At Handshake, we believe that talent is distributed evenly, but opportunity is not. Working closely alongside our university partners, we’re changing that.
While we have a long way to go, we’re seeing great strides already. By uniting 468 schools together in one network (similar to smaller university consortiums which have been around for decades), Handshake:
- Makes it easier for schools to broaden their employer relationships, both around the world and in their backyard
- Increases employment opportunities 3–4x per school
- Helps schools drive 60% more student engagement with their online systems.
Importantly, schools using Handshake still own their employer data, and can easily maintain the personal, school-branded employer relationships they’ve built up over many years.
Read on for more info on how the Handshake network works together with schools to drive more opportunity for your students.
The Old Way — Barriers Led to Inequality
My friends and I felt this pain deeply at Michigan Tech. While great for engineering students and exploring the outdoors, Michigan Tech is an eight-hour drive from Chicago, and its annual mountains of snow can act as a barrier for top employers in New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, or other major cities outside the Midwest. And that was for engineering majors — good luck if you were a liberal arts grad!
This experience wasn’t unique to Michigan Tech. Before Handshake, each college was an island with its own separate website. While that system allowed each college to retain a fully branded career site, this severely limited the amount (and diversity) of employment opportunities available to students.
At each new school, an employer was asked to create a new username and password and re-post the job yet again. We’ve met many disgruntled employers with Excel spreadsheets filled with 100 different usernames and passwords! Faced with days of busy work to recruit at multiple schools, many employers pared down their efforts and recruited at only a handful of schools.
This exacerbated inequality: Schools that were smaller, less prestigious or more geographically isolated (like Michigan Tech) fared far worse than colleges in big cities or with prestigious names. Many small employers (who often offer the most unique and compelling opportunities) just stopped recruiting college students altogether, instead of dealing with the hassle.
Worst of all, students everywhere missed out on amazing opportunities locally, nationally and internationally, particularly outside of business or engineering majors.
Handshake Helps Amplify Your School’s Brand
Handshake eliminates these barriers by giving employers a single platform to connect to 468 universities — and counting — across the country, from the biggest to the smallest institutions, the most prestigious to the up-and-coming, and engineering to liberal arts. A company can manage its entire college recruiting team, post jobs to one school (or multiple), search and message students, manage interviews, create events, and register career fairs — all for free.
By lowering the barriers for employers to connect with new Universities, Handshake has dramatically increased the number and diversity of high-quality jobs, internships, fellowships, co-ops, and experiential learning opportunities available to students of all types around the country. Instead of diminishing your brand, Handshake actually amplifies your school’s brand to 220,000 companies worldwide!
Employer connections has been the biggest piece for our university. Since June 2017, we have connected and engaged with more than 4,300 employers on Handshake, vs. 2,854 over an eight-year span on another system! Google and Facebook had never even thought about posting on our smaller, division II campus and now they post their positions regularly for our students. In Fall 2015, we had about 2,100 jobs posted throughout the entire semester. In the fall of 2016, that number was 2,700. — Bethany Ferral, Employer Relations Coordinator at Texas A&M University-Commerce
Handshake Increases Opportunities 3–4x
In fact, nearly every University that has switched to Handshake has increased the number of opportunities available to its students by 2x or more. This year, the average school switching to Handshake saw a 3x increase in the first 3 months on the system. All schools on Handshake — from small schools with extremely limited resources to the largest, most prestigious schools in the country — will tell you they benefit from being connected to the Handshake network.
“Handshake is exceeding all of our expectations. It has helped our school’s branding with employers, and is driving meaningful results. Compared to last year, on our previous career center platform, we’ve seen a 670% increase in jobs posted and 230% increase in the number of students using the system.” — Dr. Angela M. Joyner, Executive Director of Career Services, Radford University
Schools with national reputations in some fields, like nationally-ranked engineering schools, have also benefited by balancing out their historic weaknesses with liberal arts students.
“Handshake is a huge win for our students at Carnegie Mellon University. In the past, CMU’s non-STEM students would complain, ‘There’s nothing on the recruiting system for me’ and now, for the first time, that’s not the case. CMU students are getting noticed by PR firms, museums, start-ups, non-profits and other organizations that would not have sought out our students in the past.” — Kevin Monahan, Sr. Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development at Carnegie Mellon University
Handshake Increases Student Engagement by 60%
Not surprisingly, students love having access to more opportunity. The average school joining Handshake this year saw a 60% increase in the number of students engaging with their career service center software. Some campuses are seeing as much as a 200% increase in student engagement with their online systems after switching to Handshake.
It’s true that a college’s branding changes on Handshake. To make it possible for employers to have a single entry point, every college’s site is branded as Handshake. However, each school does have its own branded page, and students see their college logo prominently, view recommendations specifically from their career center and read emails that are sent from and branded by their career center.
You Maintain Ownership of Your Employer Relationships
Most importantly, Handshake does not own your employer relationships — you do! You can still review and approve companies, jobs, interviews, events, etc. You can create content on the employer’s behalf, communicate with them through the system, and manage all the workflows you’re used to. And if your school ever leaves Handshake, you can always export all of your employer contacts and employer activity data, so you can maintain your relationships.
If you have an alumnus who only wants to post her job to your school, that’s great! In fact, 26% of employers on Handshake recruit at only 1 school!
By connecting your school to 220,000+ companies, Handshake empowers employer relations teams to cultivate new relationships in addition to supporting existing ones. Perhaps you have a list of target companies that you’d like to work with? More than likely, they’re already using Handshake and you can pre-approve them at your University and invite them to recruit.
We’re excited to help our 468 partner schools continue to increase their student engagement and broaden and deepen their employer relationships with everyone from the leading global firms to the alumni-owned small businesses in the town next door. Please let us know how we can help you and your students!