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Run Multi-Stage and Open Rank Searches

This article explains how to run multi-stage searches for which you need to add additional requirements to a position and then notify applicants on your shortlist.

The article also explains how to run open rank searches where you'll want to create optional requirements for your applicants.


Multi-Stage Searches

A common search strategy is to conduct a “two-stage” or multi-stage search in which the applicant field is narrowed down, and additional materials are requested from a select group of applicants.

For instance, let’s say you have a search with 100 applicants. After a first review, your committee narrows the list down to just 20 applicants. From those 20 applicants, the committee needs to request three additional confidential letters of recommendation. This means you will need to update the document requirements for the position; however, you don’t want to notify your rejected applicants of any changes in the position (such as updated requirements) until after a hire has been made.

These instructions will only apply if permissions allow you to create application statuses, or if an Administrator has created the necessary "Shortlist"  application statuses described below.



1. Use application statuses to divide your applicants into different categories

A. Create an application status specifically for your shortlist of applicants

Administrators can create application statuses from the Administration page as shown below.

See here for more information on creating an application status.

Check the box to allow applicants to update their applications when they are assigned this status.

B. Apply the new application status to selected applicants from the Applicant List

Select the shortlisted applicants from the list on the Applicant List of the position.  Click the "Status" button  and apply the new status to selected applicants.

Confirm the new status and the implications. Then click to save.

C. Archive applicants that are not moving forward

Filter the list to display applicants with an application status indicating they have not been selected to move to the second stage of the search.


Select all applicants in the filtered list and click to Archive.

Note: Archiving an applicant does not delete their application. This will simply move them to another folder and “freeze” the applicant’s view and what s/he is permitted to do within the system. Archived applicants will not be notified of any updates to the position's document requirements. Although if the applicant opens the application they will be able to see newly added requirements.


2. Edit the position to add the additional required documents you need from applicants on your shortlist

When shortlisted applicants sign into their account, they will see additional requirements for the position and be able to add additional materials or request additional letters of recommendation for this search.

When archived applicants sign into their account, they will not be able to update their application unless the specifically open and enter their submitted application.

Follow the instructions below, and see here for more information on adding and editing the document requirements for a position.

A. Click the "Position Actions" button and select to edit the position

B. Select "Required Documents" from the list of steps to the right of the page


C. Click "Add Requirement"

D. Select the document type, number required, and add any necessary notes about the new requirement. Then select Save.


3. Notify shortlisted applicants that they must add additional documents to their application

You will need to notify your shortlisted applicants that they must add additional documents to their application.

A. Filter the list to display only shortlisted applicants

B. Select all applicants in the filtered list

C. Email all selected applicants




Some tips on improving your two-stage or multi-stage search

  1. You can add and remove committee members at any time during your search. So it’s possible for you to add committee members for either the first or second stage of the search.
  2. With application statuses, you can determine whether or not applicants can see their application status. For best results, be consistent and conscientious about allowing different categories of students access to view application statuses.
  3. When editing the position, you can add or upload notes to be read internally by committee members on hiring best practices.


Open Rank Searches

To accommodate this type of search, you will want to create optional requirements for your applicants. To create optional fields for your applicants, you will need to edit the number of documents required to zero.

Note: All applicants must complete the full application prior to submitting in order for this to work.


1. On your Position review or summary page, select “Required Documents”

2. Select the pencil next to the requirement that needs to be optional

3. Type in the number 0 so that technically, 0 documents will be required for the applicant

4. Click Update