A legal recruiter has emailed hundreds of people asking them if they want a job at a US firm, without hiding any of the potential candidates' names from one another, and using their work email addresses. It has reported itself to the Information Commissioner's Office.
"Good afternoon", wrote the young consultant at Ryder Reid Legal to hundreds of business development and marketing staff at dozens of firms. "I hope you don't mind me getting in touch". (They did.)
"Our client, a prestigious US law firm", she continued, was seeking a business development specialist for its "impressive" London office. The firm wasn't named, but it was described as being "ranked number 2 worldwide in terms of revenue" (which would make it Latham & Watkins) with a New York HQ (which means it's not).
471 individuals received the invite to "hear more" about the opportunity of an "attractive, negotiable salary, coupled with an enviable benefits package". Unfortunately, 470 other recipients could see they had received the invite, making their interest in moving job rather more public than intended.
Because the invitation was sent to people's business email addresses, identification of the competition was even easier, as was the likelihood that colleagues with access to work accounts would learn more than they should about the recipients' itchy feet.
Ryder Reid's new keyboards.
A BD manager at Baker McKenzie was unimpressed, responding, "I don't think this was an appropriate email and I am pretty sure this is a breach of GDPR". She told the company, "Please refrain from emailing Baker McKenzie email addresses directly in future".
Ryder Reid "have just landed themselves in the shit", said a source. "The best bit", they added, was that the Baker McKenzie manager hit 'reply all' on her response. "Whether that's also a mistake or she just wanted to share the dressing down with the other 500 recipients, who knows?"
In a statement the company said, "Unfortunately a member of our staff made a human error whilst not following company processes".
"As soon as the error was detected", it continued, "we contacted the ICO to discuss the matter to ensure it was handled correctly. We apologise for any inconvenience this error has caused the recipients."
Ryder Reid said that as a result of the mistake, it had conducted an internal investigation and review and was "delivering improved training to prevent such errors in the future".
All publicity is good publicity though, so read on and feel free to apply:
Just don't reply all.