Q: I was being screened for a possible job position when this company’s HR department requested for personal documents like SSS, TIN, Pag-Ibig documents, residence certificate, witholding tax certificate, bank account number and such. I was told that though my getting hired remained uncertain, they needed these documents to probe my background further. I balked at giving them this information. Did I do the right thing?

– Ocelot

A: The request is a folly, to say the least. Within the Kaizen context, it’s called muda or non-value added things which can clutter one’s work table, irritate job applicants or both.

Would the request be part of the pre-employment screening process? I doubt it much. You cannot use an SSS identification card in determining a person’s character or work compatibility.

Other than your academic transcript and NBI/ Police clearance, your prospect cannot ask for more, until there is a formal offer of employment.

Your concern now is how to convince the employer without antagonism that you are a valuable candidate, without having to needlessly furnish the above documents.

R.A.H. Elbo is the managing advisor of Kairos Management Technologies and acting president of Kaizen Institute of the Philippines, both consulting and training companies.