Overcoming Candidate Resistance to SSN requests

114304479Recruitment is a business that runs on building professional relationships. Relationships that are based on providing values and trust. This trust can be slightly disturbed when a recruiter asks for sensitive information such as a Social Security Number (commonly known as SSN) from a candidate. Because an SSN is a sensitive piece of information for any individual, job-seekers/candidates are understandably reluctant to share it with a connection on LinkedIn or someone who is getting in touch seemingly out of nowhere.

SSN. A Social Security Number (in the United States), is a nine-digit number issued to an individual by an independent agency of the U.S. Social Security Administration. Although the primary purpose of the SSN is to track individuals for Social Security purposes, over time it has become a de facto national identification number for other purposes. It is required for driver’s licenses and the issue of Employment Authorization card. It connects all of an individual’s financial transactions. Still, it is to be confidential and not disclosed unnecessarily to anyone to avoid misuse.

Why Require It?

Just as banks and credit card companies require Social Security Numbers for various federal requirements, employers (or a recruiter representing an employer) would ask for this piece of critical information to create a unique profile.

Simply put, applicant tracking systems also use the SSN to differentiate candidate records. So upon finding a great match between a candidates profile to an open job requirement, recruiters need the last four or five digits of the candidate’s SSN to submit the candidate in the applicant tracking system. A unique profile is created to avoid duplication of profile submissions for a particular job position.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Developments in Data Protection and Privacy

Still, some candidates may balk at the request, thinking it shouldn’t be necessary if they haven’t been hired. Here are ways a recruiter can make sure that they gain candidate’s confidence and avoid ambiguity:

  • Have a professional LinkedIn profile, tagged with your company’s LinkedIn page
  • Send a screen shot of the software’s submission page highlighting these details to the candidate
  • Give candidates an option to submit the information on a secure page instead of giving it over phone or via an email

Remember –

  • Through the Social Security Number verification service, employers/private companies can verify the names and SSN of prospect candidates or hired employees
  • SSNs provide for a faster, easier and successful processing of an employee’s annual wages and accurate results
  • Saves processing costs, reduces the number of W-2s
  • Sanctions Social Security to provide the exact credit to employees’ earnings record, which is important in determining SS benefits in the future

I hope the above information helps recruiters keep their professional relationships with their candidates stronger by taking all the measures that are required to keep the trust factor intact.

MORE: How candidate-centric recruiting is changing staffing

Ramya Setty

Ramya Setty
Ramya Setty is a staffing marketing specialist for Aditi Staffing.

Ramya Setty

Share This Post


Related Articles

One Response to “Overcoming Candidate Resistance to SSN requests”

  1. helphand says:

    Seems to me that the fact it is convenient for the ATS to use the SSN as a unique identifier is not a good enough reason to request it from candidates. Until an offer is made and the candidate is onboarding and completing employee paperwork, there is no good reason for the recruiter to have the SSN, and in fact, many reasons not to (huge one being protection of this personal identifier that is used for identity theft). My opinion is that those who follow this posts advice are headed down the wrong path and doing a disservice to their company and candidates.

Powered by staffingindustry.com ·