What we learned at NACAC 2022

Last weekend, the Goodkind team had the pleasure of attending the NACAC conference in Houston, Texas. NACAC attracts several higher education professionals from across the United States and offers them the opportunity to network, attend relevant talks and learn about methods to improve their recruitment strategies. Goodkind attended the conference for the first time this year, as more recruitment teams are using Goodkind than ever before. It was an incredible opportunity, as young entrepreneurs, to discuss the hurdles that many admissions teams across the nation face when attempting to hit their enrollment targets. In reflecting on the some 200 one-on-one conversations we had over NACAC’s three day duration, our team identified a few common themes shared by recruiters…

  1. Schools should find ways to own their outreach channel. Relying on partner networks can be great for quantitative lead generation, but over-reliance on these systems can leave you vulnerable. Diversify your lead pool and reduce the amount of risk by generating your own leads through your own channels. By owning this piece, you set a precedent in your department for prioritizing full control over the outreach process.  

  1. It’s important to meet students where they’re at. Recruitment teams are finding that email drips aren’t cutting it anymore. Gen Z is a generation hyper focused on individuality so a templated outreach likely won’t grab their attention. Many schools are losing engagement because there simply just isn’t the same level of commitment on the other end anymore.

  1. You have to find a way to build trust with your prospects. Students are juggling an overwhelming amount of literature, online information and outside pressure when it comes to making college decisions. Differentiation should be an incredibly important piece of your outreach strategy. This is particularly important for first gen students, transfers and non-traditional prospects, who may have difficulty seeing the benefits of one school over the other. 

  1. Marketing resources are essential for admissions teams. Too often do marketing and admissions operate on separate wavelengths. In order to hit efficient strides, push to have an enrolment marketer represented on your recruitment team. There is a vital symbiosis here that, when capitalized on, will undoubtedly have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your results.

  1. With inquiries and apps falling, yield needs to rise. There was a lot of talk about buying leads and prospect lists to address the falling applicant pool. There was less talk about the “other lever” (as we call it) - increasing your yield, or conversion rate. How can you achieve this if your applicant pool is decreasing but your target keeps increasing? It’s all about treating students with the utmost care from the moment they inquire. Prospects are more precious than ever. Make sure they know it! 

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to speak with us at the conference. We hope that sharing these insights have provided you with some inspiration for new approaches to your recruitment processes. 

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