When you apply for a job and get rejected or hired….what happens to the application?

November 26, 2012 at 10:22 am by SEM

Have you ever wondered what happened to that job application form that you recently filled out with XYZ Company. Whether you got the job or not, the industry standard is (3) years retention from the date you filled out the application or 3 years after termination of employment. There are laws including Title VII, that require employers to keep all job application forms. A (3) Year retention seems to be the general Industry rule although you will find some variations with different companies.

What kind of questions should not be asked –

There is a rather large list of questions that employers should exercise caution in asking on an application form including age, race, gender arrest records ,credit history, religion and even education level to name a few. There are exceptions for asking these questions especially if the question is important or specific to the position being applied for. Needless to say, there is sensitive information on application forms including social security numbers. Here is a list of some Federal Laws that affect a job application form. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Most of these laws protect the applicant and can cause serious penalties if the application is mishandled or improperly discarded.

Incorporate into company Destruction Program.

My intent is not to educate you on what questions should or should not be asked on a job application form. I will leave this up to Human Resource Industry Professionals. What I am recommending is that job application forms be treated the same way as other sensitive company information and when purging these forms, they should be incorporated into your company destruction program after their retention cycle has been completed. The information on these application forms can be quite damaging especially if they are allowed to get into the wrong hands. Care should be taken in securing these forms and making sure that they are properly shredded. For information on all types of quality shredding products, here is a link to the SEM website www.semshred.com You can also call 800-225-9293 .

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