(Part 1 in a series of 8, exploring Falmouth University’s ‘Recruit’ strategy.)
In the context of universities seeking students, recruitment is a series of steps which must be fulfilled in order for the process to complete. In many ways, this is similar to ‘UX goal funneling’ used in online shops: how to get the customer to the store, direct them to what they want to buy, complete the checkout and ensure they return. Students can leave at any step during recruitment, so by identifying what those steps are and recording when they leave (if they do); a metric indicating economic effort can be calculated.
First a couple of ‘home-truths’. In social: “…the more you sell, the less you sell.” “If you deserve likes, you will get them.” “You earn the right to occasionally promote, by informing and interesting your audience.”
Study here! It’s so good students like to work at night!
Hard-sell spamming in social channels leads to automatic failure. You have to be interesting, original and if possible, witty. You’re competing on a par with peoples’ friends, colleagues, families and idols. A tough lineup to be sure, so you’ll need developed skills and tools to draw upon. Financial institutions are already referring to the next wave of social media growth as ‘reputation management’. If you have a positive reputation, you have much to lose, so care is increasingly taken when communicating. Banks are in the daily business of assessing risk, and recognise this social measure of ‘reputation’ as predictable, sustainable and consequently: valuable. Your ability to influence is based on your reputation, which in turn is built on a slow trickle of consistency.
Being human, attentive, ‘not too saccharine’, witty, wise, humble, interesting, informative, reliable, independent – a friend, rather than a corporation – will all positively enhance your reputation.
You’re not trying to influence ‘bottom line’ directly, but indirectly through humanist appeal. This is doubly true regarding universities, where the aim is to nurture and grow talented individuals. If you’re caring, informed, interesting and sound ‘real’, you won’t have to explain this to prospective students; they’ll connect the dots by themselves.
Next post: Part 2 – ‘The Recruitment Funnel’.