How Sourcing and Candidate Outreach Changes with GDPR

Watch our on-demand GDPR webinar. Dive into GDPR basics for the recruiter and what they need to know. Click here to watch on-demand

When the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) goes into effect on May 25, 2018, a set of regulations designed to enforce the rights of individuals in Europe will come into play, relating to the processing of personal data. This includes a company’s recruiting and hiring programs. GDPR will affect all companies that deal with personal data — recruiters included. Even non-EU-based companies who process personal data of individuals in Europe may have to comply.

How GDPR Impacts Candidate Sourcing and Candidate Outreach?

How will the GDPR affect sourcing and candidate outreach? Sourcing becomes more of a relationship, a conversation, and an ongoing strategy instead of the ‘one and done’ that we are used to seeing in the often common reactive recruiting practices and moving towards proactive recruiting and engagement.

Recruiters will no longer be free to send emails to users who have not opted into their mailing list. Initially, recruiters and HR staff must be aware of who is currently in their database and whether those data subject benefit from GDPR rights. You might want to consider grouping candidates in the EU into a different category than candidates elsewhere (who are not impacted by the GDPR).

The GDPR state that you must email candidates “within a reasonable period after obtaining the personal data, but at the latest within one month” to notify them that you are processing their information, and to provide them with details about the processing. Article 14 of GDPR explains in detail the information that your company should provide to these individuals.

Legitimate Interest Clause Allows for Electronic Candidate Engagement and Outreach

However, the GDPR also recognizes “legitimate interest” of a company as a legal basis for processing data. If you can demonstrate legitimate business interest under the terms of the GDPR to process candidate information for a given purpose, you may not need an opt-in consent from your existing candidate databases in order to process their information for that purpose. Legitimate business interest may exist if you prove you have an ongoing relationship with the people on your database and they can be found to reasonably expect that you data processing for the given purpose may take place.

This is where the proactive recruiting and engagement practices come in. If we aren’t nurturing candidates that we are actively engaging and spending time to source then we are losing out on opportunities with GDPR forcing some companies to delete 90% of their candidate databases. How many candidates do you think would opt-in if you emailed your entire database and asked them to do so? More than 10 percent?

Consider implementing a higher-touch strategy when it comes to candidate outreach. The goal is to engage job seekers for the long term, provide value, and build trust. This could be in the form of candidate-focused content, personalization, or scheduling regular follow-up outreach emails. This also puts candidate experience front and center.

Consider Data Storage and Server Backups with GDPR

Additionally, you’ll want to think about legitimate business interest when collecting and storing candidate data. This means sourcing and contacting candidates for a specific reason, rather than just building your talent pipeline. It also means contacting candidates within one month of data collection (if you intend to store the data) and continuing the outreach on a regular basis.

Read more about our blog series on GDPR in the first post and third post in our GDPR series.

Watch our on-demand GDPR webinar. Dive into GDPR basics for the recruiter and what they need to know. Click here to watch on-demand

*DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for informative purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice regarding the GDPR or any other matter, and may not be used or relied on for such purposes. You should seek the advice of competent legal counsel with respect to any particular fact pattern or issue.