Every day, recruitment organizations handle huge volumes of sensitive data in file types that are common targets for ransomware. Data security may not be at the forefront of what you do, but it’s critical for maintaining client and customer trust and your business reputation. Find out how the right applicant tracking software can handle your data security needs.

When it comes to data security, all recruiters need the right level of training and awareness. But the right applicant tracking system (ATS) should be able to handle data security, freeing up recruitment professionals to focus on their core business.

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) is the gateway to a goldmine of personal and enterprise data. And with recent and ongoing developments in data privacy regulations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a data breach can be costly, inflicting irreparable damage to your client’s and candidate’s trust and your company’s reputation. 

Whether your sensitive data is held in a public cloud, private cloud, or on premises, recruitment firms and HR professionals have an obligation to ensure data security and compliance with data privacy law and regulations. So how can you protect company, client, and candidate data from the threat of cyberattacks, unauthorized access, or even accidental exposure? 

Let’s take a closer look at data security in recruitment, and how you can mitigate the risk by taking the right preventative measures. 

What is data security?

Data security involves protecting digital information from corruption and unauthorized access wherever it resides, in transit, at rest, or at the end of its lifecycle when it’s no longer required. Digital data security can be enacted in a number of ways, including encryption, masking, and tokenization. It also requires additional measures to mitigate data breaches, including backup copies and secure storage.

Why is data security important?

Research shows that in 2020 there were nearly 30,000 cybersecurity incidents worldwide, with 3,236 in the public sector and 2,935 in the  information industry. In the same year, there were over 300 million reported ransomware attacks – where attackers threaten to permanently prevent access to a victim’s data unless a ransom is paid. 

Unsurprisingly, two of the most targeted file types are database file extensions (like .db) and SQL (Structured Query Language) which is the standard language for manipulating database, and relational database management systems. Both of these file types are commonly used by every type of recruitment professional, from recruitment agencies to HR departments.  But with the right ATS in place, there’s no undue cause for alarm.

What are the different types of data security?

Organizations of every size have a raft of data security measures at their disposal. The right security solution, as part of a wider internal security strategy, will take account of the risk, compliance regulations, and sensitivity of specific datasets to deploy the right level of security control. This helps to mitigate the risks in data handling and storage.

Recruitment is one example of an industry that deals with a constant flow of incoming and outgoing flow of personal and organizational data. And like other industries, there are common data security measures that can be put in place for reducing risk and avoiding a breach. These include:

  • Encryption 
  • Backups and recovery
  • Secure storage
  • Authentication
  • Access controls

An ATS that’s compliant and secure

As a provider of recruitment CRM / ATS hybrid, PCRecruiter handles large volumes of sensitive data every day – between 8,000 and 9,000 separate databases ranging from 100MB to 7TB in size. So for us, data security is business critical and a core part of what we do.

Our ISO certified data center has a rigorous security process for entry, 24/7 staffing and caged equipment. Whilst we can offer bespoke levels of security encryption (including asymmetrical encryption for organizations who wish to encrypt their own data) all of our data undergoes industry standard encryption. And anything leaving one of our data centers is automatically encrypted, such as quarterly backups, which are removed and stored securely in a vault. Plus, we back up to two separate geographic locations in case of a natural disaster or security incident in one location. 

Our software is regularly scheduled for pen testing (ethical hacking) to evaluate the robustness of its security features. In addition, developers go through extensive training in data security. For third-party developers wishing to utilize our application programming interface (API), we provide access tokens which restrict access to specific functionality. 

Alongside these security measures, we offer opt-in security settings for recruiters. These include the following Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) settings:

  • Invalid password lock out
  • Email authentication
  • TOPTP (time-based one-time password)

Peace of mind with PCRecruiter

Since 1997, Main Sequence – the company behind PCRecruiter – has built a strong reputation for being one of the world’s most trusted and successful developers of recruitment, sourcing, and applicant tracking software. PCRecruiter is a software as a service (SaaS) built on its own operating system and platform with cybersecurity baked in. It provides thousands of recruiters around the world with data security they both need and trust. 

Find out more about our commitment to the highest standards in data protection and adherence to compliance regulations in our blog post PCRecruiter is ready for the GDPR.

PCRecruiter announces integration with hireEZ

PCRecruiter is now integrated directly with hireEZ, the #1 AI-powered outbound recruiting platform. In addition to making outbound recruiting easy, hireEZ helps PCRecruiter users keep their own private talent pool updated with the latest information about their candidates.

PCRecruiter is now integrated directly with hireEZ, the #1 AI-powered outbound recruiting platform. In addition to making outbound recruiting easy, this partnership helps PCRecruiter users keep their own private talent pool updated with the latest information about their candidates.

Unleash access to 800M+ candidates from 45+ open web platforms, get market insights and DE&I information to build data-driven recruiting strategies and maximize the value of your existing PCRecruiter database.

hireEZ Sourcing
hireEZ Sourcing gives you the talent market visibility you need to proactively target the right candidates at the right time and build a scalable, data-driven recruiting approach.

Keep your database fresh and growing.

  • Use the new ‘Enrich with hireEZ’ option in the Action menu on your Name records in PCRecruiter with your API key from hireEZ to quickly turn your aging data into actionable data.
  • Export candidates from your hireEZ projects directly to your PCRecruiter database.
  • Allow hireEZ to source your PCRecruiter data for target candidates, and to offer metrics and insights on your talent pool.

Ready to get started?
Visit https://hireez.com

For more information on using this new integration, see the hireEZ page in our Learning Center.


Review PCRecruiter – Get a Gift Card!

Read PCRecruiter reviews on TrustRadiusPCRecruiter was recently awarded a “Top Rated” badge in the Recruitment Agency software category on TrustRadius. We also made top-billing this year on G2 and other review sites, ranking as one of the Top 10 Staffing software options based on independent reviews from our users.

You can share your opinion of PCRecruiter and, in many cases, you’ll receive a gift card from the review site for your time. These gift card incentives are in limited supply, so we invite you to post your review of PCRecruiter by following any of these links soon: Capterra, G2, TrustRadius, and SoftwareReviews.

Sequencing will let you create automated workflows for all sorts of purposes in PCRecruiter. Sign up for this free bi-weekly Tuesday webinar series to learn more.

The new Sequencing tool is coming to PCRecruiter in 2022. Our webinar series on this powerful upcoming feature begins this week and continues bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 2 EST through July 12. PCRecruiter’s Training Manager and Associate Software Designer, Stacy Racutt, will show off what this feature is capable of.

  • Session 1 – June 14
    In this high-level overview, you’ll learn what the Sequencing tool is and what it can do.
  • Session 2 – June 28
    In the second session, Stacy will show you how to set up a Sequence for Business Development.
  • Session 3 – July 12
    In the third session, you’ll learn how to create a Sequence to use for sourcing Candidates.
  • Session 4 – July 19
    In the final session, you’ll see how to complete Tasks and view results of the Sequences shown in the previous sessions.

Click the links above to register for these sessions now! Even if you can’t make it in person, the recording will be available to all registrants.

What is Sequencing?

Sequenced Tasks
Sequencing will allow you to create automated workflows for easier recruiting and user on-boarding.

With Sequencing, you’ll be able to define automated workflows for all sorts of purposes, helping you to more easily manage your day and make on-boarding new recruiters easier than ever. Sequencing will make it possible for users to execute ‘drip campaigns,’ call plans, and much more.

Sequences are user-defined chains of sequential or branching event plans that can include:

  • Calls
  • Emails
  • LinkedIn interactions
  • Text messages
  • and more…

Once a Sequence is created, timed and triggered tasks like email sends will happen automatically. For user-interaction tasks, PCRecruiter automatically presents the next work item to be completed, and makes it a breeze to log each step along the way.

Decades of working alongside top firms around the world has given PCRecruiter insight into what recruiting technology works and what doesn’t.

Every recruitment organization is different, with its own style, strategy, and approach to making hires happen. Whilst there’s no magic formula for success, there are some common traits which help recruitment firms gain a competitive edge.

Decades of working along side top recruitment firms from around the world, across a wide range of industries and markets, has given PCRecruiter a clear insight into what works and what doesn’t. It comes down to the right investment, recruiting technology, and autonomy.

Many traits are common sense and largely controllable: owners who are engaged and work hard, choosing markets that are hot, and making sufficient investment into their businesses.

Some are not as intuitive or controllable: personal charisma of key players, odd-couple leadership teams, and generalization versus specialization in key markets and roles.

So what sets top-performing recruitment organizations apart from their competitors?

➀ The right investment

Investment is not just about spending money, especially as spending money in itself doesn’t automatically result in success. Cultural investment is crucial for any organization to be effective. From investing in the right leadership team to sourcing people who are the best fit for both the position advertised and your company values, successful organizations are built on a solid workforce culture. But that doesn’t necessarily mean focusing entirely on employee contentment. Research by Gallup suggests a key driver in employee retention and business success is to create high levels of engagement, where employees are treated as stakeholders in the company’s future.

No matter the size of your business, success is dependent on a number of moving parts, all of which have a powerful role to play in delivering your core business. And like any complex organization, good performance depends on many variables. Yet a strong pattern does emerge: recruitment firms that continuously optimize and refine their workflows, and who make training and development a central activity, seem to perform better. This is true even across large businesses with many sets of tools and team members.

Sometimes the right solution might involve throwing dollars at vendors of technology and professional services, but without the involvement of leadership and effective non-dollar cultural and educational investments, no technology or technique on its own will automatically provide a competitive edge.

➁ The right recruiting technology

Technology is increasingly becoming a key differentiator for recruitment firms looking to take the edge on their competitors. As organizations seek to drive efficiency and cost-savings through programs of digital transformation, they look to cutting-edge recruiting technology to provide their teams with ways of working smarter and more effectively. In a world of ‘Big Data’, recruiters are faced with ever-growing volumes of data and databases. At the same time, services and industries are niching down, catering to very specific market audiences with very defined knowledge, expertise, and skills.

While a growing number of recruiting software solutions provide increased levels of automation for repetitive or easily automated tasks, this doesn’t signal a need for fewer recruiters. What it does is free-up recruiters to focus more on their core business: recruiting.  For that reason, recruiters wholly dependent on manual processes are likely to experience a growing and inevitable disadvantage, even as the middle of the pack dramatically thins out.

➂ The right autonomy

We’re heading into the era of Autonomous Business Processes (ABP):

  • In the early stages, this includes auto-generation of repeatable documents, such as fee agreements, offer letters, and onboarding/contracting pieces.
  • In more mature stages, it includes servicing tasks and supports within the organization, including the routing, visualization, and reporting of task and disposition items to department entities, managers, and team-members.

These developments are now rapidly pairing with voice, email, text, and virtual meeting spaces. COVID massively accelerated virtual workplaces, and those changes will not unwind.  The result is a tendency toward socialized and digitalized networking, less risky experimentation and creativity, and more ‘work as a lifestyle’ as teams put themselves and their tools together.

Autonomous organizations can be highly effective because their business processes tend to run without the day-to-day or hour-to-hour involvement at C-suite level. This frees up business owners and leaders to spend more time on strategic decision-making because the workflows in the organization are fine-tuned to deliver and repeat key performances needed for its economic model and to handle exceptions however they occur.

Final thoughts

In terms of technological choices, recruiters who have proven their ability to adapt and continuously improve are the likely to outperform their competitors, for the simple reason that they’re able to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Successful solutions can come from global recruitment giants or single-person startups. What matters is education and iteration to continuously grow and drive results. Top-performing firms recognize that investing in the right recruitment software solutions is essential in the tooth and claw evolutionary battle of business competition.


Martin Snyder - President & Co-Founder of Main Sequence Technology, Inc., developers of PCRecruiter recruitment technology
Martin Snyder leads regulatory and organizational compliance for Main Sequence Technology. As a co-founder and principal of Main Sequence, he helps provide executive and policy leadership as an active manager of the business. Mr. Snyder has a background in sales, recruiting technology design/implementation, SMB tech, and consumer finance.