Handshakes have been something many people have avoided in recent months, but there’s another kind of handshake that cities may need now more than ever.
Handshake is a professional job posting site for college students, much like Indeed or other similar sites. However, experts from schools like Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) said Handshake is often the first and only place students go to start a job search or look for an internship. The only place.
There are interesting reasons why. Mandy Connelly, EKU Assistant Director, Career Readiness and Outreach, said students are wary of many online platforms, concerned that they may not be secure. But they trust Handshake.
Many city human resources managers are discovering the service as a potential pipeline for future employees and underrepresented populations. The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) has recently begun to use Handshake to post some jobs.
KLC Employee Services Manager Elizabeth Schepens said, “With the market for recruitment more competitive than ever, it is vital that hiring managers expand their reach. Handshake allows employers to reach a wider variety of applicants including those from underrepresented backgrounds. It is one more tool in the toolbox.”
There are a number of advantages to the platform for students including that it is free. Once they have an account, it takes them from internships to a professional hire with their one account. For internships, all credit hours are managed through Handshake. Students also know that employers on Handshake have been vetted by their university.
For employers, such as cities, there are also benefits. First and foremost, as with students, the platform costs employers nothing. Colleges and universities pay to be members of Handshake. Employers add colleges and universities they want to recruit from, and schools accept or deny that connection request based on their criteria for accepting employers. If the business is accepted, it can then post jobs, internships, or co-op opportunities for students at that school.
As a business on the site, you can also import job descriptions from other platforms. To set up an account, go to Handshake and follow the instructions. You can request to be added by colleges or universities anytime.
Handshake isn’t the platform for every job, especially those that require specific experience, but it is a place to be if your city is trying to build a brand among younger generations. According to its website, Handshake is used by 600,000 + employers, 1,400 + educational institutions and millions of students.
Connelly said the key to success with Handshake is to go all in, or don’t use it at all. She said students are turned off by businesses that don’t have complete profiles or photos (such as a photo of your city). It is important to make sure you take time to set up your profile and use appropriate filters for the jobs you’re posting.
Kentucky cities and employers across the country are experiencing a workforce crisis. If it’s important to promote the benefits of working for your city to college students looking for jobs, then you should consider Handshake.