Senior legal professionals are jeopardising their future career prospects due to a widespread lack of awareness surrounding new data privacy legislation. That’s according to new global research which reveals that if professionals fail to facilitate their data being stored by search firms, they stand to miss out on crucial career moves and the typical associated salary uplifts when the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force in May 2018.
Legal professionals in danger of missing out on crucial career moves
The survey of over 350 global search firms: Unintended Consequences – Why GDPR could move executive careers into the slow lane around the globe was undertaken by GatedTalent, a GDPR compliance enabler for the search sector. It revealed that senior executives typically hear from a search firm at least once a year, while 32% of respondents expect this to happen three to five times a year. For this to happen, search firms need to store information on executives – and the new GDPR regulation means that to comply with this many agencies will need to significantly alter their current practice.
As Dr Bernd Prasuhn of search firm Ward Howell who was interviewed as part of the research says: “If executives want to make it to C-suite level then they have to be on the radar of executive firms, otherwise it just won’t happen”.
Widespread lack of awareness surrounding GDPR
Despite this, few search firms that took part in the survey believe that professionals 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 typically 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”.
Commenting on the research, Jason Starr, CEO of GatedTalent says: “Our research clearly demonstrates that engagement with search firms plays a key role in the progression of talented and ambitious individuals. However, few executives seem to realise the effect GDPR may have on their career and salary prospects and that its effects will be felt, not just within, but also outside the boundaries of the European Union – any executive whose information is stored in Europe is covered by these rules, be they European or not.”
“That said, a proactive executive will find that GDPR also poses ample opportunities for executives to forge closer relationships with a select number of search firms and offers the chance to update them with their latest information on current role, seniority and aspirations through platforms such as GatedTalent – the global database of ‘gated talent’, which can only be a good thing if they want to develop their career as effectively as possible.”