Freed-Hardeman University Celebrates Another Record-Breaking Student Recruitment Season with TargetX Recruitment Suite

Challenge: Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) wanted to improve its student recruitment efforts, increase the total enrollment and be more effective in meeting student needs but were dependent on an unsustainable in-house system.

“After we had a consultant complete an IT audit of our system, we realized we were dangerously dependent on one individual,” said Joe Askew, FHU’s Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management. “We realized we needed a CRM tool to help us recruit students, but we were blind to what systems were out there.”

FHU’s admissions team was using a student information system and portal that was built in-house with minimal customization options. Counselors were able to log their activity but creating reports efficiently was a major challenge. The online application was clunky and inefficiencies were a barrier to developing relationships with prospective students.

Quote: “We chose TargetX because of its flexibility and its long-term viability to grow and become more sophisticated.” Joe Askew – Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management

Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) broke another record in student enrollment for the third year in a row despite the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on colleges and universities throughout the U.S., and the significant hurdles that presented for student recruitment efforts.

Quote: “The bottom line is we can’t live without it…” Dave Clouse – Vice President for Community Engagement

Solution: FHU’s admissions team utilized the TargetX Recruitment Suite and Premier Services to enhance their communication efforts and create a higher quality experience for students.

In FHU’s search for a more effective recruitment tool and a sustainable system the team could work with, they eventually selected TargetX in 2014.

“We chose TargetX because of its flexibility and its long-term viability to grow and become more sophisticated,” Askew said.

With TargetX, they were no longer limited to 15 key fields but able to customize as much as they needed. In addition to the customization capability, counselors and recruiters were able to produce reports quickly and efficiently and thus improve their communication efforts with students.

The team also received support from TargetX’s Premier Services to assist with implementation.

“The value in [TargetX’s Premier Services] is really unbelievable,” said Kaylan Stewart, Director of Undergraduate Admissions. “I don’t remember ever working with a team who is so quick to respond and easy to work with.”

Having the portal and a checklist for each student’s specific needs removed barriers and assisted the team in walking students through the necessary steps to apply for enrollment and beyond. The tool allows the team to think about what else they can do to add value to the student’s experience and what students need to do to enroll.

“Now we have a system to cater to the student and that’s customizable to what students need,” said Lisa Raine, FHU’s CRM Coordinator. “This technology makes a difference for the students … We can help the students where they’re at because many don’t know or have the resources to get what they need. Now we can help them.”

Results: With TargetX, FHU has had a 31.6% increase in student applications since 2015. For three years in a row, the university has broken previous records of student enrollment, reaching its highest enrollment yet in 2021.

After FHU implemented TargetX Recruitment Suite, they received 1,900 applications in 2015. In 2021, they received 2,500 applications. Each admissions representative is now working with 300 to 400 applications at a time.

“I can’t imagine not having something this versatile and dynamic to address all these applications, and also knowing where a student is at any point in time and having that data be up-to-date,” Raine said.

TargetX has allowed FHU’s admissions team to expand its services to students and offer a better-quality experience. Communication with students moved from transactional conversations to relational conversations.

“Our recruiters have better quality interaction with students,” Raine said. “They can help them address real needs and not just have ‘checklist’ kind of conversations.”

In addition to the system’s long-term benefits, the system has also been helpful over the course of the pandemic when most events went virtual.

“We were able to provide a better digital online experience for students,” Raine said.

“The bottom line is we can’t live without it,” said Dave Clouse, FHU’s vice president for community engagement.

Quote: “I can’t imagine not having something this versatile and dynamic to address all these applications, and also knowing where a student is at any point in time and having that data be up-to-date.” Lisa Raine – CRM Coordinator

FHU

Freed-Hardeman University at a Glance

  • Private Christian university in Henderson, Tennessee
  • Founded in 1869
  • Offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees
  • Total student enrollment: 2,320

TargetX Solutions

TargetX Solutions

Goals

  • Increase student enrollment
  • Improve recruitment efforts and communication with prospective students
  • Utilize a sustainable system with customization capabilities

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