Note: this resource is for informational purposes only and not to provide legal advice. You should contact your legal counsel concerning any questions or issues regarding compliance.


The landscape of compliance requirements for recruitment firms continues to grow and become more complex year after year. Adhering to new regulatory requirements is a must, and failure to meet compliance regulations can result in fines or impacts on your business.

Keeping compliant isn’t a one-time project. It requires constant vigilance considering how rapidly regulations change and how often new regulations are added. And beyond how frequently changes occur, firms face the added complexity of continuously monitoring regulations at the local municipal, state, and federal levels.

Your compliance strategy also plays a crucial role in your competitive advantage within the industry, as firms with solid compliance practices in place can streamline operations, provide a more favorable candidate and client experience, and hire and onboard candidates efficiently.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you build and develop your compliance strategy, from winning new clients to recruiting and engaging with candidates to billing/invoicing and paying workers. Plus, learn how Bullhorn can assist with your overall compliance strategy, including how Bullhorn’s team of experts work to help your firm stay up-to-date on the latest regulatory updates.

Win Clients

What are some compliance considerations?

One of the most critical assets to any recruitment firm is its client base. How can your team ensure they are remaining compliant during client outreach and communication? One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is if any data privacy or communication laws or regulations exist in your country or your clients’ country.

Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA are in place to ensure personal data privacy and security, and this extends to any client you may contact. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in business fines or other interruptions to your business operations.

Things you can do as part of your compliance efforts:

When interacting with any clients who reside in the UK (GDPR) or California (CCPA), firms must ensure they follow the correct protocol as disclosed in the legislation. Compliance here involves ensuring the appropriate data collection, fielding questions about data collection and usage, and removing data when necessary.

Start by auditing your internal processes to assess the risks you create for others regarding their data, including initiatives such as internal education on data collection and privacy rules or appointing a specific person to oversee compliance for your business.


What are some compliance considerations?

Similar to client outreach, compliance during the candidate recruitment process centers around data collection, privacy, and candidate communication. While a fundamental part of sourcing and recruiting candidates stems from proactively reaching out to candidates interested in or a fit for an open role, recruitment firms must keep regulations like GDPR and CCPA in mind when recruiting candidates.

GDPR and CCPA have specific requirements for when you can reach out to a candidate, including prohibiting outreach to candidates who have not agreed to communications or who have never interacted with your company before.

Equity during the recruitment process must also be kept in mind. Regulations such as ADA, EEOC, diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and accessibility considerations should be top-of-mind when recruiting candidates to ensure a diverse workforce and an unbiased recruitment process.

Things you can do as part of your compliance efforts:

Be mindful of where you received the candidate’s information before reaching out to them. Did they submit their resume for an open job or submit a form on your website to learn more? Or did you find their LinkedIn profile or their website during the sourcing process?

Both GDPR and CCPA have different requirements, but generally speaking, if a candidate has not explicitly consented to communications, dig a bit deeper before reaching out.

Manage & Place

What are some compliance considerations?

As you move into the candidate management and placement process, a new set of compliance and regulation considerations emerge.  From diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to equal pay, EEOC and OFCCP, there are many regulations that recruitment firms must keep in mind while working with both candidates and clients on a placement.

During the onboarding process, firms must meet government, client, and agency compliance standards, with the ability to customize documentation, redact sensitive documents, and keep required forms up-to-date. This includes complying with I-9 and E-Verify requirements and ensuring your firm is fully audit-ready via accurate timestamps and confirmation that candidates have completed the required documentation.

Additionally, firms must upload, maintain, and update government forms and other necessary documents based on client and agency needs, while still having the ability to customize forms as needed.

Things you can do as part of your compliance efforts:

Regulations such as EEOC and OFCCP are in place to ensure fair hiring practices, and recruitment firms must have an open conversation with their clients to discuss these considerations. Further, recruitment firms must consider ACA and ADA regulations, benefits and leave policies, and worker’s compensation.

Be prepared to answer questions from candidates and clients on how you capture this information during the candidate intake process and how you phrase job descriptions to ensure compliance with these regulations. It is also essential to audit any job descriptions or client communication forms to ensure that you meet appropriate privacy statements or criteria.

Pay & Bill

What are some compliance considerations?

When it comes to timekeeping, payroll, and billing, regulations centered around taxes and labor laws should be top-of-mind. Candidates must provide the correct information to ensure they are paid on time and in the proper manner. For clients, it’s vital that they document and manage this candidate data from pre- to post-hire to complete any invoices or remain up-to-date with candidate credentials, when applicable.

With timekeeping, ensuring time is captured and interpreted correctly based on federal, state, and local regulations is crucial. Your team should be using the most up-to-date forms and accurately inputting that information into your database.

During the invoicing process, capturing federal, state, and local sales taxes accurately ensures the invoice is correct, helping not only your compliance strategy but that of your clients as well.

Lastly, a top consideration when handling payroll is accurately capturing deductions. This starts with gathering accurate data from your clients and candidates and then confirming that information is correctly translated to the payroll process.

Things you can do as part of your compliance efforts:

From local, state, and federal taxes to labor laws and fatigue management, recruitment firms must be up-to-date with the necessary tax forms and time/labor information to ensure compliance during a candidate’s role or after the candidate completes their assignment.

Review your internal systems to confirm that your teams use the most up-to-date forms and capture any necessary information to comply with these regulations. This audit includes working with your clients to capture any information they need to complete invoices or pay candidates successfully.

How Bullhorn Can Help Your Recruitment Compliance Strategy

The recruitment industry’s compliance issues are complex, ever-changing, and complicated for even the savviest of firms. Recruitment leaders must safeguard their firms by implementing the right technology and developing the right processes to prevent compliance issues from occurring now and in the future.

Bullhorn’s suite of products helps agencies stay compliant throughout the entire recruitment lifecycle, from sourcing and the first engagement with the candidate, through onboarding, credentialing, time management and pay, and throughout the reporting process.

With 20+ years of experience serving some of the world’s largest recruitment agencies, we understand the nuances of meeting compliance in the recruitment industry. With our start-to-finish, unified recruitment platform, you have a perspective into your firm’s compliance at every step of the recruitment process, including consolidated compliance reporting from the onboarding and pay/bill processes.

Most importantly, Bullhorn’s team of experts monitors the compliance landscape for changes and new regulations to help ensure our products can support customers in their compliance efforts and keep agencies informed on compliance concerns through regular communication.

While the responsibility of full compliance is in the hands of recruitment firms themselves, Bullhorn’s products provide the tools necessary to build a compliance strategy and seamlessly maintain ongoing compliance at every step of the recruitment lifecycle.

To learn more about how Bullhorn can play a crucial role in your
compliance strategy, click here.