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My Best Source for Hiring New Grads | Handshake
Here’s where I find new graduate candidates with early education degrees.
Thank you for all your support of my launch of Care Camp on Sunday. Big special thank you to Care Camp’s paying supporters and founding members 🙌.
When a job market tightens like it has now, professional recruiters start looking for new sources of talent. That's why I've been actively exploring non-traditional sources to find high quality candidates. I use Handshake to find new graduate candidates with early education degrees.
Many childcare managers hire new grads from local schools or universities. They network with career services departments and alumni associations at schools to find pools of candidates. Or they network with early education professors to get recommendations of quality candidates. But these methods take time to develop, and not every career services department or professor is that helpful.
I've now added a new tool to my recruiting toolset by turning on Handshake, a tool that I use to find graduates right before, at, or after graduation.
This Spring I used Handshake to find soon-to-graduate Seniors. This works great since these students are not quite in the job market, yet are typically available and happy to interview. I participated in an online career fair in March, where I held both group and one-on-one interviews through the Handshake platform. I met a dozen candidates in one day.
What is Handshake?
Handshake is an app that connects students on college campuses with open positions, mainly internships and entry level jobs. Over 14 million students and young alumni from over 700 universities use Handshake.
Schools purchase access to the app and connect it to their career services departments. This streamlines the process for employers, counselors, and student candidates.
What Handshake does well
Handshake is a new source for talent, so what it does well is show you lots of candidates you've never seen before. In my local area it gives me thousands of new grads, soon-to-graduate students, and recent alumni. I can then filter by their school, grade level, major, graduation date, and even GPA!
I love that I can save my searches so I can come back to them later. I've used this feature extensively to set up different searches for different roles I'm hiring: teacher, aid, office administrator, intern. I can quickly go back and see who's available now.
I also enjoy that I can send a message to the candidate before they even know about me. This is especially helpful when I'm not yet hiring for internships or teaching positions and just want to get to know candidates for future positions. But, there's a catch.…
What Handshake could improve
Unbelievably, Handshake makes it challenging to contact students, which is frustrating. When you start your employer account you get assigned what they call a Trust Score. If your Trust Score is lower than 80 you will not be able to proactively message students.
You still get students' full names, their school and major information. I used this information to find students on LinkedIn and message them, but that alone was challenging. Sometimes I just could not find a student, and when I did, I often had to use my LinkedIn InMail credits to message them, which cost money. Not a great method, but do-able.
Handshake says that they restrict messaging to ensure that students are contacted by established employers via Handshake, but it took me a very long time to get my Trust Score higher than 80. I was active in the app searching daily. I had a full profile and participated in multiple online career fairs, and I was still barely breaking a Trust Score of 60. I kept using it until I bumped my score up to 80, but that was hard work.
I believe the real reason Handshake does this is to drive revenue. I'm not sure, but I imagine a paid Premium employer account would get you to a Trust Score of 80 and access to student messaging much faster. C'est la vie.
I'd recommend giving Handshake a shot. It’s free, but with the potential limitations I noted above.
What sources are you using to find candidates? Have you tried Handshake, and if so, did it work for you?
Handshake fits into my new hiring system, which I used to turn around my hiring this year. I'm developing an in-depth guide that outlines the system, how to follows it in just 30 minutes a day, and a great list of what tools to use. Paid Care Camp subscribers will get the guide when it goes out.