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Being prepared for GDPR. I don’t mind admitting it… my boss was right.

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My boss and I have always had a pretty healthy work relationship and over the years we have had plenty of disagreements. He is very good at playing devil’s advocate and there have been a number of things that we have disagreed on. I have always been grateful for an environment where I can challenge and be challenged.

He comes from a background of strong internal recruitment experience and I have always worked on the agency side of the fence. One of our different views for example, is around online application forms. I think they should be as short as possible so that we don’t put people off applying for roles. He takes the view that we should make the process more involved so that we end up with candidates that are serious about applying.

It is a fair viewpoint, but I always maintain that if candidates are applying to a specific business, they are already bought in to some degree. They will be more willing to take time over applying when they know who the employer is. Agency recruiters don’t have that luxury and this is why I think our application process should be as easy as possible. This is an ongoing debate that we still have to agree to disagree on.

Recently, Chiumento changed the applicant tracking system that we use. In the past, we have made use of a very well-known system used primarily by internal recruiters rather than agencies. There was no inbuilt CRM system that allowed us to hold both client and candidate data. When we started using the first system there was little in the way of cloud-based applicant tracking systems so we were limited with our options.

When selecting a new vendor, the most important thing for any system from our perspective is that applicants could be directed to an online application form. The fundamental reason for this is that we wanted to make sure that every candidate that applies to one of our roles, agrees to our data protection policy. This was low down my list of priorities but top of my boss’. Turns out he was spot on!

6 years ago when we started getting candidates to apply and agree to our data policy, I took the view that it was a bit over the top. I was not aware of many recruitment agencies that went to these lengths. As of next May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect and agencies will no longer be able to hold a candidate’s personal data without their express permission. This is going to hit most recruitment businesses really hard as they will have massive chunks of their candidate database wiped out. It is really going to hurt the recruitment industry.

Most of the main systems used by recruitment businesses do not provide the capacity for candidates to agree to an agency’s data protection policy and because of this, they will no longer be allowed to hold this data. This is a massive failing on the part of technology providers and recruitment businesses themselves. It is going to seriously damage the level of service that this industry is able to provide. Clients go to recruiters for their little black book of candidates but these books are about to get a lot smaller.

Thanks to my boss’ attention to detail, GDPR will not affect us in the slightest as every candidate on our database has signed up to our data protection policy. Clients will continue to get the same great service from us without any impact from these changes.

We strongly urge you to look at your own application processes if you have not already and if you would like some advice, please do feel free to give us a call. We are very happy to help and talk you through our own approach if this would be useful.

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