This fall, admissions staff will use Salesforce software, as part of their migration to the Workday enterprise system, to manage the undergraduate student recruitment campaign. Thousands of contacts are added and developed during a one-year recruitment process.
"The manner in which the university communicates with prospective students during the recruitment process greatly influences students' impressions of the university, their level of interest in the university, their evaluative process in determining if the university is a good fit for them and ultimately, their decision to attend," said Laura Doering, associate vice president for enrollment management and student success.
"Our goal is to improve the recruitment process by improving how we communicate with prospective students and their families -- providing them with the information they need, when they want it. We want to be supportive and helpful in the college decision process."
More than marketing
The move to Salesforce gives admissions staff next-generation, cloud-based software to manage communication during the recruitment process. But it's more than just automated marketing emails. It's an information system that builds individual profiles for students, helping to eliminate redundancies, such as multiple phone calls or emails with the same message.
"The ability to tailor information for each individual is a critical improvement in communicating with prospective students," Doering said.
Salesforce features a web-based interface, reporting options, marketing campaigns, location-based recruitment information and searchable fields of information. The Graduate College already uses Salesforce recruitment with some departments.
Another Salesforce advantage is the ability to track prospective students through stages. Based on their level of interest in becoming a student at ISU, individuals are placed in specific stages within Salesforce. This allows recruiters to predict the needs of each student as they progress through the stages of interest.
"Ideally, we'll be able to anticipate what the next stage is for each student, and deliver both the appropriate and desired information needed and wanted at each stage in their decision-making process," Doering said.
Part of the decision to use Salesforce was driven by its compatibility with the Workday student information system that will be implemented as part of Iowa State's WorkCyte initiative. The information gathered during the recruitment and admissions process will be integrated into Workday.
The Salesforce system is on track for implementation by the end of October to align with admissions' next recruitment campaign.
Concepts and benefits in the new system likely will be analyzed for possible use in student onboarding procedures. A task force was appointed earlier this year to study and recommend onboarding procedures that help make the transition to life and learning at Iowa State easier for students.
"Going forward, that is exactly what we are trying to do," Doering said.