My friend Deborah Sawyer is the Managing Partner in a top recruitment firm (Odgers Berndston) in Singapore. While she was suffering from the economy earlier in the year, with usual opportunities being put on hold and much of her normal business was stalled, she noticed a trend: seems that folks are using this time to get new employees by poaching disgruntled folks from the competition. With so many changes going on, Deborah noticed that with many folks not doing the jobs they’d like to be doing, working for bosses they weren’t hired to work for, working longer/harder/less than they’d like to be, they are open to changing employers.
For me, that brings up some questions:
- are you keeping your employees happy? and how do you know – are you speaking with them regularly?
- when you make a necessary change, are your employees buying-in to the change, or are you making changes without getting buy-in first?
- what do you need to be doing to make sure that your environment is working as well as it should be, given that you’ve had to lay some folks off, and others have had to pick up jobs they weren’t hired to do?
Your competitors may not be keeping their employees happy. If that’s true, this may indeed be the perfect time to poach; it would make the new folks happy to take a new job that meets their criteria, and it would give you the infusion of new blood that your company needs.
But the underlying issue remains important: let’s make sure we’re spending as much time on keeping our folks happy as we are spending on keeping our companies thriving. Otherwise, your top people are at risk. And Deborah is going to find them.