Recruiters reminded to ensure against ex-consultants stealing clients

Recruiters have been warned to ensure candidate databases are properly protected and contracts are well drafted to guard against ex-consultants stealing clients.

The warning follows claims made by Jason Robinson, owner of Cheshunt-based recruiter HEF Recruitment, in the Hertfordshire Mercury this week that he was forced to close his business after former employee Greg Oram was found to have stolen 500 clients for his new firm upon leaving. Oram claimed the data theft was not the reason for his previous employer’s closure, pointing out that HEF still retained the health recruitment arm of the business.

Commenting on the claim, Christopher Tutton, partner at law firm Constantine Law, told Recruiter the case serves as a reminder to agencies to ensure they have proper protections in place when consultants leave the business.

“The candidate database is key to many recruiters and needs to be protected in the following ways,” Tutton said.

“Firstly, IT systems should be reviewed to ensure the database is properly protected and secure, for example, systems are available which place reasonable limits on access to the database or which can raise a flag when emails are sent to the personal email addresses of staff. 

“Secondly, there should be well-draft contracts and policies in place. These should ensure that the use or disclosure of confidential information is protected during and after employment. They should also cover matters such as restrictive covenants, data protection obligations and IT system (mis)use. 

“Thirdly, prompt enforcement of contractual rights is critical. As soon as the recruiter becomes aware of a potential breach legal advice should be taken so that company information is returned or destroyed, or failing that, an injunction is obtained to restrain the activities of the departing employee.”

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