Configuring Recruiting Phases


This article provides an overview of the recruiting phases set up in Personio and shows what you can do with them. Recruiting phases allow you to map your company’s specific recruiting processes in Personio from the time you receive an application all the way through to you offering the position to a candidate.



Predefined Recruiting-Phases

The phases Unassigned, Rejected, Declined, Offer and Accepted are predefined in Settings > Recruiting > Phases by default. These recruiting phases cannot be edited, as they trigger downstream processes in Personio. 

  • Unassigned: All applicants who cannot be assigned to a specific phase are automatically placed in this category. This can happen if a phase which currently holds applicants is deleted, for example.
  • Rejected: All applicants you have rejected, for example because they are not suitable for the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.
  • Declined: All applicants who have declined, for example because they are no longer interested in the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.
  • Offer: All applicants for whom you create job offers (and to whom you can send such offers) straight from Personio are assigned to this phase.

Accepted: All applicants who have accepted your offer are assigned to this phase. Personio automatically also adds them as new employees. All information from the Offer tab and all documents are automatically transferred to the new employee profile. The employee profile continues to be linked to the applicant profile.


You are legally required to remove personal data once the purpose for which the data was collected has been fulfilled. To do so, go to Settings > Recruiting > General and activate automatic anonymization of applicant data for all applicants assigned to the Rejected or Declined phases. This causes all personal applicant data to be irretrievably removed from Personio once the predefined period has expired. Anonymized applicant metadata, i.e. data that is not personal, is retained for reporting purposes. Click here for further, detailed information.


Custom Phases

In addition to the predefined phases, you can also create any number of phases which applicants need to complete. This is how you create recruiting phases:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Recruiting > Phases.
  2. Define any number of phases via the Add new recruiting phase input field.
  3. Define the maximum number of days applicants should be permitted to remain in each phase. If an applicant exceeds this number of days, you will see their name flagged in the application list. You can additionally filter your application list for applicants who have already been in a particular phase for too long. Click here for further information on the application list. 
  4. Drag & drop the phase to move it to the required position.
  5. Choose a colour in which the phase is to be displayed. This gives the application process a clearer structure.


To integrate individual user-defined phases into your application process, select the relevant phases for any recruiting category in Settings > Recruiting > Categories. Click here for more information about creating recruiting categories. 

User-defined phases can, for example, be used to build up a pool of applicants. To do so, simply create a phase, name it Applicant pool, and transfer applicants to this phase if you wish to retain them as potential candidates for future job vacancies. Detailed information on another option for setting up a talent pool can be found in this article.

For further information and best-practice examples of recruiting phases and categories please refer to this article.


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