Are you doing enough to keep applicant data safe?

Whether you think about it consciously or not, you are opening yourself up to a bit of risk when you post a new job listing. After all, you are preparing to receive resumes and cover letters for potentially dozens or more job candidates, and those documents can contain sensitive information that your organization becomes responsible for protecting.

With that in mind, you must be aware of the kind of data you collect and how you manage it throughout the hiring process and beyond, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Simply put, it would be prudent to treat this data like you would any sensitive information for your actual employees, especially if you will be retaining it to refer back to it in the future.

Depending on the stage of the candidate search, you might only get identifying information like a name, address, phone number and employment history from each applicant. But as you progress through the process, you may also become responsible for credit data, records from background checks and similarly private information. You need to be cognizant of how that data is handled by everyone who has access to it.

What are you doing to secure candidate data?What are you doing to secure candidate data?

What's the policy?
Obviously, the simplest way to get out in front of this potential problem is to lay out a clear policy around how sensitive data will be handled, and make sure everyone knows what that policy entails. Zippia notes that this will help you avoid receiving information you don't need (and don't want to be responsible for) in the first place, but also build out some standards for how data is stored, who should have access to it, what you will do with the information you don't need and so on.

When there's less ambiguity about what's expected from the people who gain access to sensitive applicant information throughout the candidate search, there's less risk that it will be exposed.

The tech side
Finally, you would also be wise to build out your overall data protection standards for your company to ensure this sensitive data falls under that umbrella, iCIMIS recommends. For instance, you should make sure you have the cybersecurity tools you need, such as firewalls, encryption frameworks, and antivirus and anti-malware programs. This effort should also include a mandate to keep such software fully updated with the latest version.

Beyond that, however, it's also important to make sure that if any sensitive information (for your applicants, current employees, business partners, etc.) is exposed — inadvertently or due to a willful act — you have a plan in place to react appropriately, per iCIMIS.

When you're concerned about handling all the logistics that go into making a strong hire, it can help to bring in another partner to help shepherd you through the process. At YES Partners, we have a long track record of helping companies make the right decisions. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

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