Home LearningDid You Know? Education Agents Optimistic of Online Recruitment in Pandemic World, Yet Caution Remains

Education Agents Optimistic of Online Recruitment in Pandemic World, Yet Caution Remains

by Eddie Rayner

A new report conducted among education agents in countries around the world show that amid a badly disrupted revenue model, agents are optimistic of recruiting students online during Covid-19.

Surveying 775 agents located in countries as diverse as India, Colombia, South Korea and Turkey, the report ‘Online Recruitment: Agent Toolkit, Challenges and Gaps to Fill’ from international education provider M Square Media (MSM) showed that 63.4% of respondents are highly optimistic about their recruitment in the next 12 months, followed by 23% who are somewhat optimistic and 13% who are neutral.

Of the survey participants, 65% use a mix of online and offline tools while the remaining 35% went completely online. Email topped the list as used by 713 or 92% of respondents, followed by phone calls (691 or 89.2%), social media (618 or 79.7%), and mailed-in or distributed flyers and materials (310 or 40%).

When asked about the source of their optimism in online recruitment, 594 respondents or 76.6% cited the lifting of travel restrictions, 449 or 57.9% mentioned the Covid-19 vaccine. Interestingly, 274 respondents or 35.4% pointed to automation platforms for recruitment.

65% of agents recruited with a mix of online and offline, while 35% recruited completely online

63% are highly optimistic of their current online recruitment efforts

84% worry over student entry restrictions due to Covid-19

However, in an industry built on face-to-face interactions, old habits die hard. “Agency office appointments, print media, and other traditional methods of working with students still have not made a full exit in the era of limited mobility,” wrote MSM, which surveyed the agents in late 2020

The agent-student dynamic, according to the report, has always involved physical visits and face-to-face counselling to finalise application and registration plans.

MSM recommended ways to address the push-back, including adopting a tech recruitment platform that automates agent tasks and streamlines application processing with a high level of accuracy and security.

In June 2020, MSM surveyed agents at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, finding that a majority of respondents (84.8%) are experiencing a loss of income. The pandemic has posed new and diverse challenges for education agents, including mobility restrictions, hesitation from students and their families, and the cancellation of events and edufairs.