Handshake (@JoinHandshakeUK), the largest early career network, has appointed @LinkedIn's Charles Hardy to lead on its university partnerships work in the UK.  

Following a period of unprecedented growth, Charles will help Handshake further expand its offering in the UK – forging relationships with universities to bring more HE institutes onto the platform in the months and years ahead. His role will also see him consulting with universities to help them understand how all students can best maximise Handshake to build their professional networks and ultimately drive better outcomes early on in their career. 

Charles brings a wealth of knowledge on professional networks and their potential to have a huge impact in improving career prospects, applying this experience to help more institutions benefit from Handshake’s “no network required professional network". 

In a decade spent at LinkedIn, Charles was instrumental in setting up and maintaining partnerships with HE institutions across the brand’s core businesses. He also served LinkedIn Learning as its Higher Education Client Partner, where his focus was on providing online learning resources to help develop career readiness, employability and professional skills programmes for students. Prior to this, Charles worked in senior recruitment and resourcing roles at IBM and TMP Worldwide. 

Commenting on his appointment, Charles Hardy said:

“Handshake tackles some of the key issues facing students and graduates in today’s jobs market by providing a network for university careers services to create human to human connections between students and employers. Handshake’s suite of tools can really help universities focus and optimise their value to students. The ability to help recruiters better find student candidates based on aptitude for a role rather than existing connections has the potential to really level the playing field. It’s an exciting time to be joining the team, with huge potential for growth in the UK, and I can’t wait to start exploring all the possibilities with institutions across the UK.” 

David Shull, UK Country Founder & Head of Operations from Handshake, added:

“Having Charles on board is a real win for Handshake in the UK. Charles deeply understands the transformative impact that networks can have on leveling the playing field, and importantly, shares our belief that university careers and employability teams are the best possible partners in leveling the playing field for all students. Charles will be a key part of our efforts to continue to grow in the UK, supporting university careers services in making a real difference to student prospects. We’re delighted to welcome him to the team.” 

Handshake’s mission is to tear down structural barriers in the UK jobs market and help recruiters proactively engage with candidates based on their potential and aptitude for a role rather than their background or existing connections. 

Charles’s appointment is further evidence of the growth underway at Handshake in the UK. The company recently announced that it has been selected as the new career platform of choice by four more UK institutions: Birkbeck, University of London, Kingston University, The University of Bradford, and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), adding more than 75,000 students to its user base in the UK. 

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