Adding pipeline stages

Available for Roles Super Admin
Permissions • Manage pipeline stages
Packages Lever Basic, LeverTRM, LeverTRM for Enterprise

As your organization's talent acquisition function develops over time, your unified pipeline will likely need to evolve accordingly. Lever allows you to customize your pipeline stages to reflect changes in the candidate journey defined by your team's recruitment procedures. This article will guide you through the process of adding stages to your pipeline. Note that pipeline customization can have far-reaching effects in your Lever environment. We advise that you familiarize yourself with the design and function of the pipeline before attempting to make changes. To learn more, check out our help article series on understanding your unified pipeline.

For more information on pipeline customization, refer to the other help articles on this topic:

For a demonstration of how to customize pipeline stages, jump to the video at the end of this article.

Rules for adding pipeline stages

Given how foundational the pipeline is to other functions throughout the Lever platform, there are certain actions you cannot take when adding stages to your pipeline. Specifically:

  • 'New lead' must always be first stage in Lead section  and the 'New applicant' stage must always be the first stage in the Applicant section of the pipeline. If you add a stage to either of these sections, you will not be able to reorder it to appear before the 'New lead' or 'New applicant' stage respectively.
  • It is not possible to add a stage with the same name as a currently active stage in your pipeline. This restriction ensures that you have proper quality data in your analytics.

Knowing when to add pipeline stages

Before adding a stage to your pipeline, ask yourself the following questions:

Do I intend to move all opportunities from a currently active stage to my newly created stage?
If yes, it would be more efficient to rename the existing stage rather than adding a new stage.
Am I prepared to edit candidate histories to remove events from previous stages?
In order to keep your data clean when reporting on metrics such as pipeline speed, it is important that candidate histories accurately reflect their journey through your pipeline. Moving opportunities to a newly added stage may require you to edit candidates histories in order to remove reference to time spent in previous stages.

In general, new stages should only be added to your pipeline if your talent team has established a new recruitment process that will impact candidate journeys going forward, but will not affect candidates who are currently in or have gone through your pipeline. Below are some examples of when it would be appropriate to add a new stage to each section of the pipeline:

Example 1: Adding a Lead stage
Fearing that candidates may not be responding well to an implied sense of urgency in their correspondence, a recruitment team is adjusting their strategy to take a more conversational approach with potential candidates. They would like to add a new 'Keep Warm' stage to the Lead section of their pipeline, for potential candidates that recruiters feel might benefit from more gradual relationship building (while still remaining visible in the active part of the pipeline). Leads that are currently in pipeline can be added to this new stage if the recruiter sees fit, but since this stage is only meant to capture a point in the candidate journey that this team wants to start measuring, adding this stage will not disrupt existing data.
Example 2: Adding an Applicant stage
As a company grows past its seed stage, it is looking to increase the rigour of its screening processes for software engineers. The engineers they have are great, but the company has exhausted the local talent pool and their pipeline is more or less empty when it comes to engineering candidates. They have decided to broaden their candidate search from coast to coast and will be launching a focused national recruitment initiative. They have updated their engineering job postings to require applicants to submit a work sample and they wish to add a 'Code Review' stage to the Applicant section of their pipeline where the technical recruiters can review the work samples before advancing candidates to an interview stage. The engineering candidates that they currently have in pipeline are past the point where they would have had to provide a work sample, so the team would start fresh with this new stage with the next batch of applicants.
Example 3: Adding an Interview stage
A company's Director of Customer Success just completed their Topgrade certification. From now on, candidates for manager and team lead positions in the Customer Success department will undergo a Topgrade interview instead of a traditional on-site interview. There is only one Customer Success manager candidate currently in pipeline, and they are already past the on-site interview stage. Now is the perfect time to add the 'Topgrade' stage to the pipeline, so it can be administered on a go-forward basis.

How to add pipeline stages


The addition of stages to your pipeline may affect integrations that you have enabled in your Lever environment. As a best practice, review your active integrations for any triggers associated with stages (and make adjustments if necessary) prior to adding stages to your pipeline.
  • Navigate to Settings > Pipeline and archive reasons > Pipeline stages. Here you will see a preview of the active sections of our pipeline, as well as the list of active and deactivated pipeline stages in your Lever environment.

Pipeline and archive reasons settings page.

  • Click the Customize pipeline stages button to open the stage editor. Each stage in your pipeline will be represented by a tile, organized by section. Each tile will show a tally of the number of active opportunities currently associated with that stage in your pipeline.
  • Click Add stage in the upper-right corner of the editor.

Arrow pointing to Add Stage button to the upper-right of the stage editor.

  • Type of the name of the stage you wish to add. Before proceeding, you can enable the following settings for the stage you are creating:
    • Inactivity alerts - When enabled, an inactivity indicator will appear in the pipeline opportunity list, next to opportunities in this stage that have not been interacted with in the defined number of days.
    • Stage used for interviews - When enabled, opportunities in this stage that have not yet been scheduled for an interview will have a 'schedule' call-to-action button appear on their entry in the opportunity list.
    • Default feedback form - When enabled, the selected feedback form will be automatically attached to any interview events scheduled for opportunities in this stage. The default feedback form can be overridden in the scheduler for individual events or by resorting to the interview plan for the associated posting.

Add new stage modal

  • When the stage has been set up as desired, click the Add stage button to proceed. The new stage tile will appear in the stage editor (look for the tile with the 'New stage' label).
  • Once you have created the stage, you can move it by hovering over the left side of the tile (until two lines of dots appear) and then clicking and dragging it to the desired location.
    • If you wish to modify the stage that you have added, click the stage name on the tile to reopen the stage edit modal.

Live image of stage tiles being rearranged.

  • When you are ready to confirm the addition of the new stage, click the Next button to the right of the progress bar at the top of the page.
  • If you are deactivating stages with active opportunities as part of this same series of pipeline customizations, you will be presented with a summary list of stages to be deactivated and the total number of opportunities in each stage that need to be migrated before the deactivation can be completed. Refer to our article on deactivating pipeline stages to learn about best practices and potential impacts of this action. Click the Next button to proceed.

Move opportunities page in pipeline stage configuration workflow. One stage slated for deactivation is listed with a new stage selected to which to migrate opportunities.

  • The final step is to review your slated changes. On the review page, you will find a comparison view of the current and future state of your pipeline once your changes are applied. Below this, you will find a table with a detailed summary of all of your slated changes. At the bottom of the review page, you will find a table summarizing the impacts your changes will have on your analytics.

Example of changes to stages summary

Impact of changes to analytics table

  • Click the Save button to the right of progress bar to apply your changes. It may take a few moments for your pipeline changes to be applied. You can return to Lever while this process runs in the background. Note, it will not be possible to make further changes to your pipeline stages until the initial set of customizations have been applied. When your changes have been applied, a pop-up notification will appear in Lever. Click the button in the pop-up to view the changes in your Settings.

Pop up notification that pipeline stage changes have been successfully applied.


If you exit the pipeline stage customization workflow without applying your updates, any changes you have made up to that point will be lost.

Video walkthrough

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