The Digital Recruitment Imperative

Jason LangdonSenior Vice PresidentDecember 10, 2020
Digital recruitment: creating connections across channels is the key
In today’s world, creating immediate connections through digital recruitment is what separates successful campuses from those trying to stay competitive.

I am a father of teenagers, and if you happen to be around teenagers a lot, you will regularly see them staring at their phones. They will watch content and create content on the latest popular platform and do this for hours at a time. If you ever threaten to or take away their phones, their universe will come to an end, or they will try to convince you of their impending doom. The ensuing tirade rivals the most dramatic of scenes ever played out—and you, as the perpetrator of this evil, will be considered among the worst of all-time villains. This scenario is not an exaggeration. I have seen it, and I have played the role of that villain.

If teenagers consume content with this much passion, on devices they carry with them everywhere, why are we fighting connecting with them through a variety of digital channels?

Yes, teenagers check their email, but they devour digital content like the Bang Energy drinks they guzzle. Did you know that Gen Z students unlock their phones 79 times a day? They are not checking their inbox or the mailbox that many times per day (in fact, if you mail them a window envelope with mail-merged content, you misunderstand where this generation lives).

Digital is the star, not the supporting role

Your digital recruitment can no longer be one of your tactics; digital is instead the foundation of your strategic approach to recruitment and supplemented with other traditional channels.

Jeff Kallay and I touched upon this at the webinar that we recently held. The impact of COVID-19 has been felt far and wide, especially in the acceleration and amplification of change. Higher education has been slow to embrace this shift to digital and has mostly done it in smaller change increments. It is time to embrace digital as the cornerstone of our marketing and recruitment efforts.

Think of digital marketing as an effort to embrace the medium that our traditional prospective students have embedded into their lives. This digital medium allows the opportunity for personalization and depth of communication that traditional mediums do not allow. Do not try and recreate your old linear recruitment cycle and communication plan in digital form. Instead, create engaging, personalized, and on-demand video content to maximize conversion rates and improve the student experience. Build an authentic experience that is multidimensional and user-driven by their informational needs and interests—not some flat linear model of recruitment.

We at RNL can help you create that kind of experience for your students. Contact our team at RNL to help guide you through this process and demonstrate various tools to embrace strategic recruitment that is new and next.

Ready to discuss digital engagement?

Talk with RNL’s enrollment experts about using the latest digital engagement solutions to boost your yield. We can discuss digital advertising, personalized video, online chats and webcasts, remote campus visits, and more.

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About the Author

Jason Langdon

Jason Langdon leads RNL's undergraduate enrollment team of sales consultants. He has more than 25 years of higher education enrollment experience at both private and public campuses across the country. His particular areas of expertise...

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