Set tight time limits for keeping job applications

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in Office Management,Records Retention

Q. Our employment application states, “This application will remain active for six months.” Is this time frame advisable? How long should applications remain active? And how long should I keep completed applications? —K.S., Minnesota

A. Revise your employment application ASAP. Here's why: Applications should remain active for 30 to 60 days—no longer. Applications become stale relatively quickly, and you should not base an employment decision on information that isn't current.

The length of time you retain completed applications depends on whether the person is hired. If you hire an applicant, keep the application in his or her personnel file for the entire employment period and at least three years thereafter. If the applicant isn't hired, retain the completed application for at least three years.

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