5 Things HR Managers Should Know About Data Security

Data security is something that all departments in an organization need to keep in mind, especially those involved with recruiting new employees. Recruiters have direct contact with many third party individuals and groups. As part of their jobs, they collect various types of private information that needs to be kept secure.

As personal information belonging to job candidates is collected at each step of the recruiting process, it’s imperative that organizations put together an effective plan to keep it from falling in the wrong hands. Any data that is compromised can have a huge negative impact on an organization’s reputation. Here are some data protection tips made especially for recruiters:

✅  Make Sure Your Organization Deploys Basic Protection

You should also consider the security implications of working from home or using your smartphone to email candidates and clients. Doing so might put sensitive data at risk, but there are ways to mitigate this.

Any computer used during the course of your work should have the latest antivirus and antimalware installed. There are many security tools to choose from, many of which are free or very affordable. It’s also important that the security software you use be updated on a regular basis, as this is what keeps it effective against the latest threats, such as exploits, malware and hacking attacks.

You should also consider the security implications of working from home or using your smartphone to email candidates and clients. Doing so might put sensitive data at risk, but there are ways to mitigate this. For example, you can use a secure VPN whenever you handle work-related information, as well as install security software on your mobile devices.

✅  Keep Your Website Secure

If you let job applicants fill out forms on your website, it’s your responsibility to ensure that their data will stay safe. One of the most common ways of doing so is using SSL encryption on your site. Also, once the information is submitted, it should be processed in a secure way.Information about candidates, such as their resumes, should only be accessible to employees that are involved in the recruitment process. By restricting access to this information to a smaller number of team members, you’ll reduce the chances that it could be leaked during a security breach.

✅  Use Encryption For Your Email

Recruiters handle most of the correspondence between them and job candidates by email. While doing so is definitely convenient, it does come with a variety of security risks. In order to protect any personal information contained within email conversations, you should ensure that all of your messages are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access.Many providers of web-based email services, including Google’s Gmail, offer built-in encryption. This protects the content of messages from interception if both parties use the Gmail service. However, if the recipient’s email service doesn’t take advantage of TLS (transport layer security), messages are sent in plain text and aren’t encrypted. You can consider using encryption software or browser plugins to increase the security of your email communications.

✅  Educate All Employees About the Importance of Security

It’s important that everyone on your recruiting team be aware of how crucial data protection is and what they can do on their end to prevent security breaches that could result in compromised data. You should educate your employees about the basics of data security, how to avoid human errors that could lead to data being accessed by unauthorized parties, the importance of using strong passwords and methods to share files securely.

Employees who work remotely should be made aware of the security implications of this. In particular, connecting to your work network from an unsecured Wi-Fi network, such as those at train stations and coffee shops can open up a doorway for hackers.

✅  Minimize the Amount of Personal Data You Collect

Recruiters should customize the recruitment process so that the information collected is limited to what’s required for the position the applicant is seeking. The questionnaire should be formulated in a way that collects just enough information to get in touch with the applicant and assess their suitability for the position they’re applying for.You should avoid requesting sensitive personal data right at the beginning of the application process, unless you need this information for equal opportunities monitoring. One way to minimize the chances that personal information belonging to job applicants will be misused or compromised in a security breach is to keep it separate from the main application form.

Final Word

As recruiters routinely handle a large quantity of personal information belonging to third parties, such as job applicants, they should be aware of the security implications of their daily tasks. The consequences of a security breach involving an organization’s HR or recruiting departments can be particularly serious. The good news is that there are several things that recruiters can do to help secure the information they work with and minimize the chances of a security breach. This includes limiting the amount of personal information collected, using security tools such as antivirus programs and encrypted email, as well as being aware of the various security threats and how to mitigate them.


Heather Redding
Heather Redding
HEATHER is a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. When she isn’t working, Heather loves to read and swim. She is also a coffee snob with a passion for photography. You can reach Heather via her social media links below.

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