July 1, 2023

GDPR in recruitment. GDPR compliance guide for recruiting


What is the most valuable resource in our time? Of course, there is no doubt that it is information. As they say, whoever owns information owns the world. No wonder so much effort goes into data protection. Reliably protected data is the guarantor of a company's successful functioning and its employees' safe work.


In connection with the above, it is worth paying attention to the issue of protecting enterprises and individuals’ information. Moreover, I offer to look at the GDPR in more detail.


Speaking of recruiting activities, today, the GDPR affects recruitment quite strongly. I would rather consider the GDPR in recruitment and evaluate the importance of the GDPR for recruiters.

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR is the abbreviation for the General Data Protection Regulation. This Regulation was put into effect in 2018 and replaced the previous methods of General data protection and processing. This general Regulation was mutually agreed upon by European countries and was intended to modernize and harmonize the data confidentiality principles that existed before. As I have already mentioned, especially noticeable changes were made in recruiting.


The GDPR is a basis for various European laws, implemented to replace the previous legislation called the Data Protection Directive, dating back to 1995. The European Council and the European Parliament have adopted the new General Data Protection Regulation.

Who is covered by the new General Regulation?

The basis on which the GDPR was created was access to personal data. Personal data is any information about a person that allows us to identify them, directly or indirectly. An example of such information can be a person’s name, location, an online nickname of a user in social networks, or an IP address identifier. In addition, special categories of personal data have appeared in the new Regulation, including an individual’s ethnic or racial affiliation, political views, religion, and even trade union membership.


Personal data is any data that can be used to identify a person. Under the GDPR, anyone who is a controller or processor of such information is subject to the law. Controllers can exercise data protection rights and have the final say on the means and purposes of personal data processing. Organizations operating under the instructions of a specified owner act as processors.


Furthermore, while the GDPR is introduced and enforced in the European Union, it may also be applied to third countries. It may happen if a European company works with a company from such a country, like the USA.

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The impact of the GDPR on recruiting

The GDPR impacts businesses in various ways, but one area where its impact is particularly noticeable is recruitment. This is due to how it affects how recruiting agencies collect, store and use personal data. Companies use this information when processing job applications and searching for candidates. These processes involve utilizing different search engines, specific platforms, and recruitment tools, viewing resumes, email addresses, and so on.

The brief compliance guide for recruiters

Several strategies protect your recruiting company from violations of the GDPR requirements. My brief GDPR compliance guide includes the following points:


  • Keep your company database proper.

To comply with the GDPR requirements, ensure you have received all the data about candidates you store in your database only during the recruitment process. If this or that candidate does not suit you, and you do not plan to use them for another position, then delete this candidate’s data from your company’s database.


If you consider one or another candidate to be promising, but you do not have their consent to store their data, then send them a request for permission to keep it.


  • Request re-permission to use personal information.

When a candidate is dealt with in the recruitment process, companies ask them for permission to process their personal information. But companies usually keep the candidate’s data in their system so that they can contact the candidate in the future for more details or another role.


Protect yourself in advance by getting the candidate’s permission to store their personal information for further use.


  • Use the services of an outsourcing company to verify the candidates’ data.

Address a reliable outsourcing company to verify your candidate’s data. This way will allow you to receive their report about the candidate with the information provided under the demands of the GDPR, and you will not worry about violating the GDPR.


  • Hire an employee to monitor compliance with the GDPR requirements.

Suppose your company is in charge of the regular use of personal data of individuals and legal entities as part of its core business. In that case, you should hire an employee to constantly monitor this process to avoid non-compliance with the GDPR demands at some stage of your business.


  • Notify your employees how their data is used.

Notify your company’s employees about how their data is used, and obtain permission to use it. Plus, according to the GDPR rules, employees have the right to receive, correct and demand the deletion of their personal information.

Some final words

The introduction of the GDPR has complicated the work of recruiting agencies. But on the other hand, if you follow the simple rules of compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation’s practices, like those given in the article, it will not be too hard to operate successfully in any business area, including recruiting.