February 8, 2023

Looking for a City Intern or Employee?

Many people have avoided handshakes in recent years, but there’s another kind of handshake that cities may need now more than ever. 

If your city is looking to engage students for possible city internships, co-ops, or full-time employment, Handshake is where you need to be.

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) say Handshake is often the first and only place students go to start a job search or look for an internship. The only place. Nationwide, it is ranked by students as the best place to find a job. 

There are interesting reasons why. EKU Director of Corporate Educational Partnerships Benton Shirey said students are wary of many online platforms and concerned that they may not be secure. But they trust Handshake. In addition to looking for jobs, Shirey said students also go to Handshake first for co-ops and internship opportunities.

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) also uses Handshake to post some jobs.

“With the market for recruitment more competitive than ever, it is vital that hiring managers expand their reach,” KLC Director of Employee Services Elizabeth Schepens said. “Handshake allows employers to reach a wider variety of applicants, including those from underrepresented backgrounds. It is one more tool in the toolbox.” 

Employers can create a Handshake account, join a company on Handshake, and connect with specific schools here. Employers can request more information here.

There are many advantages to the platform for students, including that it is free. Their accounts can take them from internships to professional hires. All credit hours for internships and co-ops are managed through Handshake. Students also know that employers on Handshake have been vetted by their universities.

Employers like cities also get many 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. And as a business on the site, you can also import job descriptions from other platforms.

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 interested in an intern or co-op job and trying to build a brand among younger generations. According to its website, Handshake is used by more than 600,000 employers, more than 1,400 educational institutions, all Fortune 500 companies, and millions of students.

The key to success with Handshake is to go all in or don’t use it at all. Experts warn that 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 continue to experience 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

For more information about city interns, contact KLC Member Services Manager Terri Johnson or call 859.977.3784 or EKU Director of Corporate Educational Partnerships Benton Shirey or call 859.200.0162.