My Trello setup for managing job applications

Right now we’re hiring a Wordpress developer at my job. We get a lot of applications and I am responsible for the decision-making and hiring process. It feels a bit wierd, since we are a Ruby on Rails-shop but we need someone to handle all the ‘regular’ web sites. To make sure I review every application and keep in touch with the applicants (both Yes/No answers) I use a Trello board for managing the applications.

I talked about my setup with a friend and she asked me how to do this, so I I’m going to share it with all of you.

1. Create a new Trello board

If you aren’t already a Trello user, sign up, it is free and takes only a minute and I’m sure you’ll find Trello useful for other parts of your life as well.

I’ve called my Trello board ‘Hiring Process’.

2. Create a couple of lists

In this case I want to use Trello as a pipeline, moving applicants from list to list from left to right. I use the following lists:

  • New applications
  • Interview scheduled
  • Interview done
  • No
  • Yes

It’s easy to add new lists for different positions.

3. Email new applications to Trello

I get most of our applications via e-mail, so I simply forward the e-mails and attachments to Trello.

Turn e-mail settings on, by clicking on ‘Menu’ and ‘Email to Board settings …‘.


There you will find a long e-mail adress that you can forward all job applications to.

Pro tip: Change the title of the e-mail to the applicant’s name - this will be the title of the Trello card.

4. Move the cards!

Each applicant will now be a separate card in your board. Move them from left to right - with the end goal of making a decision for each applicant. Most of them will end up in ‘No, thanks’ and one or a few will get the ‘Yes, you’re welcome to join us!’ response.

I think Trello boards work great for organizing job applications in smaller companies. I guess most bigger companies use some kind of dedicated HR software, but this works great for me and most other small business owners out there.