Young people today know when they’re being sold to. They can smell a corporate marketing message from a mile away. At best, they’ll ignore it; at worst, they’ll mistrust and reject it.
Gen Z has grown up with all the information they could ever want – about anything – at their fingertips. They’re children of a democratised internet that is underpinned by social media, customer reviews and user-generated content. They want content to help them make their own decisions.
This holds true for everything, from buying a pair of trainers or picking a movie to stream through to, you guessed it, choosing a university.
We’re years on from ‘three and a tree’ being enough.
Prospective students want authenticity. They want the inside scoop on university life and they want it from people like them – their peers. They want to explore and they want their questions answered. They want to know if they will belong.
What can give them that decision-making confidence? Peer recruitment.
Put simply, peer recruitment is the concept of working with your current students to help recruit new ones. A lot of this is done online and can be incredibly powerful as a discrete strategy within a wider recruitment and marketing piece.
Why is it so powerful? Well, it really helps a prospective student make the best decision for their future; peer recruitment can help them decide if they can see themselves studying at your university. They feel empowered and confident.
The beauty of peer recruitment is that it solves problems – for universities and for prospective students. For universities, if peer recruitment is done well it leads to higher conversion rates, better retention and more diverse recruitment, as you can overcome geographical and cultural boundaries.
If peer recruitment is done well it leads to higher conversion rates, better retention and more diverse recruitment
It also shows the world what life is actually like at your university – peer recruitment can offer a window onto campus through which anyone can get a sense of what’s happening and if it might be for them.
As for prospects, they not only get a better and more honest experience and understanding of your university, they also get the information they’re desperate to find. Despite usually wanting lots of details, prospective students often struggle to find them. Peer recruitment puts that information, or someone who can help give that information, front and centre.
More than anything, prospective students today want a direct, personal and human touch when choosing their university. Peer recruitment gives them exactly that.
We believe in the power of peer recruitment – not just because of some idealistic view of wanting to help young people make more informed and confident decisions (although that is a large part of it) – but because it works. The data we’ve seen from our customers underlines this. Customers have seen:
- a 24% prospect-to-applicant conversion rate
- 100x attributed ROI
- and we know three-quarters of prospective students are more likely to apply to your institution after using our Chat feature.
One of our partners also doubled its normal applicant-to-enrolment conversion rate within two months of working with us.
And our customers have used our platform to connect their student ambassadors with prospects in more than 160 countries worldwide.
We’ve stopped seeing peer recruitment as just part of student recruitment; we believe peer recruitment is student recruitment, because it redefines the way that universities engage with young people, regardless of where they are in the world. This brings huge opportunities across the recruitment cycle, from awareness to conversion and beyond.