The Truth about Employee Poaching Agreements

You probably saw this story a while back about the unraveling of employee non-solicitation agreements that existed among major tech firms in Silicon Valley. It seems the Justice Department called the pacts illegal after the company’s signed written agreements not to cold call another’s employees to try to lure them away. If you worked for Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Adobe or Pixar, you may not have known your number had been placed on a do not call list. 

The fact is these types of agreements can be written or implied. If your employer’s entered into one, you may not hear about career opportunities in your area.

So what do you do if you have highly marketable tech skills, yet never hear from in-house recruiters at competing firms? Market your resume directly to those companies instead of waiting for the phone to ring.

Candidates who initiate contact and express interest in making a switch are often exempt from those do-not-solicit pacts. And keep in mind that headhunters are often precluded from soliciting employees at client companies So if you want to work with a third party recruiter who happens to place candidates at your company, ask if he or she can represent you before submitting your paperwork.

— Leslie Stevens-Huffman

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