You probably take care of your employees, but not every company has the same philosophy. Some of them haven’t gotten the memo about this being a job seeker’s market and some have their priorities elsewhere. But for whatever the reason, a competitor’s loss is your talent sourcing gain if you think of it as an opportunity.
So what makes for an unhappy employee and how can you spot the signs within your own team in time to intervene? It just takes a little research and a keen eye.
Is a competitor facing challenges?
When a company has financial difficulties or faces a not entirely happy acquisition, employees might look for a way out. Company instability is a classic reason for candidates to look for a better situation elsewhere.
Quartz says “growing pains, new management or just looking for new adventures” can tempt employees to leave. If a competitor has gone through an acquisition within the past year, they’re a good place to start. So are businesses that aren’t growing along with the industry.
Are there new, negative Glassdoor reviews?
Glassdoor is a boon for job seekers but it can also help you find out where employees aren’t satisfied in their career. If one of your competitors has a history of bad reviews, chances are pretty high that few employees have any company loyalty. If there’s a fresh batch of bad reviews, a new, negative situation might be unfolding.
While you’re checking out Glassdoor, don’t forget to look into your own reviews. A few negative comments from past employees aren’t all that unusual. Several negative reviews could mean your competitors have already started scoping out your talent to lure them away.
Is there a new LinkedIn activity?
When you’ve homed in on a company or two that show some wobbliness, investigate a little further to find their top talent. Once you have a few names, it’s time to head over to LinkedIn.
Is there any new activity? Or is there an obvious lack of activity? Either one might a good sign for you. Updating or freshening their LinkedIn profile could mean they’re either in the market or at least open the idea of a new position. If they haven’t had a promotion in a few years or they’ve been with the same company for two or three years, they might look favorably on being recruited.
Does Your Company Align With a Candidate’s Values?
This requires a little more investigative work, particularly through social media. Understanding what drives a candidate and how their current employer aligns with their values could yield big talent recruitment rewards.
According to Gallup, a culture fit could be enough to spark interest. The candidate might yearn for an opportunity to work with an organization that’s involved with certain charities or causes. Or they might appreciate the work/life balance that your company offers and theirs doesn’t.
What About Worrisome Signs In-House?
If there’s work to be done in-house, you might soon have more positions to fill. While you’re busy scoping out candidate possibilities with your competitors, don’t fall prey to a recruiter taking away your best.
Inc. says these can be signs that there’s trouble afoot. Fortunately, the sooner you spot the patterns you can make a course correction.
- Employees who don’t commit to long-term projects. They might already have one foot out the door.
- New LinkedIn activity (or an obvious lack of activity). As with another company’s employees, spiffing up the LinkedIn profile might not bode well. And if they’ve been in the same job for more than a couple of years, they might respond to a new opportunity.
- New disengagement during meetings. If they’re known for participation, backing out isn’t a good sign.
- Absenteeism. Are they bored with their job? Or are they taking interviews for a new job?
- New interest in learning opportunities. They might want to sharpen their skills before leaving.
- A major life change. If they’re recently married, divorced or have a new child, it could indicate a major career shift, as well.
- Friends leaving their job. According to Lighthouse, departures can happen in waves.
- New degree or certification. With new qualifications, they might look for a better-paying job.
It might seem ruthless to scope out your competitor’s employees, but that’s the market as it stands today. Being at full employment, virtually everyone who wants a job has one. Hiring qualified, experienced talent means finding people who are open to something new.
Just remember to tidy up your own house before you invite in someone new. Assess the talent already on board. Are they happy? Is anyone being overlooked? Are there signs of unrest that might put you at risk of losing the best that you’ve got?