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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Still leaving the "job hunt"...



Yesterday, I happened to suddenly have arrived upon the notion of removing my online presence as a “job seeker” from the job portal websites that I had registered on, many years ago. So, true to form, and in an effort to stick to the plan, I showed up bright and early with a view to removing myself from Monster (Monster India, to be exact), Naukri, and Timesjobs. However, lo and behold, once I actually got down to try and delete my accounts on these services, I discovered that there was no sure shot way to do this. Things were starting to feel a lot like the mafia, or some gang that always welcomed you with open arms, but would only let you go at peril of death.

I did the most obvious thing, and that it came to me after much searching notwithstanding, I went to Google and searched for “how do i delete my monsterindia account”,
replacing the company name with the other two service providers to see what I could find. Interestingly enough of the first few answers to pop up for each, the result was the same. No one had a clue about how exactly to go about deleting their accounts, which also had a copy of their latest resumes and all their contact info. As if this was the way things were supposed to be, the results for these searches across Monster India, Naukri.com and Timesjobs all had the same story to tell: set your profile to “inactive” so that recruiters won’t be able to contact you. But that was more “hiding” than “deleting”, I thought. So, I decided to go back and read the Privacy Statement to see if there was something there.

Not surprisingly, looking for the word “delete” using the Ctrl+F function, I only found two instances of the word in the Monster India T&C document, and maybe a few more on the Naukri and Timesjobs sites. True to form, there was no information about doing something to delete my account, more a list of suggestions about how I can “hide” my resume from recruiters and with a sufficient period of inactivity, my account may be deleted. Vague information at best, I pressed on, but to no avail. According to the section from the Monster India Privacy statement in full:

If you wish to delete or close your account or account profile information altogether, please click here to contact us. An email will be sent to you to confirm that your personal information has been deleted (save for an archival copy which is not accessible by you or third parties on the Internet). The archival copy is retained only for as long as Monster reasonably considers necessary for audit and record purposes. We will also retain logs, demographic, indirect, and statistical information that may relate to you but do not identify you personally. If your personal information was previously accessed by others using our Sites, we are not able to delete the information or copies thereof from their systems.

If you are a job seeker with a public resume and have not logged onto the web site for an extended period, we may make your resume unsearchable. Separately, and regardless of your resume privacy setting, if you do not log into your account for a significant period of time, it will expire and be scheduled for deletion. Our current expiration and deletion period is 36 months; we may extend or reduce this period in order to adjust to changing hiring patterns. If we change the period, we will update this notice. You will, always receive an email from us before we delete your resume, and you always have the ability to delete your resume at any time by logging into your account. Deletion of expired accounts occurs on a periodic basis and includes the deletion of all applicable account data including resumes and contact information.

It was safe to assume that “[clicking] here” wouldn’t accomplish much, which it didn’t, but it was interesting to note how much they had taken the time to say, instead of just having one of those “Delete Account” buttons somewhere at the bottom of my profile page. Timesjobs had a well-organized T&C document, but didn’t have the information that I was looking for. The best that they could come up with was something about how the “Company may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect…” that had five bullet points, the first of which states, “On completion of the term for which the user engages the services of the Company,” and the last one, which says, “On writing and on such terms as agreed to by the parties mutually in writing.” As of earlier this morning, I am still waiting for a response to the email that I sent to this effect.

Naukri.com was the first to respond to one of my “Help” emails by sending me an official-looking reply with a subject line that read “Re: [#13433] Jobseeker: How to delete my account”. Here is what that email looks like:

Dear User,
 We wish to inform you that you may deactivate your Naukri account by marking your profile as “Not Visible” so that recruiters cannot view your profile and job mailers are stopped, and if required later for job hunt you may retrieve the profile by marking the same as “Visible as Active”. Procedure in form of word document is attached, to mark your profile as “Not Visible”.

 Once your profile is marked “Not Visible” recruiters will not be able to view your profile after 24 hours and if all the mailers are unchecked then your job alert from Naukri.com will stop after 15 days.

 For any further information or concerns, feel free to contact us.

 Thanks & Regards             
Naukri Technical Support Team

How’s that for a response that doesn’t answer the question. So, it seems to me that once you’re a part of the job hunt, and if you happen to seek the assistance of some “online partner” from names the like of which I have mentioned here, then you’re pretty much signing your life over to a bunch of people who don’t care, and worse, who will then make sure you get inundated with the most annoying HR Recruiter calls asking you if you’re “looking for a change” and that if you aren’t interested in the job, if you have any friends or people you might know who you would fancy sending to the slaughter, so to speak.

Once in never out, it seemed. Now, I’m just going to sit back and see what the final verdict on all of this deleting of accounts is. I've "hidden" myself as per the instructions provided to me. Oh, and while I'm waiting, let us all take the time to contemplate what this kind of system of doing business means, especially when it comes to the smaller players in the market who by virtue of "desperation" seek to operate far more unscrupulously. Chew on that for a second. Now, wish me luck!
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