How Do Recruitment Pros Really Feel About the GDPR?

gdpr recruitment agencies

How do recruitment pros think the GDPR will impact their agency? It depends on who you ask. Over 200 UK recruitment professionals were asked to weigh in on the GDPR for the 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report. In near-equal measures, respondents predict a positive impact, a negative impact, no impact, or they don’t know what to expect at all. In short, the industry is undecided on exactly what the GDPR means for agencies.

GDPR recruitment

Where do you stand? Even if you’re firmly in one camp, it can be enlightening to unpack the reasons for the wide range of opinions on the GDPR. By examining why respondents feel the way they do, you can better inform your own GDPR preparation. Below is a breakdown of the common recruitment responses to the GDPR, some stated reasons for each opinion, and how it can be useful in your own decision-making process. Note: The information contained in this blog is NOT legal advice and should not be treated as such.

The Undecided

Some of those who are unsure about the impact of the GPDR are unconvinced of the benefits of compliance for their agency.

It seems to be something that will take considerable cost and effort to implement, with the benefits unknown at the moment.
Respondent 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report


Others are unsure about the GDPR because they haven’t yet looked deeply into the subject. Does this apply to you? With the GDPR approaching 25th May 2018, you likely won’t want to find yourself in this camp for much longer. You can educate yourself with resources like the ICO, ComplyGDPR, and Bullhorn’s GDPR Resource Center. Need a breakdown of the basics? Here’s a good place to start.

How prepared is the industry as a whole for the GDPR? At the end of 2017, respondents gave themselves a 2.8 out of 5. Stay ahead of the curve and take early steps to make sure your agency is ready long before the 25th of May.

The Opposed

Those who think the GDPR will have a negative impact on their agency are concerned that the GDPR will make it harder to do their jobs effectively and that it could inversely affect the reputation and business of agencies that make compliance mistakes.

It will make it harder to retain good candidates on the CRM system. More work will be involved to keep good candidates’ details.
Respondent 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report
I think a lot of recruitment companies will earn a bad name by breaking the GDPR rules which will reflect badly on the industry as a whole.
Respondent 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report


Whether you agree or disagree with the sentiments, you can channel it to help your agency effectively prepare for the GDPR. The first comment underscores the importance of your recruitment CRM software. No recruitment CRM will work as a magic cure for all of your GDPR needs—and it can’t and shouldn’t replace proper training and a thorough GDPR strategy—but a good CRM can aid in your GDPR compliance efforts. And a poor CRM can make those efforts significantly harder.

Does your CRM have features that enable easy opt-ins and opt-outs for candidates? Does it have security certifications? Robust e-mail and SMS capabilities to enable you to oblige your candidates’ right to be informed? If not, you may want to consider a solution that does.

The GDPR Supporters

Many recruitment agencies are looking at the GDPR as a positive and much-needed change for the industry.

It's a good thing. Candidate data is important and shouldn't be dealt with in a haphazard manner.
Respondent 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report
It's an opportunity to cleanse old data and also provide a more refined service to clients.
Respondent 2018 UK Recruitment Trends Report


Ultimately, the GDPR is about protecting the rights of people. As a people-driven business, it’s in the best interest of recruitment professionals to exercise these rights regardless of the GDPR regulation. Data privacy is a human rights issue. As Garreth Cameron of the ICO says, “Recruitment is about relationships and increasingly about data, and data is the key to business success.” 

The GDPR is a good time to audit your business practices and determine what you need to overhaul. Is your candidate database a mess? Cleaning out your database already has terrific benefits for your business, and the GDPR is a great instigating reason to take action. Because much of the GDPR is about respecting and protecting individual data, it can also have positive results for your client and candidate experience.

Wherever you stand on the GDPR, one thing is certain: Staying informed and taking appropriate action will be key for your recruitment agency.

Want to find more great blogs, webinars, and articles about the GDPR that’s written with recruitment professionals in mind? Check out the GDPR Resource Centre.

Go to the GDPR Resource Centre

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