Recruiting, networking, and working as we know it will be forever changed. “Disruption to everyday life may be severe,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, cautioned at a news conference. It goes without saying, this is a big deal—especially for colleges and universities. Schools are moving online where possible and others are strategizing the ways they can provide resources and basic needs for students, including those typically under-resourced. While it may feel like an uncertain time from faculty, staff, and students still trying to make their dreams a reality, the good news is that communication and platforms like Tallo are available to help.
While communicating with out partner colleges and universities, we’ve heard similar themes across the board. But for every problem, we offer solutions:
Problem 1: The coronavirus is limiting student’s exposure to opportunities
Students are unable to attend (and schools are unable to host) job/career fairs, classes, sporting events, conferences, competitions and in-person networking opportunities.
Solution: Offer virtual opportunities
Colleges around the country utilize Tallo to host events, connect with students, and even create competitions to boost student involvement. This creates a risk-free opportunity for students to remain engaged and excited about their careers and industries. As an added benefit, on Tallo, we’ll connect students with opportunities you have available, and we’ll connect them with scholarships to help pay for it.
Problem 2: COVID-19 is limiting your exposure to students
Without being able to talk with students face-to-face, bring them to the campus, and engage them at events, the traditional means of acquiring talented students has been severely limited.
Solution: Say goodbye to geographic barriers and unnecessary handshakes
While you may be used to traditional methods to bring students in your doors, Generation Z is ready, willing and able to be connected with you online. They believe in their personal and professional brand’s ability to represent them, and they want you to see them for everything they offer. Best of all, they’re literally digital experts, making it easy to go online and meet them.
Problem 3: Novel coronavirus has a significant impact on how, who, and where you recruit:
The pandemic has slowed your pipeline of talent to a snail’s pace. In fact, the CDC has asked colleges to consider postponing or outright canceling foreign exchange programs by limiting travel or requesting students return home. We understand that this is a multi-faceted impact to your program:
- It impacts who you’re recruiting and the type of recruiting you’re doing. You can’t focus on students from certain countries and won’t be recruiting for foreign exchange programs that require travel. It may also seem challenging to keep your campus as diverse as possible without foreign exchange programs, study abroad, etc. Plus, if you’re like most college programs, you work hard to expand your global reach.
- It impacts how you recruit. When your pipeline is low in certain programs, you have to make up for it in other areas. If your entire business model revolves around meeting people in person, your programs and approach to recruitment could be changed forever.
- It impacts your reach. Not only are your foreign exchange programs impacted, but you may feel that your national reach has been impacted too. How do you reach rural areas? How do you fill gaps or generate awareness if you’re not a big name college or university?
Solution: Take your recruitment—and classes—online.
While some programs are bound to be affected, others that may have had a backseat can now grow with a digital presence. This includes scientific learning, medical professions, and education. In fact, the impact of the outbreak could create a boost in interest of previously disregarded careers. In the article “Universities brace for lasting impact of coronavirus outbreak,” Professor Hamish Coates states “There will almost certainly be a resurgence in interest in scientific learning. The medical profession is essential at this time, as is the education of the public.” And depending on your programs, you could capitalize on this while recruiting.
Plus, Tallo can help you recruit these students. Of our nearly 1 million students, over 50% have identified their interest in healthcare and health sciences. And we continue to utilize predictive analytics to help determine the majors and careers that students might be interested in.
Problem 4: Not only are enrollment and admissions affected, student retention is impacted too
Due to the outbreak, students may not be able to come back next semester or those who are accepted may not be able to attend. In some cases, events for prospective students are also being canceled. This includes in-person admission events, campus tours, information sessions and more. Schools affected include Pitt, Stanford, Harvard, and countless others.
Solution: Take advantage of virtual technology for remote tours, events, and more.
Gen Z students are digital natives, and this means they’re up for experiencing things online. Even solutions like Instagram Live, Youtube Live, Google Hangouts, and more can all be leveraged by campus tour guides and admissions coordinators to get students excited about their next step. If you’re struggling to get your college’s website updated, consider hosting your college’s profile on a platform like Tallo, where you can create a bio, share experiences, and connect with students directly. You can host events on Tallo, offer digital badges to students that attend, and a variety of other options that prep students for their college careers and ensure you’re still bringing in the talent your school needs to meet its goals.
While impacts may be felt for some time, there are plenty of solutions for the problems colleges and universities are experiencing across the country (and the world). Losing an entire semester of students is not an option for any school, and shifting diversity and inclusion goals due to a limited recruitment process isn’t either. Higher education schools are poised for these challenges thanks to the digital experience that Gen Z brings to the table, and all you need is the right technology to navigate and overcome these obstacles to keep your pipeline (and your students, faculty and staff) healthy.