COVID-19 has accelerated the shift from in-person to digital recruiting faster than ever before, encouraging employers to do in a few months what may have previously taken years to accomplish: adopting an entirely virtual, always-on fall 2020 recruiting strategy.

Thanks to the novel coronavirus, budgets are tight, travel is at a near halt, and hiring is down as the economy softens. This means employers can’t head on campus to meet students like they used to—a traditional primary choice to create authentic connections.

Now more than ever, employers need a digital-first solution for finding qualified talent, nurturing meaningful relationships, fielding applicants, screening candidates, and hiring their next gen workforce. Even before COVID-19 shuttered campuses, early talent recruiting relied on in-person meetings, traveling to campus, and a healthy budget to fund it all. 

Traditional recruiting at a small list of core schools is often expensive, outdated, and time-consuming, offering results that are difficult to track. The most innovative employers have already changed their recruiting model to focus on finding the most qualified talent no matter where they go to school or who they know, and running a data-driven program. 

Everyone else now has to catch up in a hurry.

How’s Handshake helping solve this fall 2020 recruiting challenge?

Thanks to virtual recruiting, your efforts are not tied down by time and money. To help you succeed in the digital landscape, Handshake is delivering on a fully end-to-end virtual recruiting experience that doesn’t require the need for in-person contact. Recruiting remarkable college talent will, perhaps for the first time, have no bounds.

We’ve always believed that virtual, proactive recruiting is the future for winning top early talent. And now, COVID-19 is persuading businesses to make the shift to virtual by necessity and on a much faster timeline. Leading companies already made this shift over the past few years, but many companies are starting now. Handshake is positioned to help get you there.

Keep in mind this is not a short-term fix for the fall 2020 recruiting season. This is a permanent change to win the mindshare of early talent moving forward. Similar to the shift from on-premise computing to the cloud, early adopters who embrace rapid development, speed, and agility are typically the first to succeed.

Those left behind were legacy companies refusing to adapt. Winning competition for early talent in the fall 2020 recruiting season and beyond requires a digitally enabled platform like Handshake, so you can focus your efforts on where your talent pools actually are, instead of tapping into the same core schools you’re used to.

With Handshake, you can maintain the personalization of an on-campus recruiting program, but do it proactively and at scale across the nation, with a lower cost and higher ROI. And with nearly 6 in 10 employers telling us they’re increasing digital engagement, including virtual events, during this time, it’s where the market is headed.

What does this mean for employers heading into the fall 2020 recruiting season?

For employers, our fall 2020 recruiting season product release provides the first end-to-end, completely virtual solution for recruiting early talent. In short: we are building out a scalable virtual replacement for in-person career fairs, events, and interviews.

Connect with qualified talent this fall 2020 recruiting season with one-on-one video and chat.
Create true student engagement through video, audio, and text chat.

What this means is that employers will finally be able to connect meaningfully and authentically with students regardless of where they live, allowing recruiters to tap into qualified talent beyond their core schools. Employers will be able to engage with these students that match their criteria through live, real-time video, enabling them to host one-on-one coffee chats, small group info sessions, and even large broadcasts.

Tip: If you’re an employer just getting started in hosting virtual events, check out our guide for best practices, virtual event formats, and other important tech considerations.

Beginning this fall 2020 recruiting season, employers will also be able to build live talent pools on Handshake that automatically and proactively update themselves, matching recruiters with students who have the right skills and backgrounds.

Connect like-minded peers with candidates this fall 2020 recruiting season with enhancements to our Ambassador Campaigns.
Connect priority candidates to real, relevant employees with Handshake Ambassadors.

We’re also expanding on our popular Ambassador Campaigns feature, which allows employers to connect colleagues and company representatives with like-minded students looking to launch their early careers. Recruiters can tap into ambassadors on Handshake to drive candidates to their virtual events, or to follow up personally after.

Through our upcoming fall 2020 recruiting product release, employers will be able to easily invite and highlight ambassadors on their Employer Page, with their open jobs, and in their events. Ambassadors also get in on the fun, too, by having the option to record intros for video chats and virtual career fairs.

For universities, we’re releasing a Virtual Career Fair solution to help our career service center partners replicate the in-person and on-campus experience through the largest early talent network online. Find more details about our university solution here.

You’ve piqued my interest—when are you planning to launch these features?

We’re glad you asked! Handshake’s virtual career fair product will be available to universities in mid-June, so they can start building out their calendar of fall 2020 recruiting events and driving students to RSVP in advance.

We’ll be rolling out remaining employer features, like video-enabled chats, proactive talent matching with Candidate Hub, and updates to our Ambassador Campaigns through late July and early August 2020, with pilots for select accounts in July. Get a sneak peek of what’s to come by requesting a demo of our upcoming techstack.