User (Candidate) Privacy: It’s Not a Joke!

User (Candidate) Privacy: It’s Not a Joke!

-Approximately 37% of all sites use non-secure cookies. 

-79% of internet users around the world feel they have completely lost control over their personal data. 

-47% of organizations have updated their website cookie policies, while 80% have updated their privacy policies (source).

We aren’t trying to scare you, we’re simply going to explain to you what’s wrong with User & Candidate privacy nowadays.

Let’s talk about User Privacy first.

You all have experienced the following: you find an interesting article to read, you go to the website and it immediately offers you cookies to make your website experience “remarkable”, without even letting you have a glance at the actual content first. Now, here’s the question: What do you usually do?

1. Accept all cookies (just let me read the damn article)
2. Ignore the cookie window (continue reading by torturing your eyesight)
3. Find the settings and modify the preferences (and spend 5 hours on it)

Now guess what most of the users usually do? According to Amazee Metrics, 76% Ignore Cookie Banners. However, in many cases when you continue to scroll and read more, it can be considered as consent. Yes, it is wrong, it is illegal in some countries, but this practice still exists. 

Did you get frustrated? Did you think “how could they do such a thing, it’s my personal information!”

Well, this means that it’s time to talk about …

Candidate Privacy in Armenian Job Platforms and Recruitment Industry

Let’s start from job platforms 

Job platforms: a place that might have the most information about a person looking for a job. How many of you wondered about website privacy policy though? How many of you actually tried to find it on the website and check what they are doing with your personal information which you store there in the form of your resumes? 

The sad reality is, that even if there are some regulations about online data privacy in your country, they are not being monitored, otherwise, we would have a completely different situation here. 

So, how job platforms are dealing with privacy policies?

1. Some just copy-paste a standard policy from the internet, but the actual policies that they use are different.
2. Others write their privacy policy and state that it can be updated without informing the users. Sometimes they do inform you that there are updates, though they never tell you what exactly was updated. “Go check yourself!”
3. There are companies that don’t even bother to have a privacy policy.

Why should we care and what is the difference between LinkedIn and Job Platforms?

The answer is simple, Job platforms usually contain the most private and important personal information about us. We need to be aware of how our personal data is used and what we can do about it, without waiting for governments to act on it.

And if you are comparing Job Platforms with LinkedIn right now, trying to understand what is the difference, and why it is okay on LinkedIn and not okay on Job Platforms, just continue reading. 

First of all, LinkedIn is a Professional Social Network, where job seekers and industry professionals choose what to include in their profiles and what to make public. It is a place where individuals share thoughts, ideas and promote themselves as a pro in certain businesses or as founders of companies, freelancers, etc. Moreover, LinkedIn has different monetization methods, however, sharing the personal information of its users is not one of them.

On the other hand, the candidates, who are opening profiles on job portals, only to apply to a single position, don’t have the time to read all the tricky and long privacy policies. They simply need to find a good opportunity. And by sharing their user information with employers without telling your users, you are going against all the moral and ethical norms. 

It can be in the form of hiding important information in small prints or illegible wording on the endless pages of your privacy policy. Or making it impossible for the users to deactivate and/or delete all the information from their account unless they write a personal email to the company. This is not just a bad user experience, this is User Privacy abuse.

What we need to do is to take responsibility for our candidates and the secrecy of their personal information. It might be a good idea to have a look at the international recruitment market and see how they are dealing with this problem. 

An example of how the problem can be addressed by government authorities is GDPR. European Union uses widely known General Data Protection Regulations, also known as GDPR. These regulations set the frameworks of user privacy, and protect the users from becoming data subjects. GDPR is becoming a new standard, and if you are wondering what are the ethical and moral norms of privacy policy and user data security, then you should read it.

On the other hand, companies that will need to deal with user privacy policy can also take measures for eliminating the neglect and showing that they care for their customers. For example, one of the famous recruiting platforms: Lever has a separate page on all the pages of its website (located at the bottom of each page) called Do Not Sell My Personal Information. They provide a simple form, where you can send them a request for deleting, accessing, or forbidding them to transfer or use your personal data. This is just one of many examples on how to deal with this issue. 

Candidate Privacy issues in Recruitment Processes

Just like job platforms, HRs and Recruiters (whoever is organizing the candidate selection and onboarding in your company) should respect the basic ethics in hiring processes. 

*Saving all the CVs from all the candidates from previous recruitment processes without telling them is bad. 

*Informing about the fact that you are going to store your candidates’ resumes in your company’s database is not bad. 

*Asking for their consent and telling them how long you are going to keep their personal information provided to your company has to be a new standard. 

Another important violation of Candidate Privacy Policy in the Armenian Job Market:  when your candidate is still working in another company, the HR of which, you happen to know, you can’t just pick up the phone and inform your buddy about an employee of his trying to find a better career path. It is your responsibility, to keep your mouth shut and respect the privacy of your candidate, even if that particular HR is your best friend (which is less likely).

This is going to work against your company branding, and you as a Recruitment or HR professional. But first of all, you should keep Candidate Privacy because it is respectful, ethical, and morally right, and not just because you are afraid of losing your company’s and/or your reputation as an HR professional.

Jobup's practice in User Privacy Protection

As a job platform, Jobup always values the privacy of its users. It is one of our core missions to set a new standard in the market with our transparent user privacy policy. So,  if you are applying to a particular position, your profile information will naturally be shared with the employer. However, other employers will not be able to surf through our candidates’ profiles without receiving any applications from them. 

Right on our About us page we inform our readers and future/current users that we only will share their personal information with their consent. 

Well, if you have already read this entire article, then you know how important your data is, and it is always protected by Jobup. 

Now the question is do you care enough about the issue to join us as a candidate or an employer? 

How about you Sign Up then, and receive more insightful content about the recruitment industry?

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