Employees who aren't actively looking for new positions are increasingly prone to getting poached, according to a new Gallup survey released today. One in 4 employees say they were recruited within the past three months of taking the survey, which was conducted in October 2021 and had a sample size of 14,145 employed U.S. adults. Of those workers, 1 in 10 said they weren't actively looking for new opportunities -- marking a 57 percent rise since 2015 in the number of non-job seekers being actively recruited. 

While the competition may have always tried to scoop up your best talent, the on-going labor crunch has made the problem more acute. That means bosses need to be on the defensive, even when an employee who is recruited chooses not to leave their current job. As the survey notes, the experience of being recruited can change workers' perspectives -- they may begin to entertain other opportunities, or they may shift their motivations in their current role with an eye towards upward growth.

To prevent their most dedicated employees from leaving, businesses should regularly check in with workers through stay interviews to better understand their wants and needs -- in terms of career goals, work structure (if they're interested in a more flexible work arrangement, for example), and compensation. Gallup's data suggests that the strategies leaders use to attract new talent can also be used to retain existing workers: Take the time to remind employees why they joined your company in the first place, and they may be less swayed to leave.