General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) overview


Product tier: Available for all subscription tiers

A wide-sweeping data protection law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. This law regulates the collecting and processing of personal data, and it has had a significant impact on companies with operations or offices located in the European Union.

We've been working with legal experts to make sure that Greenhouse:

  • remains compliant with how we handle customer data;
  • and has the tools necessary to help our customers properly manage their candidate data.

This information is meant for recruiting teams and other non-lawyers to understand some of the features we have implemented to help with these compliance efforts. If you would like more detailed information about our GDPR functionality to share with your legal team, please click here.

Data subject consent

One question we've heard from some of our EU-based customers is "How does Greenhouse plan to help us get consent from individual job applicants to transfer their personal data to the US?"


After speaking with a bunch of specialists and digging into the legal language, we found it's actually a common misconception that companies are required to collect consent from every job applicant or prospect. In fact, there are even risks with asking for consent from applicants for processing their data! If candidates are asked for their consent when they apply, for example, they could then choose to revoke it at any time, which could put added pressure on your team. For a more detailed explanation, please read our legal memo.

Collecting resumes and other relevant personal information is a legitimate interest of a company trying to evaluate and hire candidates. Because of this, companies do not need to collect consent from job applicants. Similarly, Greenhouse customers are not required to obtain consent from candidates to transfer their personal data from the EU to the US, because Greenhouse can commit to providing a level of protection for the data that is acceptable under EU law.

Our stance

Because getting consent from applicants is not required under the GDPR and creates a greater burden on companies, Greenhouse expects that our EU customers will want to avoid it. We don't currently have plans to build a feature to collect and store consent from candidates. However, we will include language on our job boards to meet the requirement that companies alert candidates that they will transfer personal data to another country.

The right to be forgotten


People have the "right to be forgotten" and Greenhouse customers will be required to erase a candidate's personal data when requested by the candidate. Companies also need to erase personal data when it's deemed no longer necessary for the business to continue storing it.

Our feature

Greenhouse has built tools allowing you to:

  • Specify a timeframe to based on your company's specific policies when your legal justification for keeping candidate data has expired (for example, one month after a candidate's application is rejected) to bulk delete candidate data;
  • Configure which data is deleted when a candidate asks to be forgotten (for example, you might decide to delete any PII but keep information that would allow you to generate reports on pipeline conversion);
  • Delete a candidate's data by clicking a button on their profile;

Enhanced rights to notice


Companies are required to provide a variety of details at the time data is requested (for example, when a candidate applies to a job), including why they are requesting certain information, how long it will be stored, and where it will be sent.

Our feature

Greenhouse will include language on job boards so that any necessary notifications and disclosures are made to candidates when they apply.

Enhanced rights to access


The GDPR significantly enhances people's right to access their own personal data. Companies will need to provide this data to candidates upon request in an efficient and easy format.

Our feature

Greenhouse has built a feature that will allow companies to respond to and complete data requests from candidates. You'll be able to configure what data should be accessible and send it to candidates in a CSV file by clicking a button on their profile.

The right to object


People have a right to restrict their personal data from being used for direct marketing purposes.

Our plan

If a candidate opts out, Greenhouse already has a “do not email” feature in place which prevents users from sending any email to that candidate.

Additional resources

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to your Account Manager or contact Greenhouse Technical Support.