Cultivating personal connection in the recruiter outreach process
Your recruiting and admissions process is a complex machine made up of several touchpoints. It’s designed to give you a full picture of your prospect — qualifications, culture fit, and potential for success. But it’s important to keep in mind that while you are gathering data on them — test scores, GPA, and references — your prospects are forming their opinions on your school throughout the recruiting process as well. Here we’ll examine how staff can use personal relationship building in different ways to pull prospects through the funnel.
It starts with a conversation
In a digital age where everyone is flooded with emails, texts, and a 24/7 news feed, your prospects are overloaded. While you may not think a phone call would be welcome, it’s possible that it’s just what you need to break through the clutter. You can begin by setting the expectations low and leading with a short script asking them something personal about themselves and seeing what questions they have. This takes the pressure off of them to have a carefully curated list of career goals and just opens the door to a personal connection in graduate recruiting. In your initial conversation, be sure to focus more on them — what they like and where they are in their journey versus what your program can do for them — that will come later.
Continue the momentum by following up
Although we just mentioned above that prospects are often digitally overloaded, it’s important to note that there is space for meaningful, authentic follow-up communications. Start with a personal email letting them know that you heard them and that they’ll be receiving some information from your program. This opens the door to engaging them in your automated CRM, but it also reassures them that they can reach out to you if they have any questions along the way.
Offer meaningful information
When your recruiting process involves active listening, you will be able to determine the barriers your prospects have — what motivates them, what’s holding them back, and what things they are curious about. When you have collected this valuable data, you can use it to customize your messaging and offer meaningful information that will help them make decisions.
- Are they worried about the time commitment? Offer a conversation with an alum.
- Are they concerned about the cost? Send them your latest ROI report.
- Do they live out of state? Provide a video series about campus.
- Do they want to experience the program and learn more about the curriculum? Invite them to an event.
Guide the process and answer their questions
Perhaps the most common mistake made by recruiting teams is to rely too heavily on a CRM to pull prospects through the funnel. Building multiple opportunities for human connection, remaining accessible, and following up with guidance can make all the difference. Sometimes even being available to answer a brief question over an online chat can help a prospect advance to the next step. Make sure to develop a personal connection in graduate recruiting.
If you’re looking for ways to integrate new recruitment strategies into your enrollment plan, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.