Thoughts on the GDPR and AI

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Martin Snyder, Main Sequence Technology. Founded in 1998, Main Sequence Technology creates talent acquisition technology solutions wherever and however organizations are built. PCRecruiter is the solution of choice for thousands of third party recruitment, corporate, and outsourced staffing teams across economic models and around the world. PCRecruiter provides comprehensive CRM and ATS functionality converged into database, voice, and email interfaces to empower recruiters to do what they do best with accessible, cost effective technology. Main Sequence is proud to serve the NPA organization and our many individual NPA affiliated customers. To learn more, please visit www.pcrecruiter.net.

Greetings to the NPAworldwide community in this unsettled autumn of 2017. It’s a pleasing task to create some content for NPAworldwide; I hope you find it modestly informative and entertaining.

To the PCRecruiter sub-community: a simple thanks and a simple report from Cleveland; we are energized and productive despite the mystifying collapse of our baseball team and the un-mystifying second place finish in NBA basketball. We don’t talk about football, much.

We do talk about the two most apparent looming changes appearing on the horizon of HR tech: the changing data regulations/climate in Europe, and the apparent depth of the hype-cycle around Artificial Intelligence.

The legal name of a new EU law scheduled for full-effect in May, 2018 is EU Directive 016/679, headed “General Data Protection Regulation.” In HR tech, everyone calls it GDPR.

GDPR is a vast assembly of principles related to every aspect of handling information electronically. As such, it’s also essentially a political document, because value judgements, pie slicing, and plain ambiguity permeate all parts of the process, from the drafting of the rule, to the markups; the ratification process, the pre-enforcement wrangling, and finally the evolution of the actual enforcement facts-on-the-ground.

The rule also developed in light of the previous rule and the political process that unfolded over the previous decade. Unfortunately, the international political environment has not been positive for virtually all of that time.

It’s not controversial to observe that the EU was very agitated by the behavior of both the Bush and Obama administrations when it came to government access of personal data. It’s also hardly controversial to say that the current US administration is not steeped in internationalism.

Internationalism is exactly the domain, because the sticking points are subjecting firms with varying interests, assets, and exposures to sovereigns all around the world to working, compelling dispute and behavior enforcement mechanisms.

So far, these have taken the form of quasi-treaties. One that was heavily relied upon was called “Safe Harbor.” Safe Harbor was built around a memo of understanding between vendors and US government agencies that the vendors would reasonably respond to EU data protection authority demands. Eventually, the EU judiciary did not find that strong enough, and in ruling C-362/14, determined that Safe Harbor would no longer suffice for compliance with EU Data Authority rules.

This decision created immediate disruption and uncertainty for hundreds of cloud vendors and thousands of customers. In response to that pressure, the EU executive body (EU Commission) issued COM 566 (November 2015), stating that Data Exporters who had executed contracts with Data Importers containing unmodified EU provided standard Model Contract Clauses (and appropriate appendices, would be compliant until further notice). These contract terms are explicit and comprehensive, although serious enforcement remains situational.

Along with the new rule, a successor to Safe Harbor was created. More expensive; different words, more mouths-to-feed, but the same concept. It’s called Privacy Shield. I’m not convinced that the program will last beyond its first encounter with the EU Judiciary. If history is a guide, the model contract terms may be the once and future fallback.

The entire upshot of the enforcement appears to be the question of where the data must be hosted. If it must be hosted in the EU, it will be a huge boon to Microsoft and Amazon. The economics won’t allow for much protectionism in cloud provisioning. The EU will have mixed feelings about that, and may prefer in the end to not take that step. PCRecruiter is prepared either way; we have always offered self-hosted versions which makes third-party hosting much more practical.

It was difficult to tell the story of the GDPR effectively in fewer than 500 words, which means only a few thoughts about AI, for what they may be worth. The first is that, for now, it’s something in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has their own definition, and there are no standard definitions beyond suggesting enhancement or simulation of human cognition.

My personal definition is “stacked algorithms,” which suggests a sequence of conditional algorithms glued together with some insight or learning/teaching mechanism. The second is that it will probably not unfold as people expect, and when it does, it will underwhelm at first and mature to a life-changing force. In our business, I see it applying in a portfolio of ways, likely with the most important being a much more abstract relationship between users and applications.

We are all going to have electronic middlemen everywhere–all of different capacities and uses. Can you wait for it?

I’m pretty stoked by the whole thing, but then again, I have a non-trivial opportunity to gain greatly from it. I think recruiters will too, because while the auspices may change, the biological reality of switching tribes means quality person-to-person communication, and AI will not probably be there before I am well on my way to whatever is next.

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How I Increased Revenue 30% Without Raising My Rates

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Rob Proudfoot with Apex Global Recruiting Ltd. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Apex Global Recruiting provides recruitment solutions primarily in the area of sales and sales management. Rob is currently serving as a member of the NPAworldwide board of directors, with responsibility for Canada.

A few years ago I was sitting at my desk here in Vancouver thinking about how to increase revenue in my small recruitment firm. I was contemplating increasing fees, increasing placements, perhaps exploring adding contractors to the mix, etc. This is likely something every recruitment firm owner has grappled with at some point.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. Our Canadian dollar was valued at $0.70 to the US dollar. It seemed very clear to me that there was an opportunity to expand my business purely by doing business elsewhere. I decided to go south shift my focus from Canada to the US, taking advantage of the stronger US dollar. The next thought I had was, “I don’t have any clients in the US. How am I going to do this?” While it was true I didn’t have US-based clients, I *did* have the benefit of belonging to a global split placement network (NPAworldwide). With a few phone calls to my trading partners, I began sourcing candidates for US-based jobs. Voila!

It has now been a couple of years and I have been enjoying a bonus based on the spread in the exchange rate. I have developed solid relationships with US recruitment partners, and I have now secured a couple of clients in the US as well. It has been a tremendous boost to my business, and working in US currency means I have been able to increase revenue by 30% without making any other changes.

When I first started my company in 2011, someone suggested that I think globally. Due to the structure of the recruiting industry, including some trusted partners and perhaps a formal split placement organization, small recruitment firms like mine can virtually do business anywhere in the world! I am grateful that I took the suggestion.

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Manpower Reports Positive Hiring Outlook for Q4

By Veronica Blatt

quarterly hiring outlookManpower has released its quarterly hiring outlook survey. Nearly 60,000 employers in 43 different countries were asked to answer, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2017 as compared to the current quarter?” In this iteration of the survey, hiring is expected to increase from current levels in 42 of the 43 countries. Switzerland is expecting to see flat hiring. This marks a momentous occasion: For the first time since Q2 2008 and the Great Recession, there are NO negative net employment outlooks in any of the surveyed countries. Read the rest of this entry »


Should Employers Make Counteroffers?

By Dave Nerz

So what happens if one of your top employees stuns you with a letter of resignation? Let’s assume he or she has not won the lottery but rather has what they see as a better opportunity lined up. This is a likely scenario as more than 50% of all employees are looking for work, either actively or passively. When you confirm the departure is for a better offer, bigger challenge, or maybe a reason based on your organization structure, culture, or management…the temptation is to begin a counteroffer discussion. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Things Moving Houses Can Teach Recruitment Leaders about Migrating Data

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Nijher of Bullhorn, the global market-leading ATS/CRM for recruitment companies. Kim specialises in small agencies and has helped hundreds of recruiters take the next step to drive efficiency and growth with their CRM. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.

Last weekend, I moved into a new apartment and neighborhood. I love moving. Every area of inner Sydney has its own character and charm, and before I’m done, I want to tick off the busy beaches and acai bowls of the east, the laid-back beaches and spaciousness of the north, and the coffee and boutique brews of the inner west. Read the rest of this entry »


The GDPR Effect

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Rick Maré with JXT. Rick is the founder and CEO of JXT, the number one provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for recruiters and corporate recruiters. Rick has coached thousands of recruiters, empowering them to take their businesses and careers to the next level. Connect with Rick on LinkedIn.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new standard affecting the ways organisations protect the personal data that they hold on individuals, will be implemented on 25 May 2018.

This law will affect nearly every business in and out of the European Union (EU). Even if you are an organisation based outside of the EU, the GDPR’s effect is far-reaching and will have an impact on your business. Read the rest of this entry »


Bored with Boards

By Veronica Blatt

Our guest blogger is Gregg Whitt with Professional Personnel Associates in Clemson, South Carolina. Gregg is a longtime member of NPAworldwide, currently serving on the board of directors. Professional Personnel Associates provides recruitment services in the technical, engineering, manufacturing, professional, and management fields across the United States. Read his thoughts on engaging passive candidates below.

I have been in the recruiting industry now for over 35 years, and have seen many changes. Job boards have been popular for candidate sourcing for a number of years, but recruiting passive candidates has never gone out of style. Now, just as then, passive candidates in many cases are already contemplating their next career move. Read the rest of this entry »


Compliance on a Global Scale

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Eric Snethkamp, global channels & strategic alliances manager for SafeGuard World International. For nearly a decade, organizations around the world have relied on SafeGuard World for their global HR needs, specifically around payroll and employee compliance. SafeGuard World is an Alliance Partner of NPAworldwide.

In international business, compliance can seem like a minefield. It is layered with complexities spanning employment and payroll practices where regulatory missteps can have serious implications. Consider the following scenarios that often unfold when companies set up shop in foreign countries: Read the rest of this entry »


Global Cost of Engineering Talent

By Dave Nerz

Recruitment of engineering talent is becoming increasingly more competitive. The global financial crisis and the dramatic impact on manufacturers is a memory for most at this point. The search and selection of the best engineering talent has become a race to be first to the best engineering candidates with a lucrative offer. As this demand for talent continues, more companies in need of engineering talent will begin to look globally, use independent recruiters vs in-house resources, and start looking at developing their own training and talent pipelines. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 10 Tips for Your Candidates Undergoing Recruitment Assessments

By Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Amanda Davies, managing director for ISV, a TEAM Service Provider. ISV supports recruiters (in-house and consultants) and HR professionals worldwide with their candidate testing and screening process. ISV, part of Dillistone, is best known for its online testing software, FastPath and the new ISV Online.

Candidate experience – it became a topic of the moment a few years ago and shows no sign of going away. In fact, it could easily form part of Recruiter Buzzword Bingo (along with its friends ‘big data’, ‘war for talent’ and ‘uberisation’). Candidate experience has earned its place, though. It makes perfect sense to think about your candidate’s journey. Read the rest of this entry »



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