Many headhunters wants to meet with me first. The really sleazy ones will demand your Social Security Number (SSN) before sending you on interviews.
Don’t carelessly give out your SSN! Due to the way “identity theft” law works, it’s guilty until proven innocent! If you give out your SSN to a sleazy headhunter, and they leak it to criminals, then you can be in a lot of trouble!
There are many ways that giving your SSN out lead to identity theft. The headhunter or his assistant can steal it. They can be careless with their data security. Once a criminal has your SSN and other personal information, they can start identity theft. Once you’re the victim of identity theft, it’s a big hassle to get it straightened out.
Occasionally, a sleazy headhunter demands my SSN, and I refuse. If necessary, I walk out of the interview when they insist. I recently walked out on a sleazy headhunter, when demanded my SSN. The excuse was “We need your SSN to put you in our computer!” If that is true, then your candidate tracking program is defective-by-design.
That sleazy headhunter was also fishing for information on my last employer. They probably are another recruiter that works with them, on the “preferred vendor list”. They made it too obvious that they were fishing, because they only asked me about that job and no others.
The standard practice is that you give out your SSN only when you get to the offer stage. You should never give out your SSN to a headhunter. You should never give out your SSN on a first interview. If a background check is required at the offer stage, only then give out your SSN.
I noticed that the most sleazy headhunters are the ones that demand a SSN. You should *NEVER* give out your SSN before the offer stage. If a job offer requires your SSN and a background check, then a non-sleazy employer will give a conditional offer.
The law regarding “identity theft” is a mess. The burden of proof is on the identity theft victim. You *SHOULD NOT* give out your SSN to every slimeball who asks for it.