Data Privacy & Recruitment

Chaucer / Digital Viewpoints  / Data Privacy & Recruitment

A recruiter’s business is built on their ability to access the top talent in the market, whether that recruiter works for a recruitment agency or an in-house / talent acquisition team.

Opinion Piece by Lindsay Charman

In our quest for more candidates and clients, it is all too easy for ethics and data integrity to take a back seat, and data privacy to be left out of the picture altogether.

While the regulations that govern data privacy are not new, the introduction of updated legislation by way of the GDPR, the UK Data Protection Act, PECR, and the forthcoming ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) have provided a much stronger incentive for recruiters to take data privacy seriously.

Fines for all are the same (€20M or up to 4% of global revenue) and GDPR and ePrivacy are both extraterritorial in their effect.

What information is being recorded? Why is it necessary?

Where is it held and how and when do we delete it?

Are our prospecting methods legal?

Most recruiters are focussed on helping their candidates and clients so they rarely focus on these questions and considerations. The emphasis on large candidate databases and client lists has moved on for most businesses – quality is king – but even for these firms and teams, the pace is often an overarching priority to process.

The recruitment industry has mixed supporters and everyone has at least one experience that has tainted their view.

However, having such a spotlight on data privacy will allow recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters to think more consciously about their attraction methods and techniques, and hopefully help to elevate the reputation of the industry.

The opportunity to stand out as a recruiter of choice has always been there.

Now though, the risk of being the other is high enough to force change in the pockets of those where resistance has been the strongest.

If you have any questions about Data Privacy, the GDPR or to arrange an initial conversation about how we can help you on your journey to compliance, please contact us on +44 203 934 1099, or email