Wednesday, January 17, 2024


In the era of digital data and privacy concerns, protecting personal information is critical. One pressing issue emerging is GDPR breaches in recruitment, specifically the unauthorized submission of CVs without candidates' knowledge or consent. This is happening again and again, whether it be to cast an agencies net and see what they can draw in, or to block another agency from submitting the candidate before they have the chance to speak with said candidate and qualify them for the role. This has to stop. Any job seekers out there need to be aware of the breaches of GDPR and what this can mean for them.

Understanding GDPR and its Role in Recruitment

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted in 2018, safeguards the privacy and personal data of EU residents, including information on CVs. It mandates clear and unambiguous consent for data processing, emphasizing transparency and individual control.

The Breach: Unauthorized CV Submissions

A breach occurs when a recruitment agency submits a candidate's CV without their knowledge or consent. This not only violates GDPR but also raises ethical concerns about personal data handling.

Implications for Job Seekers

Unwanted submissions can create undesirable first impressions and lead to consideration for roles candidates never intended to apply for, potentially harming their professional image. It could also mean an agency you have actually been working with and who would represent you professionally are then unable to send your CV for the post and your application is blocked.

Legal Ramifications for Agencies

Agencies breaching GDPR may face severe penalties, including fines and reputational damage. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has the authority to investigate and penalize non-compliant organizations.

Protecting Yourself as a Candidate

Job seekers should enquire about agencies' data protection policies, express expectations about CV submissions and promptly address suspected breaches.

In conclusion, GDPR breaches underscore the need for robust measures to protect job seekers' personal data. Transparency and consent are crucial for maintaining trust in the recruitment industry. As candidates, understanding your rights and advocating for transparent data practices is vital.


Leanne Sangster

Associate Director