Non-competition agreements are a common requirement in the technical recruiting industry in order to protect the interests of the IT staffing companies. However, do some go too far and actually prohibit IT recruiters from making a living? The answer lies in the details of each and every situation. Let’s explore the perspective from both sides:
From the perspective of IT recruiting companies:
Technical staffing firms have the right to protect their interests and proprietary information. Even if the IT staffing salesperson fostered the relationships for the technical recruiting firm, they still used the company’s means to contact them (phone, computer). In addition, they were also compensated for doing so (whether hourly or salary, bonuses or commissions) and likely even reimbursed for any expenses incurred with developing the bond with the IT manager (meals, gas, mileage).
The IT staffing agency likely provided back office support (payroll, invoices) as well as additional help throughout the business relationship (management advice, IT recruiting support, etc). Therefore, to say that the employee has the right to take this business with them after they leave isn’t entirely fair.
From the perspective of technical recruiters and/or IT staffing salespeople:
Although the IT recruitment company may have provided the employee the resources to help identify, then foster the business relationships, the technical recruiters or IT staffing salespeople were the ones who put in the hard work to earn the business of the client. Subsequently, most hiring managers would work with the IT recruiter again no matter where they went. Therefore, hiring managers typically have an allegiance with the employee, not the IT staffing company.
To summarize the non-competition agreement debate, based on the perspectives described above, both sides have valid points and a strong points of view. However, the answer lies with how each employee handles their departure. First, whether he or she is honest with where they’re going to work in their next job. Second, whether the technical recruiter or IT staffing salesperson turns around and contacts each of their existing clients immediately after they leave. Third, whether he or she bad mouths their former employer and finally whether the IT recruiter or staffing salesperson attempts to lure other employees with them.