Blog - 5 imperatives for scaling international recruitment

Scaling International Student Recruitment with 5 Actionable Tips

Before you can meaningfully grow your international enrollment, you need to make sure you’re built for growth. This means critically assessing that you have the right resources, technology, data, and processes to facilitate your goals.

Effective international student recruitment today requires genuine personalization, proactive encouragement, and quick support for every student across the full journey to enrollment. When it comes to increasing your yield, these are the five areas to evaluate to ensure you’re set up to succeed.

Are you supported by the necessary staff, expertise, and technology to personally assist and proactively encourage every prospective student across the full recruitment journey?

Experts who specialize in:

  • Email marketing automation and optimization
  • Student service
  • Data analytics
  • Market analysis
  • CRM implementation, integration, adoption, and development

Check that there are enough hands-on-deck to serve the volume of students you’re generating interest from. Enough people to meet student expectations around speed and quality of support. For example, our student surveys have found that 71% of students expect a response to their inquiry by next day; 40% within the same day.

To empower your teams to do their best, are you supported by user-friendly technology that drives efficiencies in your channel marketing activities, prospective student communications, and strategic planning? Technology that’s easily customized to suit your unique needs, enables you to get a complete picture of the student journey, and reports data in a way that’s easy to digest so that you and your teams can make strategic decisions confidently.

Do you know how much it costs you to recruit your students and what marketing investments are most effective?

Most universities get only a fuzzy view of their cost per enrolled student and which marketing channels produce the most enrollments. In our conversations with colleges, we hear that often what limits the picture is that student data is split across various systems, so it’s difficult to piece together students’ paths to enrollment.

As competitive as the global higher education landscape is today, you need to invest in the right places. Adopting a platform that hosts all student data from the first student interaction through to enrolling will be key to getting a complete handle on what works and what doesn’t.

Do you have a clear understanding of your international conversion performance? Is international conversion optimized at each stage of the student journey?

This is where the “Capability” imperatives described earlier really come into play. Students have different priorities, concerns, and preferences at different points along their journey. Understanding student needs and delivering personalized messages via the right mix of communication channels and at the right time is crucial to getting them to progress to the next stage in the journey. This requires universities to hit the mark when it comes to resource, technology, and processes.

See more conversion activities in our Roadmap for optimized international student recruitment journeys.

Do you have a consistent, reliable view of performance?

You may not be in the weeds when it comes to student recruitment and conversion operations, but you need to know how your teams are performing. And, you need to be able to keep up to date easily.

Our service provides clients real-time access to key performance data through their dashboards. Accessing their data from anywhere, they stay informed without having to get bogged down in cumbersome spreadsheets or update meetings.

Do you know what you need to do to stay ahead?

The global higher education environment changes every day and you need to keep a keen eye on current events and trends in the sector that will influence your enrollment. Last year, for example, we analyzed on behalf of our clients the impact of currency fluctuations on student demand from key markets. Monitoring these macro trends in parallel with your own performance will enable you to better predict demand and forecast future enrollments.

Do you meet the 5Cs?
If you feel you’re coming up short in any of these areas, conversion is likely taking a backseat and your targets will suffer for it. Partnering with a service provider to deliver core competencies that check all the boxes can empower you to maximize your international yield while giving you time back to focus on your strategic activities.

If you’d like to discuss international student conversion best practices and how to deliver personalized, high-converting student journeys at scale, feel free to contact Andy Gruber at