Handshake to attend Gartner ReimagineHR Conference

August 26, 2022

The team at Handshake will be heading to the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference on the 15th and 16th September – so watch out for our booth 113 if you’re attending and do come and say hi.

The conference, which takes place in Greenwich at the InterContinental Hotel London – O2, is billed as the world’s most important gathering of chief human resource officers and their leadership teams. The experts meeting there will be tackling some of the biggest issues facing the HR sector in the wake of the ongoing recovery from COVID-19.

The question asked at the event is: “How do we work together to build more equitable and inclusive workplaces?” This is one of the key challenges of the coming decade, particularly as companies grapple with digital business transformation, increasingly hybrid ways of working, and economic uncertainty.

It’s a subject that we spend a great deal of time and energy considering here at Handshake too. Recently, our research conducted alongside the Institute of Student Employers found the single top priority given by graduate employers for the year ahead is boosting equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), with 97% of organisations indicating this will be a key goal.

Clearly, the will to create more equity in the hiring process and in workplaces is there. But with many organisations adopting hybrid working, companies also need to adapt to virtual working practices as part of boosting EDI. Meanwhile, the volatility of the jobs market means competition for hires is increasingly fierce – and that goes for talent from historically marginalised backgrounds too.

But if digital acceleration has played a role in creating some of these challenges, then it certainly can be applied to overcome them – and build the HR and recruitment sector back stronger than where it started, ready to tackle future challenges. 

Technology has the potential to deliver opportunities for students to develop social capital, have a broader view of the opportunities available to them and allow employers to make connections sooner and build relationships throughout a degree course, rather than just at the end. 

These connections are made using tech like Handshake, where businesses can engage with students earlier, and educate them about career paths that they might have discounted due to their background. 

One example of how this works in practice is Handshake’s support for Accenture’s Empowering Female Futures (EFF) programme. Accenture sets bold goals to accelerate gender equality in the technology sector, which tends to be traditionally male-dominated. More than 275,000 women work at Accenture and 50% of their board of directors are women. 

The EFF programme enables female students interested in technology careers to find out more about life at the company and potentially secure a graduate offer on one of their Software Engineering or Client Delivery Graduate Programmes.

To make this possible, Accenture used Handshake’s targeted emails feature to reach these candidates, with the messaging tool enabling personalised connections. Using Handshake helped the company source 1,725 applicants, with 10% being chosen to attend and 46% of those offered a job. That’s a direct example of using technology to meaningfully boost equality, diversity and inclusion at scale. 

And that’s only one example at one company. Handshake is designed to help students forge connections with a huge range of employers, and find meaningful careers no matter where they’re from or who they know. The platform brings together university careers professionals, student and graduate employers, and candidates themselves to level the playing field and give those starting out in their career the best opportunities.

We’re looking forward to sharing our expertise and experiences in this area with visitors at the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, and hearing more from all the attendees there on the future of EDI in the sector.