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Getting Started & Job Descriptions

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Before you begin the hiring process, it’s crucial to understand Stanford’s affirmative action plan and how biases can play a role in the hiring process and Stanford’s hiring preferences. We’ve provided general information below, but please contact your local HR if you have additional questions.

A key component of the recruiting process is to create a compelling yet authentic job description. While every school and unit operates differently, we have provided some resources to help create a clear job description.

Diversity Recruiting & Affirmative Action Plan 

As a federal contractor, Stanford is required to put together an annual “Affirmative Action Plan (AAP).” The AAP identifies where Stanford is underrepresented with regard to women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities. The “placement goals” that are identified require us to make good faith efforts which include outreach and positive recruitment activities. Hiring Managers should work with their  local HR to understand if an open position is part of Stanford’s Affirmative Action Plan and if so, outreach steps to take  in order to diversify a candidate pool.

Diversity hiring is hiring based on merit with special care taken to ensure procedures are free from biases related to a candidate’s age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other personal characteristics that are unrelated to their job performance. To learn more, visit the Diversity & Access Office’s resources.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Everyone at Stanford, especially all parties involved in the hiring process should be familiar with Stanford’s Non-Discrimination Policy.

Unconscious Bias Training

Everyone has biases, and whether you’re a hiring manager or on the interview committee, these biases can unknowingly impact recruitment efforts. Please ensure you and your team (if applicable) have read through the following materials.

How to Minimize Unconscious Bias During Recruitment, Forbes (5-minutes)

Sign up for a Unconscious Bias Training through STARS (coming soon)

Eight Powerful Bias Interrupters (

  • Decide in advance what factors are important for the job.
  • Give each candidate a separate rating for each factor, then average the ratings to identify the highest ranked candidates.
  • Don’t just hire friends of friends unless your networks, your org, or both, are diverse. Consider candidates from multi-tier schools, not just elite institutions.
  • Make sure to give everyone—or no one—the benefit of the doubt.
  • If you waive objective requirements, do so consistently and require an explanation.
  • Don’t insist on likeability, modesty, or deference from some but not others.
  • Don’t make assumptions about what mothers—or fathers—want or are able to do, and don’t count “gaps in a resume” against someone without a good reason for doing so.
  • If you comment on “culture fit,” “executive presence,” or other vague concepts, start with a clear definition and keep track to ensure such concepts are applied consistently. 

Stanford’s Hiring Preferences

Review Section 2.1.2 of our admin guide to familiarize yourself on the hiring preferences (i.e., layoffs) before you begin reviewing applicants. To determine whether any applicants have hiring preferences, please contact your local HR department. 

Job Description Resources

Stanford’s job description library is a starting point to ensure job descriptions remain consistent across job codes at Stanford. However, we encourage you to enhance the description to highlight compelling aspects of the job and your school/unit and department. Unconscious Bias (see above) can start here, so make sure you enhance your description with inclusive language. For more information, see these resources:

Job Posting Policies and Information

Submit the Job Posting Form along with your job description to the local HR team and they will help open a requisition in Taleo and post your job. By posting the job in Taleo, it will be listed on our Stanford Careers page as well as additional advertising sites. To see where it’s posted and other ideas on advertising your job, visit the subsequent section on Finding and Managing Candidates.

All vacant positions (except those filled through an approved posting period waiver) are posted online for a minimum of 10 calendar days. The posting period begins when the approved online requisition updates the Applicant Tracking system (Taleo). Applications are accepted through the full posting period. If a job code changes on a posted vacant position, it must be reposted for a minimum of 10 additional calendar days. To read more about posting policies, see section 3 in the Admin Guide 2.1.2.

A job posting waiver may be granted, for additional information regarding waiver guidelines refer to section 3.d in the Administrative Guide. Contact UHR Talent Acquisition for approval or questions about waivers.


  • Job Posting Guidelines: An engaging job posting attracts the best qualified candidates for your position and creates a stronger Stanford brand
  • Job Posting Notification: Sample of automatic correspondence from Taleo Recruitment Manager
  • Job Posting Form: For regular continuing or fixed-term positions, submit this form along with the job description to your local Human Resources department for posting in Taleo Recruitment Manager.