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Where do you guys draw the ethical line on recruiting employees? Is it unethical to pursue a competitor's employee and make him an offer?

 

I had a lively debate recently with a friend about this and it got me thinking. It is my position that there is no problem with trying to hire a talented technician away from his current employer if it is done in an upfront manner. If I can offer him a better opportunity and I don't resort to dishonest means in offering it, then I feel that I acted ethically.

 

I recently heard that one of my competitor's top mechanics was a little discontent with his job. I heard this through one of my parts supplier reps. I did not solicit the information nor did I ask how he found out this intel. He knew that I was looking for an additional mechanic and he casually brought it up over a morning coffee bull session. I have a mutual acquaintance with said mechanic so I contacted that person and told them to let the mechanic know that I had a proposal for him if he had an interest. A few days later the mechanic called me and we set up a meeting. I was impressed with the guy and I made him an offer to come and work for me. He thought it over for a few days before calling me back and declining, stating that he had come to an understanding with his current boss. He thanked me for the offer and I told him to let me know if he ever changed his mind. The end.

 

Did I do anything wrong in this case? My friend seems to think that I did, that I was unfair to my competitor. Its not like I walked into the guy's shop handing out business cards. I feel like I went through the proper channels. Agree or disagree?

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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