How do Approvals work in JobScore?

Approvals are only available on the ENTERPRISE plan.

People are the #1 of expense of almost every business. Most organizations have processes to control if you can start recruiting and how much you can offer the person you want to hire. These processes typically involve spreadsheets, clunky forms, and chasing down decision-makers for signatures. The JobScore approvals feature automates and streamlines these inefficient and chaotic processes.

Approval Basics

  • JobScore has two types of approvals:
    • Job approvals that control whether a job can be moved into the OPEN job status and worked on.
    • Offer approvals that control whether an offer can be extended to a candidate.
  • There are two different roles in the approval process:
    • Approvers review details and have the power to say yes or no.  Approvers are typically executives, HR and finance professionals.
    • A requester who asks for approval and is notified when approvers take action.  Requesters are typically hiring managers and recruiters.
  • The list of people who need to approve in what order is governed by an approval chain.  Approval chains can be reused across jobs and you can create different chains for different departments, locations and roles.
  • Approvals can be optional or required in your account.  If required, you'll need to select a default approval chain to use as a fallback.
  • Approvals gracefully support multiple rejections, restarts and complex, multi-person discussions about what to do.
  • To keep things from getting stuck when people are out of the office, users with the owner access level can cancel or bypass an approval request at any time.
  • Once jobs and offers are approved, editing some things will trigger re-approval.
  • Approvals have a mobile first design that makes it easy for everyone to discuss, approve and reject on the go.

Approvals Workflow

All approvals follow the same set of sequential steps:

  1. Add approval chains and assign them to job templates
  2. Add a job or offer in the DRAFT status
  3. The requestor fills out the request approval form and starts an approval chain.
  4. Approvers are prompted to visit the approval page to review details and accept, reject, or discuss terms.
  5. After each approver takes action the requester is notified so they can respond if they need to.
  6. When the approval chain is complete the requester is prompted to move the job to the OPEN status or EXTEND the offer.

Each approval has its own workflow status, which is shown on the approvals report. They include:

PENDING

An approval request has been made and the approval chain is in progress. (the requester is waiting for approvers to take action)

REJECTED

An approver has rejected the terms of the job or offer.

APPROVED

All steps of the approval chain are complete. The job or offer terms are approved.

CANCELLED The requester or a user with the owner access level stopped the approval request.

If an approval request is rejected or cancelled, you can always make changes and request approval again. If you need to edit a job or offer after it's approved, you'll likely need to get it re-approved.

Pro tip: We recommend that you make hiring managers request job approval and have them be responsible for opening jobs.  We recommend that recruiters, not hiring managers, request offer approval and subsequently make verbal offers to candidates once the terms are approved. Once verbal acceptance is secured, only then should they extend a written offer for e-signature. 

Approval Chains

Approval chains define who needs to approve a job or offer and what information the requester is asked to include in their approval request message.

When someone requests approval the chain is started and the user(s) in the first step of the chain are prompted to ask questions, approve, or reject. Once the first step is complete, the user(s) in the second step are notified and asked to take action, and so on for each step.

Simple chains can have just 1 step with a 1 user, and things work great:

Add Offer Approval Chain

If your organization is larger, you'll likely need more complex chains for different locations, departments, and seniority levels… and JobScore has you covered because:

  • Each approval chain can have multiple steps
  • Each step can have multiple approvers  
  • You can choose whether each step requires approval from everyone (2 of 2, 3 of 3) or only some people (1 of 2, 1 of 3)
  • On offer approval chains you can make steps skippable through offer pre-approval

offer approval chain page

In addition to setting who needs to approve in a chain, we recommend spending some time customizing what the requestor will be shown in the message area. This message is often the most important part of the approval process, where the requester articulates the business case for their need, providing critical context and justification for the request, which increases the likelihood of a smooth approval.

To use approval chains, you'll select them when adding or editing jobs and job templates:

Add Job - Approvals

Only users with the owner access level can create new approval chains and change approval chain assignments on jobs and job templates. This is why we strongly recommend you invest time to set up your job templates when you turn on approvals in your account.

If a user is on an approval chain and you try to deactivate them, JobScore won't let you. You'll be prompted to edit the chain and either remove or replace them… otherwise it will be impossible to complete approvals that use the chain! The ability to edit approval chains makes it much easier to manage approvals over time, because you can edit one user in one place and the change will cascade system wide. Swapping out users on approval chains also works great when executives go on holiday for a few weeks… they can deputize someone to handle approvals for them and you can 3 easily swap someone out with a few clicks.

The Request Approval Form

Once the requestor is comfortable with the details of a job or offer, click to request approval:

Job Request Approval

This will navigate you to the request approval form, which serves three purposes:

  1. Show who will be contacted in the approval chain. 
  2. Verify all required information is present and show a preview of the job or offer details.
  3. Prompt the requester to compose a message with additional details for approvers.

Request Job Approval page

If any job or offer details don't look right, no problem! Cancel, edit the details and come back to the request approval page.

Once the form is submitted, the approval chain starts and notifications are sent to the approver(s) in the first step of the approval chain asking them to visit the approval page and take action.

notification to approve job

The Approval Page

The approval page is the centerpiece of the approvals feature. The idea is to get approvers to a page that has all the information they need. The page has a mobile-first design so that busy leaders can quickly review and approve details on the go. The layout of the approval page is very similar to the request approval form and includes:

  1. The requester's message.
  2. The approval chain details.
  3. The job or offer details.
  4. Buttons to open pages with more details (if you need them).
  5. Action buttons.

Approve job page

Closing candidates sometimes requires fast action, and slow offer approvals can be costly. Approvers are driven to the approval page by individual email notifications, homepage alerts and daily digest emails. To help people act quickly, the approvals page is optimized to work on mobile devices:

job approval-mobile frame

JobScore also shows you how long it takes to complete each approval step... so everyone understands where there's room to improve.

time to approve on approve job page

Approval Page Actions

The options shown on the approval page are not the same for all people. Here’s a summary of who can do what:

Approvers in the current step choose to either approve, reject or ask a question. No matter which option they choose they can add an optional comment and choose to cc: different people about their message.

approval page in a loop

Requesters have the option to cancel the approval at any time. Users with the owner access level also have the ability to cancel or bypass the approval at any time using the options at the top of the page as well as bypass specific steps:

bypass button

Everyone on the confidential access list for the associated job can access the approvals page, send reminders to users in the current step and add comments:

Approve job - reminder

Whenever someone takes action on the page the requester is notified so they can keep things moving:

stacked_notification_emails

Approval Discussion

It's normal to ask questions during the approval process using the comment area on the approval page:

comments on approval page

Whenever anyone comments, a notification is sent to the requester and all approvers in the step. Recipients are prompted to return to the approval page to read the comment and respond (with another comment) and/or take action.

JobScore also gracefully supports adding more people to the discussion using the email to: control

comments on approval request form

Whenever you add someone to a discussion they are granted confidential access to the job so they can review approval details and comment themselves. All comments are visible to everyone who can access the page in the approvers area:

Approval page - comments

Tracking Approval Progress

As approval chains get more complex and depend on the actions of more people, it's more likely things will fall through the cracks. JobScore has several features to keep that from happening.

For approvers in the current step who need to take action, JobScore will:

  • Notify them immediately by email when it's their turn to take action
  • Prompt them to take action on their homepage, both on the web and mobile
  • Include a reminder to take action in the daily digest email.

reminders

For requesters JobScore will:

  • Notify them by email every time an approver takes action
  • Show pending approvals on the homepage, both on the web and mobile

Even with all of these alerts and reminders, things sometimes get stuck and people need a little nudge. For that reason everyone who can access the approval page can:

  1. Ask a user with the owner access level to bypass the chain.
  2. See what step you are in, and how long you've been in the step
  3. Send an email reminder to the user(s) in the step asking them to take action

Approval page steps

Notifications will automatically stop when an approval is accepted / rejected and when the status of the associated job is changed to CLOSED.

Restarting Approvals

If an approval is cancelled or rejected, restart it by clicking the request approval button again. For your convenience, JobScore shows a link to see the details of previous approval attempts on both the request approval form and the approval page. This makes it easy understand what happened before:

Approve page - job rejected

Editing Approved Jobs and Offers

Once an offer is approved, you can't edit compensation terms without triggering re-approval. After you edit compensation details for an offer, it will automatically be moved back to the DRAFT offer status … and you'll need to request approval again before you can send the offer to the candidate. To avoid confusion, when requesting re-approval we recommend explaining what happened in the negotiation that require you adjust the terms of a previously approved offer.

Editing some job attributes will also trigger re-approval. The path to edit jobs is similar to offers, but is done in the opposite order: first you move the job back to the DRAFT job status, then make your edits, and then request approval again.

JobScore gives you more control over which job fields trigger re-approval. Learn more about job fields and the "triggers approval" attribute.

Pro tip: Moving a job from the OPEN status to the DRAFT status will remove it from your careers site and candidates will no longer be able to apply. Because of this, we recommend minimizing the number of job fields that trigger approval (for easy editing) and coordinating with a user that has the owner access level to make edits to approved jobs. This is because owners can move a job to the DRAFT status, make edits, request approval and then bypass / auto approve the job in a few seconds... while running a full approval chain could take hours or days.


Approval Reports

Every approval is shown on the Approval Report so you can see what requires attention now as well as look back on past approval activity:

Approval report

The approvals report can be accessed by all users with the extended, admin and owner access levels. This means some users who can access the report won't be able to click in to see job and offer details because they aren't on the confidential access list for the underlying jobs. This is why few specifics are shown on the approvals report.

There is more information included in the download for the approvals report, which is also governed by each job's confidential access rules… so if you want to export approval data out of JobScore, we recommend asking someone with the owner access level to do it for you so you can get what you need.

Approval Audits

Having an approval goes sideways can be costly, and it's normal to want to dig through data to understand what happened.

The best place to start is the approval page where you can see comments and how long it took to complete each step. For even more detail, check out the history report, where you can see exactly who performed each approval action, including:

History report

Enterprise Support

Approvals are a powerful feature that impact how you use JobScore across jobs, users, offers and more. Every business has unique needs when it comes to approvals, which is why we’ve chosen to bundle the feature with our enterprise plan, which includes access to a dedicated account manager. If and when you need a hand, we recommend scheduling a call with them to discuss your needs.

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