Regular readers of our blog will be all too familiar with the threat that GDPR poses to your career if you fail to facilitate your data being stored by search firms post May 2018. But for those who are new to the blog, here are the ‘need to know’ facts based on research we recently carried out with over 350 global executive search firms:

  • The effects of GDPR will not be limited to the boundaries of the European Union, but could affect your relationship with search firms around the world.
  • GDPR will almost certainly make it more difficult for search firms to interact with you and consider you for career moves
  • Giving consent to a search firm to hold your data in the past will not necessarily allow the firm to use it in the future
  • Consequently unless you take action to give consent you may disappear off a search firm’s radar with potentially damaging consequences for your career
  • Giving consent is also an opportunity to update the firms you trust with your latest information. There’s no point simply allowing search firms to hold information about you from several years ago -firms are better able to consider you if they know your current role and your current aspirations.


So whatever your view of the executive search sector, one thing is for sure, it can play a key role in the progression of your career. Consequently, in a post GDPR world it is perhaps more important than ever to forge close relationships with a select few companies to ensure that they can highlight appropriate career opportunities. And as David Pierce Hallahan of Team Capital puts it, this could be very positive indeed for professionals and search firms alike: “GDPR could end up delivering a closer, tighter relationship, based on quality and best practice and lead to executives thinking of us a long-term partner in the same roster and their accountant, lawyer or financial adviser”. But this will only work if you take action to engage when contacted because what you have done or not done about your data in the past may simply no longer apply. As another one of our interviewees said, “Executives will almost need to re-register in databases to ensure they remain on the radar. Otherwise they might well disappear.”

The good news, however, is that search firms are increasingly seeking out data implementation platforms which allow them to manage their data in a complaint manner.  And for executives this offers plentiful opportunities to share information via a private network – such as GatedTalent - with trusted recruitment partners and no one else.  And while May 2018 and the arrival of GDPR may seem a long way off, the steps you take now to update recruiters with your career aspirations, salary expectations and current skill sets and experiences will ensure you don’t fall off their radar in a post GDPR world.

Read the full research report here. To ensure you stay on the radar of executive search firms, register on GatedTalent, the global database of ‘gated talent’, here.