As with all things, recruitment success demands a clear strategy—strategy that’s rooted in solid research, shaped by quantifiable goals, and driven by the collective effort of talented teams. If your recruitment efforts are falling flat, it’s time to build a better plan. Here are seven crucial steps every recruitment plan must include:
1. Define and prioritize territories and efforts.
Determine the geographic territories for your recruitment activities. What areas will be primary, secondary, and tertiary? Prioritize your efforts (and later, design your strategies) based on these designations.
2. Know your audiences.
It’s the first rule of successful marketing: Understand your audience. Define the profiles of those students who are most likely to enroll at your institution. Use this information to segment audiences and guide your recruitment strategy (messages/themes, channels, timing, etc.).
3. Establish application and enrollment goals.
Get specific about your application and enrollment goals. What targets would you like to hit? Assign quantifiable goals to each counselor, create a clear timeline for achievement, and track progress. As the team moves forward, make adjustments as necessary.
4. Define revenue objectives.
Similarly, define your net tuition revenue goals. Align financial aid and scholarship strategies to achieve these goals and make sure all departments are working together to meet targets.
5. Plan and implement key strategies.
Every successful recruitment plan must include strategies for the following:
- Inquiry-generation:Analyze recent data to determine what activities, messages, and channels generate the most productive number of inquiries. Use that information to shape an effective, adaptable inquiry-generation strategy.
- Communication:Good communication is all about sending the right message to the right audience at exactly the right time. Use profile data to guide messaging, focusing on the concerns, priorities, and informational needs of each group.
- Conversion:Have a crystal clear understanding of how to turn an inquiryinto an applicant, an applicantinto a completed applicant, and an accepted studentinto an enrolled student. Make sure your conversion and communication strategies are carefully aligned.
- Retention:If you’re part of a larger enrollment management operation, develop a robust retention strategy by asking yourself the following questions: At what points are students most vulnerable? What groups are more vulnerable than others? What services are needed and when? How can my communication strategy support students throughout their academic career?
6. Design a seamless intake process.
The recruitment experience doesn’t end when a prospect is accepted to your college or university. Outline, communicate, and facilitate every step a new student will take, including:
- Initial deposit
- Testing and placement
- Financial aid counseling
- Billing and payments
- Start of classes
7. Analyze and revise.
The most effective recruitment plans are living documents—changeable based on new information and fresh insight. Analyze the enrollment data to see what’s worked and what hasn’t. Refine your approach and plan for the next cycle.
Stamats helps colleges and universities across the nation improve recruitment success through custom research, strategy and planning, and digital and creative services. For more information on how we can help your school achieve its recruitment and enrollment goals, please call us at (800) 553-8878.