet cant seem to find an employer?

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