Can I hire an employee of a direct competitor?

While there may be advantages to hiring employees with experience working for other employers in your industry, the process to hire them can be tricky. The answer hinges on: whether the candidate has signed a non-compete agreement or other restrictive covenant with a current or former employer, the enforceability of the agreement or covenant, whether […]

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While there may be advantages to hiring employees with experience working for other employers in your industry, the process to hire them can be tricky.

The answer hinges on:

  • whether the candidate has signed a non-compete agreement or other restrictive covenant with a current or former employer,
  • the enforceability of the agreement or covenant,
  • whether the competing company will enforce the agreement or covenant, and
  • whether the employee can perform a job at your company in a way that does not violate the agreement or covenant.

Non-Compete Agreements:

Many companies require employees to sign a non-compete agreement; however, failure to respect another company’s agreement or covenant with a candidate can also result in legal consequences for you as an employer, not to mention the potential loss of an employee in whom you’re investing time and resources.

Even if an employee has signed a non-compete agreement, it is up to the former employer to enforce the agreement. If the candidate is unsure whether or not he can join your company without violating his agreement with his current or former employer, encourage the candidate to consult with legal counsel to determine the next best steps for the candidate in this process.

Consult an Employment Lawyer:

If you’re set on hiring an employee from a direct competitor, the smartest thing you can do is consult an employment lawyer. An employment lawyer is in the best position to help you navigate this issue based on your specific circumstances.

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