Question: What does your competition do to overcome the shortage of skilled workers? Answer: They try to steal yours!

Well, maybe “steal” is a bit too strong. After all, you don’t actually own your workers. But other companies might attempt to entice one or two of your best people to join their team.

It’s a fact of life in many industries today: There aren’t enough talented workers to go around, and the competition for that pool is becoming intense. If your top talent has not been contacted by a recruiter—or “headhunter” as they are usually called—there’s an excellent chance they will be in the not-so-distant future.

No business wants to see a talented employee jump ship and end up with a rival company. It’s difficult and costly (if not impossible!) to replace a skilled and experienced worker. Thousands of dollars can go into finding and training a replacement. And the worker who left could be taking your methods and ideas to the competition.

Here are tips you should consider that could help you avoid, or at least minimize, the loss:

Non-compete agreements are not the total answer

For many years, companies have been using non-competes and non-solicitation contracts to hold on to their best people and keep the competition from poaching them. And while these contracts are necessary in many cases, they are likely not enough.

Some legislation is starting to eat away at the effectiveness of these agreements, and research has shown that these contracts can have a detrimental effect on performance. As noted, employers do not own their workers, but workers can see non-competes as tools that restrict them from making a living.

Also, these contracts can tarnish your brand and keep you from recruiting some of the best. It makes more sense to become the employer that no one wants to leave than to rely on legal contracts.

Keep an eye out for triggers

When one of your employees is turned down for a promotion or a much-anticipated project is delayed, that individual can suddenly become more receptive to recruiters. Right after annual reviews is another time when many workers can become reflective and vulnerable to an offer. And don’t dismiss office rumors. Many workers like to discuss their plan to leave.

Have a frank discussion

Through this conversation, you’ll be trying to find out if there are things you can do to improve the employee’s life at work. Ask about their biggest frustration and what you could do to minimize or eliminate it. If the worker is looking for new challenges, maybe there is a way for you to provide them.

Don’t overreact and immediately make a counteroffer. It won’t help to give an unhappy worker more money.

Do you need to replace a top performer?

We can help you find one. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional help you need. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so we will use our expertise to help you find your next top-notch worker.