Talent Poaching and Job Rotation
63 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 3 Jan 2022
Date Written: December 28, 2021
The value of a firm's service lies both in its workers and its relationship with clients. In this paper, we study the interaction between client-specific experience accumulated by workers, poaching behaviour from clients and strategic rotation of workers by firms. Using detailed personnel data from a security-service firm, we show that an increase in client-specific experience increases both the productivity of workers and their probability of being poached. The firm reacts to this risk by rotating workers across multiple clients, and more frequently so to those workers more likely to be poached. We show that after a policy change that prohibited talent poaching, the firm sharply decreased the frequency of rotation which in turn increased workers' productivity. We propose a theoretical model that guides the empirical patterns and allows us to argue their external validity beyond our specific empirical setting.
Keywords: talent poaching, job rotation, outsourcing
JEL Classification: D22, J24, L84, M21, M51, M54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation