The University of Melbourne operated a decentralized recruitment process whereby each department was responsible for recruiting new students. Each department operated recruitment independently of the others
The purpose of this research project was to assess how effective each department was in handling inquiries from interested students.
We approached this evaluation as mystery shoppers. We developed a number of different scenarios that covered a variety of circumstances under which a university department might respond to an inquiry from a prospective student and we evaluated how the university responded.
The RIGHT Answer
The mystery shopper program showed that there were huge contrasts among different departments in their orientation toward recruiting new students with some doing a very good job and others doing poorly.
Also, what was missing from these independently run recruitment programs was an overall consistent message about the University itself.
Our recommendations suggested a more uniform approach to student inquiries be instituted and that a stronger orientation be provided towards “recruiting” rather than just fielding inquiries or providing information.