Data Cleansing Case Study
This recruitment agency had been operating very successfully for 25 years. During that time records had been collected from candidates, and everything had been kept in case it was needed again. The records were stored in large boxes and included CVs, police checks, references and other personal and sensitive information.
The volume of records was taking up quite large areas in the office and was even becoming an issue of safety. The business would have struggled to explain why it needed to keep all this personal data, particularly when so much of it had not been used for years. No system was in place to help identify what records were held. There was a potential for a breach of security or misuse of the data. This had become a real liability for the business, but the business didn't know where to start. What are the appropriate retention periods for these records? Where do we find the time to do this? How do we make the space in a busy office to work on tens of thousands of paper records?
Our first step was to transfer the records to another site so the office was immediately relieved of the congestion. Then we reviewed relevant guidelines for record retention such as those set by the ATO, by the industry, by clients and contracts, and by the policies of the business itself. Then our team set to work. We devised a process for organising the information and separating it into different categories. The team worked through well in excess of ten thousand records in less than 3 weeks. Each day a progress update was emailed to the client and any questions and uncertainties were highlighted and discussed. It was very important that the client was involved in making decisions as the work progressed. Once the sorting was completed, the team scanned and saved the selected records. Finally, all the paper records were removed and securely shredded by Shred-X.
The project was completed in less time than expected and with almost double the workload that was quoted. The recruitment agency was very satisfied with the results. Their space problem has been solved and they hold the records they need. They now have a process for managing records so that in future they can be readily identified and retained or destroyed as needed.