Ask HR: Should We Keep a Copy of Every Resume We Receive?
Ask HR: Should We Keep a Copy of Every Resume We Receive?

Ask HR: Should We Keep a Copy of Every Resume We Receive?

Is your organization drowning in resumes? You wouldn't be the only one. As more and more employers move toward mobile apply and other technologies for filling open positions, one question remains: Do you still need to keep copies of every resume that comes through your door, virtual or otherwise? As well, do you need to respond to everyone who sends you a resume?

This week's Ask HR column from the HR pros at HR Support Center addresses these timely topics. Whether you're a job applicant or an HR manager, you'll find this advice useful. Read on...but don't get out your shredder just yet.

Question:

I have some questions about resumes and applications. Do I need to keep all resumes that are sent to me? If so, for how long? And do I need to contact each person who applies to let them know they were not hired?

Answer from Eric, HR Pro:

When you accept resumes or applications in relation to a job, the resumes should be maintained for one year for compliance with an assortment of laws. Federal contractors should maintain these records for at least two years. Resumes that you received unsolicited can be discarded, but if you have a practice of accepting any unsolicited resumes, I would save all of these for a year as well.

The amount of communication with applicants you do is entirely up to you and what you want. I recommend explaining in your job postings what communication or lack thereof applicants can expect. As a general rule, no contact is needed for unsolicited resumes, and it’s usually not expected. No contact is required in response to submitted applications, although applicants at the later stages of the process will expect some kind of notification (email or letter) as a courtesy. Please note, however, that government contractors also have different rules regarding communication with applicants.

While responses are not required, leaving applicants who do not get the position with a positive feeling helps create a positive reputation for your company, so we recommend doing so to the extent you can.


Eric, HR ProEric has extensive experience in HR, management, and training. He has held several senior HR positions, including as the HR & Operations Manager for an award-winning interactive marketing agency and as HR Director for a national law firm. Eric graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the University of Oregon with a minor in Business Administration. Eric is also active in the community, volunteering with the regional Human Resources Management Association Advocacy Team and with youth training programs.


Do you have questions like this? One entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than just one hour of a typical attorney's time. Ask us instead.

More to Discover

SaaS Payroll: 6 Tips to Find the Perfect Solution

SaaS Payroll: 6 Tips to Find the Perfect Solution

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the term used for software that’s delivered and used totally online or in the cloud. As more businesses turn to online solutions to manage their workflows, do accounting, etc., it should be no surprise to see that payroll processing is no exception. From tax-filing and employee self-service to data security and compliance management, SaaS payroll automates routine tasks and ensures accuracy, so business leaders can focus on what really matters, improving the bottom line. If you’re in the market for an online payroll system, you’ll need a sharp eye to find the perfect match for your organization. Keep in mind, not all payroll software is created equal. Whether you want to go with a bare-bones solution or...

10 Must Haves for HR SaaS

10 Must Haves for HR SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the term used for software that’s delivered and used entirely online or in the cloud, meaning that no software is actually installed on employees’ hard drives. More and more businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions to manage their workflows, run accounting and control their supply chains, often as part of a larger enterprise resources planning (ERP) solution. Probably not surprisingly to most, the HR function is no exception. A SaaS human resources solution can enable small and midsize business owners to control every aspect of their employee management tasks online. And in doing so, HR departments can eliminate mundane and error-prone manual tasks such as wrangling multiple spreadsheets and...

Paid Sick Leave Laws By State

Paid Sick Leave Laws By State

Everyone, at one time or another, has worked with that person who comes to work with a bad cold (We’re hopeful it wasn’t you). Not only is it annoying, it also jeopardizes the health of other employees. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe that co-worker came to work because they didn’t have enough paid sick time available and wouldn’t get paid for a missed day or two? Here’s a high-level overview of states’ paid sick leave laws for private sector employers. Keep in mind this list is not inclusive of every state’s laws; there are many more nuances to understand and comply with. Alabama Paid Sick Leave Laws No state sick leave laws. Alaska Paid Sick Leave Laws No state sick leave laws. Arizona Paid Sick Leave Laws Covered...

Compliance with State and Municipality Sick Leaves

Compliance with State and Municipality Sick Leaves

In the past, granting paid sick leave was at the employer’s discretion in the private sector. While employees are covered for long-term leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), there’s no federal paid sick leave act that requires private employers to pay for short-term sick leave. But now we’re seeing a growing movement of laws being created at the state and municipality levels that are designed to protect employees who might be forced to choose between going to work sick and infecting their co-workers, or calling in sick and potentially losing pay and, in the worst-case scenario, even their jobs. Paid sick leave gives an employee financial peace of mind when they find that they can’t work because either they’re sick or...