Should You Raid the Competition?

Luring talent from your competitors offers two advantages. First, they know what they’re doing and are already successfully operating in your field. Second, your competition may have to regroup if they lose one or more of their best people.
 
To entice someone to move into your suite, you’ll probably have to offer more money, more control, added benefits, or some combination of incentives. Make sure the person is worth it.
 
There are all kinds of legal issues that can come up when you hire from a competitor. People often possess proprietary information, or trade secrets, and the law tends to be rather vague about what constitutes trade secret violation. For example, courts have found that revenue projections, future project plans, pricing strategies, databases, customer lists, and contact information may all qualify for trade secret protection. So tread carefully in this area.
 

Game Plan

If you have your eye on a competitor’s employee, have an attorney draft a non-compete agreement that expressly states you are hiring the person for their general industry knowledge and not for any proprietary information they may have. Make sure the person does not bring any documents from their former employer with them.
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