Recently, Hire a Hornet was replaced with a new hiring platform called Handshake, which has received mixed reviews from both students and employers.
The goal of Handshake is to give those in small towns, like Emporia, with a less prominent business scene, equal opportunities to those in larger cities where businesses and large corporations are booming.
“Handshake is a career management platform that is designed for three distinct groups of users, primarily students and employers and career services offices,” said Robyn Macgregor, career services counselor. “They are big in what they call democratizing the job search.”
Students can post questions like, “What was the process like?” and “What’s one question you were asked?” about their interview experiences for specific jobs.
“I’ve had a lot of jobs reach out to me that either I know what they are, or I don’t, and it’s been a really good opportunity to see what I can get my foot in the door to,” said Bobbie Jo Leighty, senior sociology major.
There are currently over 100 businesses in Emporia that use Handshake and several on campus organizations that use it as well.
“Honestly, I haven't really seen any benefits over the way they used to do it at ESU, which was: ESU used to just post on their Hire a Hornet list and it would just be a banner ad and students would just go on and look at it...I had better results with that than I’ve had with Handshake,” said Bill Bays, pharmacist at Graves Drugs.
In public mode, employers can see students’ GPA, photos, personal bio and resumés.
“The kind of jobs I post for the school are part-time evening, cashier-type jobs, delivery jobs,” Bays said. “GPA isn’t really important to me. Other employers’ scheduled interviews aren't really important. When I schedule those job sites, I just tell them to come into the store and talk to me.”
In private mode, GPA, photos, personal bio and resumé are hidden but employers are still able to see the calendars of those applying for jobs.
“I actually did not know they could even see that (interviews with other employers)... If you have a job interview you need to be reliable,” Leighty said. “It might hurt your chances for job interviews.”
Although it is meant to create opportunities and equality in the job industry, there are a few setbacks. For Nikole Huntley, freshman elementary education student, Handshake is not user-friendly.
“If I had training, I’m sure I could find jobs with it, but since I haven't had any actual personal training on Handshake, I feel like I'm not qualified to use it,” Huntley said.