What do you do when a recruiter is chasing one of your top employees? It’s a question recently tackled by Rebecca Knight in the Harvard Business Review. She says managers will be dealing with increased competition for talent more and more due to globalization of business, demographics and poor leadership development. “The war for talent is going to intensify and it will get tougher,” says search firm adviser Claudio Fernánadez-Aráoz. Here are some suggestions about what to do and say, without having to rely on enforcing noncompete agreements:

• Watch for signals: “Research suggests that employees are more receptive to recruiters–and therefore more likely to quit–around their work anniversary dates,” says Knight. So be particularly careful around those times, but also look for other triggering events such as getting turned down for a promotion or having a project postponed.

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