A great candidate experience is rooted in respect for candidates. Career sites should be inviting and enthusiastic. Communications should be regular and honest. Appointments should be kept and interviews should respect a candidate’s time. Applications should absolutely respect the applicant’s time, security and privacy.Why then, do so many online recruiting applications require candidates to provide their Social Security Number? It’s mind boggling to me. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to know my Social Security Number when they have no idea who I am, and the odds of them needing my Social Security Number for an employment verification or background check are maybe 1,000 to one at the online application phase. It’s troubling and it puts job seekers in a difficult position.I just read an article yesterday that listed the top five signs of a shady job posting. Sign number four of a shady job posting was asking for personal information like Social Security Numbers. Not only is asking for Social Security Number disrespectful of a candidate’s time and privacy, but it is widely viewed as a sign of a scam job positing, right up there with other signs like asking for money! How do you think that reflects on the employment brand most companies spend so much time and money cultivating and propagating.Do you want to learn more? Visit social security card balance number.
Further, why would you want the liability of storing and maintaining the privacy of thousands of Social Security Numbers for candidates that will likely never have any interaction with you beyond submitting an unsolicited application?And even if it wasn’t a privacy risk, why jam so much unneeded information into your applications? It depresses your response rates, which for many organizations are less than 10%. That’s right, less than 10% that start an application actually finish it. This kind of approach drives all but the most desperate candidates away.To be fair, most employers don’t ask for Social Security Numbers in online job applications for many of the reasons I list, but I still regularly see it on some major employers’ online applications.Most often, it is because their applicant tracking systems use Social Security Number as a convenient unique identifier to avoid duplicate candidates. But the reality is that email works nearly as well, minimizes privacy risk and eliminates any negative effects on employment brand.As a applicant, you shouldn’t have to provide such sensitive information until you’ve been identified as a potential hire. As a recruiter, you should be auditing your applications to ensure they are easy, respectful and reinforce your ability to convert and hire the best candidates, not just those desperate enough to give up their Social Security Numbers in an anonymous application.