Create a Document Template with Signature Placeholders



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This article explains how to create document templates and contracts that can be signed electronically. Templates must contain signature placeholders to ensure that the process of requesting and obtaining signatures from multiple people works. Use these document templates for employee documents or for contract proposals sent out during the offer process.


Create Templates

To use electronic signatures in a document, you need to create a contract template with signature placeholders. You can create the document template in any popular word-processing application (such as MS Office or OpenOffice) and upload the file in DOC, DOCX, ODT, or OTT format. Learn more about Configuring Document Categories and Adding Templates.

Note Once a document has been finalized and signed electronically, it is stored as a PDF file in Personio, regardless of the original file format. You can then view and download finalized documents from the respective employee or candidate profile.

Tip To use electronic signatures with existing templates, follow the instructions below to adjust and upload them.


Create a Signature Placeholder

To create a placeholder in the template, you need to enter @@ before and after the designation. You may add any number of signatories to the document and freely choose their designations, for example, @@Candidate@@, @@Employee@@ or @@Recruiter@@.


  • If a person needs to sign in more than one place, be consistent in using the same designation, including the same spelling. You should have one unique placeholder designation only for each signatory.
  • The selected name within the @@ characters does not automatically ensure that the correct employee is assigned to the signature placeholder during the signing process. You need to do this assignment manually when you request an electronic signature. However, the designations will help you to identify to whom a placeholder should be assigned to in this manual step.
  • The placeholders for the signatures also determine precisely where signatories need to sign a document. So, leave sufficient blank lines where you want the signatures to be added to allow enough space. We recommend a minimum of two blank lines after the placeholder (tested in 11 point Arial font).
  • To upload a document correctly in Personio, ensure that the placeholder does not wrap to a new line. This can happen with placeholders inside a table if a table cell is not large enough. The placeholder should not be placed at the very end of a line or inside a small table cell.
  • For the signature function to work in contract templates you intend to use throughout the offer process in your recruiting section, the template must contain at least one other placeholder (such as {{first_name}}) next to the signature placeholder.


Create Location and Date Placeholders

To add a location and date for each signatory within a document, add placeholders to the template. The location placeholder defines where in the document a signatory can enter the location where they signed the document. The date placeholder in the document is automatically filled with the date on which the document was created and sent for signature. The date is entered in the format DD-MM-YYYY. It is currently not possible to edit the format or font. 

The table below provides examples of what the placeholders for electronic signatures, location, and date look like at the various stages of the document creation and signing process. 

Document template view Signing process view PDF view
e-signature-placeholder-document-template_en-us.png e-signature-placeholder-signing-document_en-us.png e-signature-placeholder-final-pdf_en-us.png


How to use placeholders:

Create placeholders at the points in the document where you would like them to appear by following the examples shown below:

Placeholder for the location: @@designation##city@@
Example: @@Mitarbeiter##city@@

Placeholder for the date: @@designation##date@@
Example: @@Mitarbeiter##date@@

Tip When using location and date placeholders, you do not need to leave a certain amount of blank space in your document template as you would for signature placeholders. The designations for the location and date placeholders must be consistent with the designation for the signature placeholder to ensure that they are correctly correlated.


Fix Placeholder Errors

The automatic assigning of a document will not work properly, or the document may display incorrectly if the incorrect spelling is used for placeholders for signatures or for location and date. 

Here are some examples of why placeholder errors may occur:

Incorrect spelling Correct spelling Explanation
@@Designation##city##date@@ @@Designation##city@@ @@Designation##date@@ To display both location and date, you must create two placeholders. It is not possible to combine ##city and ##date in one placeholder.
@@Designation##cities@@ @@Designation##city@@ ##cities is not a valid addition for the placeholder. 
@@Designation@@ or
@@Designation##city@@ or
The placeholder must not contain the hashtag characters ## without the addition of "city" or "date".


Upload Templates

After you have created your document template, follow these steps to upload it:

  1. Go to Settings > People > Documents.
  2. Click Add template to upload the template to your account.
  3. Select the Category, give the template a name, and select the Language.

    Note Contract templates need to be uploaded to the Work contracts category before you can use them in your recruiting.

  4. Choose the correct file and click Upload.
  5. Once this is done, click on the uploaded template and select Who will sign it first? to set the order in which the various signatories will be asked to provide their signatures.

    Tip You will see immediately how many signature placeholders the document contains per signatory. 




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