Candidates and opportunities in the pipeline

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Packages Lever Basic, LeverTRM, LeverTRM for Enterprise

This article is the second in a series designed to help you understand the structure and operation of Lever's unified pipeline. This article covers two key concepts that you will need to grasp in order to properly utilize your pipeline - candidates and opportunities.

Defining candidates and opportunities

It is important to understand the difference between a candidate and an opportunity in Lever, as these are the entities that comprise each section of the pipeline. Grasping the distinction between the two will explain why a single candidate may appear in multiple places in your pipeline.

In Lever, a 'candidate' is the consolidated profile containing all information related to a potential hire. An 'opportunity' represents a candidate's application for a single job. Given this relationship, one candidate can have multiple opportunities associated with their profile.

It is important to note that, when we are talking about actions that can be taken with an application, such as advancement through the pipeline or archiving, the entity being acted upon is the opportunity, not the candidate. To illustrate this distinction, let's take a closer look at how candidates and opportunities are reflected in the pipeline.

Candidate and opportunity behaviour

When viewing a section of the pipeline, what you are actually looking at is a list of opportunities grouped by stage. If an opportunity is associated with a candidate that has other active opportunities elsewhere in the pipeline, this will be denoted by a suitcase icon in the opportunity list.

Clicking into an opportunity will bring up the associated candidate profile defaulted to the opportunity you selected. When viewing a candidate's profile, all associated opportunities are listed on the upper right.

To bring this distinction into focus, let's look at an example. In the image below, we can see an opportunity for the candidate Meghan Kelley's application to the Strategic Partnership Manager role. This opportunity is currently in the Applicant section of the pipeline in the stage 'New Applicant.'

Based on the suitcase icon, we can see at glance that Meghan has another active opportunity in the pipeline.

Opportunity highlighted in opportunity list of Applicant section, with arrow pointing to suitcase icon.

If we click into Meghan's Strategic Partnership Manager opportunity, we can see she has another active opportunity for the Sr. Account Manager role at the 'On-site Interview' stage.

Candidate profile with arrow pointing to one of two opportunities listed in upper-right.


Information for a candidate's other active opportunities can also be revealed by clicking the suitcase icon in the opportunity list view.

Sure enough, if we navigate to the Interview section of the pipeline, we find Meghan's other active opportunity listed in the 'On-site Interview' stage.

Opportunity for the same candidates circled in opportunity list of Interview section.

Understanding the value of opportunities

The pipeline has been designed to list opportunities in order to allow for flexibility when it comes to managing candidate relationships. There are two specific ways in which you can put this into practice.

Candidates with multiple active applications

If you are hiring for multiple roles within a single department, candidates simultaneously applying to multiple postings will likely be a common occurrence. The opportunity-centric structure allows recruiters to manage applications autonomously throughout the pipeline while still reflecting a unified journey on the candidate profile. This way, recruiters and hiring managers have the degree of visibility necessary to take a coherent approach in managing each candidate relationship.

Rediscovering candidates through archived opportunities

As with the active sections of the pipeline, the Archive lists individual opportunities in order to allow for the granularity required to rediscover relevant candidates.

Candidates may have multiple archived opportunities, each of which may be archived for a different reason. Candidates with at least one opportunity that was archived for a reason that is amenable to rediscovery, such as 'Future hire' or 'Better for another role,' will be easier for your recruitment team to find when sourcing from this section of the pipeline in the future.

Candidate profile opened to opportunity archived as Future Hire with option revealed to consider candidate for another job.

An article on how the Archive works is included later in this series.

Next steps...

Now that you understand the relationship between candidates and opportunities, let's take a closer look at the different sections that make up the pipeline. First up, we will examine the Lead section of the pipeline.

If you would like to jump to the other articles in this series, select from the options below:

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