By Garrett Lord, CEO and co-founder
Ten years ago, Handshake changed how college students found jobs and how employers found great talent at colleges across the country. The old system was broken—employers relied on expensive in-person events at a few select schools, most students didn’t get the opportunities they deserved, and companies missed out on countless talented candidates. Today, almost a million companies use Handshake to hire the best-fit candidates from a pool of more than 15 million students at 1,500+ colleges and universities. I’m proud of those numbers, but we’re not done. It’s time to change how recruiting works—again.
The way students learn about jobs and careers has changed drastically in the last decade. Gen Z wants more than a job description. They’re sourcing career advice and insider information from #careertok, Discord, Substacks, and subreddits. They’ve grown up with social media, which means they expect an authentic, first-person view of every experience, including the world of work. They demand a behind-the-scenes perspective on organizational culture and values, delivered by people they relate to and look up to. Employers have to adapt their recruiting tactics to meet today’s students where they are, or risk losing traction with an entire generation of talent.
At the same time, it’s clear that a short-term recruiting strategy isn’t enough in 2024. To win, you need to play the long game. That means building brand affinity early, during the most formative period of career discovery—impressions made in college can last a lifetime. Companies that do this successfully will see a huge payoff that goes beyond early talent. They’ll get graduates with in-demand skills coming back to their job listings year after year, and they’ll find candidates who believe in their brand and will stick around for the long haul.
This is the next chapter for Handshake—building a content network that gives students authentic insight into jobs and careers, and lets employers connect with early talent on their terms. Just as we expanded access 10 years ago by helping employers reach more students across the country, today we're launching a social community to help talented students who aren’t lucky enough to have a built-in network when they graduate. This starts with adding short-form video content created by students, grads, career influencers, universities, interns, and recruiters to our platform.
Handshake videos will deliver powerful advice and inspiration for students. They’ll allow employers to tell a real, compelling story about what it’s like to work for their company. And these won’t be your average social posts. They’ll be fully integrated with the end-to-end recruiting funnel—from job posts, to messaging and events, to interviews—so employers can track the impact of every interaction on their talent pipeline. Employers like L'Oréal, Teach for America, and TikTok are already building their brands through this channel, and we’re about to open it up to hundreds more. To request access for your company, get in touch with us here.
The job search landscape is changing fast, and employers need a new strategy to keep up. With over 15 million students, new grads, and young professionals actively searching for jobs on our platform, Handshake is already the best place to reach early-career candidates. Now, we’re helping companies succeed in the “scroll era” and transform how they build their future workforce.
This is the future of career discovery, and it’s only on Handshake.