Higher education landscape

What’s keeping university recruiting teams up at night: Part 2

Another takeaway from Cialfo CEO Rohan Pasari’s trip across the US to talk with higher ed professionals about their most critical issues today.

Leslie Birch
July 7, 2022
3 min
What’s keeping university recruiting teams up at night: Part 2
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What’s keeping university recruiting teams up at night: Part 2

In our last blog in this series, we talked about our “Listen and Learn” tour this spring where our CEO, Rohan Pasari, and members of the Cialfo team traveled to the U.S. to meet with heads of enrollment and admissions professionals at 15 institutions. We wanted to learn more about their most pressing concerns (in addition to ongoing pandemic-related issues).

As admissions and recruiting departments continue to forge new strategies in the current “never normal'' environment, the leaders we met all agreed that there were a few key themes topping their collective priority lists. The first of these was the subject of our last blog, making the most of reduced resources. 

Let’s now focus on the next big challenge currently worrying higher education professionals across the United States.

Sourcing right-fit students in a new, “never normal”

Universities today are concerned about ensuring that they are reaching international students who are not only an excellent academic and cultural fit for their institution but also are highly likely to apply. 

With hundreds of thousands of high schools spread around the globe, there are bound to be untapped pockets with qualified students that could be the right fit for a university.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Many of these high schools in emerging regions don’t have college guidance counselors at hand to make the university-student connection. Often high schools with qualified students simply fly under recruiting teams’ radar - especially if the universities are only focusing on existing, long-standing relationships with limited high schools. 

A number of students may never appear in a college or university’s CRM before they apply. With that in mind, many universities we spoke with assume that there may be significant numbers of “stealth” students across the world. These are students that might be interested in an institution but never make it to the application stage because the admissions teams could not connect with them at the right time.

Cialfo CEO Rohan Pasari and Darin Francis, Director of Strategic Accounts, US, connected with higher education professionals during their recent tour of the US 

Identifying qualified, interested applicants early in their application journey

So where should universities be focusing their recruiting efforts to source the right students (especially those who may have already expressed demonstrated interest in their institution)?

Cialfo helps narrow the focus with a global digital platform that connects universities with more than 310,000 students, their counselors, and families worldwide. Universities that partner with Cialfo can engage with students at all stages of their college application journey, from as early as Grade 9. These universities benefit from real-time insights from students and their counselors who use Cialfo to research, shortlist, and apply to colleges and universities worldwide. Throughout the process, students communicate with admissions teams and express their interests in programs of study, learning environments, and desired destinations. On average, the international students in Cialfo’s high school network apply to 11 universities in 3 countries.

Leveraging the invaluable insights gleaned from Cialfo makes it easier to prioritize qualified and interested students and concentrate your efforts on them. 

Leveraging existing relationships

In addition to easily identifying right-fit students, universities also have expanded access to high school counselors, which is especially helpful in regions they haven’t previously traveled to. Cialfo makes it easier for recruiting professionals to build relationships with our network of more than 700 counselors from international high schools spanning the globe. Now instead of trying to cram too many counselor meetings into a once-a-year school visit, university representatives have an array of ways to engage counselors all year round - in both virtual and in-person events such as Cialfo’s Counselor Connect series. 

To successfully source the right students and build long standing relationships with high schools and counselors, recruiting teams can benefit greatly from accurate and real-time information, and a trusted partner to help create a recruitment strategy around those insights. 

We want to thank all of our university hosts across the country who shared their candid thoughts and challenges surrounding international student mobility with us. For more takeaways from the Listen and Learn road trip, download the report.

Images: Team Cialfo, Andrea Piacquadio, George Pak

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