Here is a typical scenario we’ve all seen happen. You go to another restaurant and see a fantastic employee. You wish this employee were your employee, so your brain starts spinning. How can I make this wish a reality? Therein lies the predicament; to do that would make you a poacher, and poaching is bad. Don’t poach employees. Here’s why.
As much as you might believe it’s okay, thinking to yourself, “All’s fair in business,” you’re creating more problems than you’re solving. Additionally, it is extremely tough and rare to poach an employee successfully from another business. Assuming that you do, you’re now beginning your professional relationship with them poorly. They are disloyal, and your integrity isn’t super strong in their eyes. Additionally, you have shown yourself to be less than above-board to the employees you don’t successfully poach.
I am fully aware of the hiring crisis. I am conscious that solid people are the lifeblood of any thriving business. It would help if you had good people. This is not the path to getting good people. It’s the path to you looking like a garbage, dirty, poachy leach of a human.
If you poach in the classic sense, you just come off as slimy. I’ve had people drive behind my restaurant to talk to my staff who are on a break and say, “You should come and work for me. I pay x per hour.” What’s even crazier was this figure was $3 less per hour than what they got with me. Even if they offered the same or more than me, all the other parts that go into hiring weren’t considered. The drive-by offer treated the staff as a commodity up for bid instead of a valued asset.
Restaurants who do this are desperate, and they fail. They fail for a multitude of reasons. One, they’re not ethical, and that perpetuates the way they exist in their whole business. It’s precisely why doing business practices like this is shortsighted. It shows that you’re not seeking to partner in your community but rather someone who takes advantage of others. You open the doors to engage other restaurant owners in an arms race for staff that no one wins. You also destroy any goodwill you have with other restaurant owners to not actively poach from you. Now it’s game on from now til eternity. Again, that’s why this practice is dumb.
Next month we’ll discuss some extenuating circumstances and how to navigate them.