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May 18, 2024 Comments (0)

From Application to Hire: Ensuring Data Privacy in Your Recruitment Process

Data breaches are a constant headline in today’s digital age. From social media giants to major corporations, information seems ever vulnerable. This extends to the recruitment process, where job seekers entrust companies or recruitment agencies with their personal details. 

But how can you, as an employer in New Zealand, assure them that their data is safe and used solely for digital recruiting and hiring? 

 In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of data protection in recruitment. We’ll help you build a process that fosters trust and attracts top talent, all while securing candidate data, whether you’re working independently or with a recruitment agency for New Zealand. 


Legal Framework in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020is the primary law that governs how businesses and organizations lawfully gather and use personal information from individuals. It establishes13 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs)that emphasize: 

• Lawful and purposeful data collection
• Transparency in information disclosure
• Fair and secure data handling practices
• Individual rights to access and correction
• Accuracy and relevance of data
• Limited retention and purpose limitation
• Controlled disclosure
• Secure international data transfers
• Responsible use of unique identifiers

Following these principles in recruitment ensures that you handle candidate information responsibly, respecting privacy rights and reducing the risk of data breaches.


The Importance of Data Protection in Recruitment

A man using a laptop with a login screen displayed, while a woman stands beside him, pointing at the screen, indicating a collaborative effort on data privacy

Protecting employee data starts at the recruitment stage because: 

1. Builds trust with candidates

Job seekers entrust companies with sensitive information like resumes, references, and sometimes even personal details. Data breaches can erode trust and damage your employer’s brand. Strong data privacy practices show respect for candidate privacy and create a positive recruitment experience.

2. Assures legal compliance

New Zealand’s Privacy Act 2020 outlines strict guidelines for collecting, using, and storing personal information. If you cannot comply, you will be fined up to $50,000 and lose your reputation as an employer.

3. Increases competitive advantage

In today’s competitive job market, attracting top talent is crucial. Candidates increasingly value companies that prioritise data privacy. By demonstrating strong data protection practices, you gain a competitive edge and attract the best and brightest to your organisation.

4. Mitigates risk

Data breaches can be costly and disruptive. Protecting candidate data minimises the risk of financial penalties, reputational damage, and potential legal action. Prioritising data security means you can safeguard your company from these potential pitfalls.

5. Build a positive employer brand

News travels fast, especially in the digital age. A data breach can quickly tarnish your employer brand and make it difficult to attract future talent. Prioritising data privacy shows you value your candidates’ trust and fosters a positive employer brand that attracts high-quality applicants.


Best Practices for Protecting Candidate Data

1. Consent and transparency 

Earning candidate truststarts with obtaining explicit consent before collecting and processing their information. This means clear and concise language explaining what data you’ll collect, why it’s needed (relevant to the specific role), and how long it’ll be stored.

For instance, if you’re hiring through recruitment platforms, state in the job description that you’ll handle candidate data under privacy regulations and provide a link to your company’s privacy policy for further transparency. 

 Transparency is equally important. To prove your respect for candidate privacy, let candidates know how their data will be used throughout the recruitment process. 

2. Secure data handling 

Candidate data security shouldn’t be an afterthought—it should be your priority. You can fortify your defences through: 

Secure collection and storage – Use encrypted databases and password-protected systems to safeguard information from unauthorised access. 

Transmission with care – When sending data, use secure protocols like HTTPS to encrypt communication. 

Embrace technology – Tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) with strong security features can streamline recruitment while protecting data. 

3. Limit data collection 

You don’t need to know every single detail about a candidate’s life. In fact, Privacy Act 2020 emphasises collecting only data relevant to the job at hand. Hence, resist the urge to ask for a life story; focus on the candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications.

This minimises the risk associated with a potential data breach and shows respect for candidate privacy. 

4. Regular audits and compliance check 

Data protection laws are constantly evolving. So, regularly audit your internal processes to ensure your recruitment practices remain compliant with the Privacy Act. These assessments should evaluate data collection methods, storage procedures, and disposal practices for outdated information.

Remember to involve your human resources, information technology, and legal teams in the audit process for a comprehensive review. 

5. Training for HR and recruitment teams 

Empower your recruitment team to be data privacy champions. Hold training sessions that cover best practices for data handling, specific requirements of the Privacy Act, and red flags to watch out for. 

For instance, you can require your recruitment team to double-check consent forms, use encrypted communication channels for sharing sensitive information, and regularly update security protocols for the recruitment database.

Fostering a culture of data security awareness within your organisation will create a solid foundation for protecting candidate information. 


Be a Responsible Employer

When you hire employees, whether locally or internationally, it’s essential to safeguard their data. It shows it shows respect for all applicants, even those who may not be a perfect fit for your company. It also showcases your commitment to following local privacy regulations. This focus on data protection extends to your chosen partners. 

Staffhouse International Resources is a strong advocate for data security and adheres to New Zealand’s legal framework. We implement robust data protection practices and leverage technology to ensure candidate information remains secure throughout the recruitment process. 

As your trusted partner for sourcing Filipino talent in New Zealand, Staffhouse prioritises data privacy and compliance. Let us help you build your workforce with confidence and security. Explore our current job opportunities to see how we can assist you in finding skilled candidates while maintaining the highest standards of data protection and privacy. 

Reach out to us through our social media channels: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/staffhouseintl
Instagram: https://instagram.com/staffhouseintl
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@staffhouseintl
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Staffhouseintl 

You can also contact us through our website to learn more about our services.