Stop Those Head-Hunters! (From Stealing Your Top Talent)

The Image of a Hand With The Word Stop - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting Agency

If you have good talent working for you, chances are that they either have been (or will be) contacted by recruiters or head-hunters at some point. Head-hunters are People Being Pulled To a Magnet - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting Agencycalled “hunters” for a reason – it’s their job to go out and poach top talent from other companies. Often times, they offer attractive compensation packages or benefits to try and get your top employees and executives to come on over to their client’s company. They get paid to secure talent, so they are motivated to work hard and do whatever it takes to land the new hire.

When it comes to executive and C-suite level employees, especially, chances are they get hit up by recruiters and head-hunters quite often. Whether it’s through LinkedIn, email, or phone calls directly to their cell phone, it is very likely that your most valued team members have gotten a call or two.

Can You Stop Recruiters? No, You Can’t.

Recruiters are simply part of the hiring game. Chances are if you need to find and secure top talent, you’d hope the recruiters you hire to do the job would do the same thing. The best executives might be working with one of your competitors, so it makes sense to put feelers out and see if you can get them on your team. You never know when someone is unhappy or ready for a change. Their loss is your gain!

But, Should You Be Worried About Recruiters Taking Your Top Talent? Yes, You Should.

One study found that 83% of full-time employees would consider leaving their current company. Why? Many employees aren’t happy.

Someone Who Appears To Have a Headache - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting AgencyIf your executives and employees aren’t happy, then yes – you should be very worried about recruiters. At companies where there is dysfunction, where their contribution isn’t recognized, where promises aren’t kept, star employees are low-hanging fruit for talented recruiters.

Read More: Turnover is Killing Your Company

Don’t let this be your company!

Trying to stop recruiters from poaching your top talent will be a never-ending battle. They’re always going to be after your star players – consider it flattering! However, head-hunters do become an issue when they actually win over your employees. Can you stop that from happening? Absolutely.

Here’s How to Defend Against Head-hunters and Keep Your Top Talent Working for You.

  1. Have open communications

TBusiness People With Thought Bubbles Over Their Heads - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting Agencyalk to your employees (and also listen). Yes, it seems so simple but unfortunately, a lot of companies have no idea if their employees are actually happy or not. Team meetings, one-on-one’s, or even anonymous employee surveys are great ways to get the pulse on how your team is feeling. Just by letting your employees know that they can come and talk to you can make a world of a difference.

If you have trust and communication with your team, chances are they are more likely to come to you if they have received a competitive offer, rather than just taking it and handing in their notice.

  1. Make sure they’re growing and learning

People want to be contributing, and they want to have purpose. No one wants to work at a job where they are under-stimulated, bored, and not growing. It’s human nature to want to learn and giving your employees the opportunity to do so from the front-line all the way up to the C-Suite can make a huge difference.

A Business Woman Giving a Presentation - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting AgencyAnother survey found that “of 400 employees spanning three generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials), 70% of the respondents indicated that job-related training and development opportunities influenced their decision to stay at their job. The Millennials had the most significant results, with 87% of them citing access to professional development or career growth opportunities as being very important to their decision of whether to stay or go.”

Having a development program for your employees, or even an educational compensation program (for example, an annual individual education budget), can mean the difference as to whether your employees want to stay with your company or consider other options.

  1. Job security & compensation

Money isn’t everything, and we’ve talked about that before. However, you should keep an ear to the ground as to what your competitors are offering for similar roles in your company in order to remain competitive.

Read More: What Do You Mean Money Isn’t Everything?

4 Hands With Money in Them - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting AgencyJob happiness trumps compensation most of the time, but if there is a big gap between your compensation and benefit packages and what recruiters are offering, you may have an issue. Lastly, you want to make sure your employees know their job is safe. Many employees will jump ship if they feel that the future is fuzzy.

Again, this depends on communication. Have monthly or bi-monthly meetings with leadership and your whole team in order to make sure that everyone knows how the company is doing, what the vision is, and how they fit into the overall strategy. Let them buy in, feel included, and feel safe.

The Ultimate Protection Against Recruiters? Happy, Engaged Employees.

A Family With Their Hands Together - Kathbern Management Toronto Recruiting AgencyEmployees won’t want to leave your company if they’re happy with their management, their team, and their role. If they feel they are making an impact, are receiving appropriate recognition, are growing, have a secure job, and have the potential to move up in the company, then why would they want to leave?

Realize that most people would rather stay put than face the uncertainty of a new job as long as they’re happy. Turnover is expensive, and losing your valued team members to competitors can have a massive impact on your entire team and your company’s goals. Invest in things that will make your employees happy, because it will pay off tenfold in the long run.

Recruiters are always going to be out there doing their best to take top talent from other companies, so expect it to be happening to your top level executives and talented employees. Remember that the best and only thing you can do is communicate, educate, compensate, and be an engaged employer with engaged employees.


Additional Reading:
Do Your Employees Respect You?
Why Should I Work For Your Company?
Hiring Techniques
Is Sales Turnover Hurting Your Business?


Kathbern Management is an executive search consultancy based in Toronto, helping companies find the executives and senior managers who not only have the experience and credentials to fulfil their responsibilities, but also have the emotional and “fit” requirements that will enable them to be successful in a particular environment. We simplify the process and, through our deep research, are able to bring more and better candidates forward than would ever be possible through a do-it-yourself passive advertising campaign.

Contact us today for a free consultation about your key person search.

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