Your recruitment business is responsible for collecting, storing and verifying a large amount of sensitive information about your candidates and your clients. This could add up to an acute risk unless correct procedures are followed, particularly with respect to GPDR compliance. In this article we’ll look at how GDPR affects recruitment agencies.
What does GDPR require recruiters to do?
GDPR has been in force since 2018 so it’s likely that most established recruiters have a good handle on it by now. However, just in case you need a refresher, here’s what your recruitment business needs to do under GDPR.
Recruiters are required to seek candidates’ consent before processing and sharing their data. You should also not process sensitive information like disability info, religion and genetic/biometric info unless you can demonstrate that it’s necessary.
If, for example, you’re collecting information about potential candidates with the intention of contacting them, you can store this information without their consent, but this must be for “specified, explicit and legitimate purposes”. In this example you must contact the candidates within 30 days, and unless you receive explicit consent you must delete the data afterwards.
Access to data
Candidates also have the right to access the data you hold about them. If a request is made, your agency must respond within a month and be able to provide a copy of the candidate’s data.
Proof of compliance
It’s up to your recruitment business to demonstrate compliance with GDPR, and you should be prepared to prove compliance where necessary. It isn’t enough to say that you’re compliant, or even to explain what you do – you must be able to demonstrate that your policy is being implemented.
What this means in practice
Your recruitment business will have been working within GDPR for some years, but are you following best practice? Use the tips below to improve your data handling and reduce the risks to your business.
You need a GDPR expert
GDPR can be complex and the detail is important, so it’s a good idea to volunteer someone on your team to become a GDPR expert. Appointing a data protection manager in your team is a good way to centralise your compliance strategy and provide a touch point for any data issues.
You need a clear data policy
Your website should have a clear set of terms and conditions outlining exactly how personal data is collected and shared. Your policy should cover:
How you store candidates’ data.
How long you will store data for.
The reasons why you store data and what it will be used for.
Your candidates’ right to remove data, and how they can access it.
This will meet the GDPR requirements for disclosing how you handle personal data.
Audit the data you store
A data audit will also help you ensure that you’re collecting data you don’t need for your legitimate purposes.
Review your processes
Regularly review any process that involves collecting data from candidates or potential candidates to ensure that:
You’re only collecting data from individuals that you legitimately intend to contact
You’re only collecting data that is 100% essential
You obtain consent or delete data as soon as possible
Check any external software
Create a data breach procedure
By following GDPR guidelines you’ll reduce the risk of a data breach. In the unlikely event that a breach does happen, GDPR states that you must act as quickly as possible to minimise the potential damage that could be done.
Your recruitment business should have processes in place to detect, investigate and report and breaches, and it’s important to ensure your staff know what these are and what their responsibilities would be if you experienced a data breach.
If you have questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.