Modifying pipeline stages

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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 modifying stages in your pipeline, covering the following topics:

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.

What counts as a modification?

Modification of a pipeline stage is defined as one or more of the following actions:

  1. Renaming - i.e. changing the name of a stage
  2. Changing stage settings - i.e. inactivity alerts, stage used in interviews, default feedback form
  3. Reordering - i.e. moving a stage to a new location in the sequence of pipeline stages

Rules for modifying pipeline stages

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

  • All active stages must have different names. You cannot change the name of a stage to match that of another active stage. This restriction ensures that you have proper quality data in your analytics.
  • Stages that cannot be deactivated cannot be renamed.
  • The following limitations apply when reordering stages:
    • The 'New lead' and 'New applicant' stages cannot be moved. No stages can be moved to come before the 'New lead' and 'New applicant' stages in their respective sections of the pipeline.
    • The 'Reached out' stage must...
      • Stay in the Lead section of the pipeline
      • Come after the 'New lead' stage and before the 'Responded' stage
    • The 'Responded' stage must...
      • Stay in the Lead section of the pipeline
      • Come after the 'Reached out' stage
    • The 'Offer' stage must stay in the Interview section of the pipeline

Knowing when to modify pipeline stages

Before modifying a stage in your pipeline, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I prepared to audit interview plans, feedback forms, surveys, automation workflows, and integrations for reordered stages?
While reordering stages in your pipeline will not break any interview plans, feedback forms, surveys, automation workflows, or integrations, you should audit these items to make sure the new placement of the stage is still in alignment with how that item is intended to work or be used.
Am I aware of how reordering pipelines stages will affect my stage conversion data?
The metrics on the Conversions chart in your in-app reporting may appear skewed following the reordering of stages. Candidates may appear to move forward or backward in your pipeline, even if the they have not actually been advanced or regressed. For this reason, we advise considering adding or deactivating stages instead of reordering stages whenever possible.
Have I communicated the planned modification to my team?
If you are modifying a stage to reflect a change in procedure, be sure to notify your team of your planned modification so they continue to advance candidates in the proper order.

In general, pipeline stages should only be modified 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 modify a pipeline stage:

Example: Renaming and attaching a new default feedback form to an Interview stage
A recruitment team adopts a new code assessment platform that will automatically send code challenges to candidates via an integration with Lever. Prior to the adoption of this platform, interviews in the 'Code Review' stage in their pipeline consisted of candidates completing a simple code challenge live with the interviewer. With the new platform, candidates will be sent the code challenge when their opportunity is advanced to the stage. Once they complete the test, their results will appear directly on their profile in Lever. The TA Operations Manager changes the name of the stage to 'Code Assessment' and sets the code assessment feedback form as the new default feedback form for the stage. They send their team a notice about the name change and instructions on how to use the new integration when advancing candidates to the stage. Since no stages were reordered, there will be no impact to historical conversion data. As a best practice, the TA Operations Manager notes that date that the change was made, so they can refer to it in case conversion rates for the 'Code Assessment' stage change in the future.
Example: Reordering Interview stages
In an effort to reduce bias in their interview process, a Director of Talent Acquisition at a marketing firm decides to move the 'Portfolio Review' stage to take place before (instead of after) the 'Hiring Manager Screen' stage. Prior to making the move, they apply a tag to all opportunities currently in the 'Portfolio Review' stage. These opportunities will count toward the regression rate for the 'Portfolio Review' stage on conversion reports that include the date the stage was moved in their date range. By applying a tag to these opportunities, the Director of Talent Acquisition will be able to filter out these opportunities from reports from this timeframe. The 'Portfolio Review' stage was also referenced in the delivery criteria for the Candidate Experience Survey. Since Director of Talent Acquisition does not want to change the point in the candidate journey at which the survey is delivered, they update the criteria to reference the 'Hiring Manager' stage instead.

How to modify pipeline stages

 

The modification of stages in your pipeline may affect integrations you have enabled in LeverTRM. As a best practice, review your active integrations for any triggers associated with stages (and make adjustments if necessary) prior to modifying a stage in 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.
  • To modify the name or settings of a stage, click the stage name on the tile to open the stage edit modal. Type in the 'Name' field and/or adjust the settings toggles as necessary. Click Save Changes to close the modal.

Pipeline stage details modal

  • To reorder a stage, hover over the left side of the tile (until two lines of dots appear) and then click and drag it to the desired location.

Live image of stage tiles being reordered.

  • When you are ready to confirm your stage modifications, 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.

Frequently asked questions

How is a survey impacted if it refers to a stage that is modified?

If a stage is renamed, the name of the stage that appears in the survey delivery criteria will be updated to reflect. There are no functional impacts to a survey if a stage is renamed. If a stage is reordered such that a candidate that has already passed the trigger stage would pass it again in its new location, the survey will not be sent to the candidate a second time.

How is an integration impacted if it relies on a trigger associated with a renamed stage?

In most cases, there will be no impact to the integration provided the integration has been set up to reference the stage ID in Lever and not the stage name.

Video walkthrough

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