This article was published on November 21, 2012

Russian technology companies have reached gentlemen’s non-poaching agreement

Russian technology companies have reached gentlemen’s non-poaching agreement
Andrii Degeler

Internet, software, and technology companies Parallels, Yandex, Kaspersky Lab, Epam Systems, and Acronis, have made a “gentlemen’s agreement” not to hunt each other’s employees, particularly software developers, to “slow down the salary race.”

The verbal “gentlemen’s agreement” made by the five Russian companies ensures that none of them would reach out to an employee of another, trying to poach them, Cnews reports. At the same time, Ochir Mandzhikov from the Russian Internet giant Yandex emphasized that if an employee decides to transfer to one of the other four companies, no-one would prevent them from doing this.

The contract, even though non-official and based on good will, is deemed to be one of the most large-scale agreements of this kind in the industry’s history in Russia.

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the five companies have already had similar agreements even before this one was reached. In Acronis, any communications with a potential candidate working at Parallels would be started only with permission from the latter’s HR department and the potential hire’s supervisor, according to Acronis HR director Olga Balitskaya.

A common practice

Agreements like this, which may have been considered as a huge no-go in Europe or the US, are usually not deprecated in Russia and the ex-USSR neither by companies nor by their employees, especially in the technology industry.

Back in 2005, some IT companies in Belarus also publicly signed a non-solicitation declaration, while in Ukraine the existence of such an agreement between leading outsourcing software developers was only rumored. In Russia, agreements of this kind have allegedly been reached between Mail.Ru and Yandex as well as between startups Ostrovok and WikiMart,  Alena Vladimirskaya, founder of the Russian recruiting agency Pruffi, told Cnews.

As for the legal part, while some provisions of the Russian law might possibly be applied to the non-solicitation agreement, there is no history of trials for such matters yet.

Image credit: the Italian voice / Flickr.

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