Step 1: Configuring Phases and Categories


You can configure recruitment phases and categorize positions to map your company’s specific recruitment processes in Personio.


Dividing the Candidate Process Into Phases and Categories

We explain below how you can map your candidate process in Personio using phases and categories – and thus create the right customized process for each position covering everything from application receipt right up to hiring. First, think about which steps your candidates usually go through. You can then combine these as you wish for each category, e.g. the type of employment. This makes it possible for a student trainee to be hired faster than a full-time employee, who you may want to interview several times.



Predefined Phases

By default, the phases Unassigned, Rejected, Declined, Offer and Accepted are predefined under Settings > Recruiting > Phases. These recruiting phases cannot be edited because they trigger further processes in Personio.

  • Unassigned: All candidates who have not been assigned to another phase will automatically be assigned to this one. Deleting a phase that contains candidates could, for example, trigger this categorization.
  • Rejected: All candidates you have rejected, for example because they are not suitable for the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.
  • Declined: All candidates who have declined to continue with the application process, for example because they are no longer interested in the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.

You are legally required to remove personal data once the purpose the data was collected for has been fulfilled. Do so by going to Settings > Recruiting > General and activating automatic anonymization of candidate data for all candidates assigned to the Rejected or Declined phases. Please note that although the data cannot be recovered after it has been anonymized, the meta information will be retained for your reports.

  • Offer: All candidates for whom you create (and optionally send) offers of employment straight from Personio are assigned to this phase. You can find more information on creating offers here.
  • Accepted: All candidates who have accepted your offer are assigned to this phase and added to Personio as new hires. All the information from the Offer tab, as well as all documents, will be automatically transferred to the new employee profile. The employee profile remains linked to the candidate profile.

There is a predefined maximum number of days that candidates may spend in the Unassigned and Offer phases. For Unassigned, this is one day; for the Offer phase, it is seven days. If a candidate exceeds this number of days, you will see their name flagged in the candidate list. You can additionally filter your candidate list for candidates who have already been in a particular phase for too long. Click here for further information on the candidate list.


Custom Phases

In addition to the predefined phases, you can also create any number of further phases that candidates will need to complete. Navigate to Settings > Recruiting > Phases to create individual phases. Enter the phase name in the Add new phase field (e.g. review documents, interview, case studies, final decision) and specify the maximum number of days that a candidate can spend in each phase. Then add the individual phases by clicking on the plus symbol.

Once created, you can change the sequence of phases by simply dragging and dropping them into place. You can also drag & drop additional phases into the appropriate place in the sequence later on. Finally, click on Edit to assign a different color to each phase. This will provide you with a clearer overview of the application process as a whole.

Create an additional custom phase called candidate pool. Transfer any candidates into this phase who you may wish to consider for future positions. 

Click here to find out how to transfer candidates between phases.


Configuring Recruiting Categories

You can use recruiting categories to map different application processes. Create categories by navigating to Settings  > Recruiting > Categories and adding all the recruiting categories that are relevant for your company. You may want to create categories by employment type (e.g. full-time, part-time), position (e.g. Junior, Senior) or department (e.g. Marketing, IT), for example. By using categories, you can not only organize and display your open positions clearly, but also assign individual recruiting processes to phases and send automatic receipt confirmations.

Decide which phases you would like to assign to the different categories. To save specific application processes in the various recruiting categories, click on the relevant Category and then on Edit. You can add any number of recruiting phases that are relevant for the particular category.

Please note: If you do not assign any phases to a category, all phases will be applied by default.

You can also send automatic receipt confirmations to candidates in the various categories. Select the appropriate category, navigate to Edit and, under Autoresponder, define whether candidates should receive a receipt confirmation when applying via the online tool and/or when applying by email. Select any Email template you have previously created and choose a Sender address. Click on Save to complete this process.

For more detailed information on email preferences in Personio, please click here.


Displaying Recruiting Categories

Creating recruiting categories additionally allows you to access a clear overview of vacant positions in your company. To do so, go to the main menu and click on Recruiting > Positions to generate a list of positions grouped by category. You will be able to see at a glance how many candidates are at each stage of your recruiting process for each of the open positions.

To find out how to create positions, please click here.


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