How to keep your pipeline organized and up-to-date

Available for User roles Limited Team Members, Team Members, Admins, Super Admins
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With this guide, you can: clean up a stale pipeline, identify each candidate's next steps, and identify candidates in danger of falling through the cracks

Is your pipeline a mess? Are there old candidates sitting around in your account until you can "get around" to archiving them? Are you constantly unsure about your next steps? Are you letting candidates slip through the cracks?

With a few simple best practices, you can keep your pipeline up-to-date and organized - and make sure your candidates receive the best possible experience.

This guide covers:

  1. The Key Metric: Percentage of stale candidates
  2. How to keep your pipeline fresh like a power user
  3. How to monitor your pipeline freshness over time

The Key Metric: Percentage of stale candidates

Here's a quick exercise to determine whether your pipeline is stale and in need of a clean-up:

1. Calculate the number of candidates in your pipeline.

Navigate to your Candidates page. Make sure your filter in the top right corner is set to "All owners". Add up the total number of candidates in your Lead, Applicant and Interview segments:


In this example, I have 2,372 candidates in my active pipeline.

2. Apply a filter to find your stale candidates.

Now, scroll down on the left side filter area until you reach the Last interaction filter. In this example, we'll say that candidates who haven't received an interaction from my team in at least 3 months are considered stale. However, you can decide what definition of stale makes the most sense for your own team. Adjust the slider bar to highlight these stale candidates:


3. Calculate the number of stale candidates in your pipeline.

Now, with your filter applied, add up the stale candidates in your Lead, Applicant and Interview pipeline segments:


In this example, I have 1,531 stale candidates.

4. Calculate the percentage.

Divide the number of stale candidates in your active pipeline by the total number of candidates in your active pipeline to see what percentage of your pipeline is stale. In this example:

1531 / 2372 = 64.6% stale


How to clean up your pipeline

Staring at a pipeline in need of a big clean up? Don't worry - follow our tips below and you'll have a sparkling clean pipeline in a matter of minutes.

Clean up candidates for a role that's been closed

Use the bulk archive by job posting feature to find the other candidates for a particular role and move them to the archive. If they're being considered for multiple roles, you can choose whether to archive them altogether - or just for that role.


Clean up everyone who hasn't heard from you in awhile

Sometimes you just need a fresh start! If there are a lot of out-of-date candidates in your pipeline, and you aren't sure about the nuances of each candidate or posting and just want to clean your entire pipeline up at once, we recommend bulk archiving all your stale candidates.

Simply apply your last interaction filter to find anyone who hasn't heard from your team in awhile. Check the "Select All" checkbox and click the bulk archive button:


Note: If you have a large number of very stale candidates, you may want to create an appropriate email template apologizing for the late response. It's never too late to improve your candidates' experience, even if your follow-up is later than you would have wished.

Keep in mind, this workflow will only clean up one segment of your pipeline at a time (Lead, Applicant or Interview). Leads can often be nurtured over a very long period of time, or you may wish to clean up your unreviewed applicant pool without touching your interview pipeline. You have control over how much or how little cleanup you'd like to do!

How to keep your pipeline fresh like a power user

Smart recruiters save time by letting Lever do the heavy lifting for them! A few key features will transform your day-to-day task management.

Use Lever's call-to-action buttons to keep track of your next steps.

If there's one single trick which separates "power users" from "casual users" of Lever, it's the call-to-action buttons on the right side of the Candidate list view:


These buttons let you see at a glance which candidates need to receive an interview invitation, which candidates have received an Easy Book link and need to decide on a time, which candidates are waiting on outstanding feedback from the rest of your team, and which candidates are ready to move forward in the process. Take 5 minutes to get to know these buttons - they'll save you hundreds of hours of followup!

Use the Snooze function to generate email notifications when it's time to follow up.


Not the right time for a conversation? Prospect heading out of town for a few weeks? Don't just write a reminder on a Post-It and stick it to your monitor. Instead, put the candidate on Snooze.

You can also include a note while snoozing a candidate, so you remember how to pick up where you left off. When time is up, the candidate will return to your pipeline and you'll receive an email reminder to follow up:

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Future You will thank Past You for the reminder.

Manage your passive candidates automatically with Lever Nurture.


Lever Nurture's automated campaigns will follow up with candidates at scheduled intervals until the candidate responds. If a campaign concludes without a response from the candidate, you can configure your campaign to move those candidates directly into your archive - no manual cleanup necessary. Configure your Nurture campaigns to keep your pipeline clean.

How to monitor your pipeline freshness over time

Run your percentage of stale candidates periodically

Keep calculating your percentage of stale candidates (as shown at the beginning of this guide) on a regular basis. You can use this metric to set a KPI for your team this year. For example:

"Our team will maintain a pipeline which is at least 75% fresh throughout the year 2019, to be measured at the end each month."

Use filters to identify which colleagues are letting their candidates grow stale

Is there one person on your team letting inactive candidates pile up in your pipeline? You can see who's responsible for your inactive candidates using the filter bars on the left side. Once you apply your Last Interacted filter, the Owners filter will display the owners of the inactive candidates:

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Andrew, you've got keep your pipeline up-to-date! Don't leave a mess for your team!

If multiple hiring managers are letting candidates grow stale, it may be time to invest in more dedicated recruiting staff to ensure your candidates are getting the best possible experience.

What's Next?

Now that you know how to clean up your pipeline, make sure you have rejection email templates to send to your candidates as you archive them.

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