Where Google and other tech giants poach their employees

Recruiting rivals – new study reveals how the 15 biggest tech companies poach staff from their competitors 

Your business depends on the talent you employ and, in big technology firms, the best way to find that talent is to take it from your competitors, who can bring in new ideas, networks, and approaches, without having to train from scratch.
That’s according to Talentful, which specialises in in-house recruitment for technology firms, whose new infographic – created using LinkedIn data – reveals where the likes of Google, eBay, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft are looking for new talent.
The biggest names
Unsurprisingly, Facebook poached the most from other social media sites, picking up the majority of their pilfered workers from fellow Silicon Valley start-ups Twitter and LinkedIn, while Google sought out direct rivals for its recruitment tactics, with more than 4,050 employees taken from Microsoft, owners of the search engine Bing.
Despite most of the companies showing some plundering from Google, the multi-billion dollar company isn’t lacking for staff – they had the highest showing of poaching in the study, with just under 12,800 staff taken from other technology companies.
The apps
Of the companies investigated, Airbnb was the least aggressive in its tactics, taking the fewest employees from its rivals. Their most frequented hunting ground was Google, where the company found 261 employees, but that pales in comparison even to Uber, who took nearly 600 of its staff from the world’s most popular search engine.
Top five poachers 
While there’s a lot of trading back and forth, some of the companies have taken more employees than they’ve had poached from them. These are the top five:
  • Google – 12,798 of its employees came from other major tech companies
  • Microsoft – while Google has taken 4,151 of its staff, Microsoft has taken 896 in exchange
  • Amazon – Amazon and eBay have swapped a few workers, with Amazon giving up 152 and taking 218
  • Apple – Apple’s main rival is Microsoft, so it makes sense that it poaches more employees from there than anywhere else: 1,334 in total. It’s also keen on people from IBM and Intel
  • IBM – while IBM has taken more staff in total than Dell, it’s vulnerable to its rival’s headhunting, having lost 2,302 of its employees to the company, while taking only 1,753.
A Talentful spokesperson said: “There’s a huge amount of staff trading between companies. And every time one company hires a staff member from another, they’re not just bringing in that person – they’re bringing in their whole network. People like to work with familiar teams who know the way they work, and they end up bringing their colleagues with them.”

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