Step 1: Configure Phases and Categories


This article explains how to configure recruiting phases and categories to map your company’s specific recruiting processes in Personio. First, think about which steps your candidates usually go through, and then combine these as you wish for each category. 


What are the benefits?

Configuring phases and categories in Personio has the following benefits:

  • Map your application process in Personio: Configure different phases that match your application process, such as Screening, Phone interview, Assessment Center, … 
  • Speed up the application process: Ensure that each application is always in the right phase of the application process, and see a notification if an application stays too long in a specific phase.
  • Create a customized process for each category: This way, a working student can for example be hired faster than a full-time employee, who you may want to interview several times.
  • See at a glance how many candidates are currently in each recruiting phase: Go to Recruiting > Positions and get a clear overview of all the vacant positions in your company.


Predefined Phases

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 Phases, the phases Unassigned, Rejected, Withdrawn, Offer and Accepted are predefined by default.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

Predefined Recruiting Phase Note
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, will be assigned to this phase.
Withdrawn All candidates who have withdrawn their application, for example because they are no longer interested in the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.
Offer All candidates for whom you create (and send) an offer straight from Personio, are assigned to this phase. Learn more about Creating an Offer in Personio.
Accepted All candidates who have accepted your offer are assigned to this phase and are automatically added to Personio as new hires. All the information specified in the Offer tab, as well as all documents, will automatically be transferred to the new employee profile. The employee profile continues to be linked to the candidate profile.

Note Due to GDPR, you are legally required to remove personal data once the purpose for which the data was collected has been fulfilled. Go to Settings > Recruiting > Recruiting > General to automatically anonymize candidate data for all candidates assigned to the Rejected or Withdrawn phase. Learn more about Anonymizing and Deleting Candidate Data.


Configure Custom Phases

In addition to the predefined phases, you can create any number of further phases that candidates will need to complete during the application process.

To create custom recruiting phases, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Recruiting > Recruiting > Phases.
  2. Click on Add new recruiting phase. Insert the name of the phase in the text field, Phase name and click Save.
  3. Define the duration of the phase.
    ▶︎ Unlimited
    ▶︎ Limited – Specify the maximum number of days candidates should be permitted to remain in this phase. If a candidate exceeds this number, you will see their name flagged in the Applications list. You can also filter this list for candidates who have already been in a particular phase for too long. Learn more about Application List Functions.
  4. For easier differentiation and a clearer structure, select the color of the phase and click Apply changes.

You can drag-and-drop the phase within the list of phases.

Learn how to transfer candidates between phases.


Configure Recruiting Categories

You can use recruiting categories to map different application processes, and organize and display your open positions clearly. You can for example create categories by employment type (such as full-time, part-time), seniority (such as Junior, Senior) or department (such as Marketing, IT, …).

To create a category, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Recruiting > Recruiting > Categories.
  2. Click on Add new recruiting category. Insert the name of the category in the text field, Category name, and click Save.
  3. From the drop-down-menu, select the Recruiting phases that you want to add to this category. You can adjust their order via drag-and-drop.

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

  4. Under Autoresponder, define whether candidates should receive an automatic receipt confirmation when applying via the application module and/or when applying by email.
  5. Select any email template you have previously created as the Autoresponder template, and choose the email signature of an employee as the Signature for autoresponder. Find more information on sending autoresponders in How Do I Create an Automated Email Confirmation of Receipt of Applications?.
  6. Click on Apply changes to complete the process.

You can create an additional category called Talent pool. Transfer any candidates into this category who you wish to consider for future positions. Learn how to create a Talent pool.




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