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Navigate to find help on:



How do I get started?

  1. Log into Stack Overflow Talent.
  2. Navigate to Candidate Search in your top navigation


To search for candidates:

  1. Enter keywords such as technologies and roles in the search box.
    1. Don’t worry about separating words with commas, capitalization or other punctuation. Candidate search is smart enough to know which words are technologies (tags) and weights them accordingly. It also understands ruby on rails as one technology, not three words.
  2. Enter location such as a city or a country.
  3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard to run your search.

TIP: We recommend keeping your search broad first, then using filters and advanced options to narrow your results as needed.

TIP: Avoid “quoted” terms, as these will restrict your search to an exact match. Candidate Search works best when you give it a chance to infer the best results for your query.

What will I see when I run a search?

You'll see the following snapshot about each candidate in your search results:

  • The candidate’s name
  • Their current or most recent job
  • Their location
  • The number of open source projects or applications that they’ve shared on their profile
  • If they’re one of the top users on Stack Overflow for a particular programming language, you’ll see their standing in bold text next to a Stack Overflow logocandidate_snapshot.png

How do I refine my searches?

Start by adding or changing the keywords in your initial search, then press Enter on your keyboard to rerun the search. If you’d like to refine your search results even further, use the Advanced Search filters on the left-hand side of the page.



What’s the difference between searching technologies in the text field vs. using the advanced filters?

Compared to using the sidebar filters, searching in the main text box casts a slightly wider net, because it performs a full-text search and a tag search.

We recommend using the text field.

Alternatively, you can use the tag selector in the left-hand sidebar, under Advanced > Technologies.


There, you can select specific technology tags to search by. The search results are quite similar to using the search box above, but tend to be narrower, as it searches only explicit tags on candidate profiles, and does not search full-text.

Can I search in multiple locations?

Yes! Simply enter your locations in the location search box. The drop-down automatically populates as you type so you can select the right locations.

EXAMPLE: Searching in Denver, London and New York


How do I view a candidate’s profile?

To view a candidate’s profile, click on their name or profile picture.

The candidate’s profile will give you a more in-depth look at the candidate including their job search status, the technologies they do or don’t want to work with, and an overview of their experience to-date.

Some developers include a brief introduction about themselves, as well as links to their open source contributions and apps or software they’ve built. They might also share links to their personal blogs or any other publications in which their work appears.

If you’d like to review the profile in the future, click the “Save” button. This allows you to return to the candidate later.

If the candidate doesn’t match what you’re looking for, click the “Dismiss” button. This will mark the candidate as “dismissed” but still show them in search results. If you want to hide dismissed (or saved) candidates in your search results, check the option “Hide saved & dismissed candidates” in your advanced filters.


Can I set up search alerts?

Yes! And we recommend that you do so to avoid missing out on new candidates. To set up a search alert, make sure you have all the criteria in place (search terms, filters) and then click “Save Search” to the right of the search box.save_search_alert.pngThe default option is weekly emails, but you can choose among 3 alert frequencies or opt for no alerts.alert_frequencies.png

  • No email alerts
  • Weekly emails
  • Daily emails
  • Instant emails

Alerts are sent to your email address and show new candidates that match your search criteria. You’ll see a list of all of your Saved Searches on the left-hand side of the page under “Saved Searches.” To adjust alert frequencies or turn off emails in the future, click the gear icon next to the search.

After you’ve saved your search, click the Clear Search link to start a new search.clear_search_button.png



How do I message a developer candidate?

Click the Message button to get started. Developers hate spam, so we require every message to include a link to your Company Page as well as a relevant job listing. This shows developers that you’ve done your research and have matched them to a job you feel is a potential fit for them.message_button.png

TIP: Your message should be concise and contain these 3 components.

  1. Start with a sentence or two about why you’re impressed by their background. Be genuine.
  2. Then, tell them about the specific job opportunity you have in mind for them, including the name of the hiring company. This is critical—otherwise, the developer might get annoyed and consider your message spam.
  3. Be sure to point out why the opportunity is a good fit for their particular skills or interests. The more personalized, the better.  



Saved Candidates

How do I save a candidate to review or message later? When you review a candidate, you can choose to save them to a particular job, multiple jobs, or “no job specified.”save_candidate_dropdown.png

You will see a message that tells you the candidate has been saved.activity_history.png

To manage your saved candidates, go to the "saved candidates" tab in your sub-navigation.saved_candidates_tab.png

Here, you can filter to find candidates you’ve saved and manage candidates by messaging, unsaving, dismissing, or moving candidates to a different job or stage in the application process.

You can also share candidates with your colleagues by selecting the candidates, clicking the actions button and selecting “share.”list_of_saved_candidates.png

How do I view and manage candidates I’ve saved?

Click “Saved Candidates” in your sub-navigation to view candidates you’ve saved.

Here, you can filter to find candidates you’ve saved and manage candidates by messaging, unsaving, dismissing, or moving candidates to a different job or stage in the application process.

You can also share candidates with your colleagues by selecting the candidates, clicking the actions button and selecting “share.”



What are Recommended Candidates?

Recommended candidates are top matches for your job listings. These candidates are sourced from Stack Overflow—they’ve indicated that they are open to hearing from employers and are chosen based on your job description and location.

Message, save or dismiss recommended candidates.

You’ll receive one email with recommendations per job every week. You can adjust frequency in your email settings.

Access all of your recommendations from your dashboard or in the Recommendations tab under Candidate Search.recommended_candidates.png
NOTE: Your recommended candidates do not know that they are being suggested to you, so be mindful of this when you’re customizing your messages to them.



How do I access my activity and performance stats?

To access stats, click the Stats tab in your Candidate Search subnavigation.

This gives you a snapshot of your own activity. If you are an admin, you’ll be able to view activity and performance across the team account.

Your activity stats include:

  • Searches made
  • Profiles viewed
  • Candidates saved
  • Messages sent

Your performance stats include:

  • Message replies (from candidates)
  • Interested responses
  • Response rate
  • Interested response rate
  • Response time (average)

You’ll notice that the better your activity stats, the better the performance stats. On average, you should expect to receive one interested response for every five well-crafted messages you send.  stats.png