Distribute Applicants Rule Stage

This feature is in limited release. Please contact your designated Fountain representative or support@fountain.com if you'd like to enable it in your account.

The Distribute Applicants Rule stage enables users to distribute applicants to up to 20 openings based on a target percent allocation. This capability automates the applicant funneling process, reduces the occurrence of duplicate applicants in the same opening, and can be adjusted as your hiring needs change.

Only users who are admins can add this rule, but any user with permissions to manage openings can view and edit the rule once it's created. 

What's Covered?

Primary Updates & Requirements

  • There are now two rule types: Move and Update Applicants (general), and Distribute Applicants (limited release).
  • You need a custom stage after the Distribute Rule Stage to catch applicants who can't be distributed. Refer to this section at the bottom of this article for more details.

Add Rule Stage in the Workflow Editor

  1. Navigate to the Applicant Table for the Opening you want to insert the Distribute Applicant Rule stage into, then click Settings, and Edit Workflow.
  2. Click Add Rule in the top left.

  3. Type a title for the stage, select Distribute Applicants as the rule type, and determine the stage placement in the workflow.
  4. Click Add Rule Stage to save.
  5. A row containing one Location, Opening, and Stage combination will appear.

    The Location on the first row will default to the Location associated with the current opening; however, you can select a different location.

    The Opening field contains the list of Openings the user has permission to view that are within the previously selected Location.

    The Stage field allows you to specify a particular stage to move applicants to, or to choose the "start of workflow". With the "start of workflow", applicants are moved to the first stage of the opening, regardless of whether stages in that opening are deleted or rearranged.


    Start of workflow can be selected in the Stage dropdown menu. This option is only available if you choose a different funnel that's separate from the workflow you're editing.

    To add more openings, select Add Another Opening.



    The maximum number of openings you can include on the Distribute Applicants is 20.

  6. Determine what percentage of applicants you would like to allocate or distribute to each opening, and enter those percentages into the % Target Distribution boxes.


    If the target distribution percentages you enter for the openings do not total 100%, you will receive an error message and your changes will not be saved.

  7. Click Save Changes in the top right corner of the screen.

Overview of How Applicants are Distributed

Because the Distribute Rule acts continuously, the percentage of applicants distributed will not always precisely match the target. However, the Distribute Applicants Rule algorithm continuously checks past distributions to ensure future applicants go to the opening that needs them most to achieve the target percentage. This assessment of past distributions resets every time the Distribute Rule Stage is updated.


Applicants are never distributed to an opening where they already have an existing application (duplicate), which may impact the % status of openings containing duplicates.

Distribution Algorithm Example

11 applicants land on this rule in 5 mins.

Rule has two funnels:

  1.  Opening A = 30% Target

  2.  Opening B = 70% Target

Distribution Prioritization = Target % - Status %

  • At 0 applicants:

    a.  First applicant sent to first row opening to set baseline
  • #1 goes to A, now A = 100% of past distributions (status), B = 0% of past distributions (status)

    a.  A gap to target: 100% - 30% = 70%
    b.  B gap to target: 0% - 70% = -70% ← gets next applicant
  • #2 goes to B; both at 50%

    a.  A gap to target: 50% - 30% = 20%
    b.  B gap to target: 50% - 70% = -20% ← gets next applicant
  • #3 goes to B; now A = 33% B= 67%

    a.  A gap to target: 33% - 30% = 3%
    b.  B gap to target: 67% - 70% = -3% ← gets next applicant
  • #4 goes to B; now A = 25%, B = 75%

If we continue based on the percentages above…

  • #9 goes to B, now A = 33%, B = 67%

    a.  A gap to target: 33% - 30% = 3%
    b.  B gap to target: 67% - 70% = -3% ← gets next applicant
  • #10 goes to B, now A = 30%, B = 70%

    a.  A gap to target: 30% - 30% = 0%
    b.  B gap to target: 70% - 70% = 0%
    c.  gap to target is equivalent, applicant goes to first row opening
  • #11 goes to A, now A = 36.4%, B = 63.6%

    a.  A gap to target: 36.4% - 30% = 6.4%
    b.  B gap to target: 63.6% - 70% = -6.4 ← gets next applicant
  • Logic continues until a change is made on the Distribute Rule stage.
  • If an applicant is already present in a funnel (duplicate exists), that applicant will be distributed to the opening with the highest gap to target where a duplicate doesn’t exist.

Insert a Custom Stage After a Distribute Rule Stage

There are two instances when an applicant landing on a Distribute Rule stage may be moved to the next stage:
  • Duplicate applications are present in all the openings on the Distribute Applicants rule stage.
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