Who’s an official ‘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 an important 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 con-sidered an "applicant." The problem: You may be required to save applicants' résumés and applications for up to two years. And some larger employers must collect data on the sex and race of their "applicants."

A new U.S. Equal Employment Op-portunity Commission 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: Stand ready to alter your résumé retention policies once the proposal 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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