A talent manager explains why Apple and Tesla poaching staff from each other won't work for most businesses

Tesla and Apple are in an epic battle for talent as they poach staff from each other for competitive advantage or cultural change.

It’s an indication of the esteem in which each company holds the other, as well as a well-worn path for acquiring skilled staff at the top of their game. Many look to Google and Facebook for staff and as Business Insider detailed yesterday, Marissa Mayer is paying more and more to keep key staff as the poachers circle.

Not everyone is happy having their talent poached. Recently electric car battery maker A123 Systems sued Apple for poaching top engineers to build a large-scale battery division.

That’s just one of the complications according to Karen Evans, managing director of NGA.NET, a cloud-based talent management solutions company.

Evans said poaching staff is a short-term strategy that won’t work for all companies.

“To compete and succeed, each business must focus on its existing workforce as one of its primary assets. Companies that constantly seek talent from outside the business risk disengaging the current workforce, which may include current staff who want to fill these roles themselves. External recruitment should complement the total talent pool, not replace it,” Evans told Business Insider.

In an increasingly competitive world for employees Evans said that talent management is no longer optional.

Here’s what she told us:

An effective strategy involves businesses taking a step back and figuring out what they need, what they have, and what the gaps are between the two. The next step is about how they can best fill these gaps from a development standpoint. Once this has been established, a business must then identify what external skills and knowledge they need in order to complement their existing workforce. Developing the existing workforce should be the first priority before for a business before it looks to hire new people with these skills. Talent management is not a one off process, and involves a constant loop of analysis and adjustment.

Only once a business has gone through this process, should they search for talent externally.

It’s all about engaging the current workforce, Evans said.

Do that and the evidence suggests companies will have more success, higher profitability and crucially businesses will automatically “attract the best talent from outside the company too.”

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.