A no-poaching agreement is an agreement between two or more companies not to hire or solicit each other’s employees. It could be a contract between two companies in the same industry. It could be a contract between a company and a vendor.
It’s easy to see why employers might be tempted to use non-poaching agreements, particularly in a tight labor market with low unemployment. But the reality is that non-poaching agreements suppress competition for labor and limit employee mobility. This will result in lower wages and benefits for workers. This is particularly abusive to the worker who loses out on a job because the new employer is bound by an agreement the worker never signed (and may not even know about).