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

Under Settings > Recruiting > Phases, the phases Unassigned, Rejected, Declined, Offer and Accepted are predefined by default. 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, will be assigned to this phase.
  • Declined: All candidates who have declined to continue with the application process, such as because they are no longer interested in the advertised position, are assigned to this phase.
  • Offer: All candidates for whom you create job offers (and to whom you can send such offers) straight from Personio are assigned to this phase.
  • 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 from 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.


You are legally required to remove personal data once the purpose for which the data was collected 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. This causes all personal candidate data to be irretrievably removed from Personio once the predefined period has expired. Anonymized candidate metadata, i.e. data that is not personal, is retained for reporting purposes. See this article for more details.


Custom Phases

In addition to the predefined phases, you can also create any number of further phases that candidates will need to complete during the application process. This is how to create recruiting phases:

  1. Go 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 candidates should be permitted to remain in each phase. If a candidate exceeds this number, you will see their name flagged in the candidate list. You can also 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.
  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 a pool of candidates. To do so, create an additional custom phase called Candidate pool. Transfer any candidates into this phase whom you may wish to consider for future job openings. For details on another option for setting up a talent pool, see this article.

Further information and best-practice examples of recruiting phases and categories can be found in this article.

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