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Marrying modern and traditional student recruitment methods

From left: Ashley Buckle, David Pippy and Jaimie Feener from the Office of Student Recruitment. Chris Hammond photo

 

By Jill Hunt

The Office of Student Recruitment (OSR) is gearing up for another recruitment season. This fall, some new social media initiatives are planned to complement the traditional methods of recruitment.

Ashley Buckle and Jaimie Feener, recruitment officers with OSR, will take social media on the road with them. Ms. Buckle will tweet her recruitment season from her professional account @ashley_buckle and Ms. Feener will blog about her recruitment season at jfeener.tumblr.com.

"Over the past five years or so, we have seen significant changes in the way we communicate and recruit students," said Shona Perry-Maidment, director, Office of Student Recruitment. "It's exciting to see how traditional recruitment, when complemented with new online initiatives, can have an impact on building and maintaining relationships with prospective students. This is ultimately what recruitment is all about."

Ms. Perry-Maidment continues to say that research indicates that prospective students are choosing to communicate in some sort of online capacity, and because of this, the OSR has to take an active role in engaging with prospects through these means.

"One of the goals of this social media initiative is to not only get prospects to "follow" or "like" us on our various social channels, but to engage with us, and see these platforms as a starting point to get the information they are seeking."
The OSR had been active on various social platforms for the last couple of years, managing and maintaining social media sites specifically geared to prospective students. David Pippy, online recruitment officer with the OSR, says the level of engagement from prospects on OSR's social platforms is continually increasing.
"We know that the demographic we are communicating with are visual and prefer to watch a video or look at pictures of campus," said Mr. Pippy. "Our Instagram and Flickr accounts help us create some good content for this purpose."

New to OSR's online recruitment team this fall is Mary Crosbie, online recruitment officer (international), who will focus on communications geared specifically to international students across all campuses.

"We are delighted to have Ms. Crosbie on board this fall to look at new ways to communicate with prospective international students," said Ms. Perry-Maidment. "I'm certain Ms. Crosbie will offer a fresh perspective to our current processes that will provide us with useful insight to the services we have and offer prospective international students."

Last year, Memorial's recruitment activities reached out to more than 13,500 prospective high school students in Canadian and international markets, either through in-person visits or online activities. Again this year, the OSR will visit key domestic markets including Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta. Visits to key international markets include Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, China and India and emerging markets including select areas in Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The in-person and online communications with undergraduate prospects is instrumental in establishing and maintaining relationships, to coach and guide these students into an easy transition from high school to university. The staff in the OSR plays an active role in making this happen.

For all things social happening with the Office of Student Recruitment, visit www.mun.ca/undergrad/social.

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