Jun 26, 2018 By G. John Cole
It's an excellent opportunity to review current trends and practices in student recruitment and take a look at some new ideas that are re-energizing the education sector.
Best practices when recruiting business students
Business students make for a good case study when developing marketing and admissions strategies, since they know what they want and can be clearer in expressing their needs than other students, who may be unsure about their field of study or degree goals.
Business students are articulate about their career goals and their desire for a school curriculum that mixes theory and practice. Students like these may have a good idea of the specific sector or business where they would like to work, making the opportunity to try specific skills or to pursue professional work concurrently with study a great selling point.
They also have a keen sense of the value of networking. A strong cohort and the opportunity to meet professionals during internships and seminars can ease the path from study to work, and smart graduates recognize that networking now will pay off for years to come.
In many cases, they will choose a college based on the idea that they can tailor their experience to their specific career goal – which will not be identical to those of their peers.
Marketing and admissions offices working in non-business disciplines can benefit from flagging up values and opportunities like these to students and decision-makers who are less clear about what they want or need.
Being present when prospective students are looking for a school
Applicants will spend up to nine months researching and short-listing their options. An institution needs to remain visible, approachable, and responsive, every step of the way.
In the 21st century, that means using social media for promotion and to communicate with students. But it also means maintaining strong links between social media presence, print, and the all-important website.
Above all, that website needs to be prominent among its competitors in search engine results. This is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and it is a science and business of its own. A recruitment marketing solutions provider can empower an institution to control its web presence by optimizing its online strategy and providing a trustworthy third-party platform for student research and applications.
Working together for a common goal
But each of these strategies becomes more effective when founded upon meaningful co-operation between an institution’s marketing and admissions offices, which should work together to ensure the remaining departments are on the same page. A coordinated marketing and recruitment team will focus not just on brand awareness and recruitment, but on working together to strengthen connections between potential students, staff, and alumni.
For example, an institution’s marketing professionals can be drafted into the training of admissions recruiters to ensure their processes are ‘on brand.' As a unit, these departments can ensure that the school’s story – and how it is told – remains consistent across different contexts. That includes internal and campus-wide communication. Every student or professor is a potential ambassador, and while each faculty may have its own narrative, the tone and presentation should be adapted to suit that of the entire institution so that everything presents a cohesive message.
When marketing and admissions team members unify their purpose and method, it becomes much easier to share that passion with the campus as a whole and to forge a path towards fulfilling outcomes for the students of today and tomorrow.