If You Want To Get Poached By Google — Join Microsoft – Forbes
America’s technology titans view employee poaching as a professional sport, making hanging onto major talent a key part of life for the technology companies that compete there.
For tech staff, meanwhile, the old advice that “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” has long been replaced by a more devious plan: “if you want to work for a top tech firm, get signed up for its biggest rival.”
So who are the biggest culprits of tech talent-poaching and where should you work if you want to become their latest recruit?
Help with these posers has arrived from recruitment firm Talentful, which recently carried out research shedding some light on how America’s 15 biggest tech companies poach staff from their competitors.
Using LinkedIn, the firm found the total current number of employees for each company, as of November 2016. It then filtered this information to show how many of those employees previously worked for other groups in the sample.
The biggest poachers, according to the study, were as follows:
• Google: Some 12,798 of the internet group’s employees came from other major tech companies and nearly one-third of these, a total of 4,151, previously worked at Microsoft
• Microsoft: Not to be outdone, the Seattle group has been mounting a rear offensive, taking 896 former Google employees.
• Apple: The iPhone maker has also had Microsoft in its sights, pinching 1,334 staff from the company cofounded by Bill Gates.
• IBM: Big Blue has taken on more staff than Dell but remains vulnerable to its privately-owned rival’s headhunting, having lost 2,302 employees to the company. In return, it has taken on 1,753 former Dell employees.
• Amazon: The internet retailer has been swapping workers with eBay, giving up 152 and taking on 218.
Facebook poached the most from other social media sites, picking up the majority of recruits who had previously worked for other tech firms from fellow Silicon valley startups Twitter and LinkedIn.
Google was the biggest culprit of poaching in the study, taking nearly 12,800 staff from other technology companies.
In contrast, Airbnb was the least aggressive of the companies researched, taking the fewest employees from its rivals.
Its most frequent hunting ground was Google, where it found 261 employees. However, that is less than half the total taken from the YouTube and driverless cars group by taxi-hailing app pioneer Uber, which recruited nearly 600 of its staff from the world’s most popular search engine.
It all adds up to an enormous secondary market in people talent, underpinning the pressure that tech firms are under pressure to formulate retention polices, equity plans and incentive schemes to retain their best people.
The fear, confirm Talentful’s research, is that when a key staff members is hired from a tech company, others around them can easily follow.
“Every time one company hires a staff member from another,” says a person familiar with the Talentful research. “they’re not just bringing in that person – they’re bringing in their whole network.”
“People like to work with familiar teams who know the way they work, and they end up bringing their colleagues with them.”