Leveraging the Web to Recruit Graduate StudentsGraduate Program Directors Retreat October 14, 2011
Recruitment Tactics• Mailings (print and electronic) – Student inquiries – Department chairs at other universities – Colleagues in the field• GRE Name Purchases – By score, geography, academic interest• Posters – Previous employers of graduates – University career centers• Open Houses and Information Sessions – On- and off-campus
Most Effective Tactics?Recruitment Type Average Perceived Effectiveness*Website (n = 247) 2.67Local/State Recruiting Events (n = 228) 2.19Regional Recruiting Events (n = 164) 1.91On-Campus Career Fairs (n = 145) 1.88National Recruiting Events (n = 150) 1.78International Recruiting Events (n = 66) 1.74Off-Campus Career Fairs (n = 143) 1.71*Where: 3 = Highly Effective; 2 = Somewhat Effective; 1 = Not Very Effective; 0 = Dont KnowAverage is calculated for all responses that rated event between 1 and 3; "0" (dont know) and no response are not included in the average. NAGAP Recruiting Survey by The National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP), released in 2006.
Student Expectations62.4% of prospective Graduate Students would rather look at a websiteabout a graduate program than read brochures sent in the mail.What they look for most: Importance rank (5 = extremelyCategory important)Graduate program detail 4.77Assistantship/scholarship information 4.62Financial aid information 4.57Assistantship opportunities and information 4.4Tuition/cost/fees 4.38Length of time to complete program 4.35Connections with employers or career services 4.18Details on faculty 4.03 "Advanced Degrees of E-Recruitment: The E-Expectations of Prospective Graduate Students,“ 2007 Noel-Levitz, Inc.
Optimize Your Web PresenceWays to:2. Drive prospects to your department’s website3. Give them better online experiences • Incorporate social media4. Measure successRecognizing:• You have limited time, staffing & budgetary resources• You may have staff with limited skills in web design & maintenance• Untapped student resources?
1. Drive Students to Your Website• Web Banner Advertisements – GraduateGuide.com, etc.• Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Google Ad Words• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Number of visits – Content on the page (keywords) – Meta Tags (hidden)• Social Media
Student & Faculty Blogs• Authentic voices• Interactive with comments• New content & new webpages (great for SEO)
2. Improve Web Experiences• What resources does your department’s website offer prospective students?• How strong and noticeable are the calls to action (APPLY! VISIT!)?• Are prospective students getting to the right webpages?• How frequently is new content posted?• How are prospective students finding your website? – SB University Homepage? – Publication? – Google? – Graduate Search Website?
3. Measure Success• Free• Simple Installation• Easy to Use