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Engaging Relationships – Best Practices in Sustainable Recruitment Partnerships


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With up to half of all international students using the professional services of an education agent, and private and public-sector use of external recruiters an established and growing trend, successful relationships between schools and their agent partners are key drivers in meeting institutional (and consequently national) recruitment targets - in number, diversity and quality of students.

From mutual on-boarding methodologies to the shared flexibility required to jointly manage the student recruitment process, a successful relationship between schools and agents is ultimately built on shared values with respect to student welfare and success.

ICEF Monitor addresses the foundations and cornerstones of agent-educator relationship management via a video interview with Uri Carnat, the Director of Client Relations and Business Development (Canada) for IDP Education.

For the accompanying article ''Agency-Educator relationship management: from on-boarding to sustainable recruitment partnerships'', please see:

For more industry news, market intelligence, research and commentary for international student recruitment please visit, subscribe for daily or weekly updates, and follow us on Twitter

Published in: Education, Travel, Technology
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Engaging Relationships – Best Practices in Sustainable Recruitment Partnerships

  1. 1. The ICEF North America Workshop - Toronto Engaging Relationships – Best Practices in Sustainable Recruitment Partnerships
  2. 2. Engaging Relationships – Best Practices in Sustainable Recruitment Partnerships Uri Carnat Director – Client Relations and Business Development (Canada)
  3. 3. Topics • Assumptions and premises • Brief Introduction to IDP • Contracts • On-boarding • Data processes • Communications • Sharing market data and support through geopolitical shifts 3
  4. 4. Assumptions and Premises (I) CASCADE OF THIS DISCUSSION • Recruitment partners (agents) play an important role in international education • Good agents and good schools are motivated foremost by their commitment to the well-being and success of their students • This commitment is best actualized when both parties understand their roles • Students are best-served when expectations of student, recruiter, and school are appropriately set and understood. • This is ensured by a successful relationship between schools and agents • How are these healthy relationships made and maintained? 4
  5. 5. Assumptions and Premises (II) YOU • Represent (for the most part) educational institutions • Currently work with recruitment partners • Know where to find them (ICEF) 5
  6. 6. Assumptions and Premises (III) THIS PRESENTATION • Not about research on why students use agents • Not data-driven on the use of agents around the world • Not measuring adoption trends in the public sector in Canada • Not about international standards-setting with respect to working with agents • Experienced-based presentation on good relationship-building practices based on time spent sitting on both sides of the ICEF table 6
  7. 7. IDP places students in English-speaking destinations SOURCE REGIONS Australasia South East Asia North Asia South Asia Middle East COUNTRY DESTINATION Australia New Zealand USA Canada United Kingdom Australasia North Asia South East Asia South Asia Middle East Australia New Zealand United Kingdom USA Canada IDP OFFICE LOCATIONS Australia Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Cambodia China Egypt Germany Hong Kong Jordan India Indonesia Korea (South) Kuwait Libya Malaysia Mauritius New Caledonia Oman Philippines Saudi Arabia Singapore Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Turkey United Arab Emirates Vietnam
  8. 8. IDP:IELTS runs English-language tests globally IDP IELTS Locations Australia Argentina Bangladesh Cambodia Canada Colombia Fiji Hong Kong India Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kenya Korea Kuwait Laos Libya Malaysia Mauritius Mexico Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Oman Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Qatar Russia Singapore Solomon Islands South Africa Sri Lanka Taiwan Thailand Timor Leste Tonga Ukraine United Arab Emirates United States of America Vanuatu Vietnam edonia and ew Guinea es e Islands ica •114 test centres and 200 test sites
  9. 9. • In total, IDP and British Council manage 500+ test centres and 800 locations • 1.9 million tests in 2012 Global IELTS
  10. 10. South-East Asian Language Schools English Language Teaching IDP runs leading English Language schools in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand Over 10,000 students per year graduate from an IDP Language School
  11. 11. IDP is one of the largest international education events companies Events IDP runs over 150 educational events around the world and brings students and institutions together IDP co-hosts the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC), a leading conference for international education professionals IDP organises an international ESOL conference, CamTESOL, held annually in Cambodia
  12. 12. IDP’s journey to understand the student experience Outcomes and Impacts of International Education: International Student to Graduate (2008) IDP Customer Value Analysis (2008) IDP Brand Positioning Research (2009-10) Buyer behaviour of active prospects, current students and alumni (2009) International Student Attitudes - One year on from the 2009 Buyer Behaviour study (2010) IDP Student Buyer Behaviour across the main English Speaking Destination Countries (2012) IDP Student Satisfaction (every 6 months)
  13. 13. Relationship Management: Contracts (I) • Don’t define day-to-day relationships • Result can be contracts that are treated with not enough seriousness • Either signed without enough attention by both sides as to how the responsibilities will be fulfilled • Or institutional contracts without flexibility or clarified institutional amendment pathways.
  14. 14. Relationship Management: Contracts (II) • Exclusivities • Intellectual property clauses • Amendment clauses • Renewals process • Affiliates and Sub-Agents • Payment procedures • Indemnifications and Liability limits • Taking into account the different levels of exposure
  15. 15. Relationship Management: On-boarding UNDERSTAND • How your information is housed with your agent partner • How counsellors use and access this information? • Who from your institution is responsible for providing this information • Demonstrations of the student-counsellor experience using your information • What is the cyclical update process? • What is the ongoing verification system that your information is being used accurately? • Alignment of recruiter and school orientations 15
  16. 16. Relationship Management: Data Processing Cascade Common Issues • Manner in which applications are submitted • Flexibility on both sides • Provincial systems for public, post-secondary registrations • Visibility on recruitment steps before students enrol • Cancellations • Systems for documenting cancellations – why and for whom? • Privacy documents standards
  17. 17. Relationship Management: Communications • Have you defined an annual communication cycle for your agencies? • Have they defined one for you? • Components include: • Clarification of responsibilities within the institution • Program updates • Ongoing re-training • Meeting schedules – virtual and in-person • In-country representation • Student-services feedback • Strong communications = strong relationships 17
  18. 18. Relationship Management: Strategic Planning • Part of the annual communication cycle • Standardized for all partners • Summary of the previous year’s work • Future expectations • Shared marketing plans • Market information • Financial-year planning cycles
  19. 19. Relationship Management: Regional Issues and Geopolitical Shifts • Series of opportunities and vulnerabilities • Schools and agents are differently exposed • Sharing emerging trends • Program Interest • Destination changes • Emerging Destinations • Steady Regional Issues: Hong Kong, Venezuela • Shifts: Korea, Libya, India, Taiwan 19
  20. 20. Summary • Value or need in using recruitment partners • Shared values with respect to student welfare and success • This relationship has a life-cycle, both linear and circular • Some key stages – contracts, on-boarding, data-processes, communications, and the sharing of market data • Relationships as time-intensive investments • Benefits shared by all, especially and ultimately our students
  21. 21. Engaging Relationships – Best Practices in Sustainable Recruitment Partnerships Uri Carnat Director – Client Relations and Business Development (Canada)