A student recruitment agent is considered one of the frontline forces in the international higher education landscape. Their responsibilities go beyond taking care of the nitty-gritty paperwork of university applications and immigration requirements. They act as mentors and even confidantes who support prospective foreign students as they leave their comfort zones and begin their pursuit of international studies.
While pursuing a career as an education agent is an aspirational endeavor, it still has its challenges. To help our valued agent partners overcome these challenges, we’ve compiled a list of best practices that can guide them as they go about their business of making international education accessible to all.
Being genuine means staying aligned with one’s goals and intentions. It might help agents if they can reflect on what their mission statement is for pursuing a career in education recruitment.
Do they want to help students achieve their study abroad aspirations? Does it give them a feeling of fulfillment thinking that they are able to support partner institutions and students to reach their respective goals, and contribute to the development of the greater international education landscape?
Getting clear about themselves and their intentions will enable agents to project sincerity in their work and in how they add value to the partner institutions and the students they are supporting.
Student recruitment agents are a brand of their own–a brand with clear, honest-to-goodness intentions that their clients will either hold on to or let go. It is no wonder that recent studies in purchasing behavior have revealed that among surveyed consumers, about 90% report that authenticity among the brands they follow is important.
So be yourself and be authentic and make your intention to help clear right at the outset.
Offer solutions to their problems
Experienced agents already know the ins and outs of student recruitment and, as such, know the possible problems and other roadblocks in processing student applications. And this is the distinct advantage of those who have been in the business for some time. For the rule of thumb in student recruitment is very simple: know the possible problems you may encounter and be prepared to respond to them.
This is a tried-and-tested practice in brand management and sales strategy. In coming up with a brand’s unique selling proposition, it helps to understand the key pain points that a product or service is addressing. This enables clarity in realizing how to add value to potential clients and customers.
Surely, education agents can never solve every problem, but they can focus on the immediate pain points that a potential enrollee may have in terms of applying for coursework, scholarship, visa, and everything else, and do whatever they can to resolve these to the best of their abilities.
Being able to provide solutions allows a student recruitment agent to gain trust and cement their role as a mentor or confidante. It establishes their capacity to add value not only to the lives of international students but to the HEIs they are working with.
Make building relationships a priority
Indeed, being authentic and offering solutions are two key things in helping student recruitment agents build meaningful relationships. These are even more critical in terms of creating strong global institution partnerships.
But while projecting authenticity and addressing primary problems of clients off the bat are important, what will enable lasting relationships is consistency. Being consistent means ensuring that expected results are delivered all the time, which may also translate into regularly checking in with the students they are supporting, or the parents of these students, even after successful enrollment.
Follow smart and healthy work processes
If given some thought, the above best practices may sometimes feel tedious or can get overwhelming especially when prospects are growing in number. This is why student recruitment agents must also wear project manager hats as they must also have the skills needed in properly managing their accounts, time, and energy.
This means that education agents must have a bird’s eye view of their deliverables, follow healthy timelines devoted to their business, and have a sufficient amount of time allotted for off-work hours. Having enough time spent on breaks will enable them to regroup and reenergize to keep working with their partner HEIs and the international students they are helping.
This is where digital tools and educational technology platforms can help. Tasks and project trackers enable their users to be on top of their to-do lists, while some bigger, more robust, and AI-powered technologies help them gain control of the growing pile of duties that come with a thriving recruitment business.
Sure enough, through the automated processes provided by some edtech tools and platforms, and the partnerships with companies that can provide these, agents can maximize their efficiency and productivity while getting back precious time that they can devote to themselves and their families.
MSM is a marketing and business development company for colleges and universities seeking to increase their international enrollment for online and on-campus programming. It is a leading platform supporting the international education sector. Read Bootstrapped MSM Simplifies International Student Recruitment