Employment opportunities increase via Handshake

Ask any college student why they’ve decided to further their education and you will undoubtedly hear that it is to obtain their degree in hopes of getting a good job after graduation. Employers also realize this fact and continuously set out to hire top talent for varied positions. Just last year, CNBC reported the job market has been thriving for the first time in years, with employers to hire 5 percent more graduates than the year prior.

The University of South Carolina Career Center has seen the direct impact of these demands, particularly with the introduction of Handshake, the university’s student job database. Making its debut in June 2016, Handshake launched with close to 3,000 employers offering more than 6,000 jobs to students and alumni. A little more than a year later, the opportunities have skyrocketed with more than 13,000 employers seeking to fill an upwards of 24,000 positions.  

“We’re happy to see the significant growth of opportunities being offered to our students and alumni,” says Tom Halasz, director of the USC Career Center. We’ve seen how efficient Handshake is and the flexibility it provides to employers while posting their jobs and for students who can easily navigate the system and apply for internships, co-ops or jobs that they are seeking.”

Halasz says another contributing factor is the work taking place within the career center’s employer relations team.

“Our employer relations managers are continuously building relationships with corporations and showing them the benefits of recruiting our students,” he explains. “The employers then become eager to provide these opportunities because they are looking to hire top talent.”

With the Career Fest and Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) job fairs taking place on Sept. 27, the number of positions in Handshake are rapidly increasing while employers are gearing up to visit Carolina to offer interviews and ultimately positions to hundreds of students.  “We’re in the peak hiring season for the fall, so we will see an even higher growth in the number of positions being advertised in Handshake,” says LaTasha Saunders, employer relationship coordinator, who’s solely responsible for vetting and approving employers and jobs in Handshake before they’re live in the system. About 50 employers and 100 jobs come across the system on a daily basis. 

“It’s an arduous but rewarding task,” she says. “We have several systems that I go through to ensure legitimacy of companies and jobs before we make them available to our students. For example, we check to see if the company is rated through the Better Business Bureau or on the nonprofit registry in their state if they hold that status. Handshake helps a lot with the vetting process, making it easier to ensure that we are offering legitimate opportunities to our students.”

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