Self guided discovery and auditing guidelines


Is Lever your company's first ATS, or are you trying to map your existing ATS processes over to Lever? Performing an initial discovery session, and completing an audit of your implementation post-launch, are two incredibly beneficial tools in effective project management. Discovery allows you to uncover what your greatest needs are, while auditing your work ensures those needs are being met. Being proactive allows you to minimize and eliminate risk so that you’re using Lever to its fullest potential, and so issues can be corrected before they take root. 

Self discovery and auditing tactics help ensure:

  • Stakeholder needs are being met
  • Your organization can scale effectively
  • You understand the importance of best practices as they relate to data hygiene
  • You are aware of the tools/ features of Lever your processes could benefit from

In order to ensure your organization is using Lever to its highest potential, It is important to reflect on your internal processes on a continuous basis. Below, you will find our recommended cadence for when to review your Lever account health. This is when you should start thinking about these questions, but you may consider these questions on a recurring basis based on your organization's complexity and growth rate. 

  • As you implement Lever - to ensure configuration best practices are followed
  • Six months post-deploy - to ensure you are scaling effectively
  • As you complete your first year with Lever - Come renewal, you should know which features are important to you right now, and what could be useful as you continue to grow your business

Below, you will find an auditing guide to ensure best practices are followed as you grow and scale during your first year at Lever. To help guide you, download and fill in this Excel document your as you complete this internal discovery and auditing session. Click the links below to jump to the corresponding section of the audit guide.  

Pipeline and Archive

Are you familiar with Lever’s unified pipeline? This is customizable to your needs, and it’s important you spend time considering this layout so that your workflow is as efficient as it can possibly be, and so your reports are an accurate representation of this. With the unified pipeline, you want your stages to be as universal as possible while also making it clear where each candidate stands, and what’s up next for them to complete, without losing tracking of candidates along the way. 

When to consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation Describe your interview process. Does this vary across teams, departments, locations, etc?  Your current funnel most likely varies by job posting, so you’ll want to make sure your stages are as universal as possible. Default interview plans allow you to customize a specific stage on a per job basis, meaning a “Team Interview” stage can look a bit different for a sales role vs. an engineering role. It’s fine to skip a stage if the stage only applies to a few teams or jobs (e.g. technical assessment) but you want to avoid moving candidates backwards within your pipeline. 
Implementation Describe your application review process, the individuals involved, as well as their responsibilities. Are you experiencing bottlenecks or delays in reviewing new applicants? You want to provide a good candidate experience, and get back to candidates in a timely manner so you don’t lose out on quality applicants!
Six Months Do your Hiring Managers have the bandwidth to complete the hiring and recruitment tasks they are assigned? Your Hiring Managers have other responsibilities, and you want them to give their assigned recruitment responsibilities their fullest attention. Reports provide insight into their interview workload, or whether they are completing feedback in a timely manner. 
Six Months How are you currently categorizing candidates that you are archiving/rejecting? Are your archive reasons clear enough? With Lever’s candidate-focused approach, we want to make it simple for you to re-engage with top talent. When you open a new role, do you have an archive reason for “future opportunity” or “keep warm”? This allows you to look within your existing pool, instead of starting from scratch each time. If someone reapplies, do you know whether this person was archived for being underqualified, for their communication skills, or for going unresponsive? 


Top of Funnel

Do you know where hires and top-quality candidates are coming from? Are your sponsored job postings yielding strong candidates, or should you be directing recruiting resources elsewhere? Are you capturing a diverse representation of the broader talent pool? Quantity does not always equate to quality, so it’s important to know where your efforts should be focused. 

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation Have I enabled Lever’s Partner Job Boards? By setting up integrations with partner job boards such as LinkedIn, you have the ability to automatically push to these job boards with a signal click!
Implementation Does my organization have an internal referral process?  Internal referrals are going to be your best conversions! Lever helps streamline this process, but it’s important your team feels empowered to submit referrals on their own. Is there a benefit or compensation bonus tied to hired referrals?
Six Months Is my team an accurate representation of the world around me?  Diversity is a key area to consider when looking at the top of your funnel. Is bias occurring at the top of my funnel, or deeper in my pipeline? 
Six Months Is your team using Nurture campaigns?  Nurture campaigns set up an efficient way for you to source from your existing talent pool, instead of starting from scratch with each new job posting. If you had a strong finalist from a previous round of hires, then this should be the first person you reach out to!
Six Months Where are quality candidates coming from? As noted above, quantity does not always equate to quality. You want to focus your efforts on sources getting you qualified candidates, and ultimately, hires. This may vary by role or department, so think carefully about where certain jobs are posted. 
Annually How important are applicants to your top-of-funnel?  Is your career site generating enough traffic? Your career site lets you have control over the candidate's experience, so customizing your career site can make for a fairly compelling argument. This might be a worthwhile project if you have the resources to dedicate. 


Job Postings

An engaging Job Description is a key tool when trying to attract and hire top quality candidates. These should be clearly defined so your applicants aren’t misaligned in what’s expected from this role, and to highlight the key things that set you apart from the rest of the pack.

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation Has your team developed impact statements? In order to craft a compelling job description that attracts quality applicants, we recommend performance-based descriptions which identify two important dimensions of the job - what is the candidate expected to own, teach, learn and improve once they're on the job, and the timing of these accomplishments?
Implementation Have you set up job posting templates?  Job posting templates create efficiencies for your recruiters, while also keeping consistent messaging across your various job postings.
Six Months Are job postings reviewed before being published externally? Are new job postings managed by a single individual, or is the responsibility distributed across Hiring Managers, Junior Recruiters, etc.? Having job posting approvals funnel through one member of the team can be beneficial if consistency across postings is an issue. 
Six Months How often are job descriptions updated? If you’re a rapidly growing company, then I’m sure your roles and responsibilities are constantly shifting. Make sure your descriptions are updated regularly as responsibilities are reprioritized, and as you get a better feel for who the ideal candidate will be. 


Requisitions (LeverTRM for Enterprise or Advanced HR add-on required)

Let's start by reviewing the difference between job postings and requisitions in Lever since oftentimes, people view job postings and requisitions as one and the same. In Lever, job postings are your external representation of the role, while requisitions are the internal representation of the role such as reason for hire, the headcount you’re looking to fill, budget and compensation bands, and so on. Here are some indications that your process could benefit from this added structure, even if you aren’t implementing requisitions at this very moment. If you're interested in requisitions but don't currently have access to this feature, then you may wish to contact Lever Support, or your dedicated Customer Success Manager to learn more. 

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation What is your headcount planning process? Are requisitions pre-created based on headcount planning, or created as they go to accommodate your changing hiring needs? If headcount is typically planned on a quarterly or annual basis, then you may benefit from the added structure of requisitions. 
Six Months What is your process for salary expectations and bands? Requisitions allow you to track and manage salary bands all from within Lever. 

Six Months

How do you track backfills and internal movement? Requisitions also allow you to track backfills or internal movement, compared with additional headcount as new roles are opened. 
Annually Now that we are a bit more developed, am I planning to front-load my headcount for the quarter or year?  If requisitions did not suit you when you implemented Lever, is your organization now more developed and organized when it comes to headcount planning?  


Candidate Management

A well-oiled candidate workflow is everything to a candidate's overall hiring experience. If a candidate applies and doesn’t hear from your team for several weeks, then this may leave a poor impression, or cause quality candidates to seek opportunities elsewhere. As recruiters and hiring managers, there should be appropriate efficiencies in place so your team can action candidates in a timely manner. 

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation How does the team divvy up responsibilities and interactions with candidates in Lever (i.e. Who updates the candidate status? Who gathers interview feedback?) Your team should know exactly what they are responsible for as it relates to hiring and recruitment. 
Implementation How involved are your hiring managers in sourcing, scheduling, advancing, archiving, etc.?  If you have a smaller Talent Team, then it’s likely your Hiring Managers are taking on greater responsibility with candidate management. Review your user access chart to make sure they can fulfil the correct responsibilities. 
Six Months Does your team use inactivity alerts, or other tools to prevent bottlenecks? Are your users actioning candidates in a timely manner? Candidates should never go stale within your pipeline, so it’s important you understand what preventative tools are available to you. 
Six Months Have you implemented a candidate experience survey? Knowing your candidate’s opinions on their hiring experience is great insight into how well your processes flow from an external perspective. We recommend automating this deeper within your pipeline so you can gather a more comprehensive take on the candidate’s overall experience.
Six Months Who is responsible for scheduling candidates and what is the turnaround time? Are you struggling to move candidates through screening stages? Easy Book links cut down on the initial back and forth with a candidate, and create scheduling efficiency for 1:1 ratio interviews.


Feedback Forms

Well-structured feedback forms benefit all parties including recruiters, interviews, as well as candidates. For your internal team, these allow you to perform apples to apples comparisons of candidates and grade them on a consistent basis. From a candidate’s perspective, the interview will be structured in a way so they can demonstrate their qualifications and experience with ease. When feedback forms are de-prioritized, interviewers may be less in line with expectations, making their feedback less reliable. 

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation What are good interview questions? Remember to make Lever’s four-point scale a mandatory question on each feedback form! This improves the quality of some reports, and allows you to re-engage with top-quality candidates more easily.
Implementation Do interviewers go through Interview training today? How do interviewers know what type of questions to ask? Are your interviewers primed and prepared for each interview they conduct? It’s important your interviewers understand what’s expected of them. If your interviewers don’t feel comfortable, then your candidates may not be comfortable either. 
Six Months Am I consulting my hiring managers on the effectiveness of our interview feedback forms? Am I reviewing interviews and interview calibration reports? Are candidates being graded on the appropriate scales? Your hiring managers are key decision makers in who gets hired, and collaborating with them on their wants and needs for each position is crucial to their success as a team, as well as culture as a whole. 



Capturing as much recruiting activity as possible in Lever is helpful because it allows you to consolidate your workflow to one piece of software. From an efficiency standpoint, Lever makes it easy for you to approve offer details and generate offer letters with ease.

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant?  Resources
Implementation Do I plan to send offers outside of the system? What is my reasoning behind this decision?  Are you currently generating offers in Word? Are you sending these out in your HRIS? If you are, then you are going to miss out on key hiring data (e.g. time to hire, time to fill) which could affect the usability of some of your reports. Take some time to review Lever’s offer process in detail. 
Annually Do I have a variety of offer templates? Who approves offers, and should I capture this through Lever?  Dynamic offers allow you to reduce the number of templates your team has to toggle between. If offers need to be approved by your CEO, CFO, etc. then there’s also an easy way to capture this all within Lever. The approver can review and approve offer details, all from within their email. 


User Access and Tools

Recruiting does not fall on the shoulders of one person or one team. Recruiting is an organization-wide effort, and your users may require fairly specific access based on their unique needs. This may be better defined over time as you get more familiar with what your team needs in order to make hiring decisions. 

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant? Resources
Implementation Do your Hiring Managers need access to compensation conversations, offer details, etc? Hiring Managers, interviewers, and users who fall outside of your core recruiting team should be empowered to contribute and collaborate within hiring as much as possible, without being overwhelmed by what they have access to, or exposed to information that’s sensitive/ not relevant. 
Implementation What recruitment responsibilities will my Hiring Managers be responsible for? Will your hiring managers be responsible for creating their own job postings? Who needs the ability to view and add new candidates for the job postings they manage? Take a look at your user access roles and see if everyone has the correct permissions assigned. 



The Lever ecosystem strives to connect to different softwares you use on a day to day basis, and have these funnel back into Lever so you can maintain that single source of truth, and so you can manage all of these components in one place. We are constantly adding new integrations to Lever, so it’s good to know what’s currently available, or what you can potentially benefit from as your organization scales.  

When to Consider Question Why is this relevant? Resources
Implementation Lever ecosystem - what is my existing tech stack?  You should be aware of Lever’s current integrations and how they fit into your current recruitment processes. 
Annually What solutions add-ons or integrations could you benefit from?  Since implementing Lever, perhaps you decided to implement a process for background checks, or are hoping to pass candidates into an HRIS. As you grow and scale, your processes and tech tools may change as a result.
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