The Application Process in Personio


This article describes an example of how you can efficiently manage your application process from the Essential Package from the receipt of an application to the hiring of a candidate after you have made all the settings.

Receiving Applications

Depending on which option you use, applications can be transferred to your Personio account in different ways. For further information on this, please click here.


Managing Applications

You will find all of the candidates' profiles within a position. By default, newly received applications are assigned to the first recruiting phase of your application process. Clicking on a candidate's name takes you directly to the respective candidate profile. Navigate directly to the various sections within the profile to manage them.


  • Review application documentsFirst screen all application documents and check whether the candidate meets the required profile for the position. Navigate to the Profile tab and open all documents that the candidate has submitted. Or you can click on the button Candidate documents, in the header of the candidate profile. Read this article to learn how to manage candidate documents using document categories and how to restrict viewing and editing rights for other employees. 

  • Complete candidate profile data: Under the Profile tab, fill in all other details on the candidate with the information from the application documents. Ensure that in particular, the gender field within the candidate profile is completed so that gender variables in offers and email templates will be used correctly. See this article for more information. You can view the candidate attributes according to your access rights.
    If a document has been stored for the candidate, the document preview appears. Click on the pen to upload additional documents to change their assigned category or to delete a document. You can also upload several documents by clicking or by using drag & drop. Learn more about managing candidate documents and assigning associated access rights in this article. 

  • Tag candidates: If necessary, add Application Tags via Add tag. This allows you to mark referrals from existing employees, for example. Via the candidate list under Applications the respective candidate groups can be identified in the course of the further recruiting process can be easily identified.

  • Move candidates in phases: If the candidate meets the first, basic requirements, the application process can proceed. To do this, move the candidate to the appropriate recruiting phase. You can find out how to create phases in Personio here.

  • Assign candidates to another position: If the candidate is better suited to a different position or has applied for several jobs, you can assign the candidate profile accordingly using the Action button > Assign to another position. To help identify the correct position, the drop-down menu that appears shows the position title, the office and the recruiting category. The new assignment is noted in the candidate overview.

  • Schedule interviews: Create interview appointments in line with the candidate's recruiting phases in the candidate profile under Interviews. If activated in the general recruiting settings, all participants receive an appointment invitation by email. To find out how to create and schedule interviews in Personio, please click here.


  • Send messages: Then invite the candidate to the interview via email. To do this, write a new email under Messages. You can view the entire candidate communication in the message history. More information about the email configuration can be found here.

  • Candidate's answer: As soon as the candidate replies, a blue dot appears next to their name. If defined in the Recruiting Roles, you will also receive email notifications about any incoming messages from candidates. In the Recruiting Roles, you can also specify the access to candidate documents that can be sent or received via the Messages tab.

    Any messages that have been incorrectly assigned by mistake can be manually assigned to another candidate profile if necessary using the button with the three dots. The message will retain its original processing status.

  • Request feedback: Under Request feedback you have the possibility to request an informal feedback comment from a colleague, e.g. with the request to check the CV in advance. You will then find all feedback entries for the candidate under the Comments tab. Alternatively, you can select an evaluation form to be filled out for the candidate – the results will then appear in the Evaluations tab.

Open feedback requests are automatically closed and removed from the feedback provider's dashboard after a candidate has been accepted.Please note that when open feedback requests are closed automatically, no automatic email notification to the requested employees is triggered.

  • Plan further interviews: If the supervisor's response is positive, then proceed in the same way as in the steps Schedule interviews and Send messages, move the candidate to another phase and invite the candidate to get to know you personally.

  • Reject: If the feedback on the candidate is negative, you have the option of rejecting the candidate at any time, regardless of your application process. You can find more information on this step here. Anonymize the candidate's data using the candidate list, if, for example, the candidate expressly requests the immediate removal of all personal data.

Please note that both the deletion and anonymization of candidate data are irreversible. The data cannot be restored, but anonymized candidate data will still be available for your reports.

  • Talent pool: Alternatively, you can include the candidate in your Talent Pool . Create an additional phase and assign the candidate to it.

  • Create offer: If the candidate has convinced you during the entire application process, you can manage the offer creation in Personio in the next step . Enter all details in tab Offer and send it to the candidate directly by email.

  • Accept candidates: To accept a candidate, you have two options:
    • Convert the candidate to a new employee in Personio as soon as you have made an offer to them and they have accepted it. Click in the the Offer tab on Offer accepted.
    • You then have the option of closing the position, archiving it or leaving it open. If you close the position, its status in the Position details will change. All of the information under the Offer tab and all of the documents are automatically stored in the employee profile and can easily be added to. The employee profile remains linked to the candidate profile, and the new employee profile is automatically set to Onboarding status.

    • Alternatively, you accept the candidate without first sending an offer. To do this, move the candidate manually to the Accepted phase. The candidate's previous data and documents are then automatically transferred to their employee profile.
  • Bulk rejections: As soon as the vacancy has been filled by a suitable candidate, you can generate bulk rejections for all other candidates for this job in the candidate list under Applications. Navigate to Recruiting > Applications and select the respective candidates using the checkbox and choose ActionSelect Reject > Candidate was rejected, not suitable and open the view for writing the rejection email via checkbox. Use placeholders and gender variables to customize the email for the candidate. The candidates are automatically assigned to the Rejected phase.
  • applicant-process-rejection_en-us.png

  • Deactivate publication of the position: Lastly, deactivate the published position in the editing mode of the posting so you don't receive any further applications for it. Click here to learn more about managing positions.

In Personio, you can always find candidates according to their access rights using the global search bar at the top of the screen.


To help recruiters find their way around Personio quickly, you are welcome to use our Recruiter Manual and make it available to your employees. There you will find clear instructions on how recruiters can make the best use of Personio's candidate management tool in their daily work (For better readability, the male name was chosen for personal names).


Functions from the Professional package


  • Plan interviews: When planning interview appointments, you also have the option of linking an evaluation form to receive feedback on the candidate from all participants. You can find further information on creating evaluation forms here.
  • Assign onboarding templates: Once you have accepted a candidate, you can assign an onboarding template to them to simplify the employee entry through standardized processes. How to create and assign onboarding templates, you will learn here.


Functions with the Add-On Productivity Plus


  • Send messages using email templates: In order to send candidates a message via email, for example to invite them to an interview, you can use templates in addition to the regular sending of messages. You can select these templates in the Messages tab using Select template... and choose from the email templates you configured under Settings > Recruiting > Email. In addition to sending messages to individual candidates, email templates can also be used for bulk rejections. To find out how to send bulk rejections, see bulk rejections above.
  • Create offers using document templates: Generate contract offers by clicking on Offer and selecting an offer template. You can find out how to create offers for candidates here.


Functions with the Add-On Automation Plus


  • Schedule messages: To send candidates a message via email, for example, to invite them to an interview, you can terminate the email dispatch to a later date. This function is also available within the bulk editing function. You can schedule day and time (full hour) to send the email. This function is also available within the bulk editing function.


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