Online Recruitment: Does And Don'ts For Employers

Author:Ms Valeria Gumuchdjian
Profession:Rihm Attorneys

Most new job applications are compiled, sent and processed electronically. As HR departments sometimes require months to evaluate applications for the most suitable candidate, special software and electronic devices can help employers identify suitable candidates within minutes.

Video conferences

International corporate environments attract employees from all over the world. As face-to-face meetings can be time consuming and expensive (eg, flight and accommodation expenses), video conferences are becoming more common; however, important data protection and privacy rules must be considered.

According to EU and Swiss law, the recording of video conferences and subsequent processing and analyzing of face and eye movements - including body language - infringes data protection and privacy rules. Therefore, while the mere recording of a video conference is likely to violate privacy rules, if no Skype or Facetime interviews are recorded, employers will not be breach of the data protection and privacy rules.

Data protection and privacy rules

Employers must bear in mind that any personal data collected should be strictly limited to that which is required to assess and finally decide on the most suitable candidate. Processing data which does not relate specifically to the selection of a suitable candidate violates the data protection and privacy rules.

Further, information must be secured with (at least) a password and in such a manner that only persons in charge of the recruiting process may access the relevant information. As electronic data can never be deleted completely, employers must delete the information once the recruiting process ends to prevent any access to applicants' personal information.

Online recruitment

Social media sites can be useful for identifying job candidates - in particular:

LinkedIn; Xing; Facebook; and Twitter. Recruiters use these sites to contact appropriate candidates directly and offer them positions.

Sensitive information

LinkedIn, Xing and Facebook users commonly share personal information within each site's respective online community. As the purpose of this information is not per se given and it is freely available, other users are free to use it (ie, there are no basic restrictions on how this data may be used).

However, information received in an application form or email is supplied only for recruitment purposes. Thus, any use beyond this purpose would infringe data protection rules. The person affected by...

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