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About four months ago, I left one employer for another. While there were several reasons that made me happy to leave, I left on good terms and have reason to believe I would be welcomed back readily.

I have a former co-worker and good friend who would be well suited for an open position on my new team. That individual would likely be inclined to leave for the same reasons I did. I am unsure about how to properly handle the situation.

Policy: The old employer does not have a non-compete or no-poaching rule that I am aware of. I did extensive searching through HR documents before I left as I expected this possibility. The new employer only has a rule against cold-calling someone who works for a "strategic partner". These companies are "strategic partners".

Is it bad form to actively recruit my friend?

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    These companies are "strategic partners" -- is that what you meant to write, or is there a missing "not"? – Monica Cellio Sep 10 '14 at 2:33
  • What I wrote is correct. They are "strategic partners". I believe this means that my new employer will not reach out to my friend based on my recommendation. My friend must make contact first. – Elros Sep 12 '14 at 14:46
  • Ah, thanks -- so you're not barred from hiring from strategic partners, just from initiating. – Monica Cellio Sep 12 '14 at 14:54
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If you want to recommend a friend from your old company for your current company, and the two companies are strategic partners, please work with your human resources department before making contact with your friend.

You could cause a lot of unnecessary trouble for both companies if you do this as a lone wolf. (I know this because I've been through it.)

This kind of partner hiring can often work. It did in your case. But, it has implications for the way the two companies work together. This is the kind of thing that your HR people, and possibly your sales and business development people, need to know about before you start doing it. It's very wise to avoid making this kind of judgement on your own, unless you're deeply familiar with the business relationship between the companies.

Your senior business development person responsible for the strategic relationship needs to know about this recruitment effort, and may be able to make it happen.

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