IBM is being sued for encouraging one staffing partner to entice employees from a former staffing partner.
The lawsuit, filed Oct. 25 by AcctKnowledge, highlights the issues facing companies that are seeing their workers get lured away by competitors, and the dangers to those companies doing the alleged employee poaching.
In markets with low unemployment rates, or where a plethora of similar companies are clustered in a relatively small geographic area or where there is a recognized talent shortage, poaching isn't just an ugly reality but a survival tactic for organizations. Despite this, workplace experts warn against it.
"As a de facto recruiting strategy, this is ineffective as it doesn't do anything to expand the pool. It leads to salary inflation and a very overfished pond," Forrester Research analyst Samuel Bright told eWEEK.
Of course, it is a different story for the company watching their employees get picked off one by one. Not only financially devastating—employee turnover is estimated by some to cost more than 50 percent of a worker's salary—but workplace morale takes a hit. Targeted organizations may protect themselves against so-called corporate "raiders" with non-compete clauses or other regulations, but when these fail, some get the law involved.
In the AcctKnowledge case, IBM is accused of encouraging Manpower, its current temporary staffing firm in Tulsa, Okla., to poach employees from its former one, AcctKnowledge. A temporary staffing firm that had been providing finance workers to IBM for three years, AcctKnowledge filed a lawsuit Oct. 25 against the technology giant, accusing IBM of breaking its contract and trying to take the involved employees with it.