After being employed by Eagle Gate College from Steven’s-Henagar College, Janna Miller diced to employ other employees from Steven’s-Henagar College. This can be considered to be poaching of employees or as it is known lateral hiring. Lateral hiring is the intentional action of identifying and hiring an employee or group of employee currently employed by a competitor. The two colleges are competitors and Miller was sabotaging her former employer by recruiting employees from Steven’s-Henagar College.
The business community morally condemns this kind of behavior. If an employer poaches employees from a company operating in a different industry meaning both are not competitors, it is considered that the employee got a good deal. However, when the two companies are competitors, the problem of trade secrets kicks in. in the case of Miller, the employees she employed from her former employer sabotaged important information before leaving. This put the Steven’s-Henagar College in a hard situation since it could not use its own leads. Though it was not her decision that the individual list be altered, it was her decision to employ the employees from her former employer.
Gardner et al, (2010) argues that from an employer’s perspective, most of the norms in lateral hiring are artifacts that are hard to prove in the modern economic context. It can be argued that Miller was just recruiting the employees for their skills and she had no ill intentions but is also possible that she had ill intentions. The problem is that none of the above can be justified. Miller actions of recruiting contributed indirectly to the sabotage of her former employer’s information list. Socially, this is not ethical since she was poaching employees from a competitor and she was aware that there will be some repercussions. She could have recruited skilled employees from other companies but she chose the Steven’s-Henagar College for a reason and this indirectly led to the woes of the college.
The employees themselves decided to sabotage their employer before leaving. This was just meant to slow the Steven’s-Henagar in their contacting of clients. This is unfair competition. The employees sabotaged their employer before leaving so that they could have a head start in their new jobs. However, in business, this is unethical in that it creates unfair competition and inefficiencies in the market. This is dishonesty. Honesty is the quality of being truthful and fair. In most of the cultures, honesty is considered as the highest virtue. The employees were dishonest since they were not fair in their actions. They were sabotaging the company that had given them a job.
There are some preventive tools that could have helped the colleges from becoming involved in the resulting litigation. A major [preventive tool is to have a time based employment contracts. In this case, the employees are bound from leaving by the contract and if they want to leave, they have to notify the employer of the changes in contract. In this case, the two employers would have to agree on the exchange of the employee. In addition, when the contract is over, the employee is free to move to another company.
In the case of Steven’s-Henagar College, they could have known that the employees were about to shift to Eagle Gate College and thus protect their confidential information. in case the contract was not over, the employees would have to inform the management of their desire to move to Eagle Gate College and the college would have been able to confirm of the safety of their database before allowing them to move.
Another measure would have been for Miller to act professional and inform Steven’s-Henagar College of her taking their employees. This would have allowed the college to protect the database before the information was sabotaged.
Gardner, T. M., Stansbury, J., & Hart, D. (2010). The ethics of lateral hiring. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(03), 341-369.
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