Hiring 4 people from a competitor- any advise?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rdowns, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I went to Denver last week to look at office space and interview 7 people from a fierce competitor that is going out of business. We've hired 2 from there in the past and 1 worked out great, the other horrible.

    We decided today to open an office in Denver and I am going to hire 4 people plus move one in who currently works from home.

    Any advise on how to integrate these "enemies" into the fold? I really need our 2 sales offices to work as a team.

    I plan on flying them all here to spend a week in the office for training and some team building. I'll then fly back and open the office and travel there once a month for a while.

    I'm open to any ideas on how to make this work smoothly.
  2. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House

  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Make sure you have a written employment policy, which covers everything such as confidentiality, human rights and harrassment, use of internet for personal use, customer and employee privacy policy (including lack thereof when using company equipment), conflict of interest, terms of employment and reasons for dismissal, terms of severance, non-compete clause.

    It should also cover disclaiming company responsibility and making the employee responsible for not breaching any previous confidentiality or non-compete clauses from the former employer. You don't want to wear a lawsuit because your new employess called their old clients when they were not entitled to.

    If you don't have a formal employee policy manual it would be an excellent idea to get one right away.

    Obviously, the new hires should be taken through the policy book at orientation, and given a copy.
    One of the worst things in employee relations is to take action against someone who was obviously doing wrong, and have them haul you before a court and say "You never said I couldn't xxxx" and sue your @$$ off for wrongful dismissal, discrimination, rights violations and looking at them funny.
  4. nospleen macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2002
    I am not sure what kind of business you are in. However, I would set team goals with excellent benefits if you achieve them. This would make them want to work together as well as they will realize that they are on the same team now.
  5. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Even if they're competitors, they're losing their jobs - won't they feel some gratitude towards you?

    What exactly is the business and what sort of office are you opening?

  6. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Well you ain't going to integrate them if you insist on calling them "enemies". ;)

    My co. went through a merger with a competitor a few years back, and only a few of those who stayed past the merge have remained. Those few who remain weren't a good fit in their old company, but had a culture/approach closer to ours in the first place.

    We've had sales & sales support people from various competitors though and they seem to last longer than the technical staff...

  7. Kobushi macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Right behind you.
    make sure you allot some time during orientation for a "that's the way you used to do things, this is the way we do things" section. That seems to be one of the most frustrating issues for employee and employer alike. Be careful not to quash new ideas by overcorrecting, though.
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Hey iGary!

    Is this the Republican answer to all problems? <Just kidding>
  9. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Organise some social events during the orientation to your company where both teams are invited. Make sure that if you hold an event for one set, you hold one for the other too.

    To make them feel more valued, don't just do the 'we do things this way' routine but ask if they've got any suggestions from their old office. Sure, they're going out of business now, but if they were your rivals for so long, they might have some great ideas that you can use. You don't have to use them but even asking rather than just saying, we do things like this, can make them feel more welcome.
  10. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Republican? I thought it was the GayWay. :D
  11. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    No, but Pat Robertson would likely be in favor of it.
  12. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Let me try and clear up a few things here.

    I certainly don't think of them as the "enemy". The sales rep do as they have battled these people fiercely over the past few years. This will probably be my biggest challenge. This is not a merger, their company has gone out and we decided to capitalize on our biggest weakness (hard to find good people) and hire some good people with industry experience. My reps make anywhere from $65,000-$100,000 but the long learning curve and ramp up time makes hiring difficult. We advertise a lot for help; you just wouldn't believe the people who walk through our doors. I should write a book.

    What we do- we sell extended warranties on cars (my company is one of the biggest in the industry- through dealers and direct to consumer via the web). Pretty complicated, high end product. My group is the direct to consumer via the web.

    To try and alleviate some of the friction between the groups, here's what I've planned so far.

    Hired their sales manager to oversee the new office. Luckily, we hit it off immediately despite some, shall we say, intensely competitive email communications over the years.(Let's just say I found edesign's pics from the forum quite useful in these exchanges) I have hired two others and am leaving the other 2 to him.

    I am bringing him to NY prior to the others for a few days. Want to familiarize him with my operation and pick his brain for ideas. They may be out of business but I'm sure they have some things to share.

    I've rented them some very nice space in a tech center with a lot of amenities. Frankly, I like their space better than mine.

    During training, I plan on buddying up the new reps with our established reps. All established reps will be involved in the training and I will make time for the new reps to be able to put their 2 cents in. I'm really hoping for some good ideas that we can implement immediately.

    Planning 2 nights out with everyone. Maybe some place fun like Jillians or something similar. For one night, I'm going to close the office up early.

    Finally, I am planning a big promotional offer for the grand opening of our new office. I want to get these people off to a fast start.

    Kin of anal- MODS- can you fix the typo in my thread title?- should be adviCe.
  13. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    "Intense, cutthroat, vanquished competitors" has a softer and more cuddly sound to it. :)

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