Opening the discussion about hiring agents: Do’s and Don’ts
Involving agents in the student recruitment process always starts as an idea. The tricky part is how this idea turns into reality!
This week we’ve been talking a lot about approaching and tackling this complex process. It requires knowledge, diplomacy and strong negotiation skills, as you need to get the green light from more than one party!
How to run the presentation about hiring recruitment agents?
Let’s say you are confident that hiring agents is the right step for your university. Now, you will have to formally present your suggestion to your colleagues, managers and other decision-making staff. Most of them will definitely mention at least a couple – or maybe even all 5 – top concerns regarding the subject, and we already outlined some helpful arguments to tackle that.
Right now we wish to focus on something else: some general rules for opening and generating a favourable discussion.
Share the recruitment strategy and discuss the student profile
Use the meeting as an opportunity to inform all stakeholders about your current international recruitment strategy and all related preparations. It doesn’t matter if they will eventually approve your idea or not. Their opinion will be extremely valuable anyway.
Address the concerns before someone else does it
You already know the main problems and issues that your colleagues will raise. Discussing them openly is a sign that you thought about the risks and evaluated them. It also means that you are ready to take the right actions if necessary.
Back up everything with recommendations and success stories
Of course, as an international education professional, you know this already. We focus a lot on the importance of research – and discussion with other stakeholders is a great opportunity to demonstrate you did your homework.
If possible, bring in a trusted agent to make a presentation
If a picture can tell a thousand words, then an agent is worth a whole album! At the very least meeting a real agent will be informative and useful for everyone, no matter what the final decision will be. The agent will present current trends in international student recruitment and will answer stakeholders questions directly.
Do not try to dodge the hard questions
Nothing sounds more untrustworthy than a person who doesn’t want to discuss possible issues. You must have your answers for the tough question, but if the preparation is not sufficient – don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know the answer.