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Fight For DPOs With Introduction of GDPR

Technology and employment commentators are predicting that with the already high demand for skilled and talented Data Protection Officers (DPOs), the introduction of GDPR may see businesses having to compete to recruit the right one.

What’s A Data Protection Officer?

A DPO’s role is essentially that of looking after any legal and ethical issues related to handling customer data. They are required to have specialist knowledge in matters relating to data and information privacy and security.

What Is Demand For DPOs Like Now?

According to figures from the Indeed job search site, DPO job listings posted in the UK have increased by no less than 700% over the past 18 months. That’s the equivalent of an increase from 12.7 listings per 1 million in April 2016 to 102.7 listings per 1 million in December.

Triggered An Increase In Training

The huge increase in the demand for DPOs has led to a corresponding increase in the demand for GDPR training, as individuals spot a potentially lucrative career, and companies seek to bring their in-house DPOs up to speed.

Some GDPR training providers have reported selling out of courses for the next six months as demand for GDPR-Ready training programs for DPOs have increased by as much as one-third.

Even Bigger Demand With Introduction of GDPR

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) estimates that, with the introduction of GDPR in May this year, 28,000 DPOs will be needed in Europe and U.S. and perhaps as many as 75,000 around the globe.


GDPR requires that companies must have a DPO to help with tasks such as data audits for compliance with privacy laws, training employees on data privacy, and to be the main point of contact in the company for European regulators.

With its 99 articles, under the guidance of 6 privacy principles, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is long, and complicated, and it needs as well as requires someone within the business to understand it, and how it should be practically applied. Failure to comply with GDPR, and data breaches resulting from non-compliance can bring large fines and other potentially disastrous consequences for businesses and organisations e.g. loss of customers, and damage to brand and reputation.

Legal and business commentators are also predicting that companies may only want to deal with suppliers who are GDPR compliant in order to maximise their own compliance and avoid the penalties.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For those who are already, or are currently training to be DPOs, the immediate future looks bright in terms of their choice of employment, the massive (and growing) demand for their services, and the bargaining power that this may give them with employers e.g. for their salary.

For businesses that are already trying to get to grips with the complications and costs of complying with GDPR, and who already know that they will need somebody in the DPO’s role, they may not have anticipated the extra complication of having to compete with other businesses to get one. With the demand for good DPOs looking like continuing to out-strip supply, the situation may arise where some businesses attempt to poach DPOs from others.

With X-day already past, and the introduction of GDPR just 3 months away, the clock is now ticking loudly for businesses that may not yet have given any serious thought to the role of DPO, or where to get GDPR training.