Alison Owen
by Alison Owen

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Is the GDPR heralding a new mindset?

Most recruitment websites aren't thought of as an investment purchase that will deliver a return, but are considered a necessary business expense to provide an essential online presence. However a website can work much harder than simply being a vehicle to post jobs, collect candidate CVs and showcase your company brochure.

There’s a real opportunity for a total shift in mindset here. A website should be one of your most powerful brand building tools, the key way to automate your business processes and your marketing, and a point to collect and provide data analytics that help you understand your business results - and deliver improvements.

Setting KPIs that measure the business value of your website and allow clear benchmarking will reveal its worth rather than its cost.  


A significant point of risk could be your website

Given the vast amount of data every recruitment website handles, it represents a potential weak point in your business.

So we’d ask the question: do you consider your recruitment website to be an asset or a liability and has all the debate surrounding GDPR compliance changed your view?

Let’s consider both sides of the argument.


Why should your website be one of your biggest assets

Clearly if your website is generating a return on investment, i.e. generating fees and earning subscriptions, this gives you a tangible way to define the site as an asset. Your site should be far more than your shop window - it should work hard for your business.

To understand whether your website is an asset there are lots of questions to  consider:

  • Does the site enhance your brand reputation?

  • Can candidates find jobs easily because your site offers a strong user experience?

  • Can clients post opportunities easily, generating fees?

  • Is your brand messaging consistent across all points of contact? For example, if a sales consultant talks to a potential customer, does the website reflect the messaging and is it easy to find?

  • Can your website save time by automating processes for you, such as integration with CRM systems such as Bullhorn etc?

  • Is it secure and


  • Does your website offer the international reach you may need?

  • If you were to consider selling your business, does your website reflect and support your brand equity?

On the flip side, your website can become a liability, particularly in our increasingly litigious climate, which is only set to sharpen once the terms of the GDPR take effect.


When your website becomes a liability

  • The most obvious question to ask: does it cost more than it returns? If so you either need to look at your measurement metrics and rethink your KPIs, or challenge your provider.

  • That said, buyer beware. The cheapest solution is unlikely to be the best, or work out as the most cost-effective in the long term. For example, many sites that use open source platforms such as Wordpress are cheap but the risks - and therefore the potential financial penalties - of using an open source platform could be astronomical.

  • Will a data breach from your website result in a fine of 4% of your turnover, as set in the terms of the GDPR?

  • Can you insure your business and your website against a data breach? All recruitment agencies would be well advised to make sure that their suppliers provide professional indemnity insurance.

  • Do you or does your supplier carry cyber insurance?

  • Does the cost of updating and maintaining your website come high? If your content management system (CMS) isn’t easy to use, then you may not be able to make simple changes yourself.

  • Does it integrate with your social platforms for automated marketing campaigns?


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