Using systems thinking to create a viable student recruitment model : accommodating conflicting concerns in the student recruitment process.
Mzimela, Leonard Mduduzi.
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The University of Natal has a Schools Liaison team that is responsible for undergraduate Students Recruitment. Recruitment activities are, however, not restricted to the Schools Liaison team. There are special programmes funded in part or wholly by corporate partners. These partnerships have placed additional demands on the recruitment function which is served by using special recruiters. Certain faculties have also chosen to make use of specialised recruiters in the form of Public Relations Officers. The presence of more than one group of individuals involved in Students Recruitment creates problems, more especially because the various groups of recruiters operate mainly within the same target market. The coming together of the conflicting and competing goals coupled with the parallel and independent recruitment drives of competing faculties, negatively affects the synergy that could be beneficial to the recruitment function. The focus of the study is on using systems thinking methodologies to engage stakeholders in a process that assists the University in creating a Student Recruitment Model that allows the various recruiters to pursue their various goals without harming the larger organisational goal and fragmenting the organization. The objective of this study is to use the Soft Systems Methodology as a tool aimed at developing a viable Student Recruitment model. This dissertation uses systems thinking methodologies to examine stakeho1der interests and concerns and attempts to bring all these together within a consolidated framework that should make up the viable Student Recruitment Model that serves the various interests within a single system. A number of lessons learnt during the process are highlighted and discussed in the last section of this study. The said lessons are considered valuable in the future as new demands arise and the organisation needs to modify its recruitment model.