Skip to content
Log in
Early talent trends

URx 2019: Building meaningful connections with early talent

What we learned at URx 2019 about building impactful relationships with students & alumni.

A few weeks ago, Team Handshake attended the 3rd annual URx Conference in San Francisco. We’re fortunate enough to be a URx partner and were excited to come back to the big URx conference after a series of regional meetups throughout the US in Anaheim, Dallas, New York and Chicago before the conference.

It’s great to see this community of early talent and university recruiting professionals pick up so much momentum over the last couple years. Handshake is determined to continue these conversations and elevate you—our employer partners—as much as we can.

An experiential approach to early talent recruiting

On Day 1 of URx, Handshake CEO and co-founder Garrett Lord sat down with Corey Twitty, Talent Acquisition Manager of University Recruiting, to discuss the merits of bringing experiential elements into campus recruiting. Their fireside chat covered a wide variety of topics, from the efficacy of experiential recruiting, to diversity & inclusion, to optimizing your recruiting organization to hire faster.

To kick off the conversation, the two discussed the importance of combining your on-campus strategy with a digital approach. Corey explained his methodology of bringing these two distinct tactics together by starting with the data. He found that there was a lack of ROI coming from certain types of events and saw more quality hires from other channels.

“When we step back and look at all the types of events we go to and pull up the ROI, we weren’t getting a high ROI from career fairs, that digital relationship and marrying that with the physical was very profound for us.”

Corey Twitty, Talent Acquisition Manager of University Recruiting at Intuit

However, that doesn’t mean the campus event is dead—it’s all about how you set it up and approach it. According to Corey, you not only need to make memorable experiences, but you should also consider building meaningful relationships with students before showing up to campus.

“University recruiting will always be somewhat event-based. As you think about how you maximize ROI & engagement, how do you create events & experiences that are memorable and provide an emotional connection?”

Corey Twitty, Talent Acquisition Manager of University Recruiting at Intuit

When it comes to early talent recruiting tactics—both on campus and online—Corey has seen it all. He’s spent the last ten years finding and hiring top talent that is just starting out in their careers. To resonate with this particular audience, he swears by experiential recruiting events, which focus on holding workshops for early talent at different campuses and seeing how they think.

Making a case for early talent hiring

As we all know, these on-campus events and digital strategies come at a cost. Half the battle is getting adequate funding to back these high-ROI initiatives. When Garrett asked Corey about getting buy-in on his projects, Corey replied with a pragmatic, clear response:

“You really have to leverage data to build the business case. Where are you getting the most ROI? That helps persuade your business partners. You can’t change what you can’t measure. How do you move the needle from last year?”

Corey Twitty, Talent Acquisition Manager of University Recruiting at Intuit

Corey mentioned that he ensures his business partners are looped in at every stage of the process. He thought back to a time when his data-driven approach brought some great results when he recounted:

“Our Head of Sales was so happy with our university talent that he told us last week that we need to hire 10 more new hire grads for July. We went right to Handshake, and we sourced with Segments and Campaigns to reach students.”

Corey Twitty, Talent Acquisition Manager of University Recruiting at Intuit

He mentioned that within a week of that moment, they had already brought four people on site to interview.

Leveling the playing field for all early talent

When Garrett asked Corey about his approach to diversity & inclusion, Corey firmly stated:

“Diversity is not a choice. It’s critical for all of us to have a team that looks and thinks like our customers. If we preach customer empathy and we don’t have team members that haven’t walked in their shoes, that’s a miss.”

He mentioned that within a week of that moment, they had already brought four people on site to interview.

Corey mentioned a time where his employer had a goal to balance gender and have a much more representative workforce. He remembered his team worrying about meeting the expectations around those initiatives as they built out a 3-year plan. By taking a more proactive approach to their early talent strategy with digital solutions like Handshake Premium, Corey mentioned that his team was able to nearly hit their goal in just one year.

Continue the conversation

That was just one of the many compelling talks during the URx 2019 Conference. There were discussions about employer brand, building talent pipelines through (winter) internships, and leveraging analytics to scale. If you want to hear some of the chatter, check out the hashtag #URx19 on Twitter and LinkedIn!

For any questions on Corey and Garrett’s talk or Handshake Premium, just email

Recruit smarter with Handshake

Stay up-to-date on the latest early talent trends.