I would like some insight into using an anonymized information - like a different family name, birthday, location and phone number, and throw-away email address - to make initial contact with a company that outsources some of their HR functions. The companies are usually easily identifiable because either (1) the company's job listings are hosted by a 3rd party; or (2) "Apply Now" goes off-site to a 3rd party.
There are several reasons a person may wish to withhold information from 3rd parties like Monster, Dice, or many of the other "HR as a service" providers. First, some folks are not allowed to engage in a job search during employment (see Should I agree to accept any further addition of rules to the company policy?).
Second, some people are concerned about their privacy and don't want to share information with anyone who holds "the person is the product" and commoditizes their information. I have been part of three data breaches and I don't want more information about me circulating for others to use.
Third, many of the companies that provide candidate services to HR departments have been found to be Consumer Reporting Agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (see Halvorson v. TalentBin, Inc.; Case No. 3:15-cv-05166-JCS). They operate with little to no oversight; and are effectively unaccountable for their mistakes. Trying to monitor and identify every data broker with incorrect information is not reasonable for the typical individual.
Fourth, candidates with cultural names often experience discrimination. According to Jalen Ross, "Every day, a black name resume is 50 percent less likely to get responded to than a white name resume" (see Do job-seekers with 'white' names get more callbacks than 'black' names?).
The best solution to the first three concerns is to avoid sharing the information in the first place. If the information is not shared then it can't be lost, stolen or misused. The fourth case only needs to redact the name.
I have tried writing to companies using published and well-known email addresses like email@example.com trying to open a dialogue with and asking for (1) alternate methods to submit information, or (2) declining to share information with partners. My empirical data suggests it is successful about 1 in 11 or 1 in 12 times. Most of th time there is no reply, and most of the remaining times the answer is "no". That's not very good so I am trying to improve the success rate while being mindful of my privacy.
Questions: assuming I use an alias name, a similar birthday and similar location with accurate employment information and experience, then
- how do I explain using aliases without giving the appearance of misconduct or impropriety?
- what reaction(s) should I expect from the company and HR personnel?
- are there better strategies to make contact while protecting candidate privacy?
I realize I will have to provide accurate name, birthday, ssn, location and phone number eventually. Once the dialogue is open we can work together instead of blindly dumping everything into a 3rd party who then claims they own the information.