Inspiring Students throughout the Recruitment Process

Inspiring Students throughout the Recruitment ProcessI’ve been interviewing college students for more that 20 years and one question I always ask is, “What made you choose this particular institution?” The most consistent response (by far) goes something like this: “Once I visited campus I just knew. It felt right.”

When questioned further the student will inevitably reveal the deeper truth: it’s the people. Somewhere along the line, the student felt not only welcomed, but inspired by community members.

As one student recently told me, “The people I met on campus seemed real and that made me think I could succeed there.”

“Real, how?” I asked. “In what sense?”

“They were like me and people I know,” he said, “but they were doing all these interesting things.”

What the student is referring to here is inspiration. He was inspired by the possibilities the university offered and he could see himself achieving his goals there —that’s the “sweet spot” recruitment marketers want and need!

The challenge is how to inspire students throughout the long recruitment process (especially when COVID has eliminated on-campus visits). Luckily, higher education is perfectly positioned to do so by identifying and promoting its unique success story

Every institution has its own success story, which offers a treasure trove of human-inspired material for recruitment marketing. I think of it as a school’s “Big Story,” reflecting its core strengths and the impact it has had on the lives of its constituents.

A school’s success story is cultivated from institutional research and interviews with successful students, alumni, and faculty. The content is adaptable to various forms (viewbook, web text, emails, texts, video, social media, etc.); it should be featured in all marketing materials and in every phase of the admissions funnel.

This storytelling approach succeeds on multiple levels because it is:

  • Authentic, peer-to-peer marketing (what today’s students trust)
  • Unique to each institution
  • Psychologically & emotionally engaging

Want to tell your school’s success story? We can help. Contact us to learn more.

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