Re: Consultants:Dim or Delete the Non-Compete?

Subject: Re: Consultants:Dim or Delete the Non-Compete?
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 14:48:01 -0800 (PST)

"Jason Willebeek-LeMair" wrote.

> Interesting. So you can't quit the agency and apply at the company. Then
> why don't companies have to pay other companies for sniping their employees?
> If you are going to liken it to full time company employment (being an
> employee of the agency), why wouldn't the same "rules" apply. (Not that I
> agree with undercutting an agency--one of my good friends owns one--just a
> random thought).

Actually, some firms make you sign non-comp agreements. This isn't as common in
"rank n' file" type positions but it is very common in executive jobs. I got an
offer last year to run the consulting group at a security firm and the offer
included a rather nasty non-comp.

(I obviously didn't take the job, but not because of the non-comp.)

> I see it more as you are hiring the agency to market you. In return, you
> agree to give them a cut of your profits instead of paying up front. Like a
> talent agent. Oddly enough, you never hear of a movie producer offering to
> hire an actor directly and bypass their agent. I guess tech companies have
> more cajones.

They have more competition over those cojones. Agencies are not synonymous with
talent agents. A talent agent really is marketing you and getting you in front
of possible jobs.

In reality, most agencies are marketing their customers: the companies looking
for contract work. Therefore, they are ultimately beholden to the company and
not the candidate. Therefore, they have more power to control that

And talent agents usually do require the people they represent to sign some
contract with them.

> There have also been many cases where they have been overturned, because
> they interfered with the workers livlihood.

Yes, there are intra-state commerce agreements that prohibit any organization
from interfearing in an individual's ability to earn a living. But, restricting
a candidate from taking employment with a single firm (the place where he/she
is contracted) would not qualify as restricting their livilihood, since that
person could pursue independent work at other firms without violating their

Like I said, ifyou don't like non-comps, don't talk to agencies. I wouldn't
blame anybody. A lot of agencies are scummy and have rediculous non-comps. But,
if you need a job and they have one - well how much do those scruples cost?

Moreover, a lot of agencies just use the non-comp as a scare tactic. In
reality, taking a case to court on a non-comp wouldn't be easy.

Andrew Plato

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