How GDPR has damaged your career prospects.

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 by Terry BrameNo comments






Once upon a time ‘Head-Hunting’ was all the rage in recruitment. Ruthless go-getter recruiters cold calling high-flying, high-earners on their mobiles in an attempt to poach them from their current employer and place them with a competitor who would be willing to improve their salary, prospects and progression opportunities. It was very flattering to be called by a head-hunter, even though you acted as if this sort of thing happened every day and, although you feigned disinterest or tried to pretend you found the whole process rather sordid, you tended to call them back after work to find out what the potential deal was.

These days, head-hunting is a redundant term. As with everything else the internet has revolutionised recruitment and there is little call for the type of surreptitious wheeler-dealing of the 80’s and early 90’s. And besides, who cold call’s anymore?

The recruitment industry has found a new term and it puts the boot firmly on the other foot, candidates who formerly were ripe for an approach by the old-fashioned head-hunter are now called “Passive job-seekers” and they are, quite literally, everywhere in the employment market.

Seven out of ten jobseekers are now classified as ‘passive’ and are, quite simply, waiting for recruiters to approach them rather than responding to job advertisements (Chesworth, N., ESJobs, June 2018) and, before May 2018, this was a simple course of action to take. There was no end of unsolicited e-mail from various agencies bringing news of jobs in your industry and location, all imploring you to send your CV and promising the chance to enhance your prospects and salary package. However, GDPR gave us a welcome opportunity to cleanse our inboxes of nuisance daily or weekly e-mails, the reason for which we signed up long forgotten, if we signed up at all. The trouble is, it is likely these included a number of communications from recruiters who, legitimately or otherwise, were regularly contacting you with suitable and improved job roles.

According to our respected colleagues at Robert Half, 1 in 20 roles is still not filled after 6 months so, even one of our largest recruiters is finding that lack of candidates is a major issue.

After an exhaustive search of the traditional pool of available candidates - those who read the ‘vacancies’ pages or register their CV on one of the many job boards -  companies generally turn to specialist recruitment agencies, especially where job roles require a specialist skill-set or industry experience. These agencies do not, necessarily, simply repeat the process of advertising and on-line CV searching (although they usually have access to vastly more of these resources than most employers) but they use their current database of candidates to promote the opportunity direct to the inboxes of the many ‘passive candidates’ that are probably not considering a career move just yet. It’s head-hunting, but not as we know it.

The trouble is that, since GDPR day, recruitment agencies must ensure that a candidate’s personal data has been obtained with reasonable evidence that he or she was expecting to be contacted. Although Anne Jagger Recruitment has never actually ‘spammed’ it’s database, we (and all other similar organisations) need some pretty good justification for sending regular job-seeking information.

Those who have consented to be kept in touch will often hear about vacancies before They are even advertised. Speed is often the key in this competitive marketplace and registered candidates will always be approached first if there is a suitable role.

If you have recently decided that those regular recruitment e-mails (from Anne Jagger or anyone else) are irrelevant and that you are actually far better off glancing at the job ads or job sites, from time to time, you may wish to reconsider. Most of our clients do not advertise for direct applicants and rely upon us to source candidates. Consequently, if you match a job specification for which we have been tasked to recruit, you are already one foot in the door for an interview with the hiring manager.

If you are one of the 70% of candidates who consider themselves a ‘passive job-seeker’ you may wish to widen your circle of opportunity by staying in touch with the Anne Jagger Team. We promise not to give you repetitive strain injury deleting our e-mails every day, we sometimes will provide you with some really useful tips and information and, who knows, one day you might find your next career move with our help.  

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