3 Tips to Keep Headhunters Away from Your Top Employees

Recognize This! – It’s never the employee’s fault if they’re recruited away from your organization.

Who’s fault is it if a headhunter or competitor successfully lures your best employee away?

  1. The headhunter/competitor – He/she shouldn’t have been talking to my employees.
  2. The employee – He/she should know how much we need him.
  3. Your own – You didn’t do enough to “fortify your defenses.”

Given that scenario, the company leadership is the one at fault, every time. More than just Mercer are talking about the high numbers of employees testing the job market. A Portfolio article points out Deloitte research showing 65% of the currently employed are looking, and TalentGuard notes losing a key employee could cost $125,000.

In Fistful of Talent,  Josh Letourneau makes a strong argument that it’s up to the company and leadership to create a work environment from which employees cannot be easily headhunted. Check out the post for his three signs you may need to bolster your defenses.

Once you’ve determined that, perhaps, you do need to take steps to make your organization so attractive to employees headhunters won’t even bother, what steps should you take?

  1. Help employees see the meaningfulness of their work within a greater picture by recognizing and rewarding employees based on their behaviors and efforts that reflect your company values and contribute to your strategic objectives.
  2. Take the time to give employees the frequent feedback they need to stay on course and know their contributions are noticed and valued.
  3. Create a culture of recognition in which any employee is encouraged to appreciate and praise any other colleague or peer.

These simple steps, sincerely implemented and frequently followed, will go a long way to keeping the headhunter away from your door.

Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

One Response

  1. […] I was honored to be included in my first Carnival of HR post, this time hosted by Abhishek Mittal on the topic of talent management. Abhishek featured by post on Tips to Keep Headhunters Away from your Top Employees. […]

Leave a Reply