This year we’ve welcomed two new members of staff to the Hireserve team! What’s it like recruiting in a small business like ours?

Successful recruiting relies on the attraction of the right candidates – for a small organisation this can be a challenge because of smaller budgets and a lower public profile, so you have to be inventive.

There are benefits to recruiting into a smaller team. We have the flexibility to apply the sourcing methods that work for us, are able to be agile in how we recruit by scaling our recruiting activities up or down dependent on business needs, and are able to be more inventive than large organisations in which there might be a set process or structure.

We also have a work environment and company culture that many people would love to work in, and once candidates come in to meet us they can soon see how we work, which makes it easier to convert the interview candidate into a colleague.

As Head of People, the advantage I see on a day to day basis is having visibility of all teams and a good understanding of what they do and what they need. When I am sourcing for a new team member I can hone in on the best candidates early on – as a result my shortlist usually fits the bill first time.

As you know, the GDPR is coming into effect in May 2018. There’s been a lot of scare-mongering in the media, but do you think this could be a positive opportunity for in-house recruitment teams? Why?

I like to think of GDPR as a beefed-up version of the old Data Protection Act. We’ve had Data Protection legislation since the 1980s, so there is no need to worry.

I believe the GDPR is a positive change. It’s making everyone that uses, stores and analyses personal data review their working practices – and this can only be a good thing.  It’s easy to get stuck in your old ways, and sometimes the advent of new rules makes us more efficient and relevant in what we do and how we do things.

How should these in-house recruitment teams start to prepare for the GDPR? Is there a particular first step that you’d recommend?  

At first, GDPR preparation may seem an insurmountable task. The best advice I can offer to anyone who’ll be contributing to their organisation’s GDPR preparation is ‘keep calm and carry on’! Just plan what you need to do and work through it, and communicate with those you need to rely on during your project early. This way, when you ask for their input/action later on, they’ll be more receptive to what you may be asking.

Other advice I’d give would be to:

  1. Read up on the GDPR requirements. A good place to start is the ICO website, or our very own GDPR Hub.
  2. Decide whether you’re a data processor or data controller – you’ll probably find you are both.
  3. If you’re a HR professional, you should also check out the CIPD website. There are many sources of data to help you there.
  4. You then need to put together a plan, decide on your priorities and identify who in your organisation needs to have input.
  5. If you’re using third party providers, start a conversation with them to see what they’re doing to work towards meeting GDPR requirements.

We’ve just been awarded an ISO27001 certification! What does this mean for Hireserve and our current and future customers?

Hireserve has always striven to work within and apply best practice when it comes to its management of information – whether it be client data, our own company information, or that of a third party.  The achievement of the ISO27001: 2013 certification provides us with the recognition that what we’ve been doing all along has been right!

The accreditation will also provide our customers and potential customers with the reassurance that Hireserve places great importance on how it manages its information security systems, and in turn how it looks after the safety and integrity of client data.

And finally, what do you predict will be the biggest challenges and opportunities for the in-house recruitment industry in 2018?

I believe the three main challenges that in-house recruiters will face in 2018 will be making sure they meet the GDPR requirements, knowing how the transition from the EU will impact their resourcing market, and being able to source appropriately skilled workers to their teams.

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.