Recruiting Accountability

Recruiting Accountability

In an earlier post we discussed quantifying the impact of athletics on enrollment management. One aspect of that process is establishing expectations and accountability for athletics recruiting. In this episode of Perspective on Athletics, we look at a simple, yet effective way to establish recruiting expectations that will quantify athletics’ activity as well as productivity.

Why Is It Important?

  • Every head coach position description identifies recruiting as an essential function, but often programs fail to clarify what “recruiting” means and the expected outcomes.
  • For enrollment driven/dependent institutions, athletics can make or break a new class.
  • Most athletics departments have superstar recruiters and underachieving ones. Whatever the reasons, setting up a system of accountability will help everyone.
  • Developing and strengthening the working relationship between athletics and admissions offices will support institutional enrollment goals.

How To Create A Recruiting Accountability Model

Begin With The End In Mind

  • Identify optimum roster sizes sport by sport
  • Establish recruiting objectives for new student-athletes
  • Quantify objectives for freshmen and transfer student-athletes. Different strategies may be employed for each group.

Do Some Reverse Engineering

  • Based on historical performance, identify the number of prospects needed in each team’s recruiting pool to yield enough to meet objectives. For example, if a team is expecting to enroll five new student-athletes, how many prospects must it actively recruit to end up getting five?  If no athletics recruiting history can be found, start with admissions’ data to find out how many prospects ultimately convert to enrolled students. 
  •  For each team, identify the target number of 1) prospects in pool; 2) completed applications; and 3) admits.
  • Also establish a target yield percentage (admits converted to enrolled/deposits)

Other Influencing Factors

  • Institutional goals/objectives for diversity (ethnic, geographic, socio-economic).
  • Academic profile targets and minimum requirements.
  • Financial need of incoming students (is there a target/goal for ‘no need’ or ‘high need?’).
  • Two sport prospective student-athletes (all coaches and admissions staff must work in sync).

Benefits And Outcomes Of Implementing An Accountability System

  • Are coaches putting enough time / energy into their recruiting?
  • Are coaches targeting the right profile for prospects (academic or other institutional priorities)?
  • Which recruiting activities / strategies yield the best results?
  • Evidence of athletics’ recruiting effectiveness and impact on the overall enrollment effort.

Three Keys For Success

  1. Reach out and strengthen working relationship with admissions office and staff.
  2. Create a system to track recruiting activities (commercial product, admissions data base, etc.).
  3. Invest as much time as needed to clarify expectations, objectives and outcomes.

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Mark Majeski founded Majeski Athletic Consulting in 2011 after spending more than two decades working in small college athletics.


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