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Benefits of Increasing Your Networking Efforts Through Your Local Technical Colleges
By Sara Mackey,
Marketing Communications Specialist, Wisconsin Technical College System

I had the pleasure of attending the WISHRM Conference in Wisconsin Dells in mid-October. I had the chance to speak with many HR Staff and HR students in attendance. As the attendees passed through the exhibit hall throughout the conference and in-between sessions, a common theme I heard amongst HR professionals was “how do I hire for (fill in the blank).”

I realized it’s probably worth taking a bit of time to mention a free platform the Wisconsin Technical Colleges are using and encouraging area employers to use too. The platform, called Handshake (www.joinhandshake.com) is a great place for employers to post jobs and students to post their resumes. You can also select options that will automatically notify you of new students who are looking for jobs in your certain locations and roles. In addition, you can search from available candidates with certain skills or degrees.

Depending on your available time and commitment to engagement, another step worth taking is contacting the Career Services Departments at each of Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges. This will keep you on their radar, so they know that you are looking for candidates with certain skills. And while they may also ask you to sign up on Handshake, they might want to be in touch with you for a variety of reasons.

For example, the career services department may be able to put employers in touch with apprenticeships, internships, and other structured educational programs at the college. Career Services can inform employers about upcoming career fairs and employer spotlights, internships, informational interviews and networking opportunities for meeting candidates, advisory committee opportunities and much more. The campus might host networking opportunities that provide exposure to potential hires. There are many benefits to partnering with your local technical college to generate outreach to current or incoming students and graduates. Sharing relevant hiring data and benefits information will be valuable to incoming students who may want to know why they should consider a particular career and what opportunities might exist for them in the future.

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