With the ever-increasing pressures on HE Student Recruitment teams to attract and convert applications from the brightest and best UK and International students, the numbers of creative campaigns and new initiatives being imagined are many. HE institutions rightly want their recruitment activities to communicate and reflect their vision and priorities. Whether it’s reaching out to gifted school aged Widening Participation students with an offer of the all-important financial support to unlock the door to study at undergraduate level, or campaigns to attract underrepresented international target markets with offers of scholarships, Student Recruitment teams are always busy dreaming up fresh ways to attract students and achieve their ambitious targets.
Sometimes, though, a lot of hard work and cross-department planning time for Student Recruitment and associated teams doesn’t end up delivering the students to take up the available scholarships. The costs associated with developing and marketing new recruitment initiatives, including the regular presence at recruitment fairs globally, can easily escalate and eat up precious outreach budgets. If at the end of that journey the campaign doesn’t deliver, this poses a significant problem for return on investment.
digital dialogue not only has the potential to improve student experience and be budget relieving, but can also capture and return data…
Experience shows that dialogue is critical to reaching potential students, particularly when there is a perceived barrier to access. Now that communicating with anyone, almost anywhere, on any device is possible, potential students are instinctively expecting that kind of easy dialogue to be available, and right now. A potential Widening Participation or international student, who may not bring confidence to the application stage, will be hugely relieved to find that provision has been made to nurture them through the process, offering regular opportunities for them to engage in online conversation, getting a behind-the-scenes insight into life at X institution – and the support available there – with students who have been through the same things, and with staff who are there to signpost and help.
Where possible, each opportunity for dialogue will also have the potential to be anonymous and conducted as a group chat where there are shared barriers or concerns, or 121 where that feels more appropriate. The technology used for dialogue should also be capable of offering chatbots so that processes in the recruitment cycle – such as Clearing – can be automated without diminishing the candidate experience. This kind of digital dialogue not only has the potential to improve student experience and be budget (and staff-time) relieving, but can also capture and return data to the Student Recruitment and Marketing teams, to inform future outreach campaigns, for maximum future impact.
If you are interested in understanding more about Meet & Engage and how we can support your Student Recruitment activities with live chat and group chat, or your Admissions team with their Clearing activities via our chatbot, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to help.