06/04/2010

By Janet Gunner, Managing Director, InvisiView Media

[atag407] With identity theft on the rise and legislation constantly being renewed and enforced to ensure recruitment agencies protect the personal information of candidates, consultants must ensure that the methods they use for sending sensitive information are both appropriate for the cause and robust enough to protect the data. The distribution process is especially crucial for recruitment agents and head hunters when managing high level positions.

High calibre candidates, by nature will expect their information to be treated in a confidential manner to avoid their personal details getting into the wrong hands. It may be that they have been headhunted from a previous organisation, in which case it wouldn’t be ethical to leak the candidates details all over the internet for their current employer to see, or risk them falling into the hands of another recruiter who is likely to compete for the business, or even begin annoying the candidate which could be damaging for any brand. It is also in the agent’s interest to protect its intellectual property and ensure it keeps their candidates happy.

Popular methods of sending information include email, recorded delivery or fax; however all of these methods leave the information open to being hacked into and the data stolen. The only way you can rest safe in the knowledge that your information has reached the desired recipient and has not been intercepted along the way, is by using a secure web-based service that will allow you to upload the content and provide you with a unique access facility to send to the desired recipient. If you are still concerned about someone else accessing the information, using a system that allows you to set time restraints on the data will give the added reassurance that only the intended recipient will be able to view it. Once it has been viewed in the time allocated, any access should be blocked.

Sending information via a secure web-based service is also suited to agents recruiting candidates from abroad. Unlike mainstream recruiters, the quality of the candidate is far more important than the quantity. If a client wants to recruit a high level position overseas, this means agencies need to widen the criteria significantly. Clients will often need to shortlist candidates before flying them over for a face to face interview and often this will mean testing their language skills and getting a feel of the personality of the candidate and checking that they are up to the job before wasting time and money flying them over. It is up to the recruitment agent to provide as much information about a candidate as possible to make this process easier.

Sending a traditional CV, in this case, may not be sufficient, nor may it do the candidate justice. In order to see how well the candidate speaks the chosen language; it may be a good idea for the agent to film an interview with them so that they are not prepared for the questions and it will demonstrate their full use of the language as well as incorporate that all important “human” element of the interview process. This will also help with personality testing and giving the client a feel for the kind of person being interviewed. Using a web-based service to upload not only CVs but also video and audio content will provide the client with more information to make their selection.

It is also important to protect the image of the recruitment agent and sending inappropriate candidates from overseas to meet clients will only deter the client from working with them again. Another important issue is reducing unnecessary flights to save money and lower the impact on the environment. This involves the client doing most of the short-listing process without the candidate having to leave the country.

For the recruitment consultant or head hunter, the main challenge is to provide all of the necessary information to improve the selection process, whilst at the same time ensuring that they protect their own intellectual property and the candidate’s personal details. There are low cost options available for sending not only written information, but also audio and video content via an online service. The consultant should be able to upload all of the necessary content and send directly to the desired recipient via an access code or something similar, putting the consultant in control of the data.

It also prevents the client printing out the information and risking it being lost or stolen. The client simply views the information in the designated time frame, protecting the candidate’s details within it, not to mention the reputation of the agency business.

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