Who’s an ‘applicant’? New rules ease recordkeeping pain

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in Human Resources

Who is a serious applicant, and who is simply a "résumé-blaster?" It's a serious question, and the federal government is making it easier for you to decide.

In the past, any person who shot you an unsolicited résumé could be considered an "applicant." Many companies must collect data on the sex and race of applicants, plus they must save applicants' résumé for up to two years.

A new government proposal says people using the Internet would be considered applicants only if they met all three of these criteria:

  1. Your organization has acted to fill a particular position.
  2. The person has followed your standard procedures for submitting applications/résumés.
  3. The person has indicated an interest in the particular position.

Since people who fail to meet all three criteria wouldn't be considered applicants, you'd no longer need to track their demographic data or retain their paperwork.

Advice: Educate yourself on the proposal and be ready to alter your résumé retention policies once it becomes final later this year. For a Q&A on the proposal, go to www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda-ugesp.html.

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