GDPR and Interim job searching

GDPR is all over the news – mainly as fear inducing headlines aimed at the processors and controllers of personal data – but what does it actually mean for interims who want to be contacted about suitable roles?  It may mean they need to increase their efforts to remain visible in the digital world as intermediaries clean up their data in advance of GDPR.

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What’s changed under GDPR?

The Data Protection Act, which GDPR replaces, was largely based around eight common sense principles relating to the use of personal data.  The GDPR recognises that everyone’s idea of common sense might not be the same, and codifies these principles in much more detail.  Crucially, it also asks every company to document and prove how it adheres to the principles.

Where have you posted your CV online?

One of the key ideas in GDPR is that a company must have a lawful reason for processing your personal data.  The easiest of these to understand is “consent” (i.e. you have expressly given your consent for your data to be stored and processed).

However, consent is only one of the lawful reasons for processing personal data allowed under GDPR – for most job hunters, the next most likely is “Legitimate Interests”.  This is where a company can use your personal data for their own business interests, as long as those interests don’t conflict with your own.

For example, if you have posted your CV in a public job board then an agency or recruitment company can reasonably assume that you are happy to hear about roles, and it is certainly in their legitimate interest to do so.  However, the company must be able to show how it is balancing your needs with theirs, and clearly explain to you how they are using your data.

What rights does GDPR give you?

Over the next few months, there will be a flurry of emails from companies, telling you about the data they hold for you, and asking for permission to process it.  You now have rights over this data which are:

  • the right to be informed; companies must tell you what types of personal data they are holding, why they feel this is lawful, how they are going to use the data and how long they are going to keep it for
  • the right of access; you can ask to see all of your personal data
  • the right of rectification; you must have the right to change any personal data which is inaccurate or incomplete
  • the right to be forgotten; you can ask for personal data to be erased and for processing to cease
  • the right to object; you can always object to processing (eg direct marketing, or processing based on legitimate interests)
  • rights related to profiling and automated decision making; if you feel that decisions are being made automatically based on your profile, you can object and insist that there is human intervention

What should you do?

1) Stay in touch with intermediaries

Responsible consultancies, agencies and recruiting companies will allow you to log onto their portal to check your data – make sure you do that.  They may also feel the need to remove your data if it is not up to date so it is important to stay engaged so that you find out about your next interim role.

Is your CV up to date? Is it clear what type of roles you are looking for. Refresh your data on a regular basis. Additionally, if you are posting your CV on job boards or Linked In, check they are up to date.

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2) Check what you are agreeing to

Look at data privacy notices whenever you enter your personal data online and don’t just accept them before moving on.  Your personal data is important and you need to know how it is going to be used.

3) Overwhelmed with emails ?

Good recruitment portals allow you to decide yourself when and how you hear about roles.  Providing your next availability date ensures that you can start hearing about relevant roles nearer the time. Many also allow you to choose what other emails you may like to receive (such as networking events and newsletters).

4) Finally  – don’t be on a company’s database for no good reason – if you have found a permanent job, retired or moved to a different country, make sure you update your details or unsubscribe completely.

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About the author, Anna Davison

Anna is a member of the B2E Account Management team & has been a homeworker for the last 2+ years with us, as well as a regular homeworker for other clients, juggling work and family life. Her background is in People & Change Management having worked as a consultant at Accenture for 12+ years prior to starting a family.

About the author, Jo Young

Jo is our Operations Manager. She spent 10 years at Accenture working in the Change Management and Utilities practices.

Jo’s main areas of expertise are Change Management, Implementation Planning and Execution and Call Centre management.