This new regulation could cost you your next job

New data privacy laws could move executive careers into the slow lane around the globe.

Many senior executives could potentially see their future career prospects diminish, due to a widespread lack of awareness that new European data privacy laws could affect them wherever they are in the world, even here in Asia.

That's according to latest global research, which reveals that if professionals fail to facilitate their data being stored by search firms that store data in Europe, and therefore engage with them about future roles, they stand to miss out on crucial career moves and significant salary uplifts when the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force in May 2018.

The survey of over 350 global search firms: Unintended ConsequencesWhy GDPR could move executive careers into the slow lane, undertaken by GatedTalent, reveals that because the GDPR – which is designed to give individuals a much greater degree of control over information that organisations collect and store – has been produced by the European Union, many simply haven't heard of them or mistakenly believe that they won't impact them.

However, because the legislation applies to any company that stores data in Europe, regardless of where that business may be located around the globe, senior executives risk simply falling off the radar of headhunters with almost certain negative consequences for their careers. 

The study revealed that senior executives typically hear from a search firm a least once a year, while 32% of respondents expect this to happen three to five times a year.

In addition, 69% of those surveyed estimated that an individual moved by a search firm receives a pay uplift of between 11% and 30%, demonstrating the opportunities and benefits professionals could miss out on if they fail to engage with search firms post-May 2018.  

Despite this, few search firms that took part in the survey believe that professionals from outside of the EU are conscious of just how much GDPR will impact their career progression. 

Jens Friedrich of search firm SpenglerFox, who was interviewed as part of the research, isn't convinced that executives, who may be relying on an executive search firm to alert them to their next role, are fully aware of how GDPR may affect their career options, particularly as an executive will probably change jobs every 3-4 years.

"I think a lot will depend on personal circumstances -whether they are already working in an industry which will be heavily affected, for example, or whether they have themselves been updated by an executive search firm. It will obviously vary from country to country but my feeling is that awareness among executives will be minimal,” says Friedrich.

This is a sentiment mirrored by Andrew Jones, a marketing director interviewed by GatedTalent as part of the research. 

"I rely heavily on the knowledge and expertise of search firms to alert me to my next career opportunity. As a marketing professional GDPR has certainly been on my radar for some time, however I suspect I am in the minority,” he says.

“Those who work in disciplines that aren't heavily affected, or reside outside of the EU, and therefore aren't aware of GDPR, may risk not being alerted to new opportunities unless they take active steps to consent to their data being stored by any search firm who stores data within the European Union.”

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