Having accurate data and being GDPR compliant is essential for any business if it’s looking to achieve long-term success. It will support important decision-making but it will also make sense of your workforce data. If you know who your company is working with and the skills they offer, you will be in a better position to choose the right person for a specific project or know when it’s time to look for someone new.

The thing is that managing a couple of freelancers is easier than managing hundreds of them, especially if they’re located in different parts of the world. Additionally, if you happen to work with freelancers based in the EU, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Below, we share some tips for staying GDPR compliant while working with freelancers to help decrease organizational risk.

What Is GDPR?

The GDPR is a regulation aimed to boost the protection of all EU citizens. Its primary goal is to return the control of personal data to the citizens it belongs to and impose stricter security and data privacy requirements on organizations. Under this regulation, people can ask companies if and which pieces of data they hold, and the organizations should then provide this information without charge.

GDPR is grounded on seven core principles: lawfulness, fairness and transparency, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, storage limitation, integrity and confidentiality (security), and accountability.

If you misuse personal information, experience a data security breach, or don’t comply with the regulations, know that action can be taken. If you stay organized and keep everything well-documented, store data in secure GDPR-compliant systems, and regularly review the data, then you’re in the best position of being compliant.

Have the Right Tools in Place

A crucial part of GDPR compliance is making sure that the business has the right tools for the job, meaning that freelancer data is stored in a secure, encrypted system and not on some spreadsheet. Spreadsheet risks being copied to USB sticks or different computers, shared via email, or printed out, and can easily result in a serious data breach.

Although companies can use their own databases, they must be sure that it’s fully GDPR-compliant with security and privacy embedded at their core. As an alternative, a professional freelance management system is the best way to go.

This type of system provides companies with a platform that standardizes freelancers’ sourcing, onboarding, management, and payment, all while guaranteeing that their data is protected under GDPR. Therefore, investing in a freelance management system can not only help you manage your freelance workforce better, but it can also greatly reduce the risks to your finances and reputation.

Process and Maintain Data

By implementing a robust FMS system, you can easily develop strict workflows and procedures to standardize the entire process, everything from information requested by freelancers to secure payment methods.

When it comes to GDPR rules, if a controller uses a processor to process personal data, there must be a written contract. An FMS system will ensure that all documentation will be kept safely stored in a single place.

Not only does this assist with compliance, but it also makes everything very efficient. You can save precious time by having the entire talent pool at your fingertips and quickly finding the right freelancer with the right credentials. Plus, freelancers can also access their data through this password-protected system and ensure their details are correct. This cuts down data requests and offers a way to communicate and collaborate with your team, and maintain relationships as new projects emerge or evolve.

Data Retention and Removal

According to the GDPR rules, data should only be kept for as long as it’s necessary. A person also enjoys the right to have their data deleted if your business no longer requires it. This is known as the right to be forgotten. However, this only applies in certain circumstances. For instance, it doesn’t apply if there is a legal obligation to keep the data or if it’s needed to establish, exercise, or defend a legal claim. Therefore, you must always consider your other GDPR obligations when determining if you should erase personal data.

The GDPR doesn’t define a time limit for how long the various data types can be kept. This is something that is left to the organizations. The important part is that you can justify the data you are keeping, the period, and how often you review it. A retention policy will greatly help you achieve this.

In Closing

GDPR may feel overwhelming but it offers tremendous opportunities beyond compliance. Having control and keeping track of all your freelancer data means that you’ll spend less time finding the right individual and you will be able to get projects completed a lot faster.  

Besides greater efficiency, taking proper care of freelancer data creates trust and shows a high level of professionalism and accountability.