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Recruiting Intelligence

In Case of Emergency Break Glass

You all see the enrollment storm we are heading into, right?

Now is the ‘Break Glass’ moment. If you act smart, fast, and right now, your fall enrollment is still salvageable, sort of. And your class of 2021 can remain within reach.

So, that travel budget you won’t be spending on travel? It’s time to determine how you will re-allocate it to make the greatest impact. And yes, you will need ALL of it (and more) to try to make things work out for your institution.

Sound overly dire? If you are thinking that, we fear you have not played this out far enough. Two key points to consider:

  • China, 3 months ahead of the rest of the world on the whole COVID-19 thing, has yet to open any of its universities as of April 1.
  • Last week, the US recorded 3.3M new jobless claims, the largest one-week spike ever. By a factor of 6x. And if that weren't bad enough, the next weekly figure is projected to exceed last week's. By alot. 

Yes, you will need a strong marketing budget to withstand the storm ahead.

Our primary message right now: gather the team you trust around you. There are SO many offers from vendors (like us) seeking your limited budget dollars and offering to take your classes and faculty online and do so much more for you. Some institutions are making snap judgments they are going to regret in 3 to 6 months. Go with the team you know and trust to have deep industry experience and a nimble approach.

Why? Because the situation is going to continue to be fluid for quite a while. This is not a time to partner up with folks you are unsure of.

One more reality to consider: 

  • Assuming the world's visa process is turned back on for international travelers, are you going to allow international students to join you on campus this fall without a quarantine period? Will you make decisions based on where they are from? Wuhan? Seoul? But wait, what about an admitted student from Seattle or NYC? How will you communicate the safety of your campus environment to your students and their parents?

This situation will remain fluid for quite some time. Processes will need to adapt. Having nimble and trusted partners allows you to move forward with as much confidence as possible, knowing your team can adapt quickly and never questioning their motives. Our team truly has your best interests in mind.

The constant in the student journey

Students start their discovery process by asking a number of key questions. It starts with a, “What if?” exploration. There is a level of excitement for possibilities. It quickly turns to more concrete questions of:

  1. Do you have programs in my areas of interest? and
  2. Can I afford it?

The answers to these questions have ALL changed in just a few short weeks.

Our digital Town Hall meetings over the past few weeks have been invaluable sources of insight in navigating this unprecedented situation. The two resource and tip guides that accompanied them have been gobbled up. Fortunately, they are digital so we can make more of them instantly ; -)

You can access these valuable Resources and Tips PDFs, as well as recordings of both Town Hall meetings, at the end of this post. Read on. 

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Convene and Deliver the Plans

Hoping all of you are well and looking out at the horizon (physically and metaphorically).

Right now, there are so many angles to consider. From delivering on our education missions to providing safety to our student and our colleagues, there is just a lot to think about.

The participants at our first Town Hall last week asked for more. So we must deliver! A GREAT BIG SHOUT OUT to last week's amazing panelists – see photos above and list below.

And Now, "The New Abnormal" Town Hall #2: The Perish Economy

Let us help you demonstrate the survival and adaptation skills you are trying to instill in your students.

As of this month, we are living in a start now or perish economy.

Those institutions that move at their traditional pace will fall down, likely hard. Our next Town Hall will be this Thursday, March 26 from 10-11:30am Eastern Time.

Register Now

We will present this Town Hall in 3 sessions and our panel of experts will take your questions in this Ask Us Anything event:

  • 10-10:30am The Technology Platforms that matter and the features you need
  • 10:30-11am Recruiting and Admissions Processes that will deliver despite social distancing
  • 11-11:30am Digital Marketing Campaigns to attract and convert within a 25-mile radius or from 8,600 miles away.

All registrants will receive access to the full recording of Town Hall #1 held last week and all of the resources we shared with those who attended.

You know this about us: The Intead team has been evaluating edtech solutions and recruiting tools for the past 12 years. We’ve reported on student trend data (domestic and international) and provided free guidance on it all for the past decade, every week. We’ve launched recruitment campaigns targeting students around the corner and around the world.

We simply don’t stop thinking about this stuff. Read on for what we can do to help you move forward.

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The New Abnormal

Intead will hold a Town Hall on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 8:30am Eastern Time. We have a panel of experts with a world of travel and student experience under their belts. Please join us.

What’s this all about?

Every 2 – 3 days our situation changes, globally, domestically. And it changes dramatically. This is the new abnormal.

As one of our wise Intead Advisory Board members shared recently, there is BEST PRACTICE and then there is ACTUAL PRACTICE. Let’s all be real about what we can do and the fact that we put our best foot forward every day with good intent. In the new abnormal, best practice is going to be relative.

And putting our best foot forward is what we are all about right now. This is no time to become mired in anxiety and wait to act. Decisions need to be made quickly and in the face of massive ambiguity.

With campuses across the country and around the world continuing to pursue their education mission in new ways, we all have important ideas to share and new realities to adjust to. What better way to move forward than getting together…virtually, of course!

Register Now

NOTE: A recording of the webinar will be shared with all who register, whether or not you attend.

This is a not to be missed event.

Joining our Intead Team as Panelists, we are honored to bring you:

  • Jessica Sandberg, Dean of International Enrollment at Duke Kunshan University
  • David Fleshler, JD, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Case Western Reserve University
  • Seamus Harreys, VP, Global Enrollment at CIEE
  • Angel Ahmed, CEO of GNET
  • Ashish Fernando, Founder of iSchoolConnect

Read on. 

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Go with the Flow: The How of Nurturing Leads

The first day of spring, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, is only 15 days away (not like we’re counting or anything.) Those few extra minutes of sunlight and that fresh feeling in the air got us thinking…about gardening. Taking our minds off the non-stop Coronavirus news.

With much of the spring international education conference circuit on hold, you just might catch us spending a bit more time in wide-brim straw hats with a gardening trowel. ; -)

But there IS something about the art of gardening — selecting the right plants, planting them in the right soil, providing them with the appropriate sunlight, water and food, that strikes a chord in our little marketing hearts.

Yes, we’re talking about nurturing.

If we consider your student leads as your fledgling flowers, how are you tending to them? Are you providing them with individualized care tailored to their needs? And, most importantly, are you guiding them towards a pathway to growth, or in our case, enrollment?

We’ve already discussed the power of segmenting your pool of student leads on this blog, as well as outlined different methods to segment in order to effectively develop content strategy around prospective students’ areas of interest. These posts are a few of our most read over time, getting consistent new readers each month.

Now, an important aside about email marketing...if you are among those who say, "Email is dead. Students don't read email." That may be because you are not putting any content in your email worth reading. We ALL delete useless sales emails on sight.

Reality Check (based on data): When a student prospect is engaged, they read your email. The onus is on you to engage them.

Segmentation is the first step to nurturing effectively, so make sure you have those defined audiences in place before you focus on today’s article: The How of Nurturing Leads. We’ll be offering you concrete suggestions for structuring email nurturing campaigns, as well as how to efficiently strategize your email topics and deliverables. Read on. 

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International Strategy in the Time of Coronavirus: Longer-Term Thinking

In the past two weeks, since we posted our near-term thinking about student recruiting, enrollment, and the impact of the Coronavirus, a lot has happened. The advice we gave for institutions continues to hold. And now it is time to share some of our longer-term thinking.

Many of our readers are responsible for international student recruitment, enrollment, and student services. Other readers are in leadership roles with broader student enrollment responsibilities.

Intead has long been advocating for a diversified approach to enrollment growth beyond a focus on just international students -- advice on diversified approaches to enrollment strategy follows. Keep reading, and hang on to your hat…

A given: the virus represents a significant threat to international travel and the economy. This past week the APAIE 2020 conference scheduled for late March in Vancouver was postponed to 2021. Other education industry conferences have been cancelled as well. Some 200,000 international flights have been canceled since the virus outbreak. Academic administrators in Australia are taking the brunt of all the travel restrictions and challenges right now. The rest of us will be feeling it acutely this summer and fall and beyond.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, challenges do arise and when they do, we don’t get frustrated, we get focused. This is an important mindset in any scenario and especially important when your industry is suffering a significant shock.

A few quick assessment questions:

  • Do you have leaders who welcome big picture thinking?
  • Can you execute on your strategic plans?
  • Can you calculate the cost of putting your ideas into practice?
  • Can you provide market data to support your projected results?

Hopefully you answered, “Yes” to the first question (if not, you might be in the wrong place), and you think your answers to the next 3 questions are also, “Yes” (perhaps with the caveat that you’ll need some help to do it).

With this in mind, let’s dive into our longer-term thinking prompted by the latest threat to your student enrollment and revenue projections. Read on. 

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Is Your .edu Part of The IT Crowd?

A few years back, the business world faced an onslaught of new domain extensions. Companies formerly satisfied with their .com addresses suddenly had new options to choose from: .info, .biz, and the like. Even .cool made the scene. 

While the gold standard for academic sites has always been .edu, alternatives such as .college, .degree, .education, and .university present a new, distinctly 21st century challenge: how can you protect your institution from copycat sites?

More importantly, is it just brand management at stake, or does the availability of these domain names put your students’ privacy and online safety at risk?

There seem to be more #EdTech issues emerging every month. We're here to help make some sense of it all. When it comes to protecting your institution’s digital footprint in today’s ever-changing tech landscape, a bit of research and a thoughtful game plan can save you a great deal of headache. Today, we look at these digital hazards and make some concrete recommendations. Read on. 

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Adjusting Your Chinese Recruiting: 10 Insights to Guide Your Plan

This is going to be a long post with some really valuable insights. We hope you’ll grab some coffee and take time to skim through. This is important to you and your bottom line. You’ll want to share this with specific colleagues with a few highlights based on where the priorities are at your institution…

A word to the wise: people often remember most how you behave in a crisis.

The world of international student recruitment faces consistent challenges. At times they are huge, recall 9/11, and other times they are as small as the annoying intermittent WiFi access at your student recruitment fair in Istanbul.

The past decade has seen a range of significant challenges to your recruitment marketing plans and those challenges have been due to largely unanticipated causes.

  • 2008 brought us the global financial crisis. How bad was it? For a brief period, banks were too afraid to lend to each other!
  • 2015 brought us a new level of anti-immigrant rhetoric out of the US as the 2016 election cycle ramped up.
  • Not long after that, the new White House administration delivered the travel ban (aka the Muslim ban) among other changes to visa approvals.
  • Now the immediate and unexpected challenge of the Coronavirus coupled with an extension of the travel ban to a spate of new countries including Nigeria.

To quote a good friend and colleague, Angel Ahmed, CEO of GNET, “When things get challenging, we don’t get frustrated, we get focused.”

So, what’s an enrollment professional to do when unexpected and significant challenges are disrupting your marketing plans and your results? You’ve probably already given these challenges a lot of your time and thinking, but we know a second (or third) set of eyes is always helpful. Read on for ten concrete recommendations to focus you, Intead style.

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Breaking the Ice: What’s New with EdTech Accelerators?

Our calendar is full of conferences and events where we’re presenting on the latest education, recruitment, and EdTech trends. And if you’re familiar with these conference circuits, that means you’re also familiar with the mixing and mingling time. From coffee breaks to cocktail hours, and maybe even the line for the bathroom (hey, you never know where you’ll cross paths with a potential new contact), the networking opportunities are everywhere.

If you’d like to schedule some time to chat with us at your next conference stop, let us know HERE, and don’t hesitate to say hello if you spot one of us in line for the cheese and crackers.

And because you really shouldn't always lead your conversation starter with, “How about this weather we’re having?”, it’s important to have a few relevant industry soundbites in your back pocket to break the ice.

So, what’s a go-to hot topic right now that shows you are both worldly and in the know?

This just in from Singapore: there’s a new model for EdTech accelerators.

Read on to find out what’s happening in the EdTech acceleration space, how it is changing, and what might be coming soon to a cocktail hour conversation near you.

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Yes, Another Privacy Policy Update

Are Privacy Policies everyone’s favorite topic?

Not really. (Maybe a few legalese junkies out there get excited.)

Are there a lot of acronyms involved?

Yes. (Makes everything so much easier to understand, right?)

Is privacy compliance vitally important to your institution?

Absolutely. (The confluence of ethics, legal protections, and digital efficiency).

Back in 2018 with the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), our inboxes were full of privacy policy updates. While it was a nuisance to sort through the deluge of policy update emails from Facebook, Apple, and companies to whom we didn’t even remember signing away our personal information (ah, the 21st Century), these policy changes were even more of a headache for those who actually managed this personal data — college admissions departments, for example. Our introduction to GDPR has got you covered if you need a refresher on the basics of these regulations. 

Now there’s a new kid on the block: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which rolled out on January 1st, 2020. Fear not, the enforcement grace period through July 1st, 2020 means there’s still time to review your compliance with the new policies before they fully go into effect.

How does CCPA differ from GDPR, and what does it mean for your admissions department? Read on...

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Your Most Influential Recruiter Is Right in Front of You

A bustling campus: backpacks slung over shoulders, coffee cups and water bottles in hand. These thoughtful, exuberant, media-savvy students filling your hallways, classrooms, and online portals, THESE are your most powerful recruiting influencers.

Last month, Intead teamed up with Unibuddy and Northeastern University to present our research on Peer-to-Peer platforms as student recruitment tools at the AIRC Conference. The discussion was lively. So many questions and ideas emerged. And now that research, and the guidance it offers, is available to you.

Consider this: When deciding where to apply for university,

  • 57% of students said online conversations with an institution’s student ambassador were their most helpful resource. 
  • 47% said friends and family were their most helpful resource.

Read that again.

Current students were more important than friends and family.

First-hand student experiences established trust and that came through loud and clear in these conversations. This student connection is SO significant to the recruitment process.

Read on for more insights and to download the full report…

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