Meet Fred, he’s very talented at what he does within the online user experience field, he’s an extremely easygoing young man and after a number of years working for this particular company in Brisbane, Fred decided that he would partner with me in the search for a fresh new opportunity.
2 months pass and we’ve managed to find Fred a really cool new position with what was actually a competitor company to his previous company. Yes, we covered as much as we could here; Fred was very upfront with everyone with where he was headed and everyone seemed fine, not to mention that Fred held a close relationship with the Founder and CEO the company he was leaving.
3 weeks into Fred’s new job and after receiving raving reviews on his work, he receives a legal letter from his old work, stating that he is in breach of his previous employment agreement.
Let me sum up THEwhy of this letter here. Firstly, because the company can send out a letter. Secondly because they can’t find anyone to replace Fred.
Note that when Fred phoned his previous CEO to quiz her about why she wasn’t been human about the whole situation and why she didn’t put through a simple phone call if she had a problem, since they were once close, the response… “ah I couldn’t find your mobile number”… LAME.
What is the situation now? Things are on hold – Fred doesn’t want to upset anyone, as he has a young family, so he’s decided to lay low for a while.
THEadvice; No you shouldn’t laugh off these letters and just throw them away, even though many do. THEbest advice I’ve received is this – it’s Brisbane and if someone where to kick up a major stink about a linchpin employee leaving to go to a competitor, know that they’re more often than not in a desperate position. Holding a court case, that’s aimed at potentially preventing that ex employee from doing what they’ve moved onto do – will inevitably hurt that company’s brand more in the long-term.
THE way I see it, Fred had given 6 or so solid years (including unpaid weekends), the least the company could do was look into why he left and offer a genuine solution going forward, because this won’t be the last super star individual out there moving on up. Sending out the legal letter and ‘scaring’ Fred from continuing to work in his new position is already doing that company damage – Social media spreads bad karma faster than ever before – so slowly this company will find it more and more difficult to recruit and retain top talent.
I do hope that this company turns themselves around quick, THEanswers aren’t too difficult. Just be more human about situations like this, heck if they had of being, maybe Fred would never of left in the first place…