How Do You Ensure the Ethical Use of Big Data in Recruitment?

Sharing information online has become “normal” in today’s society. IBMs Market Cloud Study found that a staggering 90% of the data online has been created since 2016. It has become second nature for us to snap, swipe, and publish our lives online. 

However, since the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook Scandal of 2018, many people are becoming more cautious with where they share their data. With speculations made that the data from the scraped 50 million profiles was used to influence voting decisions, and target political advertisements, more people are concerned that when they share their data online, it will later be used for targeting of political and commercial advertisements. 

Ethical Use of Data in Tech

With privacy breaches becoming more common, it can feel like you are living in some weird dystopian future. Understandably, this makes you not want to share your data online and feel that relying on digital traits to build a profile of who you are is a little creepy. Your concerns are legitimate, and here at PitchMe, we have them too. 

Tech companies are at the heart of many data breaches, using data as an asset in the modern economy, and this needs to change. As a UK start-up, with a product that is in HR tech, we are striving to align our community expectations and corporate behaviour. We have written this post to be completely transparent about the way we handle our candidates data and reassure you that it is possible to use data ethically in the tech and recruitment industries.  

Having Control Over Your Data 

PitchMe believes in creating tools that allow people to have both control over their data and the ability to use their data to achieve goals, such as finding a new job and professional development of their career.

Core Principles of PitchMe’s Use of Data:

  • Your data should always empower you. We help make your data work for you and bring you new job opportunities.
  • You always have to authorise the use of your data. You, the candidate, have to authorise the use of any of your data.
  • The collection of your data never violates privacy or uses data from personal communications.
  • You are in control of your data. You have full control over how your data is used in order to create your personal platform.
  • You own your data. You are able to revoke authorisation for PitchMe to use any of your data, at any point in time.

With the concerning nature of how big data and personal information has been used to gain influence over a person, having control of your data is more important than ever. Personal identifying information (PIIpii) is collected by multiple platforms that you use online, and through purchase data, where it is then sent out into the world and the information is used to shape our experiences. As such, we think it is of great importance that you decide how your data is used and are given the ability to revoke access whenever you see fit.  

Who Owns My Data?

We never have ownership of your data. The ownership always stays with you, the candidate, and the platform/website/portfolio where the data is kept. We believe that the sole owner of all data should be a person who generates it, and give you control of what data is used on our platform as well as the ability to quickly and easily delete your profile it at any time. 

What Data Do We Collect and Why Should You Provide it?

Sources of Data & Creating a SmartMe Profile

PitchMe created SmartMe Profiles to make it easy to collect all of your professional information in one place. It becomes tedious filling out your personal details over and over again for every job you apply for, and why should you have to waste all of this time? 

The SmartMe profile is the future of recruiting, replacing the traditional CV. You create your profile once from multiple sources, and then your information is already there to be sent to multiple employers for various job applications. 

Do We Scrape Data? 

Data scraping is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet. There are many helpful applications for data scraping but it also raises privacy concerns. 

The SmartMe profile allows you to choose which sources of information you use, and you can grant the platform access to them (which can be revoked at any time). Data is only collected from the platforms you grant us authorisation to access, obtaining the consent of both the user and the platform. We never obtain any of your personal of professional data without your consent, or scrape any of your data. 

The more data that is provided for your SmartMe profile, the more accurate it becomes. We can better present your skills to employers and get more accurate job matches for you through our platform. We are dependent on you sharing your data to be able to match you with jobs and the more data we have, the higher the chances of finding the dream job you’ve been looking for and getting matched to a company where you will have a high level of job satisfaction. However, it is up to you how much data you share and you can stop access whenever you please.  

Our Methodology 

You are at the heart of our platform. Our aim is to create a fair hiring process that accurately displays your skills and matches you to jobs according to your abilities and personal traits. 

When creating the platform, we put a lot of time and resources into creating an ethical process for collecting and handling our candidates data as well as finding the most accurate way to present it. We extract valuable data from a variety of sources – and plan to have many more non-obvious sources introduced soon – to give us a detailed assessment of candidates. 

Three psychologists and two data scientist spent nine months developing the methodology of our skills assessment from the big data we collected. 

Several types of information are used for analysis: text, images, videos and even code. All of that data is then consolidated and split by a range of factors (clusters), determining particular skills. Each cluster has numerous factors that are used to determine the existence or absence of a skill and its score.

Completing Your SmartMe Profile

Completing your SmartMe profile gives you insights into how employers and recruiters see you and your skills. 

How Can You Control What Data We Collect?

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process. It’s no secret that recruiters also screen social media and search for other open sources to vet candidates. You have no control over a recruiters actions and what they do with the data they find. 

With the PitchMe platform, your SmartMe profile authorised access to only the sources you have approved. This allows you to make informed decisions regarding the use of your data and puts you back in control. You can revoke access to data that think is affecting your profile and it will no longer be presented to employers. 

Our mission is to present candidates at their best, emphasising their strengths and real skills. We do not search for negative behavior or weaknesses. Employers are then presented with your skillset and ideal work context so we can match you with work conditions that will allow you to perform at your best.

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