In my previous post on graduate and professional recruitment, I examined issues related to goal-setting, funnel management, and database management. In this post, I’ll examine planning, relationship building, communication, financial aid, and coordination.
Issue 6: Lack of a strong annual plan
Does your campus have a graduate recruitment plan? If it does, is it a macro plan developed by a centralized office, a smattering of individual decentralized plans developed by individual programs, or a combination of the two? Unfortunately, most campuses I have worked with lack any type of plan, or do not like the plan(s) they have.
How can you build a strong graduate recruitment plan? It needs to have these elements:
- A situation analysis—an annual review of the mission, historical data, driving and restraining forces, and environment;
- Goal setting—cumulatively, by the individual program, and by market segment within the program (e.g., domestic, international);
- Strategies for goal achievement—every goal must have at least one key strategy and every stage of the funnel should have at least one strategy;
- Action plans—the implementation schedule for the initiatives that support the goals.
There should also be one master plan that is in synch with the plans for individual programs—the whole equals the sum of its parts.