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Application Rules Overview

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Application Rules are automatic actions applied to job post questions. These actions are triggered when an applicant's response to a question fulfills the conditions of the rule. By creating Application Rules, your organization can filter candidates into subsets defined by automated and customizable criteria.

Greenhouse Recruiting provides several Application Rules you can configure on a per-job-post basis. In this article, we will cover: 

 

Available Application Rules

Greenhouse Recruiting includes three Application Rules: 

Auto-Tag (Available for all subscription tiers) 

Auto-Tag allows your team to apply Candidate Tags to profiles based on candidate responses to custom job post questions. These tags can be used to filter and identify candidates from the All Candidates page. To learn more, click here

Auto-Advance (Available for Advanced and Expert subscription tiers) 

Auto-Advance allows your team to move a candidate directly to a later stage in your Interview Plan based on answers the candidate provides to your custom job posts. This feature simplifies the interview process for both your Hiring Team and the candidate by moving the most qualified candidates to more advanced stages. To learn more, click here.

Auto-Reject (Available for Advanced and Expert subscription tiers) 

Auto-Reject allows your team to reject candidates automatically based on their responses to custom job post questions, and includes the ability to schedule a rejection email as part of the rejection process. This feature can assist Recruiters with high-volume roles by filtering out candidates who do not meet essential requirements (such as too young, unable to relocate, etc). To learn more, click here.

 

Navigate to Manage Application Rules Page

Application Rules are managed from the Job Posts page. Click All Jobs from the navigation bar and then select a job from the subsequent list.

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From the Job Dashboard page, click Job Setup and navigate to Job Posts on the left-hand panel.

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Under the Application Rules column, click Manage Rules (or # rules) inline with a specific job post.

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From the Rules page, you can edit and delete existing rules, and add new rules. Click the Edit icon edit.png to edit existing rules. If you would like to delete an existing rule, click the Delete icon Delete.png

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Combine Application Rules Using AND/OR Conditions

You can enhance the power of your Application Rules by using AND/OR Conditions to base a single Application Rule on candidate responses to more than one custom job post question, or to base the Application Rule on multiple possible responses to a single custom job post question. 

Example: You can create an Auto-Advance rule that requires the candidate to have 2–3, 3–5, OR 5+ years experience, AND to live in a specified city. 

 

AND Conditions

AND Conditions allow you to base an Application Rule on the candidate's responses to multiple custom job post questions. In order to trigger the Application Rule, the candidate must provide one matching answer for each of the questions included in the Application Rule. Each Application Rule supports joining up to five custom questions using AND Conditions. 

Note: It is not possible to use AND Conditions to require a candidate to select two options within the same custom job post question. For example, if you include a multi-select custom job post question, "In what programming languages are you proficient?", it is not possible to require the candidate to select both Ruby AND Python as responses to trigger Auto-Advance. AND Conditions require joining together multiple custom job post questions.

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An AND Condition can be added when creating a new Application Rule, or can be added to an existing Application Rule.

To add an AND Condition when creating a new Application Rule, begin by following the steps to create an Auto-Tag, Auto-Advance, or Auto-Reject Application Rule, then continue with the steps below.

To add an AND Condition to an existing Application Rule, navigate to the job post's Rules page using the steps outlined here and click the Edit icon edit.png inline with the Application Rule. 

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From the Add a Rule dialog box, click Add another trigger

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Use the Question dropdown to select another custom question from the job post, and the Answer dropdown to define which candidate response(s) should trigger the Application Rule. 

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Example: In the image above, candidates who respond they are available to work in Kansas City and have three or more years of experience will be Auto-Advanced to the Hiring Manager Review Stage. Candidates who respond they are available to work in Kansas City and have less than three years of experience will not be Auto-Advanced, and will remain in the Application Review stage awaiting manual review unless Auto-Advanced or Auto-Rejected by a different Application Rule. 

Repeat these steps to add up to five custom questions to the Application Rule. When you are finished adding custom job post questions, click Save at the bottom-right of the Add a Rule dialog box. 

To remove an AND Condition from an Application Rule, click the to the right of the condition, then click Save at the bottom-right of the Add a Rule dialog box. 

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Note: If an Application Rule uses an AND Condition to include two custom job post questions and one of the questions is deleted from the job post, the Application Rule will be based on the remaining job post question only. If an Application Rule is based on a single custom job post question and that question is deleted from the job post, the Application Rule will be removed as well. 

 

OR Conditions

OR Conditions allow you to base an Application Rule on multiple possible responses to a single custom job post question. The candidate only needs to select one of the possible responses to trigger the Application Rule. 

Example: You can create an Auto-Advance rule for the multi-select custom job post question In which programing languages are you proficient? that advances candidates who select Ruby OR Python

To configure an OR Condition, begin by following the steps to create an Auto-Tag, Auto-Advance, or Auto-Reject Application Rule, then continue with the steps below.

To add an OR Condition to an existing Application Rule, navigate to the job post's Rules page using the steps outlined here and click the Edit icon edit.png inline with the Application Rule. 

In the Answer dropdown for an existing or additional custom job post question, enter each candidate response that should trigger the Application Rule. When you are finished adding options, click Save at the bottom-right of the Add a Rule dialog window. 

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Note: If an OR Condition rule is based on either of two custom job post question responses and one of the responses is deleted from the custom job post question, the rule will be based on only the remaining custom job post question response.

If an OR Condition rule is based on a single custom job post question response and that response is deleted from the custom job post question, the question will be removed from the Application Rule. 

 

Application Rules Expected Behaviors

In this section, we will discuss expected behaviors when using Application Rules, as well as review scenarios where Application Rules overlap with one another. 

Auto-Advance Behaviors

  • If an Auto-Advance rule moves a candidate to a given stage and that stage later is removed from the job's Interview Plan, the Auto-Advance rule will update to instead advance the candidate to the stage preceding the now-deleted stage. A user can edit the Auto-Advance rule to advance the candidate to an alternative stage if preferred.

    Example: If an Auto-Advance rule advances candidates to the Face to Face stage in the following Interview Plan, and that stage is deleted, the Auto-Advance rule will advance candidates to the Take Home Test stage instead: 

    Application Review > Phone Screen > Take Home Test > Face to Face > Offer

  • If an Auto-Advance rule is configured for a job post and the job post is sent to a candidate as a job post request email, the candidate will not be Auto-Advanced based on their responses. Auto-Reject rules associated with the job post will not be applied to the candidate's responses either. However, Auto-Tags associated with the job post will be applied. 

Triggering Multiple Rules

This section outlines the expected behavior when a single candidate application triggers more than one Application Rule. 

  • Auto-Tag rules always will be applied, regardless of any other Application Rules that might be triggered.
  • Only one Auto-Advance or Auto-Reject rule will ever be applied to a single candidate. If both an Auto-Advance and an Auto-Reject rule are triggered, the Auto-Reject rule will be applied.
    • If your organization has determined certain responses are non-negotiable and indicate a candidate must be rejected (not enough experience, underage, requires a visa your company cannot provide, etc), any responses that might Auto-Advance the candidate are considered non-applicable. 
  • If more than one Auto-Advance rule is triggered, the rule that advances the candidate furthest in your Interview Plan will be applied. 
  • If two Auto-Advance rules are triggered and both advance to the same stage, the older rule will be applied.
  • If two Auto-Reject rules are triggered, the older rule will be applied. 
Example: Imagine a job post with several Application Rules configured:
  • Rule one: Auto-Tag with Python
  • Rule two: Auto-Tag with Ruby
  • Rule three: Auto-Advance to Phone Screen and Auto-Tag with Java
  • Rule four: Auto-Advance to Face to Face and Auto-Tag with Swift
  • Rule five: Auto-Reject, set rejection reason Needs Visa, send email, and Auto-Tag with International (created May 1)
  • Rule six: Auto-Reject, set rejection reason Lacks Skills, do not send email, and Auto-Tag with Not enough experience (created May 5) 

Let's explore what would occur based on the combination of rules triggered by an application:

If a candidate triggers rules one, two, and three: They will be advanced to Phone Screen and Auto-Tagged with PythonRuby, and Java.  

If a candidate triggers rules one, two, three, and four: They will be advanced to Face to Face and Auto-Tagged with PythonRuby, and Swift. The Java tag will not be applied because rule four overrode rule three (when two Auto-Advance rules are triggered, the rule which progresses the candidate furthest in the Interview Plan is applied). 

If a candidate triggers rules one, two, three, and six: They will be Auto-Rejected in Application Review with the reason Lacks Skills, and Auto-Tagged with PythonRuby, and Not enough experience. The Java tag will not be applied because rule six overrode rule three (when an Auto-Reject and an Auto-Advance rule are triggered, the Auto-Reject rule is applied). 

If a candidate triggers rules one, two, three, four, five, and six: They will be Auto-Rejected in Application Review with the reason Needs visa, and Auto-Tagged with PythonRuby, and International. The Not enough experience tag will not be applied because rule five overrode rule six (when two Auto-Reject rules are triggered, the older rule is applied). The Java and Swift tags will not be applied because rule five overrode rules three and four (when an Auto-Reject and an Auto-Advance rule are triggered, the Auto-Reject rule is applied).