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GDPR is serious business

On May 25th the long awaited GDPR regulations become a reality. In recent weeks there has been a flurry of activity and press coverage with almost every online consumer receiving a vast number of emails asking for consent to hold and use your data or in some cases to confirm they are removing you from their database due to periods of inactivity.

Is the recruitment industry any different and what should you expect as a ‘job seeker’ past, present or future from any agency that you have registered with over time?

The majority of the recruitment sector have adopted the position that both the job seeker/candidate and themselves have mutual ‘legitimate business interests’ in the agency having and processing your data for the purpose of getting you a new job ie: they are trying to get you a new job and why would you be on their database if you didn’t want them to now or at some time in the future?

If that is the case, you should receive a copy of their Privacy Policy that specifically tells you how they securely hold your data and what they are doing with it, including any sensitive data you have disclosed and any third parties that the agency shares your data with to ensure you get paid etc. If you haven’t, then get in touch with the agencies you have registered with and get a copy or review it on their websites.

They should also be able to give you some reassurance about their ongoing audit & review of how they protect your data and a transparent position on retaining it.

Remember, you always have the right to access your information and importantly you can ask to be removed from an agency database at any time.

So why should you be prepared to leave your personal information on the database of an agency when you are not currently looking for a job?

Your agency should be providing you with ongoing ‘value added’ services, including market information about your sector or the jobs market in general, ‘tips’ on how to manage and develop your own career, salary benchmarks and insights to future trends and things that may ultimately impact your career choices.

It is also important to build a relationship with someone that you trust who is always available for a quick catch up and can give you some reassurance or advice about the choices you are making in regards to your career, even if it’s not about a position they are representing you to.

Recruitment agencies should be an important part of your career so keeping in touch with those you know and trust is important, as you never know when the ‘perfect’ role is going to pop up!

Choose your agency partner(s) carefully and make sure that you know what they are doing with your details and insist that they get your approval before sending your CV to any prospective employer. Too frequently some agencies send your CV without your knowledge, which can often harm your case if you decide to be represented to the same role by a specific agency that you have a better working relationship with and that you believe will provide you with better service.

GDPR is a very positive step for all concerned and whilst it may cause some initial challenges it will ensure that you have a lot more comfort and control about the security of your personal information.