Data Privacy: An oft-overlooked issue in remote hiring

A Gartner press release titled Gartner Identifies Top Five Trends in Privacy Through 2024 states, “By 2024, 75% of the global population will have its personal data covered under privacy regulations.”

What does this mean for digitisation drives in organisations? It means an impact on the complete gamut of their business operations — remote work, online customer interactions, and remote hiring. They will have to make provisions for complying with data privacy regulations. 

Data Privacy: An oft-overlooked issue in remote hiring

Let’s see what data privacy is to understand why governments and people consider it paramount. 

What is data privacy?

During online interactions, people share data, most of which is sensitive. Data privacy comes under data security. It is about protecting people’s personal data, including location, names, addresses, financial details, etc.

It involves many elements such as legal frameworks, policies, data governance, etc. These elements take into consideration the data privacy compliance requirements across global jurisdictions. Today, most organisations work with the cloud and employees, partners, and customers are from across the globe. Hiring happens remotely, and the handling of the candidates’ data must also comply with local regulations. Some examples of these regulations are the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), etc.

Why is data privacy important? 

Businesses of all sizes need to protect the data that they collect as it is sensitive and valuable. Any breach can lead to grave issues such as misuse, loss of trust and reputation, penalties, lawsuits, etc. It may also expose their Intellectual Property (IP), trade secrets, etc., which can have significant consequences. A recent IBM report on data breaches says, “The global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million.” Hence, data privacy is a crucial aspect that organisations cannot afford to ignore.

Let’s now focus on how data privacy matters in remote hiring.

Data privacy in remote hiring

During online hiring processes, employers collect confidential data about candidates, directly or indirectly, through forms, assessments and interviews. How can organisations protect this information from breaches and unauthorised access?

In an article titled Gartner Future of Work Trends 2023, the eighth point states the following: Algorithmic bias concerns lead to more transparency in recruiting tech. Most organisations use AI for remote hiring processes, possibly through third-party tools. Therefore, compliance with regulations and ethical implications for aspects of fairness, diversity and inclusion, etc. become crucial. Transparency about AI use, data audits and the question of choice for candidates wanting to opt out of such processes come into play. A big chunk of this responsibility gets passed on to the remote hiring platform provider.

How can one ensure data privacy in remote hiring?

Pick the right platform

Your remote hiring platform must have robust data governance policies, comply with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, and adhere to relevant quality standards, such as ISO 27001. It should leave no scope for making a wrong choice, as the consequences can prove irreversible. 

Access control and awareness

Ensure that the platform provides access control features to restrict access to authorised personnel. Additionally, organisations must train their personnel on data privacy and its importance to help them appreciate the security measures. This approach will sensitise their employees to use the hiring platform responsibly. Also, to increase security, explore options such as VPNs, firewalls, strong password policies, etc.

Educate candidates

Educate candidates about the data you collect during the hiring process. To be ethical, collect only the required information, and that too with due consent. Also, sensitise candidates about some common dangers such as using free Wi-Fi services during remote hiring.

Monitor and audit the remote hiring process periodically

Data privacy is a critical element in remote hiring. It needs constant tracking to ensure no slippages. Consider obtaining feedback from all stakeholders to improve processes. More importantly, update your tools to counter cybersecurity threats as hackers leverage technology to find vulnerabilities. Also, report any incident and conduct a root cause analysis to update your systems accordingly.

How can organisations meet all these requirements in their remote hiring? By tying up with a credible partner like HirePro. With the HirePro virtual hiring platform, you get assured compliance with essential security features. Our magic combination of cutting-edge technology and passionately committed people help you find the best talent, safe and secure.