How to Track the Recruiting Process in Microsoft Excel

By Scott Shpak

The recruiting process can, at times, be fast and furious. If your company has an extensive contact-management database, you may be able to build and maintain queries to manage the recruitment process; however, this may bog down your database with unsuccessful applicants. Excel spreadsheets provide a fast way to customize tracking of your recruitment process with personal information, application status and other fields that are meaningful to you. As your needs change and your recruiting process refines, you can adapt your spreadsheet rather than communicating your needs to the IT department for future updates.

Step 1

Create a new Excel workbook for your recruiting campaign. Save the workbook with a meaningful title, "Recruiting Template" or "Sales Associates June 2014," so that you can easily access the correct data.

Step 2

Enter the fields you wish to track in row 1, from left to right. Start with applicant identifiers, such as "Last Name," "First Name," "Phone," "Email" and "Address." Use any fields important for your recruiting process, and resist the temptation to combine data that may limit your searches. For example, if you intend to contact applicants by conventional mail, consider expanding "Address" to "Street," "City" and "ZIP Code" to facilitate both searches and mail merging.

Step 3

Continue with other tracking items in row 1. This could include "Status," where a savvy Excel user might add drop-down lists with entries such as "Received," "Interviewed" and "Rejected," though straight text entries may be all you need. Other useful columns might include "Comments," "Next Steps" and a field to hyperlink to the applicant's resume, if it is stored digitally.

Step 4

Add columns for internal use, such as "Source of Application," "Recruiter" -- if you have several in your department or use outside agencies -- and any other fields you may use to compare applicants. To improve readability, you may wish to format the data area of your spreadsheet as a table using the presets included in the menu bar.

Step 5

Save your spreadsheet prior to adding data, perhaps with the word "Backup" appended to the file name, to ensure you have a clean copy for future campaigns or as a basis for revision. Saving your spreadsheet as a template allows this as well, so it is simple to start new recruiting campaigns or to organize your applicants by time periods such as monthly, quarterly or annually.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can save time building your spreadsheet by using Excel templates available through the Internet (link in Resources). If you cannot find a dedicated recruiting template that meets your needs, consider adapting contact resource management templates to your specific requirements.