Edith Cowan University recently hosted their Teaching and Learning eCulture Conference. Along with colleagues Lynelle Watts, Renee Strauss, David Hodgson and Richard Brightwell, I presented a paper called “Authenticity in Student Recruitment: Social Work and Paramedicine”. The paper examined the relationship between recruiters and academics at ECU in two programs which had grown in student enrollments over the last 3-5 years. Using a convergent interviewing methodology, we examined the events that led up to and precipitated the ability of recruiters to sell these two courses authentically to future students.
Some of the outcomes included:
(1) Uncertainty on behalf of Academics on how the marketing and sales process works ended up being the catalyst for a constructive relationship;
(2) Courses with the most unmet market demand would tend to get the most attention from recruiters;
(3) Recruiters are more likely to focus on the corporate brand as a form of credibility than Academics do; and
(4) Course accreditation adds value to the future student and current student experience.
Authenticity in relationships between recruiters and academics is not covered in scholarly literature. This study is a step in the direction of exploring what makes an effective recruiter in higher education.