Sourcing talented and capable employees is a challenging, time-consuming and expensive affair. Training follows the sourcing process, which in turn calls for additional investment in time and money. So many HR managers take the most obvious shortcut - poach staff from rivals.  Their argument in favour is that the person is already trained for the job, he understands his responsibilities and is better equipped at handling difficult situations.
Headhunting members of staff from direct competitors should be handled with care. Of course, one cannot generalise and every situation has specific permutation-combinations; yet caution needs to be exercised while stealing staff from rivals or former employers. One can get temporary reprieve from a cumbersome process but this could very well turn out to be a double-edged sword.  How can the hiring company ascertain the prospective emplyoee’s loyalty? or the first company to break this unspoken rule now exposes himself to becoming the victim of a similar treatment from their rivals, if in the first place, the ethics of the situation does not bother the poacher.
So the next time one needs to hire trained staff, call a recruitment agency or expert rather than tap that rising sales star from your competitor.

Shilpa Jasani is the editor of PrintWeek MEA magazine.