6 compliance steps recruiters should consider in 2022
Recruitment life is busy, fast-paced and goal-oriented. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day target-chasing and relationship-building, and let important compliance matters slip. But a sloppy mistake or a missed checkpoint can cost your recruitment company time and money. In this blog, we take a look at six of the most important steps recruiters can take to ensure they are operating in line with all relevant regulations.
1. GDPR and data protection – are you up to date?
GDPR rules were introduced in 2018 and govern the way that businesses must treat private and personal data about individuals. Recruitment businesses deal with a lot of personal information: names, email addresses, telephone numbers, bank account details, passport scans and other sensitive info. Recruiters have a legal responsibility to make sure that this information is being collected and stored securely in line with the law. This also means not collecting any information that isn’t absolutely necessary, making sure consent is obtained for storing data, and safely destroying or deleting records after set periods of time. Your organisation should have a recruitment GDPR policy and a set of guidelines for all staff about how to manage personal data. It should be a part of your training process for new staff, and it’s also a good idea to offer occasional refresher sessions for your whole team to make sure things don’t slip.
2. Protecting your company from cyber attacks
Even when you’ve got your GDPR compliance sorted, the sensitive data your recruitment company holds could still be at risk, thanks to the threat of cyber attacks. The recruitment trade body APSCo estimates that a UK business is targeted by cyber criminals every 50 seconds. As a business relying on online systems and in possession of a rich amount of data, recruitment firms are high on the list of attractive victims. Making sure everyone in your organisation keeps a tight grip on online security is a good first line of defence against these attacks. This might include running anti-virus and anti-malware software, installing the latest updates for apps and operating systems as soon as possible, and being vigilant about phishing scams. Other measures you can take include backing-up data, investing in staff training and considering cyber liability insurance. There are more tips for dealing with the threat of cyber attacks in our blog: how to protect your recruitment company from cyber attacks.
3. Meeting contractual requirements of your clients
Just as important as complying with legislation, is making sure that you’re sticking to the legal agreements that you’ve made with specific companies and individuals. This can be trickier as contracts may vary from client to client – so you need to keep a watchful eye on any differences from your standard contract. There are, however, some things that all clients will be interested in – for example, making sure that your contractors are protected by professional indemnity and public liability insurance, and other legal safeguards like directors’ and officers’ insurance and employers’ liability insurance. Kingsbridge can help with our comprehensive insurance package for contractors – with everything your hires need to get covered.
4. Processes – are your processes up to date?
One thing that can really help with recruitment compliance is having set processes and protocols to follow for anything that’s subject to sensitive or rigid regulations. Contractor onboarding is a good example of this. With a clearly set-out process that can be followed, you can ensure that there aren’t any steps missed in getting contractors into placements, meaning you know that when they start their new assignments everything is legally in order. This includes any necessary right-to-work checks, IR35 status assessments and role requirements.
5. Are you up to date with any legal requirements?
Recruitment is a fast-paced environment subject to many different types of regulation. To make sure your recruitment processes remain compliant, you need to keep up with any legal changes that might affect you, your clients, or your contractors: employment law, GDPR, changes in tax regulation and immigration rules to name just a few. It’s a good idea to sign up to news alerts from a relevant publication or website. You can also make sure you follow trade bodies and professional organisations on social media, so you’ll see their updates and get plenty of notice as to any upcoming changes in the law.
6. IR35 – continuing compliance
The biggest legal change affecting recruiters last year was IR35. With a few postponements to the introduction of the rules thanks to COVID, recruitment companies had plenty of time to prepare and get their compliance in place before the new rules came into effect. However, it’s important not to let things slip as IR35 becomes business as usual. As the soft landing period for IR35 has now ended, HMRC are likely to take an increasing interest in how clients, contractors and recruitment firms are managing their IR35 processes and determining statuses. It’s also an opportunity for recruiters to use smart compliance processes to reassure potentially nervous clients that there is still plenty of scope to offer genuine outside IR35 opportunities to attract the most talented contractors.
From our protective IR35 insurance policies, which flex to cover whichever party HMRC deems liable in the event of an investigation, to our advanced hybrid Kingsbridge Status Tool, Kingsbridge are experts in the ins and outs of IR35. Find out more about how we can support your recruitment business with IR35 by getting in touch with our partnerships team or requesting a free demo of the Kingsbridge Status Tool.