How are you being represented?

There is an unfortunate issue in recruitment I would like to address. Unfortunately some candidates personal data, is being used without their knowledge.

We occasionally find that candidate CV’s have been sent to perspective employers without their knowledge. In most cases this information is not well received by candidates or employers. However there are a few that are willing to accept it. If poor practice continues to happen without reprimand, it will continue.

As an employer, you need to ensure your business is being represented in the best way possible and it should be imperative you know the candidate’s CV’s you  receive have been thoroughly qualified and the recruiter has been given written consent by the candidate to approach the client. This will stop any candidate ownership issues, which cause embarrassment. By accepting uninformed candidates without their permission, you will create a race to the bottom. Quality and best practice will no longer be a factor, just who can get that CV into your inbox first.


As a candidate you need to know what will happen to your personal data once you hand this over. You do this every time you sign up to a new website by ticking a small box. You should do the same when you speak to a recruiter.  Job boards seem to be where the most unregulated and hard to trace actions happen.  I think Job Boards should be avoided all together, posting your CV on a website that anyone can access to via a small pay wall will almost ensure that you lose control of your personal information. I have spoken to candidates that have been previously misrepresented in this way and how they then struggled to find a new employer.

Searching for a new role or an additional employee can be difficult and time consuming. You may want to engage with a recruiter to support you. Make sure you set the expected service levels early on, and be selective.

As an employer you should agree with your recruiter at the start of the process that all the candidates must be briefed and have given their permission to be sent to the role. They should have read a job spec, considered the commute and researched the brand as a minimum. Don’t reward recruiters that will devalue the business. Partner with trusted recruiters that understand your operation and will help you grow.

As a candidate the first interaction you have with a recruiter should be to speak to them, but do not send you CV in the first instance. Remember the recruiter works for you, they represent you when seeking a new role, you need to understand how they operate, their track record and their client base.  Establish how your CV will be treated once in their hands, will they always seek you permission to send from you? Ensure they will be willing to tell you the names of the business you are applying; there is no reason why this should be withheld from you. Once these terms have been established you will be in safe hands.

As a collective we should all demand higher quality representation.

Stuart Jackson, Associate Director at Macdonald & Company

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