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Applicant management: Why a DMS is indispensable

Applicant management covers all the methods, tools, and activities for managing the recruitment processes. A document management system or DMS can support recruitment processes in HR software. The resulting cost and time savings result in a lower time-to-hire and an improved candidate experience.

In this article, we’ll show you how effectively managing applicants in a DMS can support selection processes, simplify internal recruiting workflows, strengthen the employer’s brand, and promote compliance.

What is applicant management?

Terms such as applicant management, applicant administration, and e-recruiting all describe the same thing: all of the processes related to filling an open position. This includes all activities from posting a position to hiring a candidate.

Why is good applicant management so important?

It's a long path from a vacant position to a signed employment contract: only companies that present themselves as an attractive employer will be able to continue to attract and retain talent in a labor market that favors employees.

Use data efficiently

Getting the most out of the candidate experience – that is the job of applicant management. Data shows what is best. HR managers use data to analyze documents, identify channels for job advertisements, or to choose the right approach to candidates. The importance of digital HR software for recruiting becomes even more apparent in light of the competition – for example, candidates are more likely to withdraw from an application process due to long wait times.

Automated workflows

Digital application processes are faster, have a higher quality, and can strengthen an employer’s brand. These are solutions such as a DMS that combine all areas of applicant management digitally and centrally in one platform. The combination of legally secure structures, automated workflows, transparent communication channels, and data-based decisions improve the success rate when selecting future employees.

What are the goals of applicant management?

The main goal of applicant management is to find a qualified candidate for an open position. And, as far as possible, to ensure that resources such as time and money spent in the application process are kept to a minimum.

Using applicant management software accelerates applicant selection. Templates in the DMS or automated analytics reduce the routine tasks performed by HR departments. The time saving has two synergy effects: faster, more efficient processes cost less and allow for more time for effectively communicating with applicants and providing an authentic candidate experience.

What defines good applicant management?

For applicant management to be good it has to be systematic. Similar to the way a company can carefully control its invoice workflow, applicant management can also follow a clearly defined process. Applicant management software optimizes this process. The result is lean workflows and an objective, fair application process that follows the principles of Germany’s General Equal Treatment Act.

For processes to be systematic, they also have to be measurable. Measurable processes make it easier to see ahead in applicant management, because KPIs such as time-to-hire or cost-of-vacancy can highlight potential for improvements and help you to better align your processes. By strategically managing the applicant pool, it also becomes easier for you to fill future positions.

Digital applicant records: Overview and benefits

You can collect, save, and manage all the documents related an application electronically and in a legally secure manner in a digital applicant record. The documents are stored in a clear folder structure depending on the type of document, such as cover letters, CVs or resumes, and certificates.

The digital applicant record ensures that all information is stored in a central location in accordance with GDPR and can be viewed, used, and deleted in accordance with relevant regulations. If necessary, you can share individual documents easily and securely with authorized employees, for example, with the hiring manager in the department that has the vacancy.

In summary, a digital applicant record has several benefits for you:

  • Centralized data storage accelerates the application processes
  • Access to all application documents, regardless of location
  • Data integrity is ensured for relevant compliance standards and GDPR guidelines
  • Content bridges connect digital applicant records to HR tools such as SAP SuccessFactors

Document management guide

How can a DMS boost your organization’s efficiency? Which system is right for you? This practical guide helps you to find & implement the right DMS. Incl. checklists, real-life examples, etc. 

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The structure of digital applicant records

Once set up, the digital applicant record automates the storage of documents. As soon as an application is received, you will find all the related documents in the application record.

A digital applicant record typically includes the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • CV or resume
  • Letter of application
  • Certificates
  • References
  • Employment certificates

Filing in folders does not have to only involve documents such as PDFs. State-of-the-art application processes involve, for example, applications using voice message or video. The DMS contains all of the data submitted by the applicant, regardless of the format.

Documents are stored in the DMS using a standardized folder structure. Folders specifically for the CV or resume, for certificates and employment certificates, as well as folders for correspondence with the candidates provide a clearly organized structure. Based on the folder structure, you can see which documents are still missing.

Centrally managed

You manage responsible roles, approval processes, comments, and notes on individual documents directly in the digital applicant record. This has the benefit of enabling authorized employees to access all the information and check the status of the application at any time. After completing the application round, the DMS continues to work for you: administrative activities such as complying with retention periods and deleting documents run automatically. Your focus is always on the person, not the administrative tasks.

Examples of software for applicant management

Applicant management software is a digital solution designed specifically for recruiting.

The following are some examples of leading applicant management systems:

  • SAP SuccessFactors: AI-driven and innovative, you coordinate applications in SAP's Human Experience Management Suite. HR analytics, sales performance, and payroll accounting tools are part of the suite.
  • Personio: Personio's applicant management software provides features aimed particularly at SMEs. There are also solutions for large companies. The talent management functions focus on people workflow automation from hiring to onboarding.
  • Softgarden: CV parsing, multiposting, and templates for messages and job postings are part of the applicant management software. You can further enhance your recruiting process to include employer branding activities by adding the Talent Acquisition Suite. It includes all the features for applicant and talent management.
  • Talentstorm: Talentstorm is applicant management software for medium-sized businesses. It supports employer branding, as well as providing state-of-the-art features such as CV parsing and multiposting.
  • Sage: This applicant management software was developed for SMEs, and it is available either as standalone or all-in-one software. The software functions are divided into modules that companies can add or cancel flexibly and cost-effectively.

The applicant management systems presented here provide the greatest flexibility for recruiting teams. Upgrades in the form of add-ons, integration in other HR management systems, or updates enable companies to design up-to-date application processes to fit their needs. The latest recruiting methods such as applications via WhatsApp or voice messages can be implemented in the same software.

The role of a DMS

Applicant management systems are, nevertheless, limited in their scope of application. Applicant management tasks are largely associated with managing applicant data. To manage documents comprehensively, a DMS is the right choice. It creates a general database for managing documents across all business areas. A DMS can automate the transfer of applicant data to personnel data, or it can delete data records for you to comply with legal regulations.

Integrating SAP SuccessFactors and Doxis

Optimize the application process and manage applicant data securely: to do so, combine a DMS with an applicant management system. In our example, we’ll show you how you can integrate our DMS Doxis in the SAP SuccessFactors applicant management system. In principle, you can integrate Doxis in any applicant management system.

Doxis Content Bridge for SAP and Salesforce

Doxis Content Bridge for SAP & Salesforce builds a bridge to your systems, creating a shared basis of information and delivering on-demand information in the right context.

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Doxi will show you how the process works:

  1. Add the open position as usual in SAP SuccessFactors.
  2. If an application is made to your job posting, for example, via LinkedIn or another job board, you will get a notification in SAP SuccessFactors. You can then start the application process with the candidate.
  3. Now Doxis and the applicant management system connect: the incoming application automatically creates an event in Doxis. The software imports the candidate's master data, creates an applicant record, and stores the related documents.
  4. At this point, all the data are available in Doxis. You don't have to leave SAP SuccessFactors to do this.
  5. You can process and manage the documents directly in Doxis.


Use Doxis for applicant management throughout the candidate journey. Thanks to Microsoft Teams integration, people who are not part of the HR department can also access the DMS. Department managers can receive temporary access to applicant documents via Microsoft Teams, allowing them to prepare for an interview.

Contract generation and digital signatures

Doxis is also a helpful tool to use downstream in the application process: for example, if the candidate becomes an employee, their master data can be transferred directly when generating their employment contract. If the contract terms are correct, the candidate signs digitally via a connected signature system such as DocuSign, AdobeSign, etc.

From applicant record to HR record

Applicant management only represents a small part of the range of tasks in the HR department. So what happens after the employment contract is signed?

Once received, Doxis automatically converts the applicant record to an employee record. This means that all master data and documents collected so far are transferred automatically.

If master data are still missing, Doxis launches a workflow to obtain the missing information. At the same time, Doxis creates tasks for onboarding, for example, with IT to order equipment or with the department head to produce an onboarding plan.

The go-to for all employee information

Certificates of incapacity to work, vacation requests, minutes of employee discussions, or payroll accounting statements: the employee record accompanies an employee until they leave the company. In the meantime, all documents are archived centrally in the respective employee record in compliance with GDPR.

Summary: Why a DMS is essential

A DMS plays a central role in the applicant management process and the administration of employee-related documents. From application to retirement, all of an employee's documents are kept in their employee record. As early as the application process, a DMS such as Doxis can measurably improve the efficiency and accuracy of the selection process, significantly shortening the time-to-hire.

A DMS also supports you in managing applicant and employee data in a GDPR-compliant manner, as well as in complying with retention and deletion periods. Documents are stored centrally in the system, not on personal computers, and they can be shared with authorized employees on a one-time basis.

FAQs about applicant management

What is applicant management?
Applicant management covers all the activities of recruiters that are needed to fill positions. This includes, among other things, managing incoming applications, maintaining the talent pool, conducting interviews, and sending employment contracts.
Why is applicant management important?
When companies make applicant management a strategic activity, they strengthen their public image, increase the talent fit of incoming applications, and save costs and time in the process.
What are the challenges in applicant management?
One of the biggest challenges is properly handling applicant data. All of an applicant's documents, from CVs or resumes to certificates, have to be stored in compliance with GDPR and retained or deleted after the relevant deadlines – completely. In addition, the information must only be accessible by authorized employees. A certified document management system can help you meet these challenges.
What role does digitalization play in applicant management?
Digitalization increases the efficiency of application processes. By automating routine tasks, AI technology can help companies to better understand application documents, and the central locations for applicant management ensure legally secure access to up-to-date data at all times.
What are the best practices in applicant management?
Best practices in applicant management revolve around candidate experience. By communicating clearly and running efficient workflows, you can save time for your company and your talent. You can also ensure the best process for you and your talent by regularly optimizing your application process.

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