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Universities getting savvy re recruitment process

Universities having to adopt commercial practices to attract good candidatesMy daughter is in her last year at school. She is a clever hard working girl1 and will do well for herself. She has had 4 good offers from top universities but hasn’t yet made up her mind which one to accept. She is off on her last “site visit” this week. An “overnighter”.

Students from two of the universities have now rung her to “see if there is anything they can help her with, any questions etc?”

This is remarkable and just shows how competitive it is out there, at least for good candidates. It is also mirrors life in the big bad world outside. This is a world where you can’t afford to leave things to chance. Every aspect of your business has to work for you. If you sit back and wait for that customer to place (or renew) his contract you can kiss goodbye to that customer. It means you aren’t giving him enough attention.

I am comfortable that an university that applies business process to its recruitment campaigns will also produce graduates well equipped to face that big bad world. The decision now is all hers. I have done everything I can to help when asked but now for the first time she is on her own. I can’t make that decision for her. Exciting times!

I don’t know about you but the fact that my kids are now at university age makes me wan to step on the accelerator when it comes to progress. It only seems like yesterday that I was there and the time has whizzed by. So much to do, so little time. Lets get on with it 🙂

1 gets it from her mother

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

One reply on “Universities getting savvy re recruitment process”

I think that some establishments may struggle this year to fill their places. Last year was a bumper year with candidates that would normally take a year out being compelled not to, due to rises in fees for this year. This will have created an overcapacity for what will be a less than ‘regular’ year coming (as those who would normally have taken a year out will not be swelling the ranks). They may also be getting twitchy about the (latest) proposed changes to make exams more difficult (or least to maintain levels of difficulty). Additionally, with fees being about £5k extra per year per candidate (for 3-4 years) it would pay to employ ‘pushers’ this year (like the Japanese ‘oshiya’) to ensure absolute capacity.

As ‘businesses’ we can only hope that universities are not just throwing cash at getting ‘customers’ in the doors, only to abandon them once they’ve signed on the dotted line. It’s not a recruitment campaign – it’s a marketing campaign to boost customer base and often not one that going to target repeat business ( a review of numbers going on to Masters/Doctorates may give a picture of ‘repeat business’ – but this may be papering over an inability to launch students into the job market). Given that the youth of today are often swayed more by ‘free’ hardware and ‘free’ minutes and texts than service let’s hope they are more discerning with their education. And that the universities have an equal commitment to optimising the outcomes for their customers as they do in selling their services.

It’s a minefield. Following in the most recent steps of people you know got through is probably the only safe option. Otherwise step carefully, watch for any warning signs and don’t be afraid to retrace your steps and start again … it’s better than the alternative.

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