Many hiring managers are still subjected to using spreadsheets in their recruitment process. With many dreading the task of pulling data for daily/monthly or annual reports, finding themselves lost in numbers, figuring out discrepancies in stats and never really feeling comfortable in their final reports. This is just one of the pains amongst many when using spreadsheets.

When you find yourself in a role that consists of hiring, sourcing applicants, printing CVs and conducting interviews you don’t have time to be manually inputting data into spreadsheets. Alongside that, spreadsheets will expose you to risks concerning GDPR compliance, as they provide you with a very poor audit trail. Also, how did you receive that CV in the first place? If your answer is through email, that is a big GDPR no, no.

Breaking Away From Spreadsheets

Unless you are trying to break a Guinness world record of having 200 tabs on a single spreadsheet or have shares in Microsoft, there is no reason for you to still be using them in your recruitment process. Here are some of the main reasons why you should break away from spreadsheets:

Lost Time

Time is valuable and isn’t something you can save by using spreadsheets. If you have multiple offices and are posting out numerous vacancies things can get even more complicated when trying to keep track of applicants. This is especially the case if you are receiving CVs from various Job boards straight to an inbox (which isn’t GDPR compliant) which cannot be managed by excel.

More problems escalate when trying to find a specific applicant and you have to sieve through tabs and emails. Recruiters spend up to 80% of their time in routine work instead of focusing on the high added value activities. In fact, research shows that “few HR professionals spend more than 10% of their time in strategic activities.” (Source: Gartside & Cutshall, 2010). Imagine what you could be doing with all of that spare time!


A study reveals that almost 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. This means that there is a chance your company could be letting talent slip through the cracks. There is also a strong possibility that you may be mis-hiring due to inaccuracies in candidate data, resulting in increased costs of up to almost triple of a mis-hires annual salary due to the money wasted on training, lost productivity and increased staff turnover according to a report by the recruitment and employment federation (REC).

No security

You don’t need us to be telling you how important the protection of candidates data is. The fact that you may be still using spreadsheets is pure negligence of this. Did you know that spreadsheets can be easily duplicated, modified and circulated without the owners’ knowledge? Also, you cannot share spreadsheets with candidates data through email. Both of these are huge GDPR flaws. Excel was never built with candidates security in mind so it may be worth investing in a platform that specifically does.

No centralization

Due to the flaws in spreadsheets and the fact that they cannot be shared remotely between hiring managers this results in lost of collaboration in your hiring process. Making it harder to obtain accurate reports, build consistent hiring strategies and the inability to build future pipelines. Due to the lack of shared access to relevant information and communications.