Don’t you hate it when your managers go on a boarding meeting retreat in the countryside and then return with a smile and a hardly implementable strategy?
We sure do
Actually, setting goals for international student recruitment or any other field in this way is one of the worst things managers can do to their teams. People need to feel ownership of the project. That is the only way to them keep motivation, interested and willing to go that extra mile. If you are managing your own team, make sure they feel on board and take part of the strategic process design as well as its implementation.
Make sure you develop a proper recruitment strategy by following these simple principles:
Strategy is developed within a community
No faculty or staff member should be left out. All of your faculties represent a team that works directly with students – make sure their voices, suggestions and ideas are heard. Schedule individual interviews, group discussions and open forums. Students themselves are a part of this community. While it is impossible to talk with each and every one of them, try to hear the voices of international students, especially those who are not local leaders. Get to know what their experience is and what their truly needs are.
Direction covers the actual needs of the community
Of course, most education providers need to comply with some common requirements and strive to improve the overall quality of education. This doesn’t mean, however, that only the institution’s leadership knows how to do it best. Provide your community with strategic directions and encourage your team to offer solutions that would solve actual problems on campus.
Action plan is flexible and able to adapt to change
There is nothing worse than working on a task only because somebody has to do it. It could be filling in unnecessary reports or preparing another article just to reach the quota of articles written. Your strategy has to be adaptable and focused on solving problems, not ensuring that everyone is busy working 8 hours a day.
Results are measurable and there are clear monthly indicators in place
How do you measure ”improved international student satisfaction by 12%”? You don’t. Even if measuring improvement with such precision was actually possible, satisfaction is not a quantitative but qualitative factor. Measure your success by student initiatives carried out, faculty mentoring provided or other indicators that make sense to your community. Don’t forget to check the indicators on a monthly basis and update if necessary.
Outcome focuses on creating quality of culture, not numbers
Create a culture, not a report. While it is surely nice to have 350 events organized on campus every year, do you think all of them were created in response to real needs within the community? Or maybe it’s because you had a strategic goal listed with this exact number? Ensure that your community’s needs come first and your strategy caters to these needs.
Do you agree with the above? Is there anything that should be added to the list? Please let us know in the comments.