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How to handle Recruitment data successfully

Recruitment data is a valuable tool for any organisation looking to hire the best talent. When we handle this data and other employment related data it does come with a set of challenges and responsibilities, especially with stringent data protection laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this blog, we’ll explore best practices for managing recruitment data efficiently and legally.

Understand Legal Requirements

GDPR Compliance

As we are all aware GDPR is a robust data protection regulation that applies to all organisations. It dictates how personal data should be collected, processed, stored, and deleted. Some of the key principles of GDPR include:

  • Ensuring that candidates know how their data will be used in a transparent and fair manner.
  • Thatyou will only collect data for specified, legitimate purposes.
  • You will only gather data that is necessary for the recruitment process.
  • You will keep their data accurate and up-to-date.
  • You will not keep data longer than is necessary.
  • You will ensure that their data is secure against unauthorised access and breaches.

Obtain data in a transparent way

Develop a transparent Privacy Notice

Inform candidates about:

  • What data you collect about them.
  • Why you collect it.
  • How you will use it for and what it would be used for.
  • How long you will hold their data.
  • Their rights regarding their own personal data.
  • Gain the candidate’s consent.

Develop Enhanced Data Security Measures

Invest in a robust Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that offers enhanced security measures, such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits. Please visit our previous blog on Recruitment and Selection Strategies for further information.

Ensure that your recruitment team are trained on and understand the data protection principles and that they recognise the importance of data security around handling data during the recruitment process. This will also help them to identify and mitigate any risks associated with handling this data.


An internal database to hold and manage recruitment data is an efficient way to store data. It will help to maintain consistency of the data stored, it will help to reduce any duplication of data and will ensure integrity of the data, in turn this database will allow you to streamline the recruitment process.

You will need to regularly update and clean the database to ensure that the data remains accurate and up to date. Any outdated or irrelevant information that you hold on a candidate must be removed.

Ensure that you have a data retention policy that is aligned with GDPR. Make sure this is communicated to candidates and that they have access to this policy throughout the recruitment process or upon their request.

You must ensure that you safeguard sensitive personal data, especially during the recruitment process. Effective data management includes measures to prevent unauthorised access to this data, data breaches, or misuse of candidate information. If you manage to ensure the safety of their data then this will help you to not damage your own reputation, candidates appreciate transparency, fairness and respect for their privacy which contributes positively on you as the employer.

In summary by refining your data management practices, allows you to be legally compliant and enhances your data security. It also helps to improve your efficiency, accuracy and your overall reputation when it comes to handling recruitment data correctly.

Respect Candidate Rights

Right to Access, rectify and delete

Candidates have the right to access, rectify and delete their own personal data. As an organisation you have the responsibility to respect these rights and you must ensure that you have a policy or process in place to respond to any such request promptly.

By clearly communicating how their own personal data will be used, who will have access to it and their own rights regarding their data will help to build trust and confidence with your candidates. As an organisation you will want to ensure that you try and maintain positive relationships with any potential employees.

As above by implementing appropriate technical measures to protect anyone’s data against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage to this data is essential to safeguard recruitment data.

You must ensure that you respect any candidates’ rights when handling personal recruitment data as this is a legal requirement, but this also allows you to build trust with the candidate and in turn harnesses a positive relationship from the outset.

Foster a Culture of Privacy

Promote Awareness

Regularly remind your team about the importance of data privacy and the role each member plays in safeguarding candidate information. The recruitment team will play an important part in the recruitment process and will potentially deal with a vast amount of personal data, so it is vitally important to ensure that these teams are aware of the importance of data privacy, and all this entails.

Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and person responsible for data protection

If your organisation processes large volumes of personal data, you will need to consider whether you are required by the ICO to appoint a DPO to oversee compliance of this data. Click here to review.

If you prioritise privacy within your organisation then this will set you apart from other organisations and be seen as ethical leaders, candidates as well as the general public value privacy conscious employers and organisations and those who can demonstrate strong commitment to protecting personal information will only enhance you as an organisation.

Handling recruitment data successfully requires a cautious balance between leveraging data for efficient hiring and ensuring compliance with the legal requirements. By adopting transparent practices, securing data, respecting candidate rights, and using technology wisely, you can build a robust recruitment process that not only attracts top talent but also fosters trust and compliance.

Remember, data is a powerful tool when used responsibly and ethically.

Please contact ViewHR if you would like a discussion around how to implement these strategies or how we could support you and the team.