12 January 2018

How Will ePrivacy Affect Recruitment?

Everyone’s talking about the GDPR and how it will affect recruitment but have you heard of the new ePrivacy law? It will have a huge impact on B2B companies and as with any other regulation, you must ensure that your business complies with it.

What is the ePrivacy Regulation?

The European Commission (EC) published a proposal earlier this year for a new ePrivacy law to replace the ePrivacy Directive (2002) which gave us the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). The reasoning behind this is to implement a new regulation in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will be coming into effect in May 2018. It should also improve the Directive which currently permits different laws in different countries. The ePR could be coming into effect as soon as May 2018 to enforce the news laws and legislations at the same time as GDPR.

In a statement by the Vice-President of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip said “The Commission is proposing new rules on privacy and protection of electronic communications data for people and business. Our proposal builds on the gold standards of the General Data Protection Regulation agreed last year.”

At the moment there is little clarity to what the ePR will state but a leaked copy which was released in December 2017 gives us an indication of what to expect from the new law. Similarly to the GDPR, marketing via electronic channels could require opt-in consent which means before emailing your database with a newsletter, you would need to obtain consent from your contacts to do so. You should also ensure that any subscriber can easily unsubscribe or opt-out from receiving electronic marketing.

There are also other rules featured in the proposal which include the extension of ePR rules to other electronic communications service providers such as Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger to ensure the same level of confidentiality as traditional telecoms operators.

Inevitably, all the rules and regulations will have a severe impact on B2B marketers and the marketing industry as a whole, despite nothing yet being set in stone.

How will this affect recruitment and what can you do?

Recruitment won’t be hit as hard with the effects of the ePrivacy Regulation as it did with GDPR however as expected, there will still be things to watch out for. One of the benefits of the ePR is that both B2B and B2C organisations will have the same privacy rules.

The ePR will prevent recruitment agencies from mass mailing to promote their services to potential clients. For example, cold emailing companies to ask them if they have any jobs available will not be allowed if you do not have every contact’s consent to email them. This will have an effect on the onboarding of new clients through the use of mass mailing or email marketing as unless you have permission to email a prospective company, then you won’t be able to email them.

You should try to incorporate the new ePR requirements into your business strategy to avoid facing any penalties or fines which could be as harsh as the GDPR’s. It may not have as much of an impact as the GDPR did on the recruitment industry but as agencies work alongside other businesses as well as candidates, it’s well worth being aware of the new legislation.

As for the GDPR, your business should already be prepared. However, if you’re still learning about it and require anymore information then our whitepaper may be of use to you to explain what the GDPR actually is, how it will affect recruitment and what you can do about it.

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