How to find the perfect post-doc or PhD student?

Slowly, I’m starting to recognize some of the maybe not so obvious problems group leaders have to deal with. Most notably, my old and new boss are looking for PhD students and post-docs, respectively. On the other hand, I also know some people looking for a PhD or post-doc position. However, they are looking for work on other topics, or in other cities, but my guess is that their dream jobs are out there… Somewhere…

The PhD studentships in Germany are actually quite attractive, in my opinion. They are considered to be real jobs with real salaries and for example social and health insurances and pension. Moreover, they should be doable in 3-4 years, which is not that long compared with some other countries. Additionally, we published quite well in last few years. I’d say there have to be people that would like to do their PhD’s here.

But how are we gonna find these candidates for our jobs? We tried finding suited persons through our networks, with zero result so far. No idea why really. I got both my PhD and post-doc positions through networking, talking to people at conferences etc, so I cannot use my own experience here. I didn’t actively search for jobs, so I can’t say where I’d look.

I can imagine that for example an advert in Nature will bring in so many applications, that you won’t know where to start selecting… Does anyone here have good tips? What worked for you?

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