Founder Tip of the Day: No More Non-competes in the US

Founder Tip of the Day: No More Non-competes in the US

In a controversial move, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned non-compete clauses, signalling a pivotal shift in competitive dynamics across industries in the United States. Businesses will now be able to hire talent directly from their competitors, thus gaining not only highly experienced employees but also insights into their competitors. It seems likely that companies equipped with better competitive intelligence tools will benefit the most from this new legislation.

Understanding the Non-Compete Ban 

In the past, strict non-compete agreements restricted employees from leaving for a better job or even starting their own company in the same industry. This, in effect, meant that employees were often forced to either stay in their current positions and accept lower pay or relocate or even change the profession altogether. It is estimated that non-compete clauses affect around 1 in 5 workers in the US. 

On April 23, 2024, FTC issued a final rule banning non-compete clauses nationwide. This rule marks a significant change in employment practices in the US, aiming to enhance worker mobility, boost wages, and stimulate innovation across various industries. FTC estimates that the abolition of non-compete agreements could result in over 8,500 new businesses being created annually and an increase in worker earnings by about $524 per person per year.

Using Competitive Intelligence

You may ask “What does this mean for me?” With the ban on non-compete agreements, businesses will now be able to hire employees directly from their competitors. This means that competitor monitoring and tracking will become more important than ever. Companies will likely become more ruthless and audacious in tempting competitors’ employees with enticing salaries and other benefits. How can you position yourself in the best possible way ahead of these changes? How can you make sure you will attract the best talent?

Employee Monitoring

With the increased likelihood of key employees moving between competitors, you must always be up to date with the latest changes in your competitors’ staff. This might include high-level managers and executives leaving the company, new hires, and even promotions. There are two main benefits from this:

  1. Hiring opportunities. With the non-compete ban, hiring employees directly from competitors will become a common practice. This is because these employees likely have experience with a very similar product and because they might have insights into competitor’s operations. Thus, knowing who has left or has been hired/promoted will now give you an advantage.
  2. Tracking market entry. New hires in markets that are officially not yet serviced by your competitor might signal market expansion in the near future. Knowing this will give you time to adjust your pricing, enhance customer service, or improve product offerings to strengthen your competitive position in this market. For example, if your competitor is suddenly hiring a lot of talent in Germany, what does it mean for your business?
Employee competitive insight from RivalSense

Tracking event participation

Having trouble navigating the multitude of industry events? Competitive intelligence tools like RivalSense can offer to track event participation. This means that you will be able to see what events the employees of your competitors are participating in.

Meeting employees at these events is a great opportunity. Engaging with skilled individuals in less formal or competitive environment can help you poach talent or simply build relationships that might benefit you later. 

Event participation competitive insight from RivalSense


The non-compete ban in the US presents both challenges and opportunities. With competitive intelligence tools like RivalSense, however, businesses can transform these challenges into strategic advantages. Knowing who to hire, when to hire, and how to hire will become even more prominent questions in light of the new legislation. Being on top of your competitors will ensure that you are at the forefront of the market.