September 1, 2004
Raiding former employer's workers poor
I am a 34 year-old hospitality professional. My new
position, a big promotion, requires that I drive growth
-- rapidly. Growth will require more employees. One of
my former employers has a number of talented individuals
who could be of great value to me in my new job. Is it
a violation of integrity for me to hire from my former
company? I don't want to destroy my relationship with
my former boss, who is also still a personal friend.
But in a couple of instances, folks from there already
have indicated that they do want to join me.
Because you're asking whether it's right to raid the
talent pool of a former employer, you likely already
suspect it might not be appropriate. Before you head
down the path of progress, hoping to avoid the slippery
slope of self-serving selfishness, answer for yourself
these four questions:
Do you value the relationship with your former employer?
If so, then consider approaching the person, directly,
and clarify your moral dilemma.
Even if you do not value your personal relationship with
this former employer, do you want to develop a reputation
as a "raider" who places the highest priority
on success and cash flow, communicating that people are
simply pawns to be used and then tossed aside?
Are you willing to meet, face-to-face, and "come
clean" about your needs, asking your former supervisor
how best to proceed without destroying his or her own
goals and plans? In one way or another, we're all in
partnership with those with whom we've been associated
-- for better or worse. As a consequence, because every
industry is really small, it is unwise to burn bridges.
Integrity is about partnerships throughout our lives.
Honest partnerships (marriage, family, friendship, political,
social, business and even spiritual) require all parties
to honor obligations. Integrity-centered relationships
pride themselves on the timely fulfillment of all commitments,
legal and moral. Therefore, your future as an integrity-centered
individual is being established by how you address your
personal and professional goals.
Integrity is also about character, which was defined
by a youngster as "what we do when no one is watching." A
genuine business friend, who cares about you, will be
honored by your forthrightness and will respect your
honesty. Talent is a valuable commodity in every industry,
and the desire on your part to build integrity will establish
your legitimate leadership -- over the long haul. Be
up front. Ask for support. Treasure the relationship
with your integrity. Success will follow.