1) Decide what you want to be and to whom. What is your goal in terms of yield, qualifications, source, timeline?
2) Decide what your key offerings are. Will you be focusing on the graduate or undergraduate market?
3) Evaluate your offerings in the context of the market. Where do you stand out?
4) Identify target segments your offering appeals to. It is said India as a market is fragmented. In which fragments would your offerings be considered of value and differentiated?
5) Identify and develop incentives, messaging, and other means to maximize what your offering provides to the target segments. Examine peer institutions and offerings to see where your offering falls from the “customer” perspective. What value do you add? How are you differentiated?
6) Evaluate potential channel partners and ecosystem gatekeepers. Who provides access to the student segments you’ve identified? How can you build relationships with those parties? On what criteria do ecosystem gatekeepers position peer institutions as potential destinations for target segment students?
7) Assess your own resources (time, budget, personnel) and identify how much of each your unit realistically has to work with external parties. Consider your India resources in light of your overall global recruitment strategy. Being busy is not the same as being productive. Assess focus on conversion vs lead generation. Break down quality of execution into elements across all key steps of the recruitment process and cycle.
8) Focus limited resources on qualified channel partners. Rather than multiple agreements with multiple agencies/channel partners, focus on a good fit. Talent overrides presence. Research has determined that talent yields 500% more results than the average performer. Find the talent to work with your organization as channel partners, and work out equitable terms amenable to a fruitful, mutually beneficial relationship.
9) Put in place a process that works for both your unit and external partners. Your team has its own plate full of priorities. At the same time, timely responses from your team will help achieve target yields. If possible, agree well ahead of time on what is required from your team, and conversely, from channel partners, to generate mutually beneficial target results.
10) Schedule an evaluation process with both parties to elicit lessons learned and calibrate processes for the next cycle. As you work together, there will be opportunities to do better, on both sides. The best partnerships have robust communication, transparent processes, and mutual respect ingrained within. A review attended by everyone who collaborated can surface insights and opportunities to optimize the process for the next cycle.