Decoding Candidate Statuses: A Guide

What are the meanings of various candidate statuses?

Good things to remember when managing your candidate pipeline:

  1. A candidate referral should only remain New if they have not been reviewed by the employer.
  2. If the candidate is minimally qualified enough for the employer to want to consider, then the candidate's status should be updated to Accept.
  3. Updating a candidates status does several things besides the obvious. It also provides communication to the agency recruiter and helps to manage feedback expectations.

Guide to all candidate statuses you may encounter while moving a candidate through the pipeline.

  • New - All candidates begin as New candidates.

It is the default status applied when submitted to a job. It indicates that a candidate is received by the employer but not reviewed.

  • Under Review - An employer should use this status sparingly.

It indicates to agency recruiters that the employer has reviewed the candidate but needs more time to decide if they should be part of the 'shortlist.' The agency recruiter is notified by email of this status change and is not provided with the employer's contact info. A candidate can remain Under Review for no more than two weeks, at which time RecruitAlliance will automatically update the candidate's status to Auto Accepted.

  • Auto Accepted - Dependency: Under Review - This status is automatically applied by RecruitAlliance 2 weeks after a candidate is placed Under Review.

Because Under Review is intended to communicate that more time is needed to make a decision, RecruitAlliance assumes the candidate must be minimally qualified if not updated to Accept or Reject within 2 weeks. When Auto Accepted, like Accepted, the agency recruiter is notified by email and provided with the contact information of the employer managing the job. 

  • Accept - The employer should update a candidate's status to Accept when they appear to meet the minimum qualifications for a job.

The agency recruiter is notified by email and provided with the contact information of the corporate recruiter managing the job to follow up directly with the employer and assist with answering questions, clarifying qualifications, and helping to communicate with the candidate.

  • Reject - A candidate's status is updated to Reject when they do not appear to possess the minimum qualifications necessary for the job.

The employer must provide feedback to the agency recruiter about why they rejected the candidate and help the recruiter make adjustments with future candidate referrals. The employer's contact information is not provided to the agency recruiter. If the agency recruiter wants to dispute the employer's decision, they must work through RecruitAlliance Support.

  • Offer Extended Dependency: Accept or Auto Accepted - If the employer chooses, they can document that an offer has been made to the candidate and/or agency recruiter.

Though not as important to document as other candidate statuses that help move candidates through the pipeline, it can be helpful.

  • HireDependency: Accept or Offer Extended - An employer should update a candidate's status to Hire when the decision has been made to hire the candidate.

There is no need to wait until the candidate's start date.

  • No Further ActionDependency: Accept or Auto Accepted - Suppose after a candidate is updated to Accept, it becomes apparent that they are not a good fit for the job.

The employer should indicate that they are no longer interested in considering a candidate by updating the candidate to No Further Action.

  • Withdrawn - An agency recruiter can change the status of their candidate referral to Withdrawn if the candidate becomes unavailable for consideration.

The employer, in this instance, will not be able to progress the candidate through the pipeline.

  • Employee NLCDependency: Hire - Employee NLC stands for Employee No Longer at Company.

The status an employer uses to document if a candidate departs the company's employ before the expiration of the Guarantee Period.


The majority of candidates are going to take a pretty straightforward path in the candidate pipeline. Here are a few examples of what they could look like:

New > Reject

New > Accept > Hire

New > Accept > No Further Action

New > Under Review > Accept > Hire


related articles