The Application Process in Personio


This article informs you about the functions available for processing applications in Personio so that you can manage applications efficiently and transparently from the date they are received until candidates are either employed or rejected.

The initial functionalities described are available with the Essential package. Should you have booked the Professional or Enterprise Package, there are further functions available which are explained at the end of this article.


Receiving applications

Depending on which option you use, applications can be transferred to your Personio account in different ways. You can find further information on how applications can be transferred to Personio by clicking here.


Managing applications

Within a job posting, you can find all applicant profiles, whereby newly received applications are assigned to the first recruiting phase of your application process by default. By clicking on the applicant's name you can access the corresponding applicant profile. Within the applicant profile navigate directly to the relevant areas and functions to manage your applicants. 

  • Review application documents: First screen all application documents and check whether the applicant meets the requirements of the open job posting. Navigate to the Profile tab and open all documents submitted by the applicant.
  • Add data to the applicant profile: In the Profile tab, add any other information on the applicant that appears in the application documents. In particular, gender must be entered in the applicant profile in order to use gender variables correctly in offer and email templates. You can find more information here.
  • Tag applicants: Add applicant tags as required by clicking on Flag. This enables you, for example, to tag applicants as referrals from existing employees. The applicant list under Applications makes it easy to identify the respective applicant groups in the course of the recruiting process.
  • Move applicants in phases: If the applicant meets the first basic requirements, the next step in the application process is an invitation to a telephone interview. Move the applicant to the appropriate recruiting phase. For more information on how to create recruiting phases in Personio click here.
  • Schedule interviews: Create interview appointments in line with the applicant's recruiting phases in the applicant 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: Afterwards, invite the applicant to the interview via email. Create a new email under Messages. You can view the entire applicant communication in the message history. More information about the email configuration can be found here.
  • Applicant's answer: As soon as the applicant replies to you, this is indicated by a red dot next to the name of the applicant. If defined in the recruiting roles, you will also be notified of incoming messages by email.

    If necessary, messages that were accidentally assigned incorrectly can be manually assigned to another applicant profile using the button with the three points. The message retains its original status.

  • Collect feedback: Continue with the application process if your assessment remains positive after the telephone interview. Before you invite the applicant to a personal interview with the line manager, you have the opportunity to request an informal feedback comment from the line manager; for example, with the request to check the CV in advance. You can then find all feedback comments in the applicant profile under the Notes.
  • Plan further interviews: If the response from the line manager is positive, then proceed in the same way as you did to schedule interviews and send messages and invite the applicant to a personal interview.
  • Assign applicant to a different position: If the applicant is more suitable for another position or has applied for more than one position, assign the applicant to another position under the three dots > Assign candidate to another position.


  • Reject: If the feedback on the applicant is negative, you have the option of rejecting the applicant at any time, regardless of your application process. Please find more information here. Anonymise the applicant's data, if the applicant, for example, expressly requests the immediate removal of all personal data.

Please note that the anonymization of applicants is irreversible. The data cannot be restored, but in case of anonymization you will retain the applicant data for your reports.

  • Talent pool: Alternatively, include the applicant in your talent pool. Create an additional phase and assign the applicant to it. 
  • Create an offer: If the candidate has convinced you during the entire application process, you can manage the offer creation in Personio as the next step. To do this, enter an offer (with or without a offer) via Offer
  • Accept applicants: To accept an applicant, you have two options:
    • Convert the applicant to a new employee in Personio as soon as you have made an offer (with or without a contract) and the applicant has accepted it. To do this, click on Offer accepted in the Offer tab. You then have the option to close the job opening, archive it or leave it open. If you close the opening, the status of the job will change in the Job details. All information in the tab Offer as well as all documents are automatically stored in the employee profile and can be easily supplemented. The employee profile remains linked to the applicant profile and the new employee profile is automatically set to status Onboarding.
    • The second possibility is to accept the applicant without sending him/her a prior offer. To do this, move the applicant manually to the phase Accepted. Afterwards, his or her previous data and documents are automatically transferred to his or her employee profile. 
  • Bulk rejections: As soon as the vacancy has been filled by a suitable applicant, you can generate bulk rejections for all other applicants for this job in the applicant list under Applications. Navigate to Recruiting > Applications and select the respective applicants using the checkbox and choose Action. Select Reject > Applicant was rejected, is not suitable and open the view for writing the rejection email via checkbox. Use placeholders and gender variables to customize the email for the applicant. The applicants are automatically assigned to the Rejected phase.


  • Deactivate publishing of job posting: Finally, deactivate the publishing in the editing mode of the job details to not receive any further applications for this job posting. Find out how to manage job postings here.

In Personio you can, according to your access rights, find applicants at any time via the global search bar at the top of the screen.


So that recruiters can quickly find their way around Personio, you are welcome to download our Recruiter Manual and make it available to your employees. There you will find clear instructions on how recruiters can optimally use Personio's applicant management tool in everyday life (for personal designations, the male designation was chosen for reasons of better readability).


Functions starting from the Professional Package


  • Schedule interviews: When scheduling interview appointments, you also have the option of linking an evaluation sheet so that you can subsequently receive feedback on the applicant from all participants of the interview. You can find further information on creating evaluation forms here
  • Assign onboarding templates: Once you have accepted an applicant, you can assign them an onboarding template to facilitate employee entry through standardized processes. To learn how to create and assign onboarding templates, click here.


Functions with the Add-On Productivity Plus 


  • Sending messages using email templates: To send applicants a message via email, for example to invite them to an interview, you can use email templates in addition to the regular email function. 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 applicants, 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 applicants here.



Functions with the Add-On Automation Plus


  • Send messages terminated: To send applicants 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.



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