How Students Engage with Employer Messages

September 23, 2020

“If it had not been for Handshake and that message, literally if it were not for Handshake, I would not be here in this office right now.”

Brittanie, student at Spelman College

For many students, receiving a proactive message from an employer is a breath of fresh air during a stressful job search process. While job searching can often feel like a one-way street, receiving an employer message is an opportunity to connect with a company that is ready and excited to engage. It can even lead to a job offer without ever needing to send in a CV.

Our research further highlights how much value students get out of employer messages. A Handshake survey found that 82 percent of students and young alumni prefer learning about career opportunities through online communication like in-platform messages from a recruiter. Ninety-five percent of students engage with employers that send personalised, proactive messages, whether by reviewing their company profile, applying for a job, or signing up for an event.

“When I first heard from Chase, it was super surprising. It definitely gave me a sense of confidence that there are things I could achieve that I never thought I could. Companies are looking for me and people with my skills. That was the best feeling in the world.”

Chris, student at Manhattan College

Employers, meanwhile, use messaging as a scalable way to boost their company brand with top talent and expand their reach to students of all backgrounds. To keep their messages relevant and personalised, employers can search for and reach out to students that match their ideal candidate profiles. Over 80 percent of students who fill out their Handshake profile get an employer message.

In the era of virtual-first recruiting, employers are doubling down on connecting with students through proactive messaging. Since March, we’ve seen a 257% uptick in employer messages sent through Handshake. Recently, we surpassed one million messages sent to students in a single week. High engagement rates with students across the board have encouraged employers of all shapes and sizes to incorporate proactive messaging into their core recruiting strategy. There has never been a more critical time for students to fill out their profiles and get noticed by recruiters.

“Ever since I’ve updated my skills, I had three Fortune 500 companies reach out to me about a summer internship opportunity.”

Alejandra, student at Wake Forest University

Coming Soon

To give our higher ed partners an even more comprehensive picture of student and employer engagement with messaging on Handshake, we’re building an Employer Messaging Dashboard to help you:

  • Visualise which employers are sending the most messages to your students
  • Uncover which types of students are getting the most messages

To stay in the loop about this and other exciting updates, enable the Handshake Point of Contact role on your account. Handshake points of contact will receive key communications from our team, including major updates, announcements, and event invitations.