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Privacy Notice for Applicants

Purpose of this document

BDO Services Ltd (“we”, “us”) are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. This Privacy Statement describes how we collect and use personal information about you during the recruitment process, how we protect this information and the choices you can make about how we use this information in accordance with UK data protection legislation. It applies to individuals making applications for employment directly with us or those on behalf of whom an application is made, eg through recruitment agencies.

BDO Services Ltd is a “data controller”. This means we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this Privacy Statement.

Personal data or personal information means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. There are “special categories” of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection. You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide personal data to us during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, we may not be able to process your application.


We will collect personal data about you at various stages in the recruitment cycle, including:

• Basic details (name, address, email, telephone number, right to work status).
• CV, experience, education, academic and professional qualifications.
• Photographs and documents to verify your identity.
• Recruitment platform login information.
• Information provided as part of interviews and assessments (including reasonable adjustments information).
• Social mobility data (where you choose to provide this); and
• Diversity and equal opportunities data (where you choose to provide this).

We also create personal data in the course of our recruitment activities with you, including:

• Interview recordings and results. This includes video interviews within the Early Careers process;
• Assessment results and feedback from online and face-to-face assessments / tests; and
• Employment offer details.

We may collect this information in a variety of ways.

• Directly from you: where you have directly applied for a position with us.
• From recruitment agencies, platforms and websites: where a recruitment agency with your information puts you forward for a role.
• From publicly available sources: where you are a member of social media boards and/or job websites, including professional networking sites e.g. LinkedIn.
• From information from social media sites: where you are a member of the site to gather information about your engagement with our recruitment campaigns (Please see our Cookies Statement for further information).

If your application with us is successful, we will collect:

• Additional information as part of our pre-employment screening process such as proof of right to work, background checks, qualifications and professional status, employment history and referencing;
• Information about you and your immediate family’s financial relationships for independence regulatory compliance purposes; and
• Bank account details, national insurance number (or similar) and tax status.


We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. We have a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. We will use your data for the following purposes:

• To process and manage applications, and evaluate you for open positions that match your interests and experience.
• To screen and select talent by evaluating your suitability for employment, including through face-to-face interviews, video interviews, online and video assessments, and conducting appropriate background checks.
• To hire and onboard talent by making offers of employment and carrying out pre-employment screening checks.
• To attract talent and market opportunities by arranging, hosting and participating in events, marketing and advertising our job opportunities, and using recruiters to help find talent for us.
• To identify and source talent including by searching our existing talent pool and publicly available sources (such as social media and job websites of which you are a member).
• To manage your candidate profile, send you email notifications and other announcements, request additional information or otherwise contact you about your application.
• To conduct statistical analyses and create internal reports, for example regarding usage of our careers websites, demographic analysis of candidates, our recruitment activities, and analysis of candidate sourcing channels.
• To administer and manage our careers websites, and other recruitment tools and solutions.
• To communicate with you about other career opportunities.
• To make reasonable adjustments to our selection processes.
• To send you, welcome information or items once an offer is made by email or post.
• Any other purposes stated when you provide your personal data information to us.

In some cases, we need to process your personal information to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, it is mandatory to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will keep your personal information on file in case there are future employment opportunities for which you may be suited.

We carry out criminal records checks for the following purposes: 

• To comply with our legal obligations to ensure an individual is eligible to work in the UK and to report relevant information to the Home Office as part of BDO’s sponsored visa applications.
• For our legitimate interest or that of a third party to carry out pre-employment screening including a full background and criminal records check, depending on the role: (i) to establish whether an applicant has committed an unlawful act or been involved in dishonesty, malpractice or other seriously improper conduct; or (ii) to comply with government and public sector clearance requirements.
• For reasons of substantial public interest, including complying with regulatory requirements relating to unlawful acts and dishonesty.


Automated decision making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We use automated decision making as part of our Early in Career resourcing. The benchmarks which are in place are pre-determined and an automated decision to progress/reject a candidate is made based on how a candidate scores against the required benchmark.


Your information may be shared internally for the purposes of recruitment. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, partners and managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff, if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

We share your personal information with third parties, including some IT service providers. We require third parties to respect the security of your data and treat it in accordance with the law. All third party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow third party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.


We take the security of your data seriously. We have internal policies and controls in place to ensure that your information is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our partners and employees in the proper performance of their duties.


We will retain your personal information for as long as is necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting or reporting requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal information, we consider the amount, nature and sensitivity of the information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of the information, the purposes for which we process the information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal or regulatory requirements.

• If your application is successful, we retain relevant personal data as part of your personnel record.
• If your application is unsuccessful, we will retain and use the information you provided to us as part of your application for a reasonable period of time to deal with any matter which may arise in connection with your application or future applications. In addition, we will use it to contact you (unless you have asked us not to) about any other relevant employment opportunities that may arise, and for our legitimate business purposes (for example, to make sure we do not contact you about a role for which you have already applied).
• If you choose to join our talent pool, we will retain your personal data for as long as you are a member of it.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you.


In certain circumstances, by law, you have the right to:

1. Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you.
2. Request correction of the personal information we hold about you.
3. Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.
4. Object to the processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest as the legal ground for processing and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to the processing on this ground.
If you would like to exercise any of the above rights, please contact our HR Services Team at


If you have questions about this Privacy Statement or how we handle your personal information please contact the firm’s Data Protection Officer, at We are committed to working with you to obtain a fair resolution of any complaint or concern about privacy. If, however, you believe that we have not been able to assist with your complaint or concern, you have the right to make a complaint to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues, using their website 

6 September 2023