Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment?

Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment?

April is an incredibly important month for Admission Offices around the country. There’s accepted student open houses, email campaigns, school swag to be mailed, and events across the country to convince top high school students that they should deposit to your school by May 1. What’s the point of all these increased marketing efforts? Sure, you want to convince students that you have the top facilities, faculty, alumni network and academic programs. But, you’re also relying on the students convincing each other, too. Your accepted students talk constantly on Facebook and organize their own meetups, trying to feel like their school choice is going to be the right choice.

This got me thinking about web chats. School-sponsored chat rooms are not cutting it as an effective way to yield accepted students. Take a look at the Noel-Levitz 2009 Student Recruitment Practices and Strategies report statistics [PDF]:

chat effectiveness Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment?

In 2009, only 8.3% of 4-year public, 2% of 4-year private, and 1.5% of 2-year public institutions considered their chat rooms a “very effective” tool in recruitment.

So, you’re working in web recruitment and you may already have good web content - maybe even a personalized portal for accepted students - and you’re active in social media. What else can you do? Are video chats worth it? Maybe. I polled my school’s Class of 2014 Facebook group and the responses may surprise you.

videochat responses Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment?

From the responses it looks like the students are pretty excited about the idea. I haven’t put this into practice yet, but the leading video chat services seem to be tinychat and TokBox. I’ve tested both, and they’re incredibly easy to set up and get a video chat room running, but they suffer from lag. Chats almost become unbearable with more than four people in the same room.

And yes, there’s Chatroulette as well. Let’s face it - it’s popular. Did you know you can create a subdomains within Chatroulette? For example, you could type in https://yourschool2014.chatroulette.com and invite people to that link, so that only a selected group could join in. I’m going to stay away from this, however, since the students I polled like the group chat idea, and not awkward one-on-one chats.

I’m excited to see how schools begin using video chats in future recruitment cycles. Do you think video chats can be an effective tool for recruitment?


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accepted, admission, chat, class of 2014, Email, facebook, Marketing, recruitment, Video, yield

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This post was written by:

Mike Petroff

Mike Petroff - who has written 12 posts on .eduGuru

Mike is the Web Manager for Enrollment at Emerson College in Boston, MA.  He leads web marketing and online recruitment efforts for undergraduate and graduate admission.  Mike also chairs the social media group at Emerson as they work on coming up with ways to use the social web to recruit the next generation of students. You can find him on Twitter at @mikepetroff.


7 Responses to “Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment?”

  1. Avatar image
    Lougan Says:

    Not trying to be negative, but I’m pretty sure my university wouldn’t endorse the use of Chatroulette. Free subdomain or not, its been tainted with… in a metaphorical and literal sense.

    Its all fun and games until someone pulls their pants off.

    Reply

  2. Avatar image
    Mike Petroff (author) Says:

    I completely agree - and the students do too. There’s no way I’m creating an official subdomain in Chatroulette, but it’s the communication technique that’s most interesting.

    I wouldn’t expect prospective students to be eager to connect video group video chats, but it looks like they want to. There’s a limited amount of tools to make this happen right now… and some, like Chatroulette, have already gone south (I like puns too).

    The more colleges can do to allow accepted students to easily interact over the web, the better.

    Reply

  3. Avatar image
    Joe Schurman Says:

    You hit the nail on the head Mike! These are the types of applications we are building through SmartChat for a better experience for Admissions and UCUniversity for all the rest. Thanks for your post!

    Joe

    Reply

    • Avatar image
      Joe Schurman Says:

      UC University - https://www.evangelyze.net/ucu.asp is still in development. SmartChat is already out and we are installing into several universities as we speak. UCU will be piloted at two universities to start. One here in the US and the other in Melbourne, Australia.

      Reply

  4. Avatar image
    Sean Says:

    You hit the nail on the head Mike! These are the types of applications we are building through SmartChat for a better experience for Admissions and UCUniversity for all the rest. Thanks for your post!

    Joe

    Reply

  5. Avatar image
    Maddison Richards Says:

    I also promote some of my affiliate links on Facebook by making Facebook fan pages and also by advertising on Facebook.;..

    Reply

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  1. links for 2010-04-13 « Michael Nolan says:

    [...] Can Video Chats be Useful in Recruitment? | .eduGuru "I polled my school’s Class of 2014 Facebook group and the responses may surprise you." (tags: studentengagement students highered eduguru) [...]

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