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Five Key Questions to Consider When Prioritizing Staff Time

All schools and all enrollment goals are different. But every team can always improve, and the feedback we receive from admissions personnel points to prioritizing staff time as a significant challenge toward progress.

It’s a time management issue. Simply stated, there is a limited amount of time for outreach to students and families, and staff wants to know: who should I be recruiting

Finding enough time to do the work and wondering if they’re working on the right prospects can be stressful. Directors and VPs can provide guidance on the priority targets. Here are key questions to consider when working to better prioritize staff time:

  1. Are staff working on recruiting high-performing segments? So they don’t waste time recruiting the wrong prospects, share with them the data you have on the applicant pool. Just giving them a goal to reach isn’t enough. Help them understand what student segments yield higher and what very low yielding segments to not invest too much time.

  2. How does the counselor or territory stand in comparison to the goal? Don’t let last year’s numbers usurp the focus. Typically departments use dated data in an attempt to measure progress, but that approach diminishes the goals now in place and where in the process recruiters should devote time, like incomplete applications, for example.

  3. Are staff acknowledged when they do reach goals? Pats on the back for goals achieved or time well spent reinforces the behavior you want to see in your team. Keep a watch on even small goals achieved or an ear out for good questions asked and let your team know these are actions worth continuing.

  4. Are frequent conversations with your counselors part of your workday? Many staff (think millenials) appreciate timely and consistent feedback on performance. Schedule check-ins and chats with your team to keep the conversations going and the questions on time management coming.

  5. Does your admissions staff know the enrollment goals of your institution? Seeing the bigger picture for the department and each player’s role in that plan builds a team atmosphere and encourages a team win. A team that understands the objectives and the expectations in play may be less likely to avoid committing time to projects that don’t support these initiatives.

Providing on-going guidance to your team does take some time, but likely it’s less time collectively than not thinking strategically on how your staff prioritizes efforts. A focused staff will likely be more productive and effective.If you’d like to go over more ideas on how to make your staff more effective in reaching goals, let me know.

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David Black,

With nearly 30 years experience in educational marketing, enrollment management consulting and staff development, Dave directs market research with a focus on imaging and perception research, branding and positioning studies, market sizing assessments, and feasibility studies. He also leads focus groups and authors research, assessment reports and consults on enrollment management, marketing, organizational development, and collaborative team development.

215-572-7938