by Sean Devlin, Front Rush
What does your recruit questionnaire say about how you recruit? We spend so much time tailoring our recruiting software to fit our needs that we often overlook the fact that the first interaction we have as college coaches with recruits is our questionnaire. No matter what recruiting contact management software you use, we recommend you look at what your questionnaire looks like to see if it’s matching your recruiting goals.
More Recruits, More Recruits, More Recruits!
Some coaches base their recruiting on the pure number of recruits they get…it is a total numbers game. The more recruits in the system, the more potential athletes.
Recruit Questionnaire: In this scenario, you should set up your form to request as little information as possible. We want this to be simple, easy, and usable. The less information that a recruit has to fill out the more likely he/she will complete the form. Just stick with requiring as few fields as possible and only ask the main stuff (First Name, Last Name, Contact Info, Position, High School, etc.). You can always call or email the recruit later to get the other information you need.
Recruits Need to "Earn" a Spot in My Database
Some coaches want their questionnaire out there for only the recruits who are dedicated to complete—not those who are just filling out this form along with hundreds of others.
Recruit Questionnaire: In this scenario, you should add additional fields for recruits to fill out. We want everything from Contact Info to Favorite Cereal. Require them to fill out a bunch of fields and not just skip through the questionnaire. By the time they are done, it will be like an early morning practice…they may even break a sweat. However, you know that you have a prospect who is really, really interested in your program.
Admissions is the Driver Behind My Recruits
Some coaches are mandated by admissions to obtain specific information about recruits…it may be demographic information or it may be academic information.
Recruit Questionnaire: In this scenario, we should take a good look at what admissions is asking for in their form(s). Let’s copy the fields verbatim…if they ask for SAT II, we should also ask for SAT II. This way–if admissions needs a report on the recruits in your system or if they send you recruits from their software, it will easily translate.
Academics is Everything
Some coaches select first by a recruit’s academic skill set and then by athletics.
Recruit Questionnaire: In this scenario, you should set up your recruiting form to highlight the academic fields. Let’s move the academic section towards the top of the questionnaire. We can put SAT, ACT, SAT II, GPA, etc., at the beginning and maybe go as far as requiring their completion. In addition, we can make them numeric fields so that you can search by your top performers later. You could even make a field an equation in the Front Rush system and require it so that recruits can only submit the form when the question is answered (if you use another company to handle your recruiting database management needs, contact them and see if they can do this for your system that you’re using. It is very helpful for you if academics are your top recruiting criteria).
Blue Chip Athletes Only
Some coaches are bombarded with requests and can only accept top athletic performers. These coaches have databases that are athletically very selective.
Recruit Questionnaire: In this scenario, you should not put the questionnaire on the web. Instead, let’s just put a generic form (if any at all) that the recruit has to print out and mail in. For the recruits that we are truly interested in, you can email them the link to the questionnaire. In this way, you can filter your targeted prime recruits.
Recruiting questionnaires are the lifeblood of most college programs. We recommend that you carefully review what your questionnaire is asking your recruit to do, and make sure that it matches the type of responses – from the right type of prospects – that you are desiring.
Sean Devlin leads the software development team at Front Rush, the nation’s leading web-based contact management system for college coaches. Have questions about how to maximize your recruiting tracking, or just how to improve it? Even if you aren’t a current Front Rush client, you can get advice on how to manage your current database more effectively. Email Sean with questions about your recruiting database and branded communications at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit them at www.FrontRush.com today.