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Preventing Poaching

July 19, 2001
Related Topics: Internet, Candidate Sourcing, Featured Article
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Nancy Gilfillan, cofounder and senior vice president of human resources atComputerJobs.com, an IT employment Web site, says she was shocked to learn thatrecruiters were teaching others how to "flip" Web sites. "I thinkthat's really on the edge of being ethical," she says. In March, Gilfillanreacted to the situation by removing all personal contact information from her company's Website and from ComputerJobs' intranet, which contains information meant only forthose within the company.

    At Bell Labs, which supports Lucent Technologies with research anddevelopment, there's no talk about changing the way business is done to thwartunderhanded recruiters. It's the company's belief that the only way to preventpoaching is to keep employees happy. Recent media reports say the companyexperienced a brain drain in the last year as some of their best people werelured away by recruiters.

    Bill Price, a spokesperson for Lucent who didn't acknowledge a loss of personnel, says the company isn'ttaking any specific steps to prevent "the poaching you allude to,particularly in reference to removing online information. Bell Labs is and willremain a very open community. It is that community and open exchange thatfosters many of our market-leading innovations."

    Every company in the industry is using aggressive tactics to recruit talentedpeople, including Lucent, Price says. Bell Labs is taking steps to retain itsbest people through the use of competitive compensation and option packages, andthe recognition and grooming of top talent.

    Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, an international law firm based in SanFrancisco, keeps professional profiles of each attorney on the company Web site,including contact information. Abe Isenberg, executive director of the law firm,says there are no plans to hide any of that. The firm considers the information aresource for clients and potential clients -- not for ambitious recruiters --althoughIsenberg acknowledges that recruiters use it.

    "With the kind of talent we want, and with our compensation at the topof the market, our people are always in demand. The only way we're going to keepgood people is to be a good place to work."

Workforce, May 2001, p. 33-- Subscribe Now!


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