Recruitment and data protection – the elephant in the room

April 24th, 2018 | Industry News

Cambridge Analytica might be today’s Bond villains, but data protection isn’t just an issue for Facebook users. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into effect in May 2018, will affect every UK business that stores data. Brexit has added an unwelcome level of uncertainty about UK legislation but for most organisations it’s wise to attempt GDPR compliance even if they are not selling goods or services to individuals in other EU countries. Why? Well because the UK government has already stated that it will implement ‘equivalent or alternative legal mechanisms’ which means that GDPR works as a good baseline whilst we wait to see what the UK actually does.

So… what has this to do with recruitment? Well, recruitment database software is likely to be seen as an ‘easy target’ when testing GDPR compliance, meaning that recruitment consultancies may find themselves in the front line when GDPR test cases are brought and when regulating bodies start inspections. For small and specialist recruiters this is a real headache. Making their files GDPR compliant has already led to many deciding that they will simply strip out much of their database information – this means that passive candidates will be removed, leaving only currently active candidates. This could lead to a massive restriction of the potential candidate base. The best recruitment CRM will allow recruiters to go forward with confidence whilst retrofitting their database to match GDPR. But that’s only half the story – excellent recruiting software will transcend simple compliance to:

  • allow users to have total confidence in data security
  • deliver superb intuitive usage
  • move ahead of legislation to support the agency in all aspects of business.

Talent acquisition and the role of disruptors

Recent developments like Glassdoor and LinkedIn have changed the face of talent acquisition by creating new structures and removing barriers. Glassdoor, for example, offers a 360° view of a company, from salaries to CEO reviews, right down to pictures of office space – suddenly a company’s offering is no longer something they can tailor to their selected talent, instead it’s a real-time experience curated by those who work for the organisation. LinkedIn has revolutionised executive search processes so that talent can map its own career trajectory without waiting for opportunities to be offered. As a result, recruiters have had to step up in terms of candidate identification and handling, improving applicant tracking and talent identification around key competencies and experience rather than academic qualifications. Because the new disruptors are intuitive, allowing recruiting organisations and talent to ‘get a sense’ of each other, the best recruitment software for agencies is now also intuitive, offering scope to record soft skills and giving plenty of opportunity to explore candidate information in ways that give hirers a vivid picture of their potential talent. This, allied to social media mapping, it likely to be the most fertile future territory for recruitment agencies – winnowing down the mass of information so that clients have a solid understanding of how a candidate performs, not just how they were educated.


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