This article describes the things to consider before making changes via the ‘Manage categories’ self-service functionality. To configure your organisation's category values, you must be granted the ‘Can manage categories’ permission. 

This article covers considerations and examples for:

  • Editing existing category values
  • Job alerts
  • Pipeline filtering
  • Reporting


Editing existing category values

It’s very important to consider historical data and the implications your change will have on existing jobs and candidate profile selections, job alerts, pipeline filtering, and reporting.

If you want to rename a value and the new name has the equivalent meaning and will make sense for existing jobs and candidates’ profile selections, edit the existing value. If your change will not make sense for existing jobs and candidate selections, you should consider inactivating the existing value and adding a new value to reflect the change required.


The organisation has changed how they refer to HR and wanted this change to be reflected in the category values. The category value called “HR” could be renamed to ‘Human Resources”. The impact of this is that all jobs and/or candidates that had the category value “HR” selected, will now have “Human Resources” selected. The same applies to your reports, any new reports run will show jobs and/or candidates associated with the “Human Resources” category value and “HR” will not be referred to. This change would normally be fine to make as “HR” and “Human Resources” have the same meaning.  

However, if you were changing “HR” to “Recruitment” and creating a new value for “People and Culture” you might want to consider if you want all historical jobs and/or candidate profiles with the selection “HR” to now have the category value “Recruitment” selected. It might be better to rename the “HR” value “People and Culture” and create a new value for “Recruitment”, or to inactivate “HR” and create two new values for “People and Culture” and “Recruitment”. 

Job alerts

Candidates make selections in the ‘Profile/search agent’ categories to control the job alerts they are sent. Making changes to the values in these categories can result in candidates missing out on job alerts or receiving too many job alerts about roles that they are not interested in. 


The profile/search agent category “Location” needs significant updates. If you inactivate all the Auckland suburb values nested under the “Auckland” branch value, and bulk add a new list of Auckland area values, the impact of this will be any existing candidates with the inactivated values selected will not receive job alerts for new jobs created using the new Auckland area values. Instead, a better option might be to transfer the previous answers to the existing values, to the equivalent new values.  

Pipeline filtering

The ‘Profile/search agent’ category value selections on jobs and candidate profiles control the applications that filter from the parent pipeline to the child job. If your organisation relies on ‘Profile/search agent’ categories for your pipelines to filter effectively, carefully consider the changes you are making to these categories. 


The organisation has a pipeline that uses the ‘Profile/search agent’ category "Expertise" as one of the filters, and you want to add more values to the "Expertise" category to make the values more specific. After you have made your changes, and begin using the new selections when creating child jobs, you may find you don’t have many applications that are filtered onto your child job. This is because candidates who applied before the changes haven’t selected the new values and won’t match to new jobs that have the new values selected. In this example, you may want to select more ‘Expertise’ values (new and old values) on the child job to include applications with the new values selected and applications that may only have older values selected.


Categories are one of the most important filters used in reporting. If you are unsure how the change you are planning on making will impact your reports, take a look at your commonly used reports. Think about what the data will look like in your reports if you go ahead with your change, and if renaming, inactivating, or transferring data is the best option.

Depending on the option you choose you may end up with more category values showing in a report while jobs using an inactivated value are completed, sudden drops in numbers (if values are added and are more specific), or sudden increases in numbers (if answers are transferred to another value). 

If you are concerned about impacting your reports, contact Client Success at hello@aotal.com before making the changes.

Next steps

Please ensure you read and understand all the category self-service articles before making any changes and if you are unsure, please contact us hello@aotal.com for assistance.