Understanding the difference between candidate profiles and opportunities

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Lever's approach to talent relationship management is predicated on the idea that each candidate's journey is more than just a single interaction or application. It is for this reason that Lever treats candidate profiles and opportunities as distinct entities. Decoupling a candidate's profile from their consideration for specific job provides functional benefits when it comes to data hygiene, considering candidates for multiple jobs, and sourcing from pools of past candidates. Readers of this article will learn about:

Defining candidate profiles and opportunities

Candidate profiles and opportunities are defined as follows:

A candidate profile consists of information specific to the candidate, regardless of the job(s) they apply for. The candidate profile includes contact-level information such as their name, location, email address(es), telephone number(s), and external profile URLs (e.g. LinkedIn). Candidate profile information is cumulative, meaning it is pulled from all jobs for which the candidate has been considered.

An opportunity represents the consideration of a candidate for a specific job. The opportunity consists of information specific to the job for which the candidate is being considered such as the posting title, the resume the candidate provided with their application, as well as the opportunity's stage, origin, and source.

Every candidate in your Lever environment should only have one candidate profile. That profile can then be associated with multiple opportunities. Check out our help article on merging candidate profiles for information on how to keep your pipeline and archive free of duplicates.

Identifying candidate profile and opportunity information

When you are viewing the pipeline or archive, you are looking at a list of opportunities associated with the candidates in your Lever database. This is why it is possible to see the same candidate's name appear at multiple different points in the pipeline. If a candidate has more than one active (i.e. non-archived) opportunity, a suitcase icon will appear on their opportunity in the pipeline view.

Close-up of Lead section of pipeline with opportunities listed, two of which have the same candidate name.

Clicking into an opportunity will open the candidate's profile, with the chosen opportunity selected. Refer to the image below for a breakdown of the contact-level and opportunity-specific information that appears on the profile:

Close-up of candidate profile with contact level and opportunity information fields outlined and labelled.

 

Benefits of the opportunity-oriented structure

Treating candidate profiles and opportunities as distinct entities affords you advantages when it comes to candidate management:

Managing candidates with multiple active applications
If you are hiring for multiple roles within a single department, having candidates apply to multiple postings will likely be a common occurrence. The opportunity-centric structure allows you 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 they need in order to take a coherent approach in managing each candidate relationship.

Rediscovering archived 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.

Maintaining good data hygiene
By adopting an opportunity-centric design, Lever removes the need to reactivate profiles for candidates that are considered for new roles, because the profile itself never passes into a state of activity or inactivity to begin with (only the associated opportunities do). If you decide to re-engage with a past candidate, you can simply create a new opportunity for them at the top of the funnel. This keeps your data clean, by keeping the candidate's history (including all of the information associated with their archived opportunities) intact. Not only does this allow you to build upon the candidate relationship with the full context of their prior recruitment experience with your organization, it also ensures that your data is accurate when reporting on metrics like opportunity volume and conversion rates.

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