Understanding a Non-Compete and Non-Solicit: From A Former Broker, Now Recruiter
Written by: Shelby Bedore
As a Supply Chain and Logistics Recruiter, an inevitable question arises during screening calls: “Do you have a non-compete or non-solicit agreement?” It is extremely important for candidates in the logistics world to understand what they have agreed to.
I came from the 3PL world myself, from a company who has one of the toughest non-competes in the industry. When it came to looking for my next opportunity, I had to be cautious of the companies and roles I could take interest in.
The first thing I learned is that there is a big difference between a non-compete and a non-solicit. A non-compete prohibits working for any competing company for an extended period of time. This includes Asset-based companies, 3PLs, and in some cases, Shippers. A non-solicit states that while you can go work for a competitor, you cannot bring or solicit your customers, carriers, or employees from your previous company for a period of time.
When you begin working for any Logistics company you will typically have to sign their employee agreement within the first week. My advice? Be sure you either obtain a copy, take a picture, or write it down, to ensure you have a copy for your own records. Believe me, you will not regret it for future opportunities.
What are the consequences of breaking a non-compete or non-solicit, you might ask? Well, this typically will depend on the company and their policy. Some companies will be more flexible than others when it comes to working out an agreement. Regardless, never assume that they are going to just waive your agreement.
Many candidates mention that other co-workers have gone to other Logistics companies and do not see why they themselves wouldn’t be able to either. While sometimes this might be true, do not assume that the same will apply to you. Each company is different with how they handle this matter. The consequences for violating your agreement can end in a lawsuit, court fines, and other fees.
The best thing you can do to understand the terms of your agreement is to seek legal counsel before ending up in a sticky situation. Once you thoroughly comprehend your restrictions, you will be able to find your next opportunity with ease.