Whenever interviewing a team of admissions recruiters, there is likely a “rookie” or two in the group. I always ask the “rookie” how they were trained to meet the challenges of their first tour of duty and on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being petrified and 10 being confident, how prepared they felt in the first week or two of fall travel. The response in the vast majority of cases is typically a shadow experience or two, and then it’s pretty much on the job training (OJT) and self-rating of 2. By the way, OJT is a proxy for no training program at all.
With turnover of recruiters in admissions offices being the norm, you’d have thought that admissions leadership would have figured out how to introduce a new team member to the profession.
We like to think of admissions as a profession and ourselves as professionals, but we fail routinely in the practice of training new recruiters. Admissions offices that don’t have a substantial, formal, in-office and across-campus, training program in the first year of employment for newly hired recruiters (regardless of when in the cycle they were hired) are doing the recruiters and the institution a disservice.
Is recruiter training a priority in your admissions office?
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About the author: President Jim Scannell's special area of expertise falls in recruitment - from mentoring admissions leaders to building new demand through data analysis and the development of strategic communications. Jim's administrative career spanned over 25 years of leadership in admissions, financial aid, and enrollment management at Boston College, Cornell University, and the University of Rochester.
In addition, Jim has authored numerous publications on enrollment management including On Choosing a College that is Right for You (Peterson's Guides), The Effect of Financial Aid Policies on Admission and Enrollment (The College Board), Working Together: A Cooperation between Admissions and Financial Aid Offices (The College Board), and Shaping the College Experience Outside the Classroom (University of Rochester Press). Jim is a regular contributor to University Business and speaks at national conferences and seminars such as the College Board, NACAC, and others.
Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.