Skip to main content

Automatically removing candidate data (PII)

Included in:
  • SmartStart
  • SmartRecruit


SmartRecruiters will remove a candidate's personally identifying information (PII) 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  • After the candidate is rejected, marked as withdrawn, or removed from a job according to the schedule defined by the data retention period of a compliance ruleset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.

This is all defaulted at the candidate level in the system.  However as part of the April 2019 release (section: Data Retention available on the application level), customers now have the option to submit a request via your Hiring Success Manager or Support team to have this activated at an application level.


When a rejected, withdrawn or removed-from-job candidate has no other active applications to your jobs, SmartRecruiters schedules to have the candidate's PII removed from their profile 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 removal event is scheduled, SmartRecruiters will cancel the event during the retention period if:

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


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

  • A user changes the location of a job for which the candidate has an application, and the new location’s retention policy is different.
  • A user 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 removal date to reflect the least restrictive policy thereby keeping the candidate's PII in their 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's PII will be removed 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 remove a candidate’s information, SmartRecruiters will anonymize their profile by removing 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 remove from their profile. 

Candidate Data 

We’ll remove 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

When the candidate's application is deleted, we’ll remove your company’s page in their Candidate Portal. All information stored in our Candidate Portal database will be deleted. 

My Referrals

Deleted applications will no longer be visible in the My Referrals portal. 

Mobile Apps

Deleted applications will no longer be visible in the Hiring and Field Recruiting apps. 

Assessments and Offers

Assessment results and offers will persist, but the following PII of the candidate will be removed:

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


We’ll delete candidate's applications from the databases used by LinkedIn Recruiter and LinkedIn Referrals if you have an active integration for either. 


SmartRecruiters will use anonymized candidate data - by removing any personally identifying information (PII) - to serve proper analytics, but retain a record that a candidate existed. This means, "the counts" related to that candidate in analytics tools and reports will still be accurate. For instance,

  • Sourcing Analytics and Historical Candidate Pipeline will still show the correct count 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

When working with extracting Anonymized Candidates available in Report Builder, please also note:

  • All Candidate Data mentioned above will be anonymized
  • All Screening Question Answers will be anonymized other then the following ones:
    • Screening Question Answer: OFCCP - Veteran
    • Screening Question Answer: OFCCP - Disability
    • Screening Question Answer: Gender
    • Screening Question Answer: Race/Ethnicity
  • Reviews, Interviews, Application Fields will not be available 

Anonymizing Applications vs Candidate Profile

For customers who have requested data retention periods to be applied on an application level, the same behavior mentioned above can be expected. The only difference is:

  1. The application will be anonymized in accordance to the country’s configured data retention rule as soon as the candidate has been marked as rejected or withdrawn from this specific application.
  2. All PII information related to this application (such as notes, reviews, activities and email communications) will no longer be visible in the candidate's profile.
  3. When the data retention period for all outstanding applications passes, the candidate's profile will also be removed.