+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us                                                                                                                                                             

Recruiting Intelligence

Ben Waxman

Fishing in a Gale

Even in the best of conditions, commercial fishing is a really tough job. You can’t always be sure of a catch in the first place. The work requires specialized equipment, a strong constitution, a team that works well together, patience, and an ability to read the signs. And even with all that in place, there is still no guarantee of success. 

And then, there is fishing in a gale.

Your boat is being knocked about. Your footing is unsure. There are a host of really challenging external conditions to navigate while your team continues to work with the equipment and do the important job of catching the fish.

External conditions cannot set you back!

You see where I’m going with this, right?

Right now, your enrollment managers and admissions reps are all fishing in a gale. We all are. Our institutions are counting on us to produce the catch that will keep everything afloat. Current conditions cannot set us back. And yet…there is no guarantee of a catch.

Some days, the fish simply are not biting. They only want to nibble (as Google search and click trends may indicate).

Enough with the metaphor, here are our top tips to enroll your incoming 2020 cohort and work toward your enrollment goals for 2021.

Read on for tips to produce the catch even on a bad day. (ok, so we are still using the metaphor).

Read More

30 Global Turnkey Campuses

In our conversations with students, we hear a clamoring for certainty.

We’re betting you hear it too. Stick with us here, we’ve got two solid options to present to you. Doing this right will get your current and prospective students singing your praises all over the internet.

The set up: we can see already that the larger mechanisms for fall enrollment – from visa processing to so many other factors – are delayed at best. Intead is talking to a number of institutions that understand our new realities and are taking their student first philosophies to a new level.

In hearing from university presidents about all of the very real administrative machinations that make our new abnormal SO incredibly challenging for institutions, some are saying, “That’s not your problem, its ours.

That right there is innovation speaking. That is institutional leaders understanding why they have their jobs in the first place.

The opposite is also happening. Telling your students (domestic or international) to “wait and see” is not putting your students first and it is not a competitive advantage.

Institutions explaining why they cannot meet students’ (and families’) demands for certainty because of cumbersome internal bureaucracies and systems, well, those institutions will reap what they sow. In this crisis, the nimble (or rich) survive.

Giving students concrete options to move forward right now is where you want to be. Acting now to offer a clear plan for students to maintain their track toward graduation and do more than remote learning programs will cement more of your student relationships for the next four years.

Read on for two specific paths that will serve your international and domestic students in ways that will preserve their graduation timetable and your tuition revenue stream.

Read More

The Student Journey Re-Imagined

Customer journey mapping is an important thing as you build a digital marketing plan. How do customers first become aware of your brand? What do they consider along the way? What can you deliver to them to speak convincingly to those considerations?

We’ve done quite a few posts about micro-conversions (from our NAFSA session last year - among other posts). The idea is that you give your digital prospects the information they want at the right time to take them to the next step or next consideration in the process. You don’t just push the “apply now” button at the get go.

So, with all that is going on with enrollment issues right now, why are we talking about customer journey mapping? Because the decision-making process for your students – both prospective and current, both international and domestic – has changed. A lot.

This is the right time to re-consider how your digital marketing (website, ads, social media) are speaking to your many student segments about what you have to offer, before they defer for the next year and the connection you’ve worked so hard to create dissipates and then disappears, along with the tuition payments.

Read on for tips and perspective on why this is so important.

Read More

Explain Digital Marketing To Your Colleagues (to justify your budget)

Your focus these past few weeks been a bit off? It’s not just me?

There have been a few more distractions than usual as we all try to get our work done. Still, there are important decisions to be made and the reality is, in our line of work, we truly do make a difference for a heck of a lot of people. Not quite on par with our amazingly dedicated healthcare providers and food supply chain workers. 

Still, helping students adjust to the academic experience that just went kablooey has its place.

The Intead team has been offering a lot of very specific perspective and advice to salvage enrollment numbers and stabilize institutional revenue streams. These are the underpinning of your faculty doing what they do, so that your students can do what they do. We are all connected.

This post has a lot to do with building collaborative teams and advocating for your department budget.

We hope you are taking time to read our recent blog posts and finding some good food for thought in there to support your student marketing initiatives. Now is definitely the time to innovate. And since so much of that student recruitment work is going to be digital, we thought it might be helpful if we gave you a great shareable infographic that simplifies the whole digital marketing process.

Sometimes, we find that the broad university teams we are working with includes colleagues who are not steeped in the digital marketing processes that we swim in every day. We thought you might find yourself in that situation more often than you’d like. Use the graphic below in your reports, in your slide decks, in your emails to those who approve your budget...

Read on for our practical ideas to help you stay focused and build broad team collaboration (and perhaps help you justify the budget request to make your digital marketing succeed).

Read More

New Revenue Sources: Your Success Depends on It

How does a university facing reduced enrollment find new sources of revenue? Let's get specific. 

There are a number of answers to this question. And they hinge a bit on how much time your institution has. Is this need for diversified sources urgent, as in, “Let’s get a new program out there this summer to increase fall enrollment”? Or do you have funds (endowment or reserves) to draw upon for the next year to weather the storm, allowing new revenue sources to be developed more slowly?

Either way, the response will require speed -- not a strong suit for academic institutions in general. And it requires a level of nimble creativity and well-coordinated collaboration. These are hard combinations to pull together. But mostly, it is the compressed length of time to bring a new idea to market that will likely be your biggest challenge.

With this post we are offering a range of ideas for new academic programs that you can offer to students across the country and around the world. For the most part, these are all programs that you can create from what you have on hand already. There’s a bit of repackaging and rebranding required. And an innovative delivery system. But it can all be done in the time you have available.

What’s the catch? Why haven’t you done this before? Well…

To succeed at this, you must have support from the those at the top and the ability to innovate. Easier said than done. But now your success depends on just that — getting it done. 

Want to find a way to fill the looming holes in your revenue streams? Our recommendations and tips follow.

This is not for the feint of heart. Buckle up and read on.

Read More

Full On Armchair Student Recruiting Has Arrived

We're coining a new phrase here: COVID Caveat. As in, “Yes, I’ll join your Zoom meeting next Tuesday morning…COVID Caveat.”

There’s so much change that we are all facing right now. It's hard to predict what will happen this Tuesday, much less this fall. Still, there is a bunch of data out there that, taken together, makes a clear case for what this fall will look like for academia.

The information below is seriously valuable to your enrollment planning. And technology will play such a huge role. Thankfully, the tools are available to take your student recruiting entirely digital until everyone is traveling again and recruitment fairs are back in business -- Digital Student Orientation, anyone?

Look, China, 4 months into this thing, has yet to re-open any universities due to concerns about bringing people together from many places. If you want to travel (business or pleasure) between Shanghai and Beijing, you have a 14-day quarantine before you can move about the new city. As leaders, we need to be thinking about the near-term and much farther out. And we need data from many sources to make good decisions. 

Your students will not be showing up on campus this fall. Below we provide the data and thinking that justifies that radical thought. We are demonstrating the broad and deep industry insight that the Intead team brings to our clients every day, along with the ability to execute on the plans.

Our primary take away: putting all your classes online is simply not enough if you want to compete with all the options students will be considering this fall. How and what you use to attract, nurture and then deliver an education to your students online needs to improve, a lot, and fast.

From our point of view, when you boil it all down (and maybe spritz it with some bleach spray), these are your essential imperatives:

  1. Deliver on your education mission to your students, your community and the world, and
  2. Maintain a student enrollment base that allows you to continue to operate.

You're going to need to be versatile and act fast. The only way large organizations pull that off is by hiring smaller, nimble agencies. You know this, but you can ask your business professors for confirmation based on case studies.

Read on for how we think this all plays out in the near-term and longer-term and what we think you ought to be doing about it. Quickly.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

When We Gather, We Improve

I’m here at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference with nearly 28,000 of my best friends who all REALLY appreciate nerd humor. They are wicked smart and doing things that make all of our lives so much better. It's all about the science.

This is a collection of very studious folks from all over the world. More than 40% of SfN’s ~37,000 members hail from countries beyond US borders. And when they all gather to discuss their science, they are representing academic institutions and other research-focused entities from just about everywhere.

Among them are Principal Investigators, post-docs, grad and undergraduate students. And they represent all those institutions where the next set of neuroscience graduates will one day work. Yes, research leads to careers.

There is so much youthful energy here. So many students developing their careers alongside luminaries in the field.

Sitting in on neuroscience lectures is far different than the digital marketing sessions I usually participate in. Soon, I'll be applying my cortex and synaptic activity to student recruitment marketing again -- a much more familiar topic ; -)

This December, the Intead team will be attending the TABS conference on private boarding high schools, ICEF North America and AIRC all about international student recruitment. We hope you will find time to escape your desk and breakroom and join us. We will learn together and improve together. Send us an email if you’d like to find time for a coffee together.

Read on to download our Intead Index on conferences in our field. We’d welcome your input as this index needs updating. Where do you find value when you attend an industry conference? Please let us know by adding to the comments below.

Read More