Developing a Recruitment Plan

A successful recruitment strategy requires planning, maintenance, and follow-through. Use the tips under each pillar to develop a robust and realistic plan for the upcoming year.


  • Understand the qualities and characteristics shared by successful graduate students in your department.
  • Create pipelines: attend professional conferences, visit institutions that send you high-quality students, and follow up with your graduates who are now teaching at other institutions.
  • Take advantage of the Graduate Studies prospective student database, which includes students from the GRE database, the National McNair Scholar Directory, the Council for Undergraduate Research, and more.


  • Reach out to students in your monthly inquiry report. These are your strongest leads--they have already expressed interest in your program and in UNL!
  • Develop targeted email messages and let Graduate Studies run the campaign through Talisma.
  • Incorporate current students and faculty into your communication with students.
  • Keep your website current, particularly events and faculty.
  • Make application requirements and deadlines clear.


  • Respond to emails and phone calls quickly and fully answer questions. Anticipate followup questions and answer them in your initial response.
  • Enable UNLchat on your website.
  • Invite top applicants to visit. Campus visits are an opportunity to show rather than just tell and can be the determining factor for a student's decision.
  • Make admission decisions quickly and make the admission offer clear--don't wait until your deadline to begin reviewing applications.


  • Retain data and watch for trends. What is your yield ratio? Time to degree?
  • Survey new students to determine the effectiveness of your recruitment strategy.  How did they learn about your program?  What made them choose UNL?
  • Track student outcomes. Where are your alumni going? Collect testimonials and track student and faculty awards and recognitions. Your alumni can be your best recruiters! Be prepared to explain to prospective students how UNL can help them reach their goals.

How Graduate Studies can help

  • Monthly inquiry and applicant reports
  • Talisma email campaigns
  • Data tracking and evaluation services
  • General campus tours for individuals or groups
  • Giveaways for traveling or hosting students on campus
  • Research projects (competitor research, etc.)
  • Website reviews
  • Yearly recruitment fellowships
  • Have a specific request? Contact us.