Like anything of value, data’s true worth is only realized when it’s adequately protected.

According to an Insight222 study, privacy and ethics concerns threaten 81% of people analytics projects. Laws like GDPR are designed to address these privacy concerns, and governments are making sure they’re enforced. Those who fail to comply with GDPR, for instance, can be fined as much as 20 million dollars or 4% of their yearly global turnover — whichever is more.

For HR departments, hiring mangers, and recruiters, the greater emphasis on privacy and consent with regards to personal data means a lot more red tape for the candidate engagement process. The trick for recruiters will be navigating current data regulations while preparing for the ones still to come.

The impact of data regulations on HR and recruitment

Consent has always been necessary before a company can hold employee data. What GDPR now mandates is that consent be “specific, informed, and unambiguous,” as well as revokable. Essentially, this means the current way of doing things is likely obsolete.

GDPR isn’t the endgame of data regulation — it’s the first step toward a future that’s more protected and compliant. Here are a few GDPR HR implications that recruiters should expect to encounter going forward:

1. Candidate data will no longer be free. In our current environment, data is easy to access for free. People are beginning to wake up to this fact and are putting real value on their personal information.

As GDPR broadens the definition of personal data, the value people put on their information will only become more critical. For recruiters, this likely means they will have to consider each candidate’s data an asset they must pay for before hiring managers will be able to see it.

2. The way HR accesses third-party data will change. HR tech vendors currently pay to access third-party data. But now that Europe-based platforms must comply with GDPR, many of those partnerships could change or dissolve altogether.

For the most part, GDPR’s impact on HR will force vendors to take new approaches to third-party data collection. This also means that recruiters and hiring managers will need to make sure vendors have a backup plan.

3. There will be a new avenue for lawsuits. GDPR HR compliance is going to be a common subject of lawsuits in the future. Whether it’s a failure to get permission before contacting a candidate or an instance of someone viewing personal data through an unsecured browser, there are plenty of ways companies can get sued for violating these laws.

HR providers already have run into trouble with data breaches, such as PageUp in 2018. As more global companies comply with GDPR, the frequency of these data breaches will only increase.

Data regulation helps make information more private and keeps people’s information safe. But that doesn’t mean it won’t create a lot of headaches for companies — especially when it comes to recruiting new employees.

That’s one reason automated, or AI-led systems, are attractive: They can handle a lot of the red tape for you, ensuring you stay compliant while making the process as easy as possible. The future of candidate engagement will be complicated, and companies should start preparing for it today.

Data privacy and compliance isn’t something to be taken lightly. So don’t. Find a vendor you can trust to handle each law and regulation, so you can focus on growing your business.

Author Abby Carter

Abby Carter // Tech Storyteller

Like most people who gravitate toward writing, Abby has a love for helping people. She takes pride in bridging the gap between people and technology, and enabling others to make sense of the two working together for a greater impact. You’ll catch Abby around town at a local brewery, enjoying the outdoors with her German Shepherd, or cuddled up on the couch with a glass of wine and her latest new read.

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