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Award-winning best practices for employer engagement

2023 Career Spark Award winners are here to help you refine how you approach employer engagement with actionable insights and efficient strategies, resulting in more valuable and dynamic professional experiences for your students.

Save time with Handshake’s automation tools

Manually reviewing employers and jobs can be tedious. Use Handshake’s automation tools to ensure students are seeing a steady flow of vetted connections and opportunities by setting specific criteria for industries, employers, and roles according to your school’s moral, ethical, and legal standards. If your criteria is met, the employer or job will be auto-approved. If not, your team can take a closer look and decide next steps.

"Now I can actually do things that are my own job that I hadn't been able to… while spending 2 hours a day combing through incoming employers. We're starting to look at more data trends, [allowing us to] think ahead and see where the gaps are and where we need to devote more energy."

Holly Hernandez, Assistant Director of Employer Relations at The University of Rhode Island

Amplify employers to your students

Highlight local, lesser known, or unique employers to best meet your students’ needs using Handshake collections. With collections like “Close to campus,” “Hidden gems,” “Great for [specific major],” and more, adding employers to collections helps get relevant, attractive, and exciting opportunities on your students’ radar.

"I love [collections] because they help bring more light to our local employers who oftentimes get overshadowed by our larger employers… Employer relations is really about exposing our students to opportunities, so I try to make sure that students are aware of employers literally next door to us as well as across the world."

Sherrie Goodman, Assistant Director of Career Services at Georgia Gwinnett College

Put alumni relationships to work

Connecting current students to alumni helps them broaden their network, gain relatable insights, and introduce them to new career pathways. By leveraging detailed alumni data on Handshake—categorized by major, employer, industry, and/or class year—you can target your efforts towards alumni at companies aligned to your students goals and interests. Also, try encouraging alumni to identify themselves as such when they are visiting or recruiting on campus.

"[If] we have a student that really wants to work with a certain company we try to identify if there's an alum working there that we can make a connection with. [More proactively], when people are coming on campus we have companies identify with a sticker or badge saying “I'm an alum” to keep track of who those folks are so that we can build stronger relationships."

Kyrsten Rue, Director of Career Success at Washtenaw Community College

Get creative with programming

Go beyond general information sessions and tabling events by crafting more personalized and skills-based programming to provide students with higher-value opportunities to engage with employers and plan their next professional steps.

"One of the alumni that I reached out to ended up being retired, so he didn’t have a job to offer but [has] done technical interviews for years, so one way that he got involved was to meet with our students once a week for the whole term and do practice interviews."

Andrea Kubinski, Recruiting Program Coordinator at Carleton College

Resources to get you started

Level the playing field for your students