Candidate data retention processes

Modified on Wed, 26 Jun at 3:42 PM

What is the data retention process?

Automated deletion of candidate records occurs following a predefined period of account inactivity (with customisable duration settings).

Once a candidate's account remains inactive for the specified period, an automated email is sent to the candidate, alerting them about the imminent removal of their data.

There is a designated waiting period to give the candidate time to intervene should they wish their data to continue to be held on the system. Upon completion of this waiting period (unless the candidate has logged into their account to interrupt the process), the candidate's record, along with all associated application form data, is automatically and permanently erased from the system.

To configure or adjust your data retention duration settings, navigate to Settings > System Customisation > Data Retention.

Before implementing any changes, we highly recommend discussing with your Continuous Improvement Consultant first.


What's included in this guide

Data retention setup: candidate data retention options 

Inactivity frequency

This refers to the period of 'inactivity' against a candidate’s record that triggers the data retention process. By default, this period is set to 12 months, but options ranging from 3 months to 2 years are available for customisation.

Retention email

This is the automated email sent to candidates when the set period of 'inactivity' against their candidate record has been reached. It enquires whether they wish to keep their data.


If you have not configured an archiving email yet, you can create one by navigating to Settings > Communication > Email Templates > Create Email Template.

Wait for candidate activity

This option, selected from the dropdown menu, determines how long candidates have from receiving the retention email to logging into their account.

If candidates want to maintain their profile in the system, they must log into their account (which counts as activity) within this time limit. Doing so will restart the process according to the duration set for inactivity frequency.

Screenshot of Settings > System Customisation > Data Retention - Candidate Data Retention options.


What is ‘activity’?

'Activity' refers to any action taken either by a system user or by the candidate themselves that interrupts the data retention process and resets the clock from the last date of activity. These actions include:

  • The candidate logging into their account
  • Submitting new job applications
  • Making status changes against an application
  • Generating emails to the candidate

What candidate data is deleted?

All personal identifiable data of the candidate is deleted, including their application form answers, CV, any application attachments, assessment, or shortlisting forms saved against their record, and any interview, offer, onboarding, or compliance data once the data retention period has elapsed.


What candidate data is retained?

Only data essential for reporting on long-term recruitment trends, such as equal opportunities data and source tracking information, is retained. However, once the candidate record has been deleted, it is no longer associated with an individual and is referenced only by a unique identifier.


Exclude statuses

To exclude candidates at specific statuses from the data retention process, you can add those statuses here.

This feature may be useful to ensure that candidates are not deleted during prolonged offer or onboarding processes. However, it should not be relied upon as a mechanism to permanently retain candidate data.


If a candidate has not been active for the selected time but is at any of the statuses you select here, they will not be included in the data retention process.


You can select more than one status.


Agency: Data retention options

Enable agency data retention process

If set to Yes, this will include agency candidates in the data retention processes.

If set to No, the system will retain agency candidates despite their inactivity on the system.

Retention email

This email is sent to agency candidates when the set period of 'inactivity' against their candidate record has been reached. It enquires whether they wish to keep their data.


Exclude statuses

To exclude agency candidates at specific statuses from the data retention process, add the statuses here.


Job Application: Data retention options

Enable job application deletion

If set to Yes, individual job application data, regardless of earlier candidate record inactivity settings, will automatically be deleted upon reaching the Job Application Creation Date and whichever frequency is set within the Deletion Frequency field.

With job application based data retention, the starting point for the data retention period is always the Creation Date of the job application.


If set to No, the system will retain job application data for as long as the overall candidate record remains 'active'.


Deletion Frequency

This refers to the period upon which job application data will be automatically deleted. Options ranging from 3 months to 2 years are available for customisation.

Once deleted, the application (and any associated data such as interviews, attachments, onboarding, or compliance data) will automatically be removed".

Further information about Job Application: Data Retention options can be found in our separate guide: Application-based data retention.

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