A serious question for you: what should your recruitment team and The Avengers have in common?
We hope your answer isn’t fashion sense, although if you’ve been wearing capes to any student fairs recently, that’s certainly one way to attract attention!
The Avengers know the secret to a powerful team: skill diversity. As you build your own roster of recruitment superheroes, it is important to consider the specific “superpowers” needed to be effective at each stage of the recruitment funnel. And yes, each stage is different. Ensuring that you have the right staff member in the right place at the right time will be paramount to achieving your enrollment goals.
Having just returned from the ICEF and AIRC conference conversations in December, we feel compelled to consider your staffing needs. Do you have the right people in the right seats with the right skills?
So, what are these superpowers, you ask?
We’ve created a helpful infographic to guide you through team roles and needed skills at each stage of the funnel. Use it to assess your own team structure and identify areas for professional development. Keep this funnel in mind as you draft job descriptions and make hiring decisions and remember to consider both the hard and soft skills new team members may bring to the table.
Avengers assemble! And read on…
Recruitment Heroes: Magnetic Marketers
The recruitment stage is all about encouraging student inquiry and generating brand awareness to develop high-quality leads. It’s at this stage that conventional marketing skills, including market research, persona development, analytics and writing are essential as you create audience-specific, compelling short-form recruiting content (think one-pagers, digital ads and web content). Your recruiters should also be able to activate their marketing brains offline as they actively engage with agents, partners and prospective applicants.
Don’t underestimate the importance of IT and digital fluency at this stage either, as your international recruiting efforts increasingly rely on marketing automation and CRM tools to effectively manage leads.
Need some superpowered marketing backup? Our team is always here to help: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Heroes: Eagle-Eyed Engagers
As your team aims to convert best-fit students, the next phase of the recruitment funnel requires strong cross-cultural sensitivity and an aptitude for student outreach, encouragement and engagement.
While essential at every stage of the funnel, strong organizational skills will serve your team particularly well in this phase as they track, monitor and process application documents, ensuring that potential applicants have all the resources they need for a (relatively) stress-free application process. We have yet to identify a superpower that can take all the stress out of university applications.
Enrollment Heroes: Magical Mentors
Students recruited, applications submitted, mission accomplished, right? Alas, a hero’s work is never done. Once admitted students have successfully enrolled, the next quest begins — ensuring student retention and success. Future-focused mentors are crucial at this stage to provide both encouragement and support to students.
These staff members should have the business development instincts to build and foster a strong employer network that provides students with diverse career and internship opportunities. Strong social leadership and event planning skills are also essential to inspire and activate your alumni network, ensuring future post-graduation support for new graduates and positive word-of-mouth marketing for your institution.
Your Mission? Your Students
We’ve covered some of the specific skills needed at each stage of the recruitment funnel, but you might have noticed one constant: communication. Whether connecting with agents, partners or employers, the one superpower that unites your increasingly global team is your collective ability to foster strong relationships around the world.
And the most important relationship of all? Why, that’s with your students, of course. And while it might sound obvious, keeping them at the center of your recruitment and retention strategy will ensure that all of your team members are united and working toward a common mission.
At each stage of the funnel, ask yourself: What exactly do students want? What do they need? How can I use my skills to assuage their fears and ultimately, encourage their success both at my institution and beyond? With a powerful mission and a super-powered team, you’ll be ready to take on whatever enrollment challenges you may face — capes optional.