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Automatically deleting candidate data

Included in:
  • SmartStart
  • SmartRecruit


SmartRecruiters will delete a candidate's personally identifying information in four situations:

  • After the candidate is rejected, marked as withdrawn, or removed from a job according to the schedule defined by the data retention period of a compliance ruleset
  • After the candidate is hired, according to the schedule defined by the data retention period of a compliance ruleset.
  • At the request of a candidate in their Candidate Portal.
  • If GDPR Settings have been activated for a particular ruleset, and the candidate has not provided consent when requested.


When a rejected, withdrawn or removed-from-job candidate has no other active applications to your jobs, SmartRecruiters schedules the candidate’s profile for deletion at the end of the retention period. For candidates who’ve applied to multiple jobs with different retention periods, SmartRecruiters will observe the longest retention period.


Once the deletion event is scheduled, SmartRecruiters will cancel the event during the retention period if:

  • The candidate applies to a new job. 
  • Someone reassigns the candidate to a new job.
  • Someone refers the candidate to a job.


SmartRecruiters will change (but not cancel) the deletion date when:

  • Someone changes the location of a job for which the candidate has an application, and the new location’s retention policy is different.
  • Someone changes the retention policy for one or more of the candidate’s applications.

In the event of a change in policy, SmartRecruiters will recalculate the scheduled deletion date to reflect the least restrictive policy thereby keeping the candidate profile until hiring teams at the company no longer need access to the candidate’s profile for recruiting purposes.

Once the period ends, the candidate will be deleted in 24 hours. 

Administrators can now set a separate data retention duration for hired candidates. This offers a new level of flexibility. Learn more: Compliance for Hired Candidates.

When it’s time to delete a candidate’s information, SmartRecruiters will effectively anonymize their profile by deleting any personally identifying information (PII) , but retain a record that a candidate existed in order to serve proper analytics. You’ll be able to see that a candidate applied, but you won’t be able to see their profile.  See the following sections for a specific list of information that we’ll delete. 

Candidate Data 

We’ll delete the following information from our databases:

  • Avatar
  • First and last name
  • Social Links
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Attachments
  • Work history
  • Education history
  • Pending or past interviews

No one will be able to search for the candidate or filter them from results. 

Candidate Portal

We’ll delete your company’s page in the Candidate Portal when deleting the candidate’s application. All information stored in our Candidate Portal database will be deleted. 

My Referrals

We’ll remove deleted candidates from the My Referrals portal. 

Mobile Apps

We’ll remove deleted candidates from the Hiring and Field Recruiting apps. 

Assessments and Offers

We will anonymize any assessments and offers when deleting a candidate. The assessment results and offers will persist, but without any of the following PII:

  • Avatar
  • First and last name
  • Social Links
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Attachments
  • Work history
  • Education history


We’ll remove deleted candidates from the databases used by LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Referrals if you have an active integration for either. Of course, we can’t delete their LinkedIn profiles.


The candidate record will be deleted - with none of the data accessible, however "the counts" related to that candidate in analytics tools and reports will still be accurate. For instance,

  • Historical pipeline report will still show the correct count in Hired column even though the candidate record has been deleted
  • Hiring Plan Analytics will show accurate Positions Filled, Time to Hire, Time to Start, Filled On-Time
  • EEO report counts
  • Applicant Flow report counts