Over 2 million students enrolled in a postsecondary program in the 2014/2015 school year (Stats Can). These students had choices – Canadian students can apply to a plethora of programs from 98 universities and over 200 colleges. yconic conducted an online focus group to find out how students create their top 5 list of higher education institutions to which they will apply. Here’s what students are looking for:
- A program that will prepare them for the job market (access to co-op and internship opportunities are a deciding factor)
- Offerings that complement their education such as case-study competitions and leadership development through student groups
- A sense of community and support from faculty and student body
Overall, and not surprisingly, high school students are eager about the next stage of their education journey and willing to invest time in research. So while these students are researching the best institution for them, you can help them out (and attract the right students) by having the right information available to them when they need it.
How do you attract, engage and convert qualified potential new students?
Higher education institutes rely on quality students to establish their reputation and secure their longevity; having knowledge on how Gen Z makes decisions is essential. As a director of recruitment, you might be wondering: how do I craft a message that resonates with qualified candidates?
Here are three tips:
Use contests to engage and learn more about Gen Z applicants.
Gen Z is highly collaborative, so why not use this trait in your favour? Creating an interactive contest that asks students for feedback is a great way to create engagement and find out what is most important to your target applicant. Compiling the results, you can learn about the program features that matter to them and personalize your marketing messages accordingly.
yconic knows a thing or two about creating the perfect contest that will provide the right insights. Wilfrid Laurier partnered with yconic to learn more about prospective students and which campus features were most important to them. Through a contest, we asked students to rate various campus features in order of importance. The contest was hosted on the yconic platform and cross-promoted using email and social media channels. Laurier received more than 10,000 contest entrants and a list of key features.
Talk to prospective students, not at them.
Gen Z students are self-aware and independent. More importantly, they are curious and actively looking to engage with other students and learn about their postsecondary experiences. Proof of this is the high engagement rate seen on yconic’s community forums. They have questions (many questions!) regarding admission requirements, the social scene at a particular institution, rez life, academics, and everything in between.
The opportunity to host a verified “Ask Me Anything” on the yconic community forums is a unique way to create a relationship with prospective students. By hosting an AMA, an appointed school rep will be able to interact with potential students and learn their most pressing questions. This is your chance to tell students why your school is so much more than your academic record and give them an insight on what makes your school’s community unique.
Be where students are.
Gen Z-ers are better know as “digital natives,” which means, they are online. This is their predominant medium for communicating with others and learning about postsecondary institutions. It is important to have a presence online as it will help your institution in creating top of mind awareness. Through yconic’s Audience Network you can get your targeted message in front of even more interested students and reinforce your message on desktop and mobile while they are still in the decision-making stage.
Through yconic’s Audience Network you can get your targeted message in front of even more interested students and reinforce your message on desktop and mobile while they are still in the decision-making stage.
Are you ready to recruit right? We’re here to help! Ask us how.