On my desk is the just-released 2014 E-Recruiting Practices Report from Noel-Levitz. This report ranks a wide range of common and less widely used strategies and tactics for electronic student recruitment used by colleges and universities across the United States. Here are a few of the highlights:
10 most popular online recruiting practices among 28 practices examined,
with proportions of colleges and universities using each practice by sector:
The practices shown above in blue were being used by more than three-quarters of colleges and universities. Of the 10 practices listed in each column, six were shared across sectors.
Social media highlights
This year’s report also ranked the frequency in which U.S. colleges and universities are using various types of social media for student recruitment, with comparisons to prospective students’ preferences based on a parallel study of graduating high school seniors also conducted in March 2014. (See the 2014 E-Expectations Report). Some highlights follow:
- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram were higher education’s most popular social media for student recruitment among 21 types examined. These four social media were also rated the most popular social media by graduating high school seniors (for any purpose—not just searching for colleges).
- Snapchat—a newer social media platform—was used by fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities for the purpose of student recruitment, yet 39 percent of graduating high school seniors reported using it.
- Fewer than 13 percent of colleges and universities reported using Google+ for online recruiting, while more than 31 percent of graduating high school seniors reported using it.
More highlights from the report
- Website spending has increased among four-year private and public colleges and universities compared to the last time this study was conducted in 2012.
- Forty-four percent of four-year private institutions and 32 percent of four-year public institutions reported providing cell phones for their admissions counselors versus just 11 percent of two-year public institutions. The report examines several ways these phones are used, with the most popular being to remain in contact with prospective students while traveling.
- Only 54 percent of four-year private institutions, 47 percent of four-year public institutions, and 23 percent of two-year public institutions reported having a mobile-optimized website. In contrast, 71 percent of graduating high school seniors reported having looked at college websites on a mobile phone or tablet.
Download the free report for the complete findings
For a wealth of additional information, download the entire 2014 E-Recruiting Practices Report. Don’t miss page 23, “How to use the benchmarks in this report,” for some specific recommendations on how to evaluate the current practices at your institution. To get the most value from this report, readers should note that it primarily rates the popularity of specific strategies and tactics (vs. their effectiveness). For effectiveness ratings, you’ll want to refer to other reports such as the 2013 Marketing and Student Recruitment Practices Benchmark Report.
I hope the information in these reports is helpful to you and your colleagues. If you have questions about how to strengthen your online recruiting, or if you’d like a presentation of the findings, please contact Noel-Levitz at 1-800-876-1117 or ContactUs@noellevitz.com.
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