How GDPR Will Impact Your Job Search

By now, you are probably aware of the impact that GDPR will have on your role as a technology professional. But did you know that the new data protection regulations will also affect the way you work with recruiters and how you search for employment?

If a recruiting firm follows the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the regulations, it will make it more difficult for them to provide you, the candidate, with a high level of service, explained Billy McDiarmid, head of client success for Candidate.ID, a provider of talent pipeline software.

Even if you like some of the changes imposed by GDPR, you may need to adjust your habits and strategies to conduct an effective job search after May 25. Take a look.

Consent Is Mandatory

Recruiting agencies and in-house recruiters will need your explicit consent to enter your information into their database, discuss job opportunities, or present your CV to a hiring manager for a specific contract or full-time position.

You will also have the “right to be forgotten,” meaning that you can ask an agency or employer to delete your file once you are rejected or stop looking for a job.

On the surface, these might seem like welcome changes. After all, unfamiliar recruiters won’t be able to spam you with unsolicited email inquiries or lists of random job openings, unless you opt into their mailing list. And you really don’t want a recruiter putting you forward for roles without your permission, since an employer may eliminate you from contention if your CV is submitted by more than one recruiter.

However, you may receive fewer outreach queries from agencies or big-budget talent poachers, especially if you don’t spell out how you want to be contacted or the type of positions you want to hear about in your CV or online profiles, warned Graham Robson, regional director for Business Doctors, a provider of business coaching and GDPR advice to business owners in the North East.

In theory, you’ll no longer be pestered by recruiters for jobs that aren’t the right fit, because they can no longer scrape contact information from LinkedIn or a job board and store it indefinitely without telling you. They need to get in touch within 30 days if they want to consider you for a job.

But since recruiters won’t be stockpiling names in their databases, you may need to search for jobs on your own if you don’t make your goals and preferences clear, Robson noted.

Since time is of the essence in the recruitment process, you may miss out on a great opportunity if you don’t respond quickly to recruiters seeking permission to submit your CV. And if you’d like to compete in the unpublished or hidden job market, keep in mind that a recruiter will need your permission to proactively market your profile to hiring managers. 

Be Responsible for Your Relationships

If you haven’t connected with an agency recruiter in a while, or if you applied for a positon at a company a few years ago, you may need to rekindle your relationship and perhaps even re-apply if you want to be considered for future opportunities.

Agencies and employers can decide which personnel files they want to retain and which candidates they want to ask for confirmation of their contact details and consent, McDiarmid explained. If you don’t hear from someone you’ve worked with in the past, you may need to initiate contact, since marketers can be fined for contacting customers via email who have previously opted out of marketing activities.

Since agencies need a legitimate reason for holding your data, it’s certainly possible that inexperienced job seekers or those with outdated skills and CVs will be passed over in favor of high-value candidates, advised James Whitelock, managing director of ThinkinCircles, a provider of digital marketing strategies for recruiters.

Engaging with a small number of agency partners and recruiters from your targeted employer list will ensure that you hear about the right opportunities at the right time. “As long as you keep in touch regularly and consent to an agency’s new privacy policy, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in your working arrangements,” McDiarmid added.

How candidates work with agencies or employers from May 25 onward will largely depend on the skill of the agency or recruitment team. The best teams will make sure that their policies are 100 percent compliant with GDPR and any local amendments, yet flexible enough to make sure that candidates receive an exceptional level of service.

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