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10 Dec

Habiba Fouad

Senior Executive Search Consultant


'I can bring my whole team with me' - Should you say this in an interview? Is this a good job interview strategy?

Poaching - The act of taking something from someone for your own needs irrespective of what it does to them.

Employee Poaching - hiring ready candidates for a job, trained, primed, by someone else. Most commonly seen in the pre-opening stages of a business. The requirement is large and daunting on the business leader. She needs trained manpower, in a large numbers and needs them to be on on a tight schedule.


1. Hire a lot, train a lot, pray they stick around till opening.

2. Hire your competitor's team. two birds, one stone. etc etc.

That is makes business sense is a known. That you should play it as a job seeker, not so much.

Tricky business.

Lets look at both sides of the coin. What goes through the mind of a recruiter/leader when you say 'I can bring my entire team with me'


- Leadership. Definitely a good leader if he/she can make a bunch of people get up and leave with him.

No. Honestly speaking, there is no positive.

The following is what is actually going through the recruiter/owner's mind:


- Develops coterie.

- Opportunistic

- Will do this again, and again

- Cannot develop new talent / team

- Will threaten in future

- No loyalty


So, why do owners/leaders take this route to staff out new businesses?

Because it is easy. Because they are looking at the immediate quarter, bump, target coming up and believe they can handle the situation if required in the future. A manager over estimates his abilities to a large degree.

Back to the question then, should you say it? should you not? should you wait till you get your job and then offer referrals? should you get your job because you promised them staff?

Do what you need to get the job.

Let me help you find some tell tale signs that you can exploit to decide which route to take.

Route 1 - I have a healthy network, but I get the job on my talents/skills/merits. I will work closely with HR to bring in more talent that fits into our culture and requirement.

Use this if the manager/recruiter/owner mentions the following in the interview/meeting:

- how all their leadership positions are filled from within.

- how they like their team to grow with them

- that the average tenure of their team is more than 5 years (indicating a high level of loyalty)

- that they generally have a good database of candidates looking to work with them

- that the won an award of any nature in the recent past for their HR practices.


Route 2 - I have a super team, ready, willing to move and we can manage (whatever it is that you are being interviewed for) immediately. That I welcome HR/Your inputs into the selection but you will find that I have trained and groomed them well. The team has been with me for the last X years and has moved with me previously too.

Use this if the manager/recruiter/owner mentions the following in the interview/meeting:

- so when can you join?

- who in your current team do you think is worth looking at/ will fit here/ would be a good addition to our team?

- so when can you really join?

- if we make an offer to you, how many additional hands you think you can bring?

- is your team happy at your current establishment?

- we are looking at building a new team fast and getting this thing of the ground.

- we have to open in the next 15 days. its now critical to get the right people on board.

etc etc

Personally, I am not in favour of hiring people who walk in with their own ilk, but I am also not averse to it as a consultant when I consider the best interests of my client. I have a thumb of rule though, not more than 40% of the entire team reporting into the candidate being hired should come via him or with him. The other rule of thumb (we all have two thumbs!) is the second in command just cannot be the candidate's. period.

Happy selections!



This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by Prabhjot Singh Bedi

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