Recruiting staff

Recruiting staff and data protection issues


The Data Protection Act covers information gathered during the recruitment and selection process - eg information in application forms or CVs. Staff involved in recruitment should handle any personal information gathered securely. Under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR), you must explain to job applicants what you do with their personal data. An applicant privacy notice should cover what you do with job applicants' personal data during an active recruitment process, and what you should do at the end of that process with the personal data of both unsuccessful applicants and successful applicants who do not accept the job they are offered.

See the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) guidance on the Data Protection Act 2018.

You should also make sure that any recruitment advertisements clearly identify your organisation or the employment agency you are using.

Application forms should not ask for irrelevant or unnecessary personal information, such as banking details. See advertising a job and interviewing candidates.

Using recruitment information

If you are going to use information gathered during recruitment processes for other purposes, such as marketing, you must explain this clearly to those involved. Information should not be shared with other organisations without the individual's consent.

Sensitive data recorded for equal opportunities purposes - for example, concerning disabilities, race or sexual orientation - must be used for that purpose only.

Finally, if you are going to check the information supplied by applicants, you should let them know why and how you plan to do so. For example, criminal record checks should always be done through AccessNI. See AccessNI criminal records checks.

Giving references

If someone asks you for information about a worker's record or for a reference for them, you should always check their identity and whether they are entitled to this information. You should only supply a confidential reference or information about a worker if you are absolutely sure that you have their explicit and unambiguous consent to do so.