Non-compete agreements can prevent employees from working for a competitor in their next position. Are they necessary? Industry pros share their insights:

The Question:

Darren Sollek
Elite Pools | Madison, Miss.

“Do any of you require your employees to sign a non-compete agreement?”

Answers:

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Robert Ryan McKinley
Conxion Olive Branch | Olive Branch, Miss.

“Get them to sign an agreement that protects your clientele and prevents them from contacting your clientele, or stealing your client list and contacting them. If they leave you and the client finds them, then no big deal. The non-compete is worthless, but the other could be helpful.”

Steven Ward
Ward’s Pool Service and Supply | Gilbert, Ariz.

 “You’re better off focusing on having a good-enough working relationship with your employee that they would not steal your customers from you.”

Matt Fuller
ABC Home and Commercial Services | Austin, Texas

“Yes. They may be hard to enforce, but they will often dissuade those that either don’t know any better or don’t want to risk litigation.

I decided to implement a non-compete after an employee offered me a list of his former employer’s pools. I refused it and decided to try to protect myself from the same. My non-compete simply says my employees can’t pursue my customers and cannot reveal my customers to any third parties.”

Ian Smith
Pools by John Garner | Jacksonville, Fla.

“I find them hypocritical. Everyone wants to hire a potential employee with experience, yet everyone wants you to sign a non-compete. And to deny someone in your field the opportunity to grow his or her expertise also seems counterproductive.”

Brad Ward
Atlas Pool Care | Bakersfield, Calif.

“My non-compete is directed at my current service customers for a one-year period. You can’t stop anyone from starting a business, but you can hold someone liable for theft.”