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Handshake hacks & best practices

How HEC Paris leverages Handshake to drive student engagement and make data-informed decisions

As the first adopter of Handshake in France, HEC Paris has become even more efficient, increased student engagement and maximised outcomes.

HEC Paris, one of the world's leading business schools, consistently topping Europe's rankings, is renowned for delivering exceptional student outcomes and catering to student needs.

As the first adopter of Handshake in France, HEC Paris knew exactly what they wanted: a top-notch user experience with curated content and job opportunities for their students, improved career outcomes and targeted features for their employers’ advanced data and analytics capabilities.

Since the implementation of Handshake in 2023, the HEC Talents team, the careers service department at HEC Paris, has had countless wins. With an 85% activation rate among first-year master's students, Handshake revolutionised HEC Paris's student engagement and career opportunities.


  • 36k interactions with job opportunities on the platform since the launch of Handshake
  • 77% activation rate amongst all HEC students on Handshake
  • 59% open rate of HEC emails to their students


Despite a well-staffed team and extensive employer network, keen to hire HEC students, HEC Talents has faced several challenges due to inefficient workflows, working across multiple systems and limited data analytics capability. In exploring more effective solutions to streamline their career services, it was crucial for HEC to ensure a seamless transition and receive comprehensive support throughout the implementation process. Since the implementation of Handshake, HEC Talents is saving time with smarter processes, improving partnerships with advanced features, and seeing more student engagement due to a better user experience and customised content.


Frustrated with the limitations of using two platforms (one for Master’s students, one for MBA and Executive MBA participants), HEC Talents ran a tender where they evaluated multiple platforms. Ultimately, Handshake came out as the winning solution and HEC Paris implemented Handshake as their new platform. All new partners implementing Handshake receive dedicated support from Relationship Managers, to accompany them on their journey and maximise platform benefits. HEC was no exception, working hand-in-hand with the team from day one.

How was the implementation process of Handshake?

“Since day one of the project, the Handshake Europe team has shown a relentless commitment. The launch went very smoothly. As we say in French: chapeau!”

Jean-Amiel Jourdan, Senior Executive Director, HEC Talents

Boosting student engagement with customised content

One of the key features that drew HEC to Handshake, is the ability to communicate relevant content, such as customised newsletters and emails, not only to their wider student body but to curated audiences. With every communication sent out, HEC Talents gains insights into student engagement with easy access to open and click rates to help identify which content resonates well with the different talent pools. This allows HEC to proactively engage with their students, and measure the success of their messaging.

Maximising employer partnerships and creating more valuable opportunities for students

Since the implementation of Handshake, HEC Paris has focused on the quality rather than quantity of their job opportunities: 100% of job opportunities are approved by HEC Talents and labelled for specific talent pools. All employers on Handshake benefit from advanced features such as targeting qualified talent, interest-based matching, job preferences, targeted emails and newsletters to promote jobs, events and fairs to directly interact with specific audiences. As a result, HEC employers benefit from better job post visibility and exposure to top talent.

Detailed analytics to make data-informed decisions

Furthermore, the team has access to a breadth of data relating to employers that helps them to analyse the strengths of their partnerships. Now, HEC Talents has deeper insights into their employers and how students interact with jobs and businesses and can easily see how many active jobs an employer has, the volume of applications for particular roles, and who the recruiting staff is.


By implementing Handshake, HEC talents has proven the value of adopting new technologies to support students, positioning themselves at the forefront of educational innovation. This strategic move highlights the potential for other institutions to follow in HEC's footsteps in enhancing their career services and elevating student outcomes.

By embarking on their Handshake journey and using the platform to its full potential, HEC Talents has become even more efficient, increased student engagement and maximised outcomes. Their success is the remarkable result of innovation, determination, and passion for helping students.

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