How closely is faculty recruitment linked to student retention?
Your HR office can sometimes feel like a world of its own. But the inner workings of human resources, faculty and staff recruitment, and talent management are inextricably linked to the mission of your institution: student retention and student success. Read on to learn more about the importance of faculty recruitment to your institution.
Getting students in the door is the only the first step towards student success. Recent studies show that, in order to reap the rewards of a college degree, students can’t just attend college—they need to graduate. Students who drop out any time before graduation—often for minor, easily solvable reasons—aren’t getting the same benefits as their peers, even if they’re just one credit short of a degree. That’s why student success and achieving your institutional mission require, first and foremost, student retention.
An important factor in student retention
One piece from Inside Higher Ed argues that the most vital place to reach students at risk of not graduating is in the classroom, through their professors. Individual instructors, as well as an entire department, can have a huge impact on student retention rates.
This is where your HR team’s recruitment marketing efforts really come into play. Finding the best faculty for your college or university, and ensuring that they are able to contribute to a culture of student success and retention, is a complex task that goes far beyond simply sharing a job posting on your institution’s website.
A successful recruitment marketing strategy includes:
- honing job descriptions to match current institutional needs
- sharing open positions widely
- engaging candidates early and often
- offering a user-friendly applicant experience
- building talent pools
- and leaning into DEI recruitment efforts.
The role of faculty diversity in student retention
This last piece—a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion—is especially important when it comes to the impact on student retention. It’s easy to see the trickle-down impact of DEI efforts in faculty hiring. In 2018, the Department of Education reported that faculty at higher education institutions were 79% white, while only 60% of college students nationwide were white. Meanwhile, 59.5% of all college students are women, while only 34% of full professors are women.
Why do these numbers matter? Because minority students report that having professors and role models of the same race is a huge factor in feeling welcome and supported at a school. Female undergraduate students are more likely to take on leadership roles when female role models—like full professors—are present. There is evidence that when faculty diversity increases at community colleges, transfer and drop-out rates both improve.
A diverse faculty also impacts overall campus culture, offering more perspectives, broadening discussion, and impacting all students, no matter their race or gender. With this understanding of how faculty diversity can impact student retention and success, it’s clear that your office’s DE&I efforts can make a huge difference.
Step up to the plate
When considering recruitment marketing strategies that will help you win the war for talent and further DEI efforts at your institution, it’s important to have the right tools. Things like creating candidate pools and understanding diversity metrics are difficult when you’re working with manual data manipulation or email and paper job applications.
That’s where PeopleAdmin’s HigherEd Platform comes in. With our centralized, digitized talent management capabilities and actionable insight tools, your team can step up your recruitment and hiring game, targeting the best faculty and staff that fit the culture of your institution and the needs of your students. Show your institution how your team is impacting the mission of student success.
Schedule a demo to see how this can come to life for your campus today.