Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, which incoming chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is calling an existential crisis for the company, has already cost the auto manufacturing giant a good $34 billion. At ERE, Dr. John Sullivan recommends raiding VW for talent right now:
It happened when BP was in trouble and during the last Wall Street crash, so raiding VW for its top talent shouldn’t require a second thought.
Sullivan is quick to assuage any ethical qualms that recruiters might have about poaching employees from a troubled corporation:
For great recruiters, this is a historic recruiting opportunity that can’t be missed. However, before you act, realize that you will certainly get some pushback from the “social workers” in HR. Those who lack business acumen may argue that you are taking advantage of another firm’s misery, and when the firm is vulnerable, which in fact you are. But business is a competitive game where you routinely take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses. Firms “steal” a competitor’s customers all the time with no regrets, so why should poaching employees be any different? In fact, you can bet that the salespeople at other car companies are already jumping on the opportunity to talk down VW to their potential customers. Be prepared for those pseudo lawyer types (without law degrees) in HR to erroneously argue that you are violating some fairytale ethical or legal code against poaching. Instead, you should be aware that the courts have recently ruled that it is illegal not to poach, because anti-poaching agreements and a lowered competition that they create illegally lowers employee salaries and career opportunities. Some might also fear that Volkswagen will retaliate and raid you back, but realistically there is no chance of that because for months it will be laying off people, not recruiting new ones.