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How GDPR will affect recruitment agencies

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Posted on 27th October 2017 at 12:26pm by Amanda Franks FIRP in Clients, Job seekers

There is so much information out there regarding the new Data Protection laws that come into force next year.

Let me firstly say I am no expert, in fact I am booked to attend an REC course on the subject next month. However, from the bits I've read I wonder how marketing will change for the recruitment industry and how we "start out" with the changes.

So the big point is consent. Clients and candidates must give their express consent to be added to your database and have the right to be removed.

Candidates who sit unplaced on your database for a year must be deleted. So if they come back they will need a full reregistration - no big deal. You must have a strong reason to register a candidate and refuse to register those you don't think you can place. I actually don't think how we take care of job seeker information will change hugely.

My concern is not with candidates it's with how we market ourselves to businesses/clients. Historically agencies approach clients coldly at first to establish a relationship. With the new GDPR laws we cannot add them to the database unless we are specifically given personal contact details i.e named email addresses not just info@.

We can no longer spec or market candidates without the express and prior permission of the client. If you catch someone on a bad day your access to them and that business could be shut down for the foreseeable future. If a contact leaves can we then re-seek permissions to market to them?

There are also very clear rules on sending electronic marketing to your database. Unless they requested to see your newsletter you can't send it! If you want to make an introduction you can't do this without permission. 

So does finding an agency come down to the client finding their own? Marketing on social media's where you speak to the masses and hope they approach you?

On the flip side of this, doesn't it make your database extremely powerful. If clients give permission to be contacted they are giving immediate buying signals. You suddenly have a very warm, much smaller, database of real potential. Targeting will be smarter and relationships stronger.

What do other recruiters interpret the GDPR regulations to mean to their business and what are your concerns? Interested to hear. 

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