Four Tips for Better Student Recruitment
With student enrollment competition at an all-time high, student recruitment has never been more important. Achieving the annual enrollment goal is vital for the existence of most charter schools. Yet many struggle to hit their mark.
For those charter schools having student recruitment challenges, here are four tips to help you achieve your annual enrollment goal:
1. Quantify your recruitment at community events
This past summer I attended a local community event on behalf of one of my clients. There were several elementary school tables lined up with the purpose of attracting and recruiting new students. I quickly identified the busiest table. It was a charter school. In front of the table stood one staff member handing out free merchandise and flyers. A second staff member sat behind the table painting the faces of local children. It was all very fun and enjoyable to watch.
However, towards the end of the event, I walked over to this charter school table and engaged the person handing out the flyers. I introduced myself and eventually asked, “So, how many kids were you able to recruit today?” The staff member momentarily paused, looked at the flyer in his hand and responded, “Oh, I don’t know. We don’t track that. I just know the kids had fun.” Clearly, this charter school’s event staff was more focused on having fun than on actually recruiting new students for their school.
Community events are a great way to meet and engage new parents and students. This makes quantifying student recruitment results at these events critical for the growth of your charter school. Make sure to choose the most effective staff members for your events and, most importantly, make sure they track their recruitment results throughout the event and report the final result to school leadership. For charter schools, student recruitment at community events has to be just as quantifiable for the school as it is enjoyable for the community.
2. Implement a social media recruiting strategy… ASAP!
Many charter schools have free social media platforms already setup. Some of them actually post content, from time to time. Even fewer of them know how to effectively use social media to attract and recruit new students.
Social media is one of the most powerful student recruitment tools for your school. It’s how adults and children engage and consume information nowadays. In order to effectively and consistently recruit new students, your school must be omnipresent online. It’s imperative to identify and establish a dedicated social media resource for your school with a consistent monthly strategy, primarily focused on attracting, recruiting and retaining new parents and students for your school.
If you don’t already have an effective and consistent social media resource for your school, get one… fast.
3. DON’T HIBERNATE!
Most charter schools take their recruiting ‘foot off the gas’ during the fall and winter months. This is a big mistake!
Why? Because student recruitment and brand awareness are year-round responsibilities. The best schools understand this. So, they actively market themselves all year round to potential students, through various channels, while their competitors hibernate for 6 or more months out of the year.
Establish an active 12 month student recruitment plan for your school. Your plan should integrate social media, community events and digital marketing strategies that target new students and strengthen awareness of your charter school and its presence within their community.
4. Designate a better ‘Enrollment Specialist’
A successful enrollment process is the final piece for charter schools looking to achieve their annual enrollment goals. This makes every school’s ‘Enrollment Specialist’ a critical cog in the student recruitment machine. Without a positive, effective person in this role, your school’s growth can be seriously hindered.
The best way for school leaders to know if they have the right person in the Enrollment Specialist role is to ask themselves the following questions:
Does this person have a positive attitude?
Can I trust this person to inspire new parents and students to join our school?
Is this person goal-oriented?
If the answers to all three questions are “Yes”, then congratulations! You’ve identified the right person as your Enrollment Specialist.
If the answer to any of the three questions is “No”, then it’s time to find someone that is better suited to represent your school and inspire potential parents to enroll their children.
Want to learn more ways to achieve your student enrollment goal? Email me at email@example.com.