Public Services > Healthcare

Survey suggests two thirds of companies' CIOs are hiring staff to cope with GDPR

David Bicknell Published 31 August 2017

Analytics, regulatory knowledge and project management said to be skills in high demand - but employment effect on public sector organisations such as local councils and the NHS less clear


Research from a recruitment specialist has revealed that two-thirds (66%) of CIOs will hire additional, permanent employees to cope with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) next year.

The research from Robert Half suggests a further 64% of CIOs will hire temporary or interim staff to ensure they have the necessary talent in place to manage the change in data management and reporting.

What isn’t yet clear from the research is what the employment impact of GDPR will be on public sector organisations such as local councils, and particularly NHS trusts. It has been suggested that for NHS trusts, GDPR is just another issue added to the to-do list and getting it as a priority action for decision makers isn’t easy when there are already so many IT issues on the table. That, and the costs involved, are likely to mitigate against any such hiring increase within the NHS to cope with GDPR.

According to the survey, as organisations concentrate on compliance initiatives, demand for permanent project managers (33%), business analysts (26%) and data protection officers (26%) that oversee how data is processed, will increase.

They survey argues that businesses are now recognising that a combination of soft and technical skills is key for the long-term implementation of GDPR. Knowledge of analytics (44%), regulation and compliance (39%), and project management (38%) will be imperative in implementing the changes, the survey says.

Strategic thinking (39%), communication skills (39%) and attention to detail (31%) are also required to ensure that compliance professionals can play an effective role in influencing data practices and policies.

Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half UK, UAE and South America said, “GDPR is the latest piece of legislation to evolve the compliance and regulatory landscape in the UK and across Europe.

“As demand for candidates with the required technical and project management skills reaches fever pitch, business should seek out those with the transferable skills required to ensure compliance. While GDPR certified practioners are in short supply, project managers and business analysts with experience in MiFID ll and SOX, among others, with have the requisite skills to support, particularly on an interim and project basis.”

What type of role that businesses are recruiting for is dependent on company size, the survey argues. 16% of SMBs see GDPR as a concern, compared to 12% of large business. So SMBs are more likely to hire project managers (32%) to help with compliance while larger organisations are placing a greater focus on recruiting data protection officers (33%).

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