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Do we still need noncompetes?

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in Smartbrief on Workforce — tracks feedback from leading managers and HR practitioners. We run the poll question each Wednesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Are employees at your company required to sign a noncompete agreement?

  • No, we do not have noncompete agreements, 37%
  • Yes, but only in certain departments or levels, 32%
  • Yes, all employees must sign one, 26%
  • Don’t know, 5%

Noncompete agreements always seem like a sore subject when I speak to groups of employees about their usefulness. That being said, it looks like they are still being deployed very selectively in organizations. With only a quarter of companies implementing them across the board, there are lingering questions about what role the economy will play in the continued use of this policy. My suspicion is that as the economy improves, so will the implementation of noncompete agreements.

Lance Haun is community director for ERE.net, the main guy over at Rehaul.com and a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board.