As the number of prospective colleges and universities students increases, admissions departments have to become more and more creative with their recruitment strategy, in order to stand out from other schools. With the new emerging technology, institutions now have the available resources to stand out in multiple different ways. A growing number of colleges and universities are now using Virtual Reality, as a way to engage students in an immersive and interactive way, with the campus life. In this post, we are going to discuss three ways that recruiters can use virtual reality in their recruitment process.
1) Attending School fairs and events
School fairs and similar events are a very popular and effective recruiting tool to spike the interest of prospective students. Unfortunately, many schools are attending such events, and all of them are trying to gain the attention of students in order to increase the amount of applications received each year. Differentiating one school from another can be seen as a difficult challenge to overcome.
One way that recruiters get students to engage with them during such events is by bringing high-end Virtual Reality headsets, such as the Oculus Rift. With those headsets, students can take a virtual tour of the institution, without having to physically travel to campus. Another more affordable way is to give students inexpensive virtual reality headsets, such as the branded Google cardboard ones, so that students can take the tour on their own with their phone or with provided devices.
2) Giving out headsets
Students face multiple problems. Firstly, they are not able to attend school fairs or recruiting events for all of the universities/ colleges they are interested in applying to. Secondly, if a student is planning on attending a school far away from home, or if that student is international, he/she might not be able to visit the campus before applying. And lastly, once the student has gotten accepted into several schools, he/ she may want to visit the location one more time in order to make the soundest decision.
Having the ability to virtually visit locations is a great resource to have, and more and more universities and colleges are trying to provide enable prospective students to do so. The Savannah College of Art and Design, for example, has mailed over 5000 branded Google cardboard headsets in 2015, to students who had been accepted into their school, but that hadn’t enrolled yet. With those headsets, those applicants could take a virtual tour of the facilities on campus in order to increase the number of enrolled students, by reminding them what it would be like to be a student on campus.
3) Virtual Reality booths within the admission’s office
The third way that virtual reality would be a valuable asset for colleges’ and universities’ recruitment department would be by having a virtual reality booth within their office. If the weather is rainy or cold, students may not have the best experience walking around campus. With a virtual reality booth, these students would be able to see what campus is like on a nice day.
By capturing events, such as homecoming weekend or sporting events, prospective students can experience what it is really like to be a student at that specific school. Iowa State University for example, showed their prospective athletes students during the offseason of their sport, what a live stadium would look like during game day.