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Finding & Managing Candidates

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A good talent acquisition strategy consists of both active and passive candidate sourcing. Active candidates are people applying directly to the job (Taleo in our case). Passive candidates are those who may not be applying directly, but are still open to new job opportunities. Research shows that 85% of the workforce is open to discussing a new opportunity, but only 12% are actively applying [1]. While it may take more effort to recruit a passive candidate, there are some key benefits like less competition, a less stressful timeline, and they tend to have higher job satisfaction.

A strong or aspiring leader always has talent acquisition at the forefront of their mind because every interaction could create a pipeline of candidates down the road. 

Advertising and Diversifying Candidate Pools

Once a job is posted in Taleo, it is automatically posted on the following sites:

We encourage proactive advertising, such as sharing the job link/description to your personal and professional LinkedIn network. You could also ask your team to share it to their networks via social media channels. Think about other associations or groups relevant to your job and share or post it with them. For example, if you’re looking for a Research Nurse, consider advertising on the American Nurses Association, California Nurses Association, Association of Clinical Research Professionals, National League for Nursing, etc. There are likely fees or a membership associated with posting a job, but it’s a great way to potentially expand a candidate pool. If the Research Nurse position were to be a more junior role, you could consider posting the job at select nursing schools to reach new graduates or alumni.

To diversify your candidate pool, we’ve created this list of diversity job sites and applicable fees, along with other helpful information. Please work with your local HR team to advertise a position on these sites.

For additional advertisement options, consider contacting a vendor, JobElephant, who can recommend places to post your job. You can email Michael Ang from Job Elephant who will partner with you regarding your advertising campaign(s) and process your payment.

Note to Hiring Managers: If an open position falls within a job category in our Affirmative Action Plan (see first section on Getting Started and Job Description), then work with your local HR team and the Diversity & Access Office to create a specific outreach plan.

Candidate Sourcing Tips and Tricks

If you are not finding candidates in Taleo with the background and experience needed for the job, you can use sourcing tactics to expand your search. The first step in sourcing is to do research and reflection. Here are some questions to consider: 

  1. Which companies are leaders in the field that might have strong talent? 

  2. What education or experience has been successful in this position in the past? 

  3. Are there specific Universities that succeed in educating people in this field to source graduates from?

After research and reflection, consider these ideas: 

  • Do a keyword search in LinkedIn or Google. For example, to find a Software Manager, you could use this keyword/Boolean search: "software" and" developer OR engineer" and "manager" and "Bay Area." If a specific programming language or competitor is desired, you could add that as well.
  • If you are a member of professional associations or alumni groups, you may have access to a resume database and can search those.
  • If it's a specialized or high-level position, look at past conferences or large events in the field and find the speaker names to reach out to them.
  • Ask your network, team, and department leaders for referrals; send them the job description and ensure they aren't just referring friends but people in their network suited for the job.
  • Think about past interviewees or coworkers; would any of them fit the open position?

For more tips on continuously expanding your network (even when you don't have an open position), review the Networking section below.

When you find someone who fits the experience for the job, make sure your message or email to them is warm, personal and highlights the enticing aspects of the open position. If and when you do speak with a potential applicant, listen to what's important to them. If work/life balance is important, highlight some of Stanford's unique benefits. Or, if they're interested in challenging work, be sure to highlight some innovative things you and your department have done or will be doing. Passive candidates may not have an updated resume available immediately, so create a relationship before asking them for the formalities (resume and application).


Although creating a diverse, professional network takes time and effort, it is deeply fulfilling and well worth the time in the long run. A diverse network will help you broaden your perspective, understand how to build a more inclusive environment, build your career and others' careers, and gain professional knowledge from different perspectives.

For more tips and information on diversifying and building your network, view the Expanding Your Professional Network tip sheet

Seeking Referrals

Research shows that referral hires produce the greatest return on investment [2]. Referrals are also more likely to respond to outreach due to mutual connections, and they reduce the time to fill a position, thus decreasing the turnover costs. Review these tips on seeking referrals:

  • Help your personal and professional network understand what you’re looking for – attach the job description and encourage them to think outside of their friend circle. For example, send an email to your team and ask them to think about previous coworkers or members of professional associations that may fit the job description.
  • Even if your school/unit has a formal referral program, it’s still important to ask for referrals from your network.

Internal Employees & Mobility

Internal employees are a major asset to Stanford and should be encouraged to advance their careers here. Career advancement and mobility is also a key way to retain top talent and keep employees engaged. 

Learn more on career mobility and career guidance

Employees should have ongoing conversations with their manager about career opportunities and growth and be transparent with their manager about their interest in internal opportunities as early in the process as possible. We understand there are varying degrees of comfort with those early conversations about job searches.  Employees do not need to inform their current manager as a prerequisite for expressing interest in or applying to an internal opportunity. However, once the staff member is considered a candidate and engages beyond the interview process's exploratory stage, the individual is strongly encouraged to open a dialogue with their current manager about their interests. This open dialogue promotes trust and support for the employee's goals and aspirations. If the employee is uncomfortable in opening a dialogue with their current manager, they are encouraged to seek support (e.g., hiring manager, HRM) in facilitating such dialogue.