Technology and easy access to information is making society more open to sharing personal details. Today, work histories are shared on Linkedin, social lives on Facebook and wish-lists on shopping sites. Some apps resident on smart phones ask for access to all contacts and calendar events, and individuals give consent without much notice. In the wrong hands, such personal information can be misused to create havoc in people’s lives.

Over the past 15 years the recruitment sector has developed in a positive way - creating specialists that can make sharp recruitment decisions based on sound research, knowledge and solid market expertise. A recruitment specialist within our setup would conduct more than 500 structured interviews a year and undergo significant personal and professional development.

An area of increasing concern is how lax candidates are with their personal data, ultimately exerting no control over where it ends up.

See also: Jobs in Malta

For a start, candidates who submit their information to recruitment agencies have rights enshrined in Maltese Law. For instance, recruitment agencies cannot ask for pictures. Regretfully the registration process of some agencies includes requests to upload pictures, date of birth, gender, nationality and other such information which should not be relevant to the recruitment process.

Having completed the registration process, candidates should clearly establish with their recruitment agency of choice, what happens with their data and where that information ultimately ends up. Increasingly, some agencies send CVs or candidate profiles to clients without the specific consent of the candidate. Even with blanked out profiles it is easy to determine who is who with limited information. Such practices should send shivers down any prospective job applicants’ spine.

Candidate information freely roaming with the clients of an agency could have some profound implications on a person’s career. A CV sent by an agency to a client without the consent indicates specific intent by the candidate. This could potentially expose career move intentions to their employers without candidates knowing. What if the company receiving the CV was part of the same group of companies of your employer? Or an employee/ shareholder were a close relative of your employer?

We strongly believe that all candidates should have a clear overview of the position so as to enable them to assess the risks attached to the role and the client company. Without doubt no employee wants to be quizzed on any possible intentions to leave the company by a current employer. Apart from the immediate consequences, candidates need to be more concerned about long-term outcomes. There have been cases where candidates have been passed over for promotion because they were perceived as less loyal than others, or were given lower bonuses for the same reason.

I strongly believe that for any role, at any level of responsibility, the candidates should be aware of how their information is processed. Career moves shape people’s lives and those of their close family, making the potential impact of lax privacy exceptionally significant.


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