Handshake UK launch set to boost diversity and fairness for graduates

Handshake partnerships announced with the University of Cambridge, University of York and University of Liverpool, with more to come

Handshake – a platform for university students to find jobs and work experience – has launched in the UK through partnerships with the University of Cambridge, University of York and the University of Liverpool, to ‘democratise’ recruitment opportunities for students – making it easier and more efficient for companies of all sizes to connect with early talent.

Following Handshake’s success in the US, where students from over 900 colleges and universities use the platform, the launch comes at a time where recent research found that more than a quarter (27%) of businesses are reducing the number of graduates they recruit in 2020.

Handshake UK expects to have hundreds of thousands of student accounts created; already, it has had over 10,000 British students create profiles. Employers, including Clifford Chance LLP and Google, are already using Handshake to engage students via messaging and host virtual events proactively.

Founded in 2014 by three graduates of Michigan Tech University – Garrett Lord (CEO), Scott Ringwelski (CTO), and Ben Christensen (Head of People and Talent) – Handshake has democratised student access to job opportunities and has helped employers easily recruit best-fit early talent from a wide range of colleges and universities.

By lowering the barrier to entry, Handshake increases the number of job postings available to students at a university by 300% on average. As a result, students have the support they need to find a great job and kick-off a meaningful career regardless of which institution they attend, what they choose to study, and who they know. In turn, these companies no longer lose out on talent they might otherwise miss.

The company is also bringing on new executives to support international growth. Dimitar Stanimiroff, who led Stack Overflow’s European expansions, is joining as Head of EMEA. Clare Adams has also joined the team to lead university partnerships and impact, bringing with her years of experience at the University of Westminster and as a member of the AGCAS social mobility task force.

Garrett Lord said: “Across the UK, young people are facing the most challenging labour market for 75 years. Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for universities to help their students find jobs. By creating a level playing field for all graduates, employers of all sizes across industries will have their pick of the top talent in the UK, breaking down barriers to equal opportunity.”

Emma Moore, Director of Careers & Employability at the University of Liverpool adds, “The class of 2020 will have faced severe disruption while completing their degrees, with final assessments altered and uncertainty suddenly the norm. As they look to take their next step, students graduating in 2020 are entering a vastly changed employment market than in previous years. The economy is facing a long and uncertain road back to recovery. That’s why we are excited to partner with Handshake and give our students the best opportunities available. The system has been easy to implement and we are excited to help our students as they start their careers.”

More information on Handshake:

  • Universities – easier to manage and share jobs with students. When using Handshake, student engagement with the university system increases by 60% on average
  • Employers – able to connect more proactively than ever before by messaging students via their profiles and hosting virtual events
  • Students – opportunities are at their fingertips. In the UK, 93% of students make their profiles visible to employers
    • With Handshake Open, any student with a .ac.uk email address can connect on Handshake, even if their university hasn’t signed up yet as a Handshake partner

For further information, and to sign up, visit: joinhandshake.co.uk

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