Employer validation maintains a trusted network

Handshake is launching employer validation tools to monitor the network even more comprehensively for fraud.

To learn more about employer validation, please register for office hours on August 18 at 10:15 am PT / 1:15 pm ET or September 1 or 15 at 11:15 am PT / 2:15 pm ET.

Handshake wants to help you spend less time vetting employers. This year, we’re launching new tools to monitor new and existing employers more extensively for fraud.

This update will allow your team to spend less time reviewing employers for red flags and more time identifying employers to highlight to students—a key tenet of Handshake’s vision to increase access to opportunity. It will also allow us to remove the Employer Trust Score, which has become a less reliable way to monitor for fraud over time.

Handshake validates employers so you don’t have to

This summer, we’re partnering with Sift and Google’s webrisk API to implement new employer validation tools that use machine learning to monitor for fraudulent activity from the moment an employer creates an account onward—when logging in, posting jobs, and sending messages.

Sift tracks IP addresses, devices, and known malicious networks across their customer base to quickly identify suspected fraudulent activity. Meanwhile, Google’s webrisk API will monitor for suspicious company website URLs. Taken together, these partnerships allow us to monitor for:

  • Fraudulent account creation
  • Fraudulent job postings
  • Malicious messages & spam
  • Malicious websites
  • Account takeover

Once new employers pass employer validation, they will be allowed onto the network near-instantaneously. Meanwhile, Handshake’s Trust & Safety Team will review employers flagged as potentially malicious to decide whether they should be suspended from our platform. 

NOTE: We will not block employers for having a residential address, not having a website, or having a mismatch between email domain and website domain. However, our Trust & Safety Team will monitor correlation between these employer attributes and fraudulent activity on the network to determine whether/how this data point can help us better identify fraud in the future.

Employer validation ensures legitimate employers don’t fall through the cracks

If an employer is unable to pass our automated validation checks, they’ll work with our Trust & Safety Team to be validated manually. Manual validation will take no more than 48 hours. The Trust & Safety Team will work with the employer to collect additional information allowing us to confirm their legitimacy, like:

  • An endorsement from an existing Handshake partner institution
  • Proof of affiliation with company (ex: business license)
  • Evidence of company on public platforms (ex: Open Corporates)
  • Any content uploaded to Handshake (ex: jobs posted, messages sent)
  • Device information from activities on Handshake (ex: IP address)

This process ensures that legitimate employers who are initially flagged are able to work with our team to quickly access the network.

Employer validation replaces the Trust Score

To ensure a smooth rollout, employer validation data points will slowly be incorporated into the employer Trust Score starting this summer—exerting a greater and greater influence on the Trust Score over time. Then, after the busy back to school season, we’ll remove the Trust Score. From that point on, all employers on Handshake will have to pass our validation checks to engage on the network.

Employer validation will slowly exert greater and greater influence on the Trust Score before replacing it completely later this fall.

NOTE: When the Trust Score is removed, you’ll be able to auto-approve validated employers while setting exceptions for employers tagged for potential moral, ethical, or legal concerns—read more here.

While we don’t see fraud a major issue today, we want to make sure we have the systems and procedures in place that ensure our partners don’t have to spend time looking for it. With employer validation fully launched, your team will be able to rely on Handshake to vet employers for you.

To learn more about employer validation check out the recording of our recent training webinar. And, learn how new employer and job auto-approval tools will save your team time here.

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