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FTC Bans Non-Competes

No More Non-Competes! Wow. We knew it was coming, and now it’s arrived. So, what does it mean for all of us? First, is this a good thing? Yes. For recruiters, for candidates, for clients. The only people this will significantly impact (in our world) are search firm owners. You’ll now have a significant risk of training your future competitors. 

Understanding the Rule

The FTC has set a clear boundary: non-compete agreements are mostly off the table, except for senior executives who earn above $151,164 annually. This delineation ensures most professionals you interact with will no longer be bound by these constraints, opening up a broader pool of talent for sourcing.


Expanded Talent Pool: With non-competes largely invalidated, you now have access to a wider array of candidates. This could revolutionize how you approach talent sourcing, as more professionals are free to make career moves without legal hindrances.

Clear Communication is Key: Employers are required to notify their employees about the non-enforcement of existing non-competes. As a headhunter, ensuring that your candidates are aware and understand what this means for them is crucial. It’s your role to clarify, guide, and advise—making you an invaluable bridge between talent and opportunity.

Business Sales Exception: Remember, non-competes are still enforceable in business sale contexts. If you’re working with clients who are buying or selling a business, you’ll need to navigate these waters carefully, ensuring all parties are clear about the terms.

Strategic Adjustments

Stay Informed on Legal Challenges: The legal landscape here is still volatile, with potential injunctions on the horizon. It’s wise to keep a finger on the pulse of these developments – staying informed means you can better advise your clients and candidates, positioning you as a knowledgeable and reliable advisor.

Advising on Alternative Agreements: With non-competes taking a backseat, other forms of agreements like non-solicits and NDAs are stepping into the limelight. Advising your clients on crafting these agreements to be effective yet fair could set you apart from the competition. 

It’s going to become a little more interesting in the business ecosystem. I’d like to see all of you having strategic conversations with your clients about the impact of this ruling and what steps they’re taking to mitigate their risk moving forward. 


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Tricia Tamkin, headhunter, advisor, coach, and gladiator. Tricia has spoken at over 50 recruiting events, been quoted in multiple national publications, and her name is often dropped in groups as the solution to any recruiters’ challenges. She brings over 30 years of deep recruiting experience and offers counsel in a way which is perspective changing and entertaining.

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