Taylor Sterling's managing partner on privacy in region's recruitment

EXCLUSIVE: Marcus Taylor talks about irresponsibility and “shocking malpractice” in recruitment in the region

Taylor Sterling's Marcus Taylor says skills gap is going to remain in design and project management. [representational]
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Taylor Sterling's Marcus Taylor says skills gap is going to remain in design and project management. [representational]

More than 200,000 curriculum vitae (CVs) have been leaked at US-based jobs board Authentic Jobs and UK-based retail and restaurant jobs app Sonic Jobs, where job applicants names, addresses, phone numbers, and career histories were exposed, according to a recent Sky News report, which has raised concerns about the security of job applicants’ information.

Construction Week spoke to managing partner at construction and engineering recruitment firm Taylor Sterling, Marcus Scott Taylor, about the safety of data that recruiters gather, which include details about current and past employers; applicants’ motivations to leave roles and seek new opportunities; as well as financial and personal information.

Commenting on the secure storage of sensitive information, Taylor said: “This type of personal data is generally stored on secure servers, enabling employees of the recruitment firm to access it without it being published to a public domain.”

Taylor added: “Having your CV saved somewhere isn’t a problem; the risk is that once it is out there, you have no control on who can get their hands on it."

"The fact that there are zero regulations in the recruitment industry means your CV can be, and often is, sent everywhere and to anyone. Combine that with ‘loose lips’, the result could be a very uncomfortable conversation with your current boss.”

Indeed, the way data is used can be more than uncomfortable. Taylor said that some recruiters send a candidate’s resume to the company where they are currently employed, without consent, and even take references on potential hires from a candidate’s current manager.

Speaking on the ethics of using candidates’ data in the Middle East, Taylor said: “Privacy and ethics are all too often overlooked, especially in this region. Over the last 15 years, I’ve witnessed shocking malpractice with no regard for the ramifications of the irresponsible actions of recruitment professionals.”

In an attempt to address this issue in the Middle East, recruitment firm Taylor Sterling is in talks with members of its advisory board to introduce the ‘License to Recruit’ course, which has already been implemented in top-tier companies around the world, and aims to address confidentiality surrounding a candidate’s application.

Commenting on changes required in the recruitment industry, Taylor said: “The industry is overdue a new solution and, from what we have heard, with the advances in data processing and AI abilities, there is a game changer on the way – one that will help this region deal with the much talked-about big projects on the horizon, bringing increased control to the candidate and employer equally.”

Sharing his thoughts on the construction and engineering sector, Taylor said that the skills gap is going to remain in design and project management for the foreseeable future, with the contractor market continuing its race to the lowest bidder.

Taylor added: “Top-tier talent is switching to client-side to maintain the quality of build. With any luck, those who are investing in new technologies will be in a position to provide quality work using top talent at a competitive price with a reasonable margin."

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