The road to GDPR compliance may still be strewn with pot-holes but it is proving to be a far smoother ride for the jobs market, with two-thirds of UK firms hiring permanent employees and a further 64% planning to recruit interim staff to help them meet the May 2018 deadline.
So says a study from recruitment firm Robert Half UK, which shows that analytics, regulatory knowledge and project management skills are most in demand.
As organisations concentrate on GDPR compliance initiatives, the study shows the demand for permanent project managers (33%), business analysts (26%) and data protection officers (26%) that oversee how data is processed will soar.
SMEs 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%).
Last year, the International Association of Privacy Professionals predicted that GDPR would require the appointment of at least 75,000 DPOs worldwide ahead of the compliance deadline. Meanwhile, Research conducted by GO DPO, the strategic partner for the Henley Data Protection Officer Programme, claimed that at least 7,000 firms will have to recruit a DPO before May next year.
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office, only public authorities and businesses which carry out large scale systematic monitoring of individuals, such as online behaviour tracking, are required to appoint a DPO.
However, it adds: “Regardless of whether the GDPR obliges you to appoint a DPO, you must ensure that your organisation has sufficient staff and skills to discharge your obligations under the GDPR.”
But it seems UK businesses are taking no chances. Company bosses said knowledge of analytics (44%), regulation and compliance (39%), and project management (38%) will be imperative in implementing the changes.
Strategic thinking (39%), communication skills (39%) and attention to detail (31%) are also required to ensure compliance professionals can act as business leaders and play an effective role in influencing data practices and policies.
Robert Half UK, UAE and South America senior managing director Phil Sheridan 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,” he said.
While GDPR certified practitioners are in short supply, Sheridan said project managers and business analysts with experience in MiFID ll and Sarbanes-Oxley, among others, will have the requisite skills to support compliance, particularly on an interim and project basis.
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