We've made a strong claim in that title, so let us start by explaining what we mean by "good enough". That way, you can judge for yourself. A successful strategy:
- Is led by user-generated content (or in this case, ambassador-generated);
- Makes it easy for ambassadors to contribute across multiple platforms;
- Allows you to track and measure your recruitment efforts;
- Prioritizes digital engagement;
- Helps you reach audiences you've traditionally struggled to engage.
If your strategy isn't doing all of those things — and doing them seamlessly — then you've got a opportunity to make meaningful improvements. Here's why each of those bullet points matter.
1. Prioritizing user-generated content
In the comparable world of employment, when finding out about a role, candidates trust a company's employees three times more than the company itself.
The same is true for higher education. 89 percent of prospective students would rather hear what current students have to say about life at an institution. If your recruitment strategy doesn't have student ambassadors front-and-center, you're missing an opportunity to engage prospective students in a language they understand.
If your institution is new to user-generated content or you want some ideas to kickstart your next content calendar, check out this blog for inspiration.
2. Lowering the barrier to outreach
You may already recognize the importance of a student-led recruitment strategy. That's a valuable first step. It won't get you far if it's difficult for ambassadors to create content across your websites and social media platforms, though.
"Random acts of outreach" don't constitute a mature recruitment strategy.
Consolidate your content creation, strategize and schedule on a unified platform, and it's far easier to achieve consistency. Experience Communication Management (XCM) platforms, like TAP, provide student ambassadors with a single, centralized outlet to submit any and all content. This removes a significant hurdle to communication.
3. Tracking and measuring success
XCM platforms don't just increase content output — they offer insights into which content is getting the best results. It's a strong argument for a "digital-first" recruitment strategy that revolves around a unified platform. You can find success without one, but you won't know which channels are worth investing time in, and which are less valuable.
It also allows you to tailor content to individual applicants, track their progress through your recruitment funnel and identify areas for improvement. A scattershot approach doesn't account for individuals, and makes tracking applicants an unwieldy, resource-heavy process. Automate as much as possible, and your team can focus on making educated changes to your recruitment strategy, instead.
4. Casting a wider net
To pursue a more diverse candidate pool, it's important to meet different demographics where they congregate. The vast majority of prospective students will likely never get the opportunity to visit your campus, so relying on a program that's weighted towards in-person engagements excludes a lot of people.
With a centralized XCM platform, you can spread your content net wider without increasing workloads. Find out where underserved demographics are most likely to encounter you, and make sure you're posting there. We know it works, because we've seen it first-hand.
What good enough looks like
Modern recruitment strategies are simple, and they're intelligent. Wherever possible, engagement activities should be consolidated on a single platform. That platform should be able to track your success and offer actionable insights. Streamlining your strategy won't just reduce unnecessary spending, confusion and workloads. It'll net you more students, from more backgrounds, and who are likely to be a great fit for your institution.