Several years ago, Lockheed Martin Corp. sued the Boeing Corp. in Orlando Florida, accusing it of using Lockheed's trade secrets to help win a multibillion-dollar government contract. Among other things, Lockheed Martin claimed that Boeing had obtained those trade secrets from a former Lockheed Martin employee who switched to Boeing. But in describing methods companies use to commit corporate espionage, one writer says that hiring away the competitor's employees (or hiring people to go through its dumpster), are just the most obvious ways companies use to commit corporate espionage. As he says, "one of the more unusual scams – sometimes referred to as "help wanted" – uses a person posing as a corporate headhunter who approaches an employee of the target company with a potentially lucrative job offer. During the interview, the employee is quizzed about his responsibilities, accomplishments and current projects. The goal is to extract important details without the employee realizing there is no job."
Assume that you are the owner of a small high-tech company that is worried about the
possibility that one or more of your employees may be approached by one of these sinister "headhunters."
Note: Some employers will not allow for a 2 weeks notice if they find out you are going to their competitor. Make sure to think about a policy in place when dealing with company secrets.
What would you do (in terms of employee training, or a letter from you, for instance) to try to minimize the chance that one of your employees will fall into that kind of trap? Also, compile a list of five or ten questions that you think such a corporate spy might ask one of your employees.
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