How to Mitigate Employee Poaching with External Data Privacy

Executive Takeaways

  • Employee poaching is expected to increase due to the tightening of the labor market, and organizations must take steps to retain their talent.
  • Investing in an External Data Privacy (EDP) solution that can scan for, delete, and monitor employees’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can help protect employees’ data from unethical recruiters.
  • Besides investing in EDP solutions, organizations should offer competitive compensation and benefits packages and maintain flexible work policies.
  • Creating a positive work environment, encouraging open communication between employees and management, investing in employee development, and promoting from within is essential in mitigating employee poaching.
  • A reliable EDP partner is essential to protecting employee data from unethical recruiters who use spam or telemarketer-style tactics to lure employees away from their current employer.

The Growing Threat of Employee Poaching

Organizations must learn how to mitigate employee poaching, the practice of actively recruiting employees from another organization. The means of poaching often involve direct contact with the employee, though some companies choose to hire a recruiting firm.

Employee poaching is about to become much more prevalent due to the upcoming tightening of the labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this labor market “contraction” is forecasted to continue well into 2031 due to an aging population, increasing levels of automation, and a dropoff in population growth. [1] .

The free movement of workers in and out of different organizations is typically accepted in today’s economy and is a legal practice. But while the practice itself is not intrinsically unethical, the tactics often employed by recruiters and their ilk are questionable at best and dishonest and invasive at worst.

Investing in an External Data Privacy (EDP) solution that can scan for, delete, and monitor employees’ personally identifiable information (PII) is an effective method of denying recruiters access to your skilled employees. We discuss more what an EDP solution can do for your organization nearer the article’s end.

Revamp your poach defense strategy today by scanning for the exposed PII that recruiters love!

Strategies to mitigate employee poaching

While extremely valuable for retaining key employees, an EDP solution is only one part of mitigating employee poaching. An organization can take some other measures to keep its talented employees.

1. Address Any Gaps In Compensation And Benefits

Arguably, the question of how to mitigate employee poaching is best answered by a reasonable compensation and benefits package. To keep employees happy, your compensation and benefits package needn’t be top-tier – though this helps, it must at least be fair. 

Intangible benefits like employee recognition, flexible remote work, telecommuting policies, and career planning can complement the compensation and benefits package, but they cannot replace it. Again, fairness is critical here.

If unsure of the going rate, consider conducting a salary survey or consulting with a compensation specialist to determine the appropriate salary range based on the employee’s skills, education, experience, and market demand.

An External Data Privacy solution is unique in that it is a valuable business service and an essential tool to protect employee data [2]. Positioning EDP as a privacy benefit that also serves to ward off unethical recruiters is a win-win for any company.

2. Offer And Maintain Flexible Work Policies

As the COVID pandemic would have it, there was no mass migration back to the office. Now, it doesn’t appear as if there ever will be. Fast-forward to today and less than a quarter of the US workforce is on-site [3].

Once an employer offers a remote or hybrid work policy, they must continue to do so. In a March 2022 Gallup poll, over half (54%) of fully-remote employees stated they would prefer to work remotely at least some of the time. Nearly 40% of hybrid workers said the same [3].

A flexible work policy is a powerful, cost-effective way to mitigate employee poaching. Most employees value flexible hours, remote work, and telecommuting options.

Besides making it harder for recruiters to poach your human capital, EDP solutions mitigate some privacy risks inherent in remote and hybrid work.

3. Keep A Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment is an oft-overlooked factor in mitigating employee poaching. But it is a fact that a positive working environment enhances job satisfaction and encourages loyalty. Of course, these characteristics also significantly impact short- and long-term productivity and profitability.

Part of the organization’s work in creating this positive environment is striving for an atmosphere that encourages open communication between employees and management. Achieving this includes providing timely and constructive feedback, creating channels for employees to voice their opinions and concerns, and promoting teamwork and collaboration among team members.

4. Invest In Employee Development

Employee development is an essential aspect of retaining valuable employees. Investing in employee development creates a sense of loyalty and commitment. Providing employees with growth and development opportunities can help increase job satisfaction and morale, which are also conducive to employee retention.

Specific ways that companies can invest in employee development include:

  • Creating employee development plans
  • Providing mentorship opportunities
  • Promoting and cross-training from within
  • Hosting in-house networking events [4]

5. Have a reliable External Data Privacy partner

In nearly every instance of employee poaching, external data is used to research the employee and initiate contact. Moreover, recruiters are getting much more aggressive and unethical in their approach, reverting to spam and telemarketer-style tactics. However, organizations can tilt the table in the War on Talent, and an EDP partner can help.

Recruiter spam, although not targeted communications, can be effective if its contents lure an employee having a particularly rough day. In other cases, Data Brokers scrape employee e-mail addresses, office phone numbers, and additional contact information and sell this data to recruiters.

If an organization prioritizes retaining its top talent, partnering with an EDP provider is necessary.


[1] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS—2021-2031. (2021). Retrieved from

‌[2] Atske, S. (2019, November 15). Americans concerned feel a lack of control over personal data collected by companies and the government. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech website:

[3] Wigert, B. (2022, March 15). The future of hybrid work: 5 key questions answered with data. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from website:

[4] Elliott, J. (2021, December 2). Top Ways to Invest in Employee Development. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from US Chamber of Commerce website:

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