Once only considered as a silly waste of time for today’s youth, social media has emerged as a necessary component for every organization. Most universities and colleges have realized the benefits of social media and are now incorporating it into their recruitment strategy. A new study this week reveals how social media is putting pressure on international recruitment agents.
Social Media Eclipses Agents for Recruitment
An article this week from Times Higher Education describes a study that questions the relevancy of agents for international recruiting. The research agency World Education Services found that the majority of prospective students follow social media accounts managed by US institutions before making application choices. 32% of these students used social media to source information while only 16% used agents.
The study goes on to say that social media is a recruitment channel with low barriers of engagement and is effective at reaching all international student segments. Compared to social media, agents are less effective in reaching different student segments. Their findings highlight the potential that skillfully managed social media accounts have for converting prospects.
Read the full research report here.
The study praises the incredible reach of social media but warns that many schools are not making effective use of the platforms by not engaging enough with students. Dr. Rahul Choudaha, the director of research at WES, emphasizes that schools must embrace social media and tailor their recruitment strategies to the kinds of students they want and are likely to attract.
“A lot of the time social media usage is just reposting the links from institution’s websites, but that’s not…engagement,” Dr. Rahul Choudaha, Director of Research, WES
You can also read more about Dr. Rahul Choudaha’s recommendations for alternatives to agents here.
The Social Media Opportunity for Higher Education
Visual Alliance Media has created an infographic that summarizes the practical uses of social media for universities and colleges. From recruiting students to fostering connections with alumni, social media is playing an integral role in higher education.