Last fall we introduced Workday Student Recruiting, the first application as part of Workday Student. We’ve worked closely with colleges and universities to design this offering and have developed a deep understanding of the pressures they face to get student recruiting right.
Since the launch I’ve been excited to learn what our customers think and the possibilities they see for the future. Below I share feedback from discussions I recently had with two customers: Shane Topping, director of admissions at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and Alice Maxwell, director of communications and marketing at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla.
What is the vision for your institution?
Topping: Stevens is on an aggressive 10-year growth plan with goals to increase the undergraduate population by 40 to 50 percent. We also have individual growth goals for academic majors and demographics. For example, we are looking to expand beyond our heavy engineering student population to grow our arts and sciences programs and increase our female demographic. We also want to expand our national footprint and focus on out-of-state recruitment from states with fast growing populations, such as Texas.
Maxwell: The vision of Tallahassee Community College is to be the college of choice—for our students, our employees, and our community. One of our strategic priorities is to develop and implement an enrollment management process designed to increase student and institutional success.
What recruiting and admissions challenges have you experienced?
Topping: In the past, we have had limitations with the systems we were using. We had to go through iterations of spreadsheets for a grasp on our travel efforts with no insight into the right high schools and students for us. We needed a system that could illustrate our growth goals and deliver the data to help us track progress against them, such as conversion rates at each stage of our funnel. We also needed a way to track interactions intelligently so we can build strong relationships with prospects.
Maxwell: The student system we had before Workday was about 20 years old and did not offer recruitment capabilities. We had nowhere to capture information related to the leads we received or the ability to monitor progress, and had to rely on spreadsheets to track our efforts. Because we did not have an ideal way to track prospects through the enrollment funnel, it was difficult to make strategic enrollment decisions that could better our yield rate.
How are you using/will you use Workday Student Recruiting?
Topping: To meet our growth goals we need more student applications and a strong quality of incoming students, especially in different majors. Stevens has selected Workday Student Recruiting and once deployed, we will be able to set recruiting goals and track against them—looking closely at costs and ROI—to see how many applicants are converting. Workday also will give our recruiters the tools and mobile capabilities to work from the road. The life of a recruiter is rigorous, visiting four or five schools in one day. Now, they will know where they are going, who they are meeting with, and the history of that relationship all from a tablet or mobile phone. This will alleviate so many extra steps and give recruiters more time and insight to focus on a prospective student. We will also be able to capture all that data and take action in real-time, such as sending out a thank you note the next day versus a month later.
Maxwell: We see that Workday Student Recruiting will transform the way we recruit. Our recruiters can now do their jobs by mobile phone or tablet and are no longer hindered by a lack of technology. They can go to an event with a tablet in hand and engage with students, adding notes into the system as we find out more about a student, and use this information in the future to build meaningful relationships. This is especially helpful with our specialized programs, such as the Wakulla Environmental Institute targeting a unique type of student interested in environmental sciences, and TCC2FSU, our guarantee transfer program to Florida State University, in which we get interest from 60 to 90 prospective students each week. We plan to build those relationships using Workday. This is what is special about Workday—it’s not just about recruiting bodies, but instead tailoring our engagement communications to find the right students.
I want to thank Alice Maxwell and Shane Topping for taking the time to speak with me, and allowing me to share their experiences with the broader Workday community. Even more importantly, I’m grateful for our customers’ willingness to work so closely with us during the design process of Workday Student. It’s only through that process that we’re able to build applications that support their institutions’ goals both now and well into the future.