Live Video Chat & Virtual Fairs: Strategies for International Recruitment & Retention







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Live Video Chat & Virtual Fairs:

Strategies for International

Recruitment & Retention

Nadia D’Lima, Manager, International Student Services, Centennial College

Greg Long, Digital Media Recruitment Officer, Centennial College


Looking Back:

History of International Registration at Centennial College


98 101 136 155 264 379 596 779 923 1162 1064 982 1212 1232 1408 2449 4179 5499 5681 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 94/95 95/96 96/97 97/98 98/99 99/00 00/01 01/02 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12 12/13


Where do our international students come from?


Live Chat and our Strategic Plan

1) Student Engagement

2) International Student Diversification 3) Student Advising

4) Use of IT to Increase Productivity/Reduce costs 5) Alignment with Marketing and Communications


“I’m so glad to see that we have so

many contacts to help us along our journey!”  12,473 + visitors from 104 countries

at Centennial’s virtual fairs (2011-2012) 111 Conversions resulted from virtual


Right Time: When can Live Chat support RECRUITMENT?

1) Generate leads with Virtual College Fairs 2) Bring along current students virtually to

Classroom visits / traditional fairs

3) Support yield by engaging leads with live chat

events through the planning and decision making process 4) Host Pre-arrival Orientation and Welcome Events for new entrants focused on making a successful transition


Right Time: When can Live Chat support RETENTION?

6) Support Academic Quality - Webinars focused

on college preparation (Academic matters like citation and plagiarism). 7) Strategic Conversations - International Student Ambassador Calling Campaign for new students, group and one on one Advising, and

Social Media Engagement

5) Support Information Needs by

broadcasting on campus info sessions and workshops free online (Google Hangouts)



Year of High School Graduation

Senior 72% Junior 11% Sophomore 5% Freshman 4% Parent 4%



Highest Applications:China – 28% apply to 11 or more! Lowest Applications: Sub-Saharan Africa – 28% of apply to 2 or less


After rankings and websites, conversations

are most influential

2.75 2.95 3.15 3.35 3.55 3.75 3.95 4.15 University web

site College rankings w/ studentsConvos w/ repsConvos On-Campustour search sitesCollege Universitybrochures EducationUSAoffice Guidancecounselor counselor/agentIndpendent facebook pg.University

How influential are the following experiences on application decisions? (1-5 scale)

Asia, China, and India had the most significant preference for students over reps

Campus Tours rank #1 among US students, rated at 4.4


Independent Counselors/Agents rated highest in China and sub Saharan Africa


After email and traditional fairs, open to a variety of

online channels

2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 Email Traditional

college fairs Live chat(IM) Campustour Live videoWebcast Phone mediaSocial WebcamCall messagingText (phone)

Please rate your interest in using each resource to

communicate with college or university reps (1-5 Scale)


Live Chat preferred over social media


Colleges should rely more on current students than


20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Admissions

representative International StudentServices Representative

Financial Aid

Representative Current internationalstudent Professors Alumni/graduates ofthe school or program

Which campus representative would you be interested to

see in a Live Video Presentation?

Current students favored over alumni

China: Students value students & professors over



Top three topics by region

Asia Financial Decisions Essay Writing Where to Apply Canada Essay Writing Where to Apply Initial Research China Essay Writing Initial Research Financial Decisions Europe Financial Decisions Essay Writing Test Prep India Visa Applications Financial Decisions Completing Apps. Latin America Financial Decisions Test Prep Essay Writing Middle East Financial Decisions Essay Writing Where to Apply Sub-Saharan Africa Financial Decisions Visa Applications Initial Research


The Right Message: The Power of ‘Peer to Peer’

Involve Students when Planning,

Promoting and Hosting Live Chats!

• Help students address Specific Concerns

• Build personal connection to your school

• Help students take the next step


Useful Content Defined by Chinese Students

“I cant find much info about student life on campus”

“Nice to see school intros written by Chinese

students, not something too official”

“I want to hear from students who have gone through

the application admissions and study process so that

know better what we are going through”


Useful Content: Authentic, Informative, Timely

There is a lot of scope for improvement. Institutional

social media accounts could be more interactive, like a

chat room.” — 21-year-old male, India

“College/university pages are not very active and update

slowly, but I can also get information from their students’

activities online.”

—22-year-old female, China

Source: WES, World Education Services, 2012.

Not All International Students Are the Same: Understanding Segments, Mapping Behavior


Students like other students!

• Our students want to meet: “Home Friends”,

“Host Friends”, “International Friends”

• Greater attendance and interest for student

led activities on our campus than other extra

curricular activities.

• Record Applicants for programs such as

Leadership Passport, LeaderShape, Student

Mentor Program and Student Ambassador



International Student Ambassador Program

• Call for participation every four months.

• 12 Ambassadors in May 2013 > 32 students in Fall 2014.

• 20 hours of volunteering at on and off campus events for

international students. Incentives: Credit towards their

leadership passport, which in turns earns them a credit on

their final transcript. Leadership Opportunities, public

speaking, presentation skills, references.

• Students want to continue being part of the program after

20 hours.


Redefining “Experts”

Shift in Advising Strategies:

• Redefining the expert to include student voices.

• Students tweet, fb, insta and love sharing stories

• Leverage their platforms to share messages with a common

goal of making students feel welcome and that they belong to

a supportive community.

• Student MC for campus events – orientation, student led

activities like origami workshop, henna tutorial.


Live Chat Conversations:

Right Message, Right Time, Right Channels

Right Channels:

Virtual Fairs: CollegeWeekLive and Edufindme

Skype/Google Hangouts – Live Chat Table

Classroom to Boardroom Skype Conferences


1) Student Diversification with

Virtual Fairs

Student Diversification:

 Diversify recruitment efforts, target specific groups, and limit travel.  CollegeWeekLive: Total 12,473 Leads from 120 Countries


2) Engagement

(March 2014 – October 2014)

Four Events on CollegeWeekLive: Latin America Student Day, Europe Africa Middle East Day, Int’l Students Day, Asian Students Day

561 students chatted with Centennial College!  710 students listed Centennial College as one of their favorite schools!


Conversations with Highly Engaged Students

Student – Carla Faigmane

Hi Greg! What's your GMAT requirement? Do you also require TOEFL/ IELTS certification for international students?

Rep – Greg Long Hi Carla, welcome. You actually do not need GMAT to attend college or university in Canada Student – Carla


That's good to hear! How about TOEFL/IELTS though my business and accountancy curriculum is in English.

Rep – Greg Long If English is not your first language, we do require IELTS or TOEFL (unless you are taking a foundation program or ESL). The IELTS or TOEFL scores required depend on your program, and level. For post graduate program. For post-graduate or fast track programs, an applicant requires 6.5 overall with no bands less than 6.0 (IELTS).

Student – Carla Faigmane

I'm planning to take up a post-grad degree in business. In addition, I'm also a licensed public accountant in the Philippines. Do I need to take classes in order to take Canadian CPA exams? What do you recommend?

Rep – Greg Long We recommend you check out the post-graduate program in our school of business. Our accounting fast-track program would provide a streamlined route to write the licensing exam and start working in the accounting feild. Check them out here: Student – Carla


Thanks a lot, Greg! Will check it! Looking forward to meeting you August 13th International Students Day Chat:


Repeat Event Visitors

Centennial College had a total of 2,696 repeat visitors!

Interested, Self - Motivated and Highly Engaged

Frederick ******, Ghana (Seeking a Grad Degree)

EMEA Day 2014

Int’l Students Day August 2014 June AlwaysON 2014

Int’l Students Day May 2014 March AlwaysON 2014

Caleb *******, New Zealand (Seeking a Grad Degree) September AlwaysON 2014 August AlwaysON 2014 July AlwaysON 2014 June AlwaysON 2014 May AlwaysON 2014 March AlwaysON 2014 *******, Canada (Senior) EMEA Day 2014 September AlwaysON 2014 *******, Canada (Transfer) May AlwaysON 2014 March AlwaysON 2014


3) Student Advising: Feedback from Students


"Great, you are making me feel even better about my choice about coming to Centennial.“


"Thanks for the info guys, they are really helpful. I'm really excited”


You guys are really great, simplifying all asked questions in mannerly way


“I want to say thank you all for this presentation. We have got to

know a lot of different and interesting things about this program. All of us are actually really interested”


Oleg (Country of Recruit: Russia):

“Will there be a new chat within some future months? Can you please give me your ________or _______ account?”

Strategies for Following up on Live Chat

• Peer to Peer Follow Up

• Online Community Invites

Live Chat Follow up Match Game


Live Chat Follow up Match Game

On Which platform did 3,230 see this post?

Strategies for Following up on Live Chat

1) Peer to Peer Follow Up + Online Community Invites

2) Admissions Representative Follows up via Phone, Email, Travel, Virtual Events 3) Leverage Content on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Youku



Sahil Verma: Had an amazing life time global experience in the dense rainforests of Costa Rica. Such an learning conservation expedition. #Costarica #Centennialcollege


Veronica Romero: Taking advantage of every second to study and improve my english. Waiting the bus or the subway, every moment is important and precious.


Rohit Kashyap: Sit on a couch and study whatever you want with mind blowing view in front of you from centennial college progress library.... #iexperiencecentennial

Elisa Tromba Ariemma: Each minute counts to reach my potential...The centennial experience comes along with me every place I go... #iexperiencecentennial

Alejandro Meixueiro: I am really happy to know that I belong to Centennial College, its amazing to travel everywhere and let people know where you come from! I am really proud to be part of Centennial College; sharing my experience with every person I meet is like planting seeds around the world. Thank you so much for this opportunity because I am living my dream. Clifts of Moher, Dublin, Ireland.. #iexperiencecentennial


Key Takeaways

Right Channels


influence decisions. Take advantage of preferences for online communication


Right Times

Students say it’s very important to have conversations throughout the process.

Right Message

Students want access to a variety of representatives and need help with a variety of topics.





Challenge: Budget

Ambassador Budget – One Year

10.25 x 6h per week x 52 weeks = $3198 ($6396 for 2 Student Workers)


 Volunteer Experience / Reference (Chinese Students Especially Interested)

 Students Involved in Client Projects in Marketing/Communications Programs

 Students looking for internships at your institution

3 hours of live chat (2 video / 1 text) x 4 Student Reps = $184.00 Each Event Host 3 Live Chat events a year for $550.00


How Live Chat Supports NAFSA’S Armchair Recruitment Communication Procedures

1) Build Awareness – More quality information goes out:

 Live Chat supports Lead Generation, Engagement, Diversification

2) Develop responses for students at different stages:

 Student Engagement, Student Advising, Reduce Costs

3) Provide Timely Response: Conversations support Engagement

4) Provide Specific answers to specific questions: Right Message



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