“Our candidates have the right to be forgotten.” announced Natalie, our Operations Manager, as she waded through another section of the GDPR compliance process. “They have the right to have their files deleted and never be contacted again.” It got us thinking; for boutique firms like ours that provide a higher level of service, shouldn’t they have the right to be remembered?
The recruitment industry is not one size fits all. For candidates, it remains well populated with companies who one would prefer to never be contacted by again. For example, those companies who send speculative emails about “A role that I think would be a great fit for you” because their automated software spotted a CV keyword about a holiday job from 1998. Having the right to be forgotten by a company that never made the effort to get to know us in the first place seems almost surplus to requirements. Then there are the firms who were exercising people’s right to be forgotten long before it was required. With these firms, there comes a moment as a candidate when you realise you are never going to hear from them again, be it after you land the job, miss out at interview, send in your CV, or two seconds after you say the wrong thing in your first conversation.
For clients, the HR specialists and hiring managers, there is a greater level of control because a recruitment firm can be removed from the supplier list. Now that GDPR comprehensively dictates how organisations can acquire, store and use personal data; large companies will look to establish effective GDPR compliance from their suppliers. Recruitment will be an area of focus due to the amount of personal data that is processed. In our industry, there is always an urgency to provide profiles and candidates. Those firms who achieve rapid response times by cutting corners e.g. not seeking permission from candidates before profiles are shared, will face the toughest challenges in the new paradigm. Firms like ours, who have always strived for the greatest efficiency without cutting any corners, will be less affected in comparison. It’s easier to do everything right when working with a network rather than a database but we can’t be complacent, just ask Natalie!
The Right to Be Remembered
On the face of it, this is a non-compliant statement, but it simply reflects a level of service and the fact that our candidate and client relationships are managed face to face rather than at arm’s length. In the build-up to GDPR going live, we all received torrents of emails, sometimes from startlingly unfamiliar companies, asking us if we still wanted to be in their databases. People naturally got into a frenzy of saying “No.” Thousands of our candidates were offered the same choice but only a handful took the option to be forgotten. The vast majority didn’t because it requires two-way effort to build relationships and people don’t normally cut each other off without good reason. On the contrary, some of our relationships date back to the early years of Healy Hunt and have seen successful candidates, placed in their first middle management roles going on to become senior directors across Risk, Finance, Operations, Origination and more recently Change and Compliance. While some firms will see their databases shrinking slightly, if they’re adhering to the regulations, our network continues to grow.
Contact us if you need our help. Otherwise, we hope to see you for another blog next month.