Executive Search firms are – likely many businesses – currently finding old ways of working swept away by new data protection laws. Top of mind for most in the industry is the new European General Data Protection Regulations (the GDPR) which is fundamentally changing how recruiters are able to engage with executives – not just in Europe, but globally.

Traditionally, Executive Search firms have built databases with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of executives in. These executives have typically not submitted CVs/résumés – they’ve been spotted from afar, perhaps longlisted on a search, perhaps included in a market map. In many cases, the executive is not contacted and in most cases, will not know that his or her information is recorded.

After May 25th, that’s no longer acceptable. Fundamental to the new regulations is the concept of “transparency” – an individual has the right to know who has their data and what is done with it. No more secrets.

As a result, Search firms are having to clean up databases and make contact with everyone whose information they continue to store. In some cases, they will send a privacy note; in others, “Consent” is requested. If the Consent is not given, the Search firm is legally obliged to delete all information about the individual – something that is typically not in the best interest of either party!

At GatedTalent, we are managing this process for more than 180 leading Executive Search firms. Our clients have already used our platform to send compliance messages to executives in more than 75 countries and this increases by the day. If you receive such a note, it’s important you consider it and act on it – failure to do so might damage your career!

If you believe you may have missed a message – or wish to proactively put yourself on the radar – there’s an alternative approach you can take. Creating a profile at https://members.gatedtalent.com/signup is entirely free to the executive and – once you’ve proven your email address – will allow you to see any outstanding requests from our clients. In addition, you’ll have the option to create a profile which will make it easier for other executive search firms to find and connect with you.

You’ll probably receive a dozen GDPR related notices today. Please keep in mind that some are more important than others!