The internet is changing how people live their everyday lives. Even student recruitment must change in response to the growing popularity of the internet, especially in this hyperconnected world.
The next generation of students is growing up deeply immersed in technology. Even small kids nowadays are well-versed in using YouTube, and they will grow up expecting technology to play a vital role in their lives.
Educational institutions must address their needs if they want to stay relevant. Some of the students look for convenience in addition to educational standards. Some students associate a university’s educational standards with their recruitment process.
The Importance of Student Recruitment
Student recruitment is essential for an institution. If these higher education institutions overlook crafting a strategic portfolio, their student population will eventually shrink. When this happens, educational institutions may find it hard to keep their doors open for existing students. Lack of funding may result in poor student quality and damaged institutional reputation.
An institution’s relevance is directly proportional to its student recruitment process. Their sustainability depends on the number of students, and their IT department plays a crucial role in this.
Understanding the Student Recruitment Process
Institutions follow specific protocols about their recruitment process. In general, it includes:
- Establishing and studying the academic requirements
- Planning the marketing and communication platforms to attract potential students
- Screening and choosing the outstanding applicants
- Managing the enrollment process and final application
- Introducing the new students to the campus
The entire recruitment process can be done by a student recruiter who knows about the admission process. However, it can be further streamlined by using an online platform where the entire process can be optimized.
How Online Student Recruitment Can Help?
Most educational institutions still use traditional methods of recruitment, such as through email marketing campaigns, school tours, and billboards. However, recent data show that the most effective platforms that increase the number of student recruitment come from online campaigns.
- Retargeted ads from visiting website – 91%
- Online display ads – 89%
- Pay-per-Click keywords on search engine platforms – 87%
- Pay-per-Click keywords on social media platforms – 86%
These digital campaigns have a much higher turnover than print media ads that amount to only 65%. These numbers show that online recruitment should be the main focus of educational institutions if they want to tap into a wider audience.
Online Student Recruitment and Foreign Students
One of the most significant advantages of online student recruitment is for international students. Most of these students would rely on online information about an institution. If your institution does not have an online footprint, it would be challenging to attract international students. In the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of international students in the US increased by 1.5% by reaching almost 1.1 million.
Colleges and universities must take advantage of the fact that the US remains the top country that serves as a host to a considerable number of international students. According to the Department of Commerce, foreign student enrollment and accommodations contributed as much as $42.4 billion to the economy in 2017, even though they only comprise about 5% of the student community. How much of these students have access to your institution? How much of this economic figure came from your university?
In the future, student recruitment will be communication-centered through online platforms. Students of today are internet savvy and would want to accomplish most of their educational tasks through online platforms. Educational institutions must be able to scrutinize the wants and needs of these students.
Most of the students want transparency. By using online recruitment programs, students can see the steps of the process and understand the progression. When you provide this process to them, they will view your institution positively and recommend it to their friends.
It is also essential to provide accurate and timely feedback on the recruitment process. If the students can receive feedback and are given time to respond, it will resonate with them as well. It sends the message of connectedness.
Your online student recruitment website should also incorporate blogs from existing students that are available to the public. This way, the institution shows that they value student opinion. Additionally, these blogs can provide insight into your institution.
Websites are an excellent platform for recruitment campaigns. Most of the students today go online if they want to search for available programs. In the future, these websites must be able to provide the students with a virtual tour of the campus. Providing an interactivity platform and a transparent student comment section will show the educational institutions’ values. These virtual tours should give the students an authentic insight into their lifestyle should they enroll in your university or college.
Educational institutions must change their recruitment process to keep up with the changing times. If not, they will be inevitably left behind.