photo: John Schnobrich / Unsplash

5 Hacks for Effective and Digital Applicant Management

A proper job advertisement is just the first step startups take on their journey to finding new employees. For the applicant management process that follows, Melanie Stäblein from the recruiting all-rounder Workwise gives five tips. A guest contribution.

How do you become more efficient in selecting applicants and in making time for other activities? Our last guest contribution was about startups looking for recruits and how they can get started doing just that. Today, we’re focusing on applicant management and the recruiting process behind it.

Is your desk or project management tool overflowing? Streamline your recruiting processes with our tips. If you organize your recruiting process efficiently, you save time and can take care of things like sales, investors or expanding your website.

Another advantage is that with a fast recruiting process, you score points with your applicants and secure the best employees.

There’s no need to worry, because we asked our team of experts in recruiting, HR and job hunting for some concrete tips that you can use directly for recruiting success.

1. Set up an email address for applicants

It might sound obvious, but this is a tip that we often give when just starting a collaboration: With a specific email address for applicants, such as or, candidates know their applications will end up with the right person. They are then less likely to check in to see if their application arrived, which means you will have to spend less time answering emails. That can also be avoided by immediately sending an acknowledgment email if you haven’t already set up an automatic response.

A template that you personalize each time will help you quickly answer and confirm that the application arrived. The email should include a thank you as well as information about when applicants can expect to receive an answer.

2. Organize the recruiting process

Depending on how many stages you integrate into the application process (telephone interview, in-person interview, trial day), it can become difficult to stay on top of things. Make note of which stage applicants are currently in. That way you’ll always know in what order of priority the applications need to be taken care of.

Using an applicant management system instead of Excel or organizing it all in your email inbox will make it much easier to classify everything according to status. Most tools also offer a host of features that simplify the process even further.

What’s important is establishing some sort of structure from the very beginning. You should always use your tool to send out interview invitations, rejections and confirmations – and all applications should end up in the tool. This makes it easier to work together in your team and you won’t have to look for information in different places.

3. Link key tools with HR

Link your applicant management tool directly with your HR system. Interfaces between these systems are particularly important and save time because you won’t have to transfer data manually. It’s best to check your HR tool to see which interfaces are offered.

If you are still in the process of deciding which solution will suit your HR best, you can read about whether an all-in-one solution or individual tools make the most sense for you here.

It’s basically your requirements that determine which tools you should use. Your employees, their satisfaction and the search for new members who are right for your team are important factors in the success of your startup. You can find out more about the recruiting process for startups in our last guest contribution.

4. Collaborate and make notes

Regardless of whether you’re looking for employees with your team or on your own, you should write down key information after any touchpoint with applicants. Especially if you have a large number of applications or activities that you need to take care of at the same time, this will help you keep on top of it all.

If you organize the recruiting process with an application management system, your colleagues can also take notes. This gives everyone access to the notes, which speeds up collaboration and the ability to make sound decisions.

5. Write rejection letters

It always makes sense to write friendly rejection letters – or to even send a rejection at all! A template and tips for rejection letters that are compliant with the German General Act on Equal Treatment are available here. And why should you always send friendly rejection letters? Many applicants who aren’t a good match for the current position might be interesting at a later point in time.

Has your startup grown? Do you need new and different profiles and professionals? If you’ve saved past applicants, you can go through them when new positions open up and contact them before the new position is even advertised. It might also be that former applicants have learned new skills since you were last in contact, have more professional experience to offer and are now a better fit in terms of their qualifications. Having what is known as a talent pool makes it possible for you to save profiles and fill positions with very low costs and little effort.


We hope that these five quick tips will help you with your digital applicant management so you can make applicants happy quickly and get them on board with you.

A free applicant management system from Workwise is available on our platform. Why? We’ve made it our mission to find employees for companies and get them in contact with each other. While doing so, we’ve often noticed that startups and small companies in particular don’t use a digital tool for their applicant management. That’s why we offer our platform to everyone for free – even without booking paid services from Workwise. Because all job seekers and companies benefit from a digital recruiting process in equal measure.