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Building a Strong Recruitment Strategy During Uncertain Times


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Building a Strong Recruitment Strategy During Uncertain Times

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Building a Strong Recruitment Strategy During Uncertain Times

  1. 1. Building a Strong Recruiting Strategy During Uncertain Times
  2. 2. 2 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Fred A. Pereira, Ph.D. Associate Professor Director, Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Development Robert Stephens, MNM Associate Director, Graduate School Admissions
  3. 3. 3 Baylor College of Medicine–Who are we? Located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston A million square feet of research space A Learning Health System: School of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences School of Health Professions National School of Tropical Medicine
  4. 4. 4 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences by the Numbers: ~600 Ph.D. students 50/50 gender split 33% international 67% domestic 16% underrepresented in science & medicine <6-year average time to degree
  5. 5. 5 Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Programs Ph.D. Cancer & Cell Biology Clinical Science Training Program Chemical, Physical, & Structural Biology Development, Disease Models, & Therapeutics Genetics & Genomics Immunology & Microbiology Neuroscience Quantitative & Computational Biosciences Master’s & CAQ Clinical Science Training Program Others M.D.-Ph.D. Post-Bac (PREP) Summer Undergraduate Research Training (SMART)
  6. 6. 6 Previous Recruiting Process Field of Dreams Mentality “If you build it, they will come!” No tangible recruitment strategy or clear streamlined admissions process 12 programs operating in silos Weak relationship with BCM central marketing team Sparse recruiting event and annual activities No collaboration between diversity/summer program and GSBS admissions Website not engaging or attractive Under- utilization of previous admissions data
  7. 7. 7 The Landing Page–2016
  8. 8. 8 Challenges & Barriers No CRM Limited marketing/advertising budget Website platform limitations No undergraduate feeder population Large market GRE requirement Program transformation Obligations to NIH / funding agencies Top 25 biomed competition
  9. 9. 9 Identify main competitors Identify markets for recruitment Texas–20% of apps/matriculates California–2nd after Texas Advisor connections important Half of applicants discover us through their advisors & mentors (Google Search second) Research Fit Main reason for declining offer Capacity Increase overall and diversity applications Existing Data Review
  10. 10. 10 BCM Marketing/Communications Focus Group Analyses (2016) Faculty/Staff • Difficult competition • Perception of Houston • GSBS does not have a recruitment strategy • Offer letter too slow • Brand recognition (distance from Baylor U) • Lack of advertising faculty research/awards • Limited recruitment outreach to other institutions • Goal to increase admissions pool and quality Students • Website difficult to navigate • Faculty research • Want to know more about outcomes of the programs and career planning • Some felt BCM did not try ‘hard enough’ to recruit them • Students come to BCM for the following: Research quality Faculty Texas Medical Center/resources Collaborative environment Undergraduate advisor recommendation
  11. 11. 11 Focus Group Plan 1. Develop a strategic communications plan • Improve website • Amplify the BCM brand • Use tools such as Google analytics to measure effectiveness 2. Collaborate recruitment efforts across programs and departments 3. Develop better relationships with undergraduate institutions and advisors for recruitment • Establish feeder school pipelines
  12. 12. 12 Messaging Maps Based on common themes found in the focus group Messages to be spread through all communications (web, print, comm. plan, etc.) 4 main themes: •Resources •Outcomes •Collaboration •Research
  13. 13. 13 Messaging Maps–Resources Research Resources to Support Your Success TMC Largest medical complex in the world Top ranked research centers and hospitals Extensive collaborations between member institutions Funding & Space #20 NIH funding and 1st in TX $426 million in research funding in 2016 $302.6 from federal sources >1 million sq. ft. of research space on main campus 250,000 sq. ft. of additional space throughout TMC Advanced Technology Cores 26 state of the art instrumentation and technology labs Training, consultation, data analysis offered Collaborative Centers Cross traditional scientific divides Seminars and workshops open to all GSBS students
  14. 14. 14 Whatever your career goals, you will be following a path well worn by BCM alumni IDP Provides organization for thinking about and planning for future careers Encourages discussion with mentors Career Development Center Workshops, seminars, internships Counseling, mentorship Networking Student groups and associations Broader TMC community Alumni stories Quotes Positions held and awards received by alumni Messaging Maps–Outcomes
  15. 15. 15 Messaging Maps–Collaboration Highly collaborative research environment Examples of studies that cross multiple disciplines and department Interdisciplinary centers and programs Quotes from students and alumni
  16. 16. 16 Messaging Maps–Research Proven track record of impactful research Rankings/Awards 2016: Nature named BCM second-fastest growing research institution in North America Ranked among 50 most innovative universities in the world Faculty Awards and Honors Research News Media coverage From the Labs Historical Contributions Research Achievements
  17. 17. 17 New Initiatives–Website New Look & Feel • Better navigation/calls to action • New inquiry form • Research/Faculty Highlights • Display Outcomes • Student Voices Personas • Revamped Admissions Page
  18. 18. 18 RFI/Inquiry Form
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20 Outcomes
  21. 21. 21 Student Voices Personas
  22. 22. 22 New Initiatives Communication Plan Targeted pieces sent out from July – December Audience: prospects, applicants, and UG advisors Contained elements of messaging maps Utilization of Google Analytics •Impact of specific messaging Print Revised viewbook & summer research brochure Diversity/Inclusion brochure Redesigned Program Inserts New banners utilizing messaging maps
  23. 23. 23 E-Blast Examples Houston Outcomes
  24. 24. 24 E-blast ResultsGoogle Analytics
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. 27 New Initiatives–Targeted Recruiting Events Coordinated recruiting calendar of graduate admissions with summer program and diversity offices Average over 20 recruitment events/presentations in the fall since 2017 Target schools in Texas visited multiple times Blend of career and graduate fairs Focus on Bio/Life Sciences Visits to HBCUs and HSIs Focus on Advisor/Mentor Relationships Presentations to various institutions California visits 6 visits in 2 years
  28. 28. 28 Lead Generation and Advertising  Facebook and Instagram Advertising  postcard campaign  GRE Search Service  Disability Recruitment  Advertising at the AHEAD Conference  Outreach to disability coordinators
  29. 29. 29 Social Media Presence
  30. 30. 30 Social Media Presence
  31. 31. 31 Paid Social Media–Fall 2018 Clicks: 601 Impressions: 123,842 CTR: 0.49%* Tracked Phone Calls: 12 Reactions: 108 Comments: 3 Shares: 3 Total Ad Engagements: 11,941 *Average click thru rate for health sciences is 0.65%
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. 33 Streamlined Admissions Process New Online Admission System Developed Admissions Portal Tracking Automated communications to applicants Implementation of “Fast Track” and “Near Fast Track” Application Reviews Faster turnaround times Offer letters available the day of decision Deadlines established for programs to submit applications to Central Admissions Committee
  34. 34. 34 Results-Overall & UR Applications 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 2016 2017 2018 2019 Total Applications 23% increase in applications since 2017 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 2016 2017 2018 2019 UR Applications 31% increase in UR applications since 2017
  35. 35. 35 Target School Applications 2016 2017 2018 2019 Target School A (Texas)7 12 17 19 Target School B (Texas)13 12 14 13 Target School C (UR Texas) 6 3 11 5 Target School D (California) 6 1 6 13
  36. 36. 36 Results-Continued • 9% of applicants came from recruiting events • 21% of incoming came from recruiting events 2019 summer research training students (SMART) • 11% of applicants came from recruiting events • 43% of incoming came from recruiting events 2019 Matriculated PREP Scholars • 97% said all information was accessible on the website to apply • 97% application requirements were clear online • 84% said communications received were helpful in making a decision to apply • 61% said research/mentor fit and research resources were the most critical elements to selecting a Ph.D. program 2018 Matriculated Ph.D. Students Survey:
  37. 37. 37 Future Considerations  2019 matriculated students focus group  A/B testing email communications  Advisor Relationships Important Attempt more presentations to groups and classes  Host webinars for prospective students and applicants  Develop text options for outreach  Create new student personas for the web  Develop better recruiting metrics for tracking the summer research and post-bac programs