Retention. Retention. Retention.

We all want our students to succeed. And with a notable drop in retention at colleges and universities nationwide, administrators are looking for ways to help their students stay enrolled and complete their degrees. Of course, colleges and universities want students to graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to go on to successful careers. But retention affects faculty and staff, too: enrollment and retention rates can influence a school’s ranking, reputation, and financial position. Here, MassLive Media Group explains how leveraging student body data can help higher education institutions identify challenges and take steps to help students thrive.

Understanding Student Enrollment

First, let’s differentiate enrollment, retention, and persistence. Enrollment is the number of students who matriculate at a higher education institution in a given academic year. Persistence is typically defined as the number of first-year students who return to any school for a second year, while retention is the overall number of students who return to a specific institution. All three are usually expressed as a percentage.

In recent years, both retention and enrollment rates have dropped throughout the country. Inside Higher Ed reports that enrollment declined by more than 3% from 2019 to 2020. The overall retention rate for higher education institutions also decreased, with particularly notable drops among part-time and community college students.

Building a Retention Strategy

Improving retention needs to be a comprehensive effort between faculty and staff, with safety nets in place at each step of a student’s journey. The best retention plans are collaborative and multi-pronged, with open communication between administrators and students themselves.

Define What Success Looks Like

Many colleges and universities know they want to improve their retention strategy, but they may be unclear on a specific goal. Are you hoping to increase graduation rates by a certain percentage, or raise your student body’s average GPA?

It’s important to remember that success looks different for every student. While a typical college student may hope to complete their bachelor’s degree in four years, an adult learner may take longer to complete their degree while working full-time. If they graduate in five or six years, they’ve still succeeded – so degree completion time may not be the best metric. When setting goals for student recruitment and retention, make sure you’re not taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Dive into Your Data

Higher education institutions have a wealth of data at their fingertips. All colleges and universities that receive federal support must collect information for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a data collection program within U.S. Department of Education.

Individual and aggregated student data can help administrators identify trends. Many factors can influence retention in addition to grades, such as:

  • Class attendance rates
  • Percentage of assignments turned in on time
  • Use of academic services like advising and tutoring
  • Engagement with on-campus groups and programming

Offer Interventions

By analyzing existing data, schools can find intervention points where individual students may need extra help. For example, a student whose attendance has dropped off may be having difficulty balancing school and work. One-on-one advising and support can help this student stay enrolled – perhaps they need tutoring help, or they need to lighten their course load.

Focus on Engagement

Online and hybrid degree programs have become increasingly popular. While virtual learning can help accommodate a wider variety of students, it can also make it more difficult for students to feel engaged with their peers, professors, and coursework. Schools need to make an extra effort to reach out to students beyond the traditional campus environment and develop strategies to help remote learning feel more engaging.

Reach More Students with MassLive Media Group

Most colleges know how important it is to attract and retain the right students – but they may fall short when it comes to implementing strategies. That’s where MassLive Media Group comes in: we work to understand what sets your institution apart and come up with a customized plan for reaching your audience. With deep expertise in higher education, our capabilities include:

  • Audience research and segmentation
  • Channel management
  • Predictive analytics and strategy insights
  • Behavior and audience targeting
  • Digital and print media creation

MassLive Media Group has worked with community colleges, public universities, and private four-year colleges throughout the country. For more information about our marketing services, contact us today.



Manufacturing Recruitment Strategy

Worker shortages in manufacturing industry is real. Highly skilled positions remain open as a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. For manufacturers, building and maintaining a robust and skilled talent pool is key for both short-term and long-term hiring success.

Recruitment Marketing as a Relationship Builder, Not Just Candidate Sourcing

Don’t wait to be present until a position is open – consistently position your brand in front of both passive and active job seekers. Consistent branding creates a talent pool who is familiar with your company, benefits, culture and therefore more likely to consider you when looking to make a career change. Top of the funnel marketing tactics such as video and display make your brand presence known.

Build A Connection By Understanding Your Best Potential Candidates 

Develop personas, marketing strategies and campaigns specific to your common open positions. Different positions attract different types of candidates. Understanding the nuances allows you to more directly content with job seekers, to communicate your company story and to welcome them into your culture with a personalized approach. Seek out a recruitment marketing partner with a deep data bench, capable of developing audience segments, media placements and creative to speak directly to specific candidate audiences.

Enhance Your Job Board Presence with Display & Video

Placements on job boards are effective in reaching those actively seeking a position. However, other traditional marketing methods like targeted display and video allow companies to share their full story. More visual formats let prospective candidates see your benefits and experience your culture. Both elements that can cause them to choose you as their next employer – over your competition.


Healthcare Recruitment Strategy

A growing aging population, pandemic burnout and a ramp up of traveling nurse opportunities have put a strain on healthcare recruitment. Nurses are in high demand – with an abundance of employment options to choose from. How does your healthcare facility standout in this mad dash for employment?

Invest in the Community You Serve

Healthcare is essential to the community. Consider supporting the community you serve by sponsoring local events, job fairs and awards to keep your organization top-of-mind. Not only will these positive associations bring your organization front and center, it will also generate positive word of mouth among the community – reaching friends and families connected to potential candidates.

Showcase Company Culture

Give a glimpse of what its like to work at your organization on any given day. Show the people who work there, the halls to be walked and the benefits to be had. Video succinctly communicates positive culture through virtual tours, testimonials and more. Written testimonials and other content featuring current employees lend authenticity to your showcase.

Replenish Talent Pools with New Grads

New graduates are critical in helping to fill staffing gaps and to replenish talent pools. Utilize highly targeted strategies to reach new graduates, while still on campus, where they are spending their time. Hyper local mobile targeting puts your organization front and center among soon-to-be-graduating adding you to their consideration set for post-graduation employment.


Education Recruitment Strategy

Like most categories of business, education providers are facing faculty and staff shortages. Finding experienced and passionate educators and faculty continues to be a challenge. Education institutions should look beyond salary and benefits to larger strategies to drive interest and applications for the upcoming school year ahead.

Build Your Talent Pool with Year-Round Strategy

Primary education recruitment season begins at the end of the previous school year, with many schools starting from scratch every year. Establishing a year-round recruitment marketing strategy, allows you
to reach faculty and staff considering a change throughout the school year, adding them to your talent pool as the year progresses. Having a year-round plan also puts your institution front and center, outside of the more cluttered traditional recruitment period.

Utilize Your Community As A Recruitment Tool

Your community has the potential to be a unique selling point for your institution. Consider highlighting the quality of life – showing prospective employees the community you serve. Community events, local activities, cost of living and more can have pull over prospective employees looking to make a move or to enjoy a way of life your community offers. Partner with local events, local organizations and even your convention and visitors bureau to generate content about your community.

Job Fairs Help Build Awareness of Your Institution

Passive and Active job seekers join job fairs to learn more about prospective districts and institutions. By merely being present, among your competition, you can ensure that your district or institution is in the consideration set for educators looking to make a career move. Both in-person and virtual career fairs provide additional visibility and awareness for your institution.


Warehouse Recruitment Strategy

Warehouses are experiencing unprecedented growth thanks to a shift towards online shopping. As growth continues and timely shipping remains critical, warehouses face a continual shortage of workers.

Tout the Benefits That Make You Stand Out

Warehousing jobs are not historically known for good benefits and upward mobility. With changing demand and increased competition, more warehouse companies are adding long-term benefits and job training to their offerings. As an employer, tout benefits like 401Ks, employer matching and paid training as part of new hire packages. Talk about your openings more as long-term careers vs. short- term or holiday employment for additional appeal.

Get Connected In the Community

Grassroots community efforts and word of mouth tactics still hold strong in warehousing recruitment. Sponsoring local community events and job fairs raises brand awareness in the community, spreads positive sentiment about your organization and jump starts word of mouth. This simple activation makes your organization more likely to be noticed by potential job seekers and considered as a stable, future local employer in a future job search.

Local Jobs, Local Placements

Warehousing recruitment pulls most applicants and new hires locally. Very rarely to companies hire outside of their immediate market. Tap into the local job seeker scene through local job boards, job fairs and other local job posting opportunities. Local job seekers continually use these outlets to find new employment opportunities.


Trucking Recruitment Strategy

Facing an aging workforce and increased competition for new talent, the trucking industry struggles to keep recruitment pipelines full and trucking routes staffed. Trucking industries should look to implement full-funnel marketing strategies to not only attract active job seekers but it keep talent pools fresh with new prospects.

Address Trucking Industry Myths

Increase top-of-the-funnel prospects by introducing the benefits of a trucking industry careers to passive job seekers. Address potential concerns head-on, including hours, mileage goals and living conditions while highlighting employment benefits such as 401K matching, healthcare and time off. Video and written content are both great vehicles to communicate this information.

Stay in Touch with Prospects

Deciding to change careers can be a lengthy process for passive job seekers. Keep your talent pool active with periodic communication about your business, job openings and career benefits. Set up an email calendar, reaching out to a list of emails from those who you met at job fairs, submitted an inquiry or sent a full resume. Frequently post about your culture, the trucking industry and openings to keep your followers engaged.

Job Boards Are Important

Trucking applicants remain tapped in to local and regional job boards. A presence on local job boards and job aggregator sites provide you business with bottom of the funnel presence – reaching those interested in the truck industry and actively applying now.


Professional Recruitment Strategy

Finding outstanding talent that fits your culture is a concern for any business. Make the most of your time and resources by attracting qualified candidates that can hit the ground running and succeed within your organization. Identify quality talent and cultivate your talent pool with leading recruitment marketing strategies perfect for professional businesses.

Showcase Your Company Culture

Tell the story of your business, your history, your employees and more. The more a prospective employee knows about your operations and culture the more they are able to determine whether they are a match for your organization. Office tour videos, employee testimonials and other visuals can help to show daily life within your company.

Tailor Communications to Open Positions

Instead of deploying blanket recruitment ads for all positions in your company, consider developing custom creative and campaigns for each position. Messaging should focus on key benefits and operations of that role, showcase photos and videos of that segment of your business and speak directly to those candidates. Specific communication, drives more qualified applications – increasing your odds of finding a match while building up your talent pool - than general recruitment ads.

Use Job Boards to Reach Active Job Seekers

Job Fairs, local job boards and job board aggregators remain critical bottom-of-the-funnel tactics in securing applications for open positions. While other flashier tactics will fill the top of your funnel, these more nitty-gritty media elements provide a place for active job seekers to seamlessly apply for the positions they want – now.