It was 1982 when Tom Peters and Robert Waterman Jr. both consultants at McKinsey and Company published their groundbreaking best selling book on organizational management “In Search of Excellence”. Peters and Waterman Jr., through countless interviews with leading institutions, developed the 7S Model Framework, which they argued was at the center of the most successful organizations in the world. It is from this model that GSRA looks at the “International Recruitment Unit Audit” to improve the overall health of an institutions international recruitment and admission program. The seven elements of the 7S model are shown below in this simple but effective diagram.
GSRA explains that the 7S model is a useful tool when auditing or building an international recruitment unit. Below is a brief explanation of each of the seven elements that should be looked at and considered during an initial build or re-build of an existing international recruitment and admission unit.
Shared Values: At the core is the organizations “shared values”. These are the values that make the university unique/special. What can every member of the unit rally around and agree on? Why are we recruiting and enrolling international students? Is it for the money? To diversify the campus? To improve learning outcomes? The big idea here is to be mission focused, with the entire international recruitment unit pulling in one common direction.
Strategy:This refers to the written plan devised to build a competitive advantage over the competition. What is the step by step series of events that will propel the unit and their work forward? What do you plan to do and what do you want to achieve? How will you measure your work?
Structure: This is the way the international recruitment operation is structured and who reports to who and what the expectations are for the unit. If the structure is not properly built and maintained, it will be difficult/impossible to ever reach goals.
Systems: These are the daily activities and procedures that the unit members engage in to get the job done. Through the use of the most modern technology available, what systems have or need to be put in place to achieve the units goals?
Style: This refers to the leadership portrayed by the unit head and modeled by the entire team. What is the style of the unit and is it easily identified as a key element in the overall effort of the unit?
Staff: This focuses on the employees and their general capabilities and is paramount to the units long-term success. Taking care of those individuals that have dedicated their career to advancing the institution and recruiting new members to the unit that will embrace the shared values and the leadership style of the unit is key to long term success.
Skills: Further developing the skills and competencies of the employees working for the international recruitment unit is central to sustained success. By building a continuous learning environment for all team members you are securing an environment of continuous improvement and commitment necessary for success in this highly competitive sector.
While there may well be additional elements to examine while assessing or building a new international recruitment and admission unit, the McKinsey model provides direction and structure to the process and has been a useful tool for the GSRA team as it works with individual business units to build or re-develop their international recruitment and admission units.
To learn more on how the 7S model can be applied to your institutions international recruitment program please contact GSRA.