International Student Recruitment: How To Do It Right?
Has your university recently discovered that student recruitment agents could be an option for international student recruitment? Are you considering use of agent services but still have loads of questions on where exactly to start?
Well, count yourself lucky, because today we want to share with you a simple checklist: what to do and when to do it when it comes to working with international student recruitment agents?
Be clear with your intentions and determine whether you actually need an agent
Working with an agent solves certain problems but requires for additional resources and time. Therefore, before you start working with an agent, check if you actually need one.
Triple check your processes
Even the best student recruitment agent cannot sell a university that has poor ratings by former students or is well known for low-quality education. Before recruiting through an agent, make sure that your students are content and open to sharing their stories about their positive experience at your university.
Get everyone on the same page
If your international student department think they need an agent, this most likely means they have made some research about it. However, do your leadership and other departments know about this? What is more, do they see the value of it? First of all, you have to see how your team can be more involved into recruiting. Make sure that all relevant stakeholders are aware why you are pushing this decision. A meeting presenting the options and pointing out the possible ROI will definitely have a positive impact.
Determine the budget and KPIs
Nobody gets an agent just for the fun of it. Make sure you know the exact budget you are willing to invest and the key performance indicators. Then, divide your KPIs into short-term (How many students you want to get from which countries?) and long-term (What is your retention rates? Was that a good match for both the university and the student?). Do not forget that the investment will include not only commission for the agency but also time your staff will be spending working with agents and prospective students. You will also need to update your promotional materials and advertising budget (both for digital and print).
Select the right team
Most of the success of working with an agent comes from within the university. Don’t forget that student recruitment agents are not miracle workers. They cannot find determined international students if they don’t have access to appropriate marketing materials and student counselling services that could show students real stories from the university. Pick those people who are well-informed about the university and interested in working with remote teammates.
Tell us your story of starting to work with a student recruitment agent in the comments!