Announcing the top employers that launch careers for Gen Z

The Handshake Early Talent Awards (ETAs) recognize an annual short list of employers for best-in-class talent engagement and celebrate the team’s that launch careers for Gen Z.

Did you make the list in 2022? See what it takes to be a student’s first destination on the official Handshake Early Talent Awards microsite.

What do some of the best programs in the universe have in common?

For starters, an unwavering commitment to improving career outcomes for Gen Z, whether by embracing digital recruiting to expand access to job opportunities, throttling meaningful relationships by connecting job seekers with who they want to speak with, or getting resource-savvy by turning recruiting into a team sport.

These employers are all also 2022 Handshake Early Talent Award (ETA) winners—an annual campaign that recognizes best-in-class talent engagement programs and celebrates the teams that launch early careers to new heights.

Despite recruiting during a highly competitive talent market, ETA winners have earned justified curb appeal by developing leading programs that add value to the early career job search. We’re honored to celebrate these program visionaries, innovators, trailblazers, and opportunity democratizers who are driving the next generation of early talent recruiting.

What does it take to create an award-winning talent engagement program and win an ETA in 2023? Keep reading. 👇

What are the Handshake Early Talent Awards?

For the second year in a row, the Handshake Early Talent Awards (ETAs) recognize an annual short list of employers for best-in-class talent engagement and celebrate the teams that launch careers for Gen Z. Check out the full list of 2022 winners here!

How were the winners selected?

Handshake partners with so many incredible employers, so identifying a short list of winners was no easy feat. What’s unique about the ETAs is employers are evaluated on their early talent recruitment and engagement activity—and not their company size. 

In reflection of Handshake’s values, our methodology prioritizes student engagement over hiring volume. We reviewed platform activity across our network of 650k+ employers from January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021 along weighted criteria that tracks:

  • Gen Z brand resonance (35%): Total job views to total applications 
  • Engagement (30%): Number of unique clicks per distinct message recipient 
  • Event participation (20%): Career fair/event registrants to attendees 
  • Relationships (15%): Reciprocal messaging exchange 

For eligibility in 2022, employers must also have met a minimum threshold of 100 candidates reached via a message and 10 events attended or hosted in 2021.

How do I get on the list next year?

The time frame for being considered for a 2023 Handshake Early Talent Award has already begun! While your plans for the fall are still shaping up, reference the above methodology for a blueprint of what makes early talent programs stand out. 

Although the methodology may evolve slightly year over year, these are the metrics that you’ll generally want to focus on to not only strengthen your program and how you use Handshake, but to achieve the best outcomes for students.

We suggest conducting regular evaluations to benchmark your progress against this criteria. To incorporate proven strategies from ETA winners and increase your chances, check out this game plan for winning early talent.

See you in the ETA Class of 2023!

The transition from college to career is complex. Employers can be a beacon of light to students who are navigating that process. By deploying best-in-class programs that are meaningful to Gen Z, teams can rise above the competition for their future leaders—and launch early careers to new heights. Taking the steps to become a student’s first destination isn’t just an investment in the workforce, it’s an investment in your company’s future.

Get in touch with our team to learn how you can optimize your early talent recruiting strategies to engage this next generation of talent.

Congratulations to our 2022 Handshake Early Talent Award winners!