Understanding the difference between origins and sources

Available for Roles Super Admin, Admin, Team Member, Limited Team Member
Permissions • Manage profiles and view associated postings
Packages Lever Basic, LeverTRM, LeverTRM for Enterprise


This article depicts and describes an updated version of the pipeline interface and filter functionality included in the Summer 2023 Product Release, scheduled to rollout progressively in August 2023. For full details, refer to our Summer 2023 Product Release Notes.

Origins and sources are both attributes of opportunities that tell you something about the nature of its addition to your pipeline. Although these two concepts are related, understanding the difference between them can help you maintain good data hygiene when you are adding candidates to Lever. The essential difference between the two is:

An opportunity's origin tells you the means by which it entered the pipeline.

An opportunity's source tells you the action(s) or location(s) that generated it.

The origin and source for an opportunity is automatically attributed when a candidate is added to Lever or an opportunity is added to an existing candidate profile.

Close up of opportunity profile with origin and source circled and labelled.


An opportunity can only have a single origin. Lever has six pre-defined origins: Applied, Sourced, Referred, University, Internal, and Agency. These origins are hard-coded in the platform and cannot be customized. Each origin is defined as follows:

The origin attributed to opportunities that entered the pipeline via submission of an application to a posting, excluding submissions from the internal job site.

The origin attributed to opportunities added by a Lever user, either manually or using the Chrome extension, as well as those added to the pipeline via an integration.

The origin attributed to opportunities that entered the pipeline via a Lever user's submission to their Lever environment's referral form.

The origin attributed to opportunities that entered the pipeline via a job posting link that has been configured to mark opportunities with a 'University' origin.

The origin attributed to opportunities that entered the pipeline via submission of an application to a posting on the internal job site.

The origin attributed to opportunities that entered the pipeline via an agency job site.

An opportunity's origin can be edited by clicking the origin on the opportunity profile and selecting a different origin from the menu.

Live image of an origin being edited on an opportunity.

You can also use the bulk action toolbar to simultaneously change the origins of multiple opportunities.

Arrow pointing to change origin option in bulk action toolbar menu.


An opportunity can have multiple sources. To add sources to an opportunity, simply click into the source field and type the name of the source you wish to add.

Live image of a source being added to an opportunity.

Users with Super Admin or Admin access can lockdown sources in their Lever environment via their account settings.

Lockdown sources and tags checkbox in settings.

If sources are locked down, only users with Super Admin or Admin access can create new sources. Team Members and Limited Team Members will only be able to select from existing sources if they are manually adding sources to an opportunity. If sources are not locked down, any user has the ability to add a new source by typing it into the source field on an opportunity.


Note that sources are case and spelling sensitive. For example, the sources "LinkedIn" and "linkedin" would appear as two distinct sources available from which to select.

Why origins and sources are designed this way

Attributing both an origin and at least one source to each opportunity is designed to make it easy to trace which of your recruitment channels are yielding the largest number of high-quality candidates. You can use this insight to inform the types of investments you make in your recruitment strategy (e.g. contracting agencies, incentivizing referrals, sourcing from post-secondary job fairs).

'Sourced opportunities over time' chart in Visual Insights

Characterizing opportunities by both an origin and at least one source also makes it easier to filter for opportunities with a specific degree of granularity. For example, if you wanted to filter your pipeline for sourced opportunities (regardless of where exactly they originated from), you could apply the filter 'Origin: Sourced.' If you wanted to filter your pipeline for opportunities from a specific source - let's say LinkedIn - you could apply the filter 'Source: LinkedIn.'

Advanced filters modal with 'Sourced' in origin filter field and 'LinkedIn' in source filter field.

Here is a summary of the differences between origins and sources:

Origin Source
  • Opportunities can only have one origin.
  • Origins are hard-coded and cannot be customized.
  • Opportunity origins can be changed in bulk.
  • Opportunities can have multiple sources.
  • Sources can be added and customized. Which users have the ability to do this depends on whether sources are locked down.
  • Opportunity sources cannot be changed in bulk.
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