Insights

Executive Search and Data Protection: Important Considerations

Posted by Reed Flesher

Because of the high-profile nature of executive search, data security is a major concern about which many prospective candidates want assurances. In many cases, executive candidates are high profile individuals that may be employed at another company and who need the utmost privacy as they consider changing positions. If sensitive data is breached, the media could report their candidacy and jeopardize their current position, as well as possibly the financial position of the company if instability is perceived.

The Need for Data Security in Executive Search

The stakes are high when it comes to data security. While there are no explicit guidelines for U.S. executive searches, the EU has recently adopted a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protocol that enforces data security in job searches and requires disclosure of any data breaches within 72 hours. The nature of today’s executive search means that a growing number of companies may be impacted by GDPR if they recruit candidates from Europe or have European operations.

Before an executive candidate agrees to share any information about themselves or their job history, they may have a number of questions about the security of their data, including the following:

  • How do you plan to use the data you collect from me?
  • What protections do you have in place to prevent data from being shared outside the recruiting team?
  • Where and how will the data be stored (and will encryption to be used)?
  • What standard or code do you practice in regard to data security?

The way you answer these questions could factor into a prospective candidate’s willingness to share information about themselves and to be considered for an executive position for your company. If a high-profile executive candidate doesn’t trust your ability to keep their data secure, they will be highly unlikely to consider taking a job from you as an executive. In other words, the importance of having a strong data security plan for your recruiting activities cannot be overstated.

Achieving Data Security

The first step to achieving data security involves making sure the computer systems and software that will house candidates’ information are secure. There are many ways to do this, but proprietary software tools like Thrive TRM are a good option because they are self-contained and encrypted to keep data from being shared outside the system unless someone on your hiring team does so intentionally.

Thrive TRM’s privacy policy explicitly states that each company that uses it has control over how data is shared and used, and can give peace of mind to candidates that their data will not be used in ways they consider risky. Only those involved in the recruiting and hiring process will have access to the (encrypted) data, and it will not be put on the company’s wider systems where it may be less secure.

Thrive TRM can be one aspect of your executive search that puts candidates’ minds at ease by ensuring the best possible data security throughout the executive recruiting process.  Schedule a demo to find out what Thrive TRM can offer your company.

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