back to article Apple and Google kept (unwritten) no poaching pact

Prior to Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepping down from Apple's board of directors, the two companies had an unwritten agreement not to poach each other's employees, according to a new report. Citing multiple Googlers, TechCrunch reports that although workers from each company were allowed to apply for jobs at the other outfit, …

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WTF?

Civilised. Or even Civilized.

Since the agreement was not to *actively* recruit (i.e. poach, headhunt or cold call) each other's staff, then fair enough, surely?

Sounds like a very civilised and (dare I say it) gentlemanly arrangement, which does nothing to prevent the staff of either moving of their own volition from one firm to the other, and which also prevents enmity building up between the firms.

Surely you can't legislate to *force* companies to headhunt from each other?

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WTF?

Only in the US of A

Gotta love it. I can understand possible issues being raised by having the sameperson on both boards but common, having a "no recruit" policy is being investigated by the government here?

@Big Al

"Surely you can't legislate to *force* companies to headhunt from each other?"

This is America bro. We can legislate ANYTHING. Im sure there will be a law that a couple no name senators or congressmen sponsor to make it where this is not only an illegal policy but also one where you HAVE to do it or else. Im sure some sort of fine is going to come because of this.

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Pint

@James O'Brien

"This is America bro. We can legislate ANYTHING."

Good point, well made!

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Thumb Up

move along - nothing to see here

This is no surprise. Lots of Silicon Valley companies do it.

It's not "no hire" but "no poach". Companies working with one another, in even a loose way, will come to know of valuable employees on the other side. If those employees want to move, they can. Each company has more knowledge of the other than is publicly available. The agreement is just recognizing that fact and saying that they won't poach.

A "no hire" agreement is entirely different. I have personally been disadvantaged by such an agreement and believe that they should be illegal.

A "no poach" is OK because it means that companies feel more free to cooperate, which is good.

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Flame

It is similar to restraint of trade

I work in the Semiconductor industry and I have been hurt by this and so have my friends. It is very common in the industry. Not just employees. Even contractors who support different manufacturers.

It really sucks to try to find another job and find out no one will hire you because you already support one of the major players. I hope apple and google get nailed to the wall but I doubt it.

AC for obvious reasons.

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Let no good deed go unpunished.

In an era of dog- eat- dog, backstabbing, cannibalistic business practices, an instance of civilized conduct is being called to question? Maybe it's so rare that no one recognizes it and thus it must be stopped.

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Fairly common

I worked for a company that got de-monopolized (long story) and was split in two. The government MANDATED a no-poach and no-hire policy for eighteen months.

Of course, things are only good if the government blesses them so.

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Anonymous Coward

What's the big deal?

I work for a major international consultancy and we don't poach our clients' staff nor do we expect them to poach ours. This doesn't stop our staff from moving to our clients nor stop us from recruiting our clients' staff but it does mean we don't stab our clients in the back (nor they us) by stealing their staff. It's one thing if someone approaches us, but it would hardly be appropriate for us to use the fact that an organisation has appointed us as its advisors to enable us to nick their best people.

I don't think this is at all unreasonable between organisations that trust each other. Apple and Google have a good working relationship, so what's the problem?

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Grenade

Ass kissers unite

If Microsoft did it would be evil.

When Apple and Google do it, the ass kissers practically trip over themselves trying to kiss ass the best and announce to the world how it all tastes so gentlemanly.

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wsm
Unhappy

Another common practice gets the big reveal...

When salaried under a contract with a large software firm (guess who) at the same time as they were opening a regional support center, several of us were contacted (supposedly by referral), applied, passed the technical tests, and were taking turns flying to the regional center for final offers.

After the first few made the round-trip, phone calls were made and the last man they sent for arrived only to be told he was "not qualified." All other arrangements were suddenly canceled and the rest of us notified we were also on the "not qualified" list.

An administrative assistant confirmed the phone calls were placed, but not a single corporate manager admitted making them. We were simply out of a larger paycheck. The company eventually lost the contract, but it was still difficult to get an interview with said software firm after the fact.

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