August brings new life and vitality to college campuses all over the world. New students enrolling for the first time are full of promise and energy, and returning students are excited to resume their academic studies and catch up with friends. This is also a time of renewal for so many enrollment staffs as they too welcome new faces to help their institutions achieve their goals.
In a quick review of job search websites, once again we see several hundred positions within enrollment management needing to be filled. Some campuses are looking for leadership, others looking to replace staff who have moved on, and some are expanding their teams. In each case, a new person will hopefully fill that needed position with the energy and the drive necessary to be successful.
As with any new member of your team, there is a transition not only for the new person but for the current staff as well.
When we get a new staff member, whether it is within a leadership role or entry level position, everyone must realize that the new person is not the same as the person who vacated that position before them. New staff members must be given the time and resources (like onboarding and professional development) to make that position their own.
Too often, staff members who remain try to compare the new with the old. That can create false expectations, slowing down the effective integration of new members. Instead, incorporate new staff members into projects and activities that further expose them to the enrollment management practices of your office and institution.
Some activities for new personnel may include:
- Attending staff and faculty meetings on campus to network with new colleagues
- Participating in group meetings with your student ambassadors
- Pairing with a campus mentor not from your area
- Responding to inquiries and conducting prospective client outreach
- Tagging along on campus tours and attending student information sessions.
In the end, everyone must keep in mind that they too were once “the new person” and how they felt during that important onboarding process. As leaders, we all must strive to encourage and help those new staff members as they integrate themselves into our teams.
By Chris Harris, Senior Enrollment Strategist, Capture Higher Ed