How to Use Excel Effectively for Recruitment?

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How to Use Excel Effectively for Recruitment?

Microsoft Excel has always been the go-to solution for small offices since its inception. This essential tool has helped virtually all companies in existence to organize their basic data and provide a solution for recruitments. But, being fundamentally complex, it has never left the territory of tech experts.

Here, we will cover major Excel functions that can help you smoothly conduct and manage your recruitment process. We will also elaborate on the methodology you need to follow to execute a recruitment drive smoothly.

Major Excel Functions for Recruitment:

There are a plethora of excel functions that you can use to streamline the recruitment process without getting very technical with it. Following are a few functions that are critical for recruitment:


VLOOKUP is an Excel function that helps you look up the associated value with a column of your choice. There are easy VLOOKUP instructions to understand and apply them more efficiently.

Let’s take an example:

1IDNamePhone No.Email

This is the 45th entry of a spreadsheet. From thousands of entries, it’s tough to look up certain data sets. So, we will now use VLOOKUP for the same.

The syntax for using VLOOKUP is:

=VLOOKUP (lookup_value, table_array, column_index_num, [range_lookup])

For the example above, to find the phone number associated with the ID 45, the formula would be:

=VLOOKUP(45, A1:A250, 3, FALSE)

The “3” in the formula is the position of the column, starting as 1 from the left side.

FALSE” is used to find the exact match. You could also include “TRUE” to find a partial match.

B. Pivot Table:

When you have hundreds of candidate applications in your recruitment drive, choosing the right ones could become a hassle and you might even need to hire more employees.

But, with the Pivot Table function in Excel, looking for relevance in the document is easy.

Assuming that you have hundreds of personal data and need only the ones that have graduated. For that, Pivot Table comes in handy. And if you can master VLOOKUP for dummies to implement with Pivot tables, better.

Click on the Insert tab and then Pivot Table.

Select the cell range that needs to be checked.

Compose your Pivot Table according to your requirement and Voila!

C. Conditional Formatting:

You can format your Excel spreadsheet in any way possible. Need to colour the first column red? Please do. Need to Green alternate rows? You’re welcome. Want to highlight the cells with a particular value? Be my guest.

Anything and everything you want to do, anyhow you want to make your spreadsheet presentable, is possible with Conditional Formatting.

While recruiting, you might want to highlight a certain employee that you’ve found very interesting. Or you might’ve come across someone that you are ready to negotiate with. Your possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

D. If Statements:

Just as we say “if” in a sentence, If-Statements work in Excel the same way.

“If an applicant is not graduate, reject” would be =if(C1 <> "Graduate", "Rejected") in Excel.

Here are the operators used in the If statement.

=equal toA1=D1
>greater thanA1>D1
>=greater than or equal toA1>=D1
<less thanA1
<=less than or equal toA1<=D1
<>not equal toA1<>D1

The process to Use Excel for Recruitment:

Excel can literally help you excel in your recruitment process if utilized well. When you have a contact management spreadsheet in place, it can act as a hub to manage and organize the recruitment process. Excel’s built-in functions that we discussed above are necessary to draw the entire benefit from it during a recruitment process.

Let’s unveil the magic of Excel and elaborate on how you can take advantage of it without being a tech-savvy macro user. Following are the steps to create your own excel spreadsheet for recruitment from scratch:

Step 1

Create a new Excel Spreadsheet from the File menu. You don’t need to import any templates, as we shall start fresh. Save the file.

Again from the File menu, click Save or Save As to get presented with a dialogue box where you can save your “workbook” with any name that you’d like. Choose a name that might help you access it faster.

After every one or two entries, do save the file.

Step 2

In the workbook, you’ll be able to see cells in the shape of rectangles that can be reshaped using the borders of each cell. These are the spots where you can insert text, numbers, photos, and anything in between. Click a cell and see if you can find its address.

An address of a cell is a combination of alphabet and number that determines its location. Usually, an address is written as A1, B1, A5, F6, etc.

Step 3

Fill in the first few rows with details of your company or anything else that you would like to be noted.

Now after reaching the first usable row, fill in each cell with recruitment details, such as name, address, email, phone number, and everything that might help you refine the search later.

After personal details, put in columns for status, where you would update the standing of each employee whether they are still active, rejected, or hired. You are on your own from here on. Put in every other detail that your hiring process requires like Agency and Recruiter.

Step 4

Format the spreadsheet by choosing templates from the Design tab. There are several ways you can format a template, but using a template would be the easiest one.

Apply all the logic and functions that were discussed above to filter the right candidates for the next recruitment step.

Step 5

Remember to back up the spreadsheet after filling out the details to use it for future recruitment drives.

The Bottom Line:

Excel has all you need to organize a recruitment process for a small business. If you have just scaled up your business, Excel could be the best tool to get you started with the new interview drives you are holding.

The built-in functions and the overall convenience of Excel make it a great choice for recruiters. With all the functions that it offers excel is truly what you need to make your recruitment drive efficient and smooth!

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