My Employees are Being Poached
Q: Some of my key employees are being recruited away from my company! We are located in northern New Jersey and recently, a few of my best performers who are in very key positions have been approached by a much larger company in Manhattan who pays New York area salaries (about 20% higher than ours). If we lose these employees, our company will lose a considerable amount of its institutional knowledge and be set back significantly. I feel completely blindsided by this, because I thought I was paying them well. What are my options???
A: This situation is becoming more and more common as employers start to discover a talent shortage for key skills and as employees start to test the job market after the recession to see what other options are available. You do have a few options.
First, you can pay them the salary necessary to keep them, which might mean paying Manhattan-area wages even though the wages are lower in New Jersey. You’ll likely need a compensation data from reputable salary surveys or help from a professional to determine that data.
The second option would be to let them go without a fight, but as you said the company would be set back, and it wouldn’t solve the problem – you will still need to look at your comp system.
Option #3 is to proactively assess your current compensation levels, company culture, and rewards philosophy through the services of an external compensation professional. Then communicate the fact that you performed a full market analysis to your employees. Many times, if employees know you’re looking out for them, they may be less inclined to jump ship, even when offered more money.
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