Scenario: technology acquirer wants the targets developers. They want them as cheap as possible. What corporate and cultural tools are at our disposal to make it as hard as possible for the acquirer to be successful?
Multiple entities including subsidiaries? Strong legal clauses (these seem to rarely work)? Contractor vs. employee status?
Or can the acquirer always find a way to grab your best developer unless they are a close friend not interested in jumping ship?
One aspect of this is going to depend on the legality of the country your employees are working in that will ultimately control your options to retain employees through those methods. In the US, most employees are “at will” meaning they are free to leave your employment at anytime. Rather than focusing on stopping competitor from “taking” your employees, focus more on having your employees choose to stay. Compensation is one aspect but working culture and other benefits like flexible schedule or development opportunities can be equally important.