Recently, it seems the number of regional admissions representatives has increased.
- Why are colleges and universities incorporating these positions into their recruitment plans?
- What does a regional recruiter do—and what are the benefits?
- How can admissions offices and high school counselors utilize these professionals?
We hope to answer these questions in a brief introduction to the world of regional recruitment.
What is a regional representative and what do they do?
- Regional reps typically live in their primary recruitment territory and work from a home office.
- No, they don’t lounge in their pajamas all day! Regional reps do many of the same tasks as their on-campus counterparts; however, they’re able to increase institutional exposure through more local events while completing various other responsibilities like application review, assisting with financial aid, and completing calling projects.
What are the top three benefits and challenges to having a regional representative?
- Increased number of high school visits and fair attendance. The majority of regional representatives (surveyed in the spring of 2014 in preparation for our presentation at the MIDWest ACAC conference) attend over 80 high school visits and over 40 college fairs annually— many more than most colleagues based on-campus.
- Face-to-face meetings with students, families and counselors. Because regional reps live in their recruitment territory, it allows them to spend more time with prospective students in-person. In the competitive admission marketplace, this personal touch can make all the difference.
- Increased exposure. Living in their recruitment territory allows more flexibility to participate in additional events, such as classroom presentations, parent panels, college nights, and financial aid nights.
- Less interaction with colleagues, current students, and campus. Regional reps have to work hard to stay connected and be kept in the loop with happenings on-campus.
- Work can be repetitive. Because regional reps typically do an increased number of visits, fairs, and receptions, work can become somewhat repetitive.
- Finding a good work-life balance. Many regional reps report this to be one of the biggest challenges in their position. With the computer and phone always right there, how can they not answer that email that came in at 11pm?
What are the keys to success for a regional?
- Manage expectations and give the regional model time. Don’t expect immediate gains— allow at least three recruitment cycles to see best results.
- Trust the instincts of the regional rep and their knowledge of the territory.
- Encourage your regional rep to get involved with professional organizations.
For Regional Representatives:
- Set a daily schedule and keep to it.
- Develop a work-life balance (this might take some time).
- Find a mentor. Speaking with another regional rep can be extremely helpful during the transition.
- Get involved with a local group of regional representatives (this is a great place to find a mentor!). Find a list here: National Association of Regional Admission Counselors (NARAC).
For Supervisors and Regional Representatives:
- Create open lines of communication.
- Discuss expectations for visits, fairs, travel to campus, calling, etc.
- Always present regional representatives in a positive light. There are many misconceptions about regional reps, so it is important to help all parties understand the value of these positions.
Whether your institution already has regional admissions representatives or is thinking about adding them, it is important to look carefully at this role. Don’t rush implementation and examine all possible roadblocks to success and try to eliminate them. This will save the institution time and money in the long run.
We hope this article can inspire conversations, whether you work with regionals or not, and help break down some misconceptions of what regional admissions representatives do.