Student Recruitment Manager (UG Recruitment and Conversion)

Updated: 2 days ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Student Recruitment Manager (UG Recruitment and Conversion) (
Job Number:
Student and Academic Services Directorate
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 11-Jul-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University 

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here  

The Role and Department 

The Role - What will you be doing? 

The Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Conversion Manager is responsible for the leadership and management of a small team delivering high quality, strategically aligned, flag ship events to undergraduate prospects, applicants and offer holders on behalf of the University. Using a best practice and a continuous improvement approach they have responsibility for the operational planning and delivery of a minimum of four large scale University-wide Open Days, at least three sizeable Offer Holder Days, regular Discover Durham Tours and a range of digital events that complement on-site delivery.  

Using initiative, interpersonal and collaboration skills they use independent judgement and technical skills to deliver and develop events that match the changing strategic needs of recruitment and conversion across the student journey. The Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Conversion Manager needs to deliver a culture of continuous improvement to ensure activity is engaging and targeted to meet the needs of prospective students and key stakeholders/influencers. The successful candidate will be responsible for working with the Head of Service and Deputy Head of Service, and the Postgraduate Student Recruitment and Conversion Manager to create and deliver a strategy which will strengthen Durham’s reputation by showcasing key selling points of the University.  

The Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Conversion Manager works collaboratively with colleagues across Recruitment (including Widening Access and Participation teams) and Admissions and with internal stakeholders such as academic departments, professional support services, colleges, wider student experience teams, Durham Student Union, Colleges JCR members, estates and facilities, and current students working as Durham Student Ambassadors. This collaborative approach ensures events and activities deliver a holistic representation of the University to participants. In addition, they work with external stakeholders to ensure collaborative working throughout Durham City (e.g. Durham County Council and the train station), so strong networking and influencing skills, along with the ability to successfully plan, manage a large delivery team and deliver large scale events (up to 10,000 participants), are key to success in this role.   

The Undergraduate Recruitment and Conversion Manager needs to maintain an up-to-date knowledge of sector wide good practice and developments; using this to continuously develop service provision and improve outcomes, throughout the student journey to enrolment at Durham. They also monitor and evaluate delivery, with a focus on increasing the impact of activity in relation to rates of progression to Durham University specifically. 

For large scale event delivery, the post holder manages a team of staff from all levels, from across the Department and the wider University. The role also requires the management and training of up to 400 Open Day Student Ambassadors, and the line management of co-ordinator of the Durham Student Ambassador scheme which sees around 100 DSA working across a wide variety of events including residential summer schools, UCAS fairs, School Visits and Enquiries annually. 

Adherence to Health and Safety and Safeguarding regulations and University Policies is a necessary element of this post.  


Recruitment and Admissions Services

The Department and our Team 

Based in the Student and Academic Services Directorate, Student Recruitment and Admissions (SRA) comprises approximately 100 staff and brings together several teams providing services in events, enquiry management, widening access and participation, outreach, schools liaison, CRM campaigns, data analysis and forecasting, systems development, and admissions.  

We are committed to creating a welcoming an inclusive environment where our people feel supported and valued, enabling them to not only succeed but thrive. The opinions and expertise of our teams are welcomed to help shape departmental activities. 

SRA provides a critical service to the University in ensuring its financial sustainability, delivering target student numbers and increasing diversity in line with strategic aims and targets. It is the public face of the University in UK schools and colleges, through contact with prospects, enquirers and applicants across the world, and through our events programme. The department includes a range of professionals from a number of specialisms including administrators, decision makers, data analysts and forecasters, IT specialists, designers and marketers, events managers and recruiters. Teams work collaboratively, using the expertise across the department to jointly deliver the optimum service to our internal and external customers. The department is also responsible for adherence to requisite regulations and UCAS contract requirements.  

SRA works in collaboration with colleagues across the University, most notably with the Marketing Team (Marketing and Communications) to develop pre-contact and conversion marketing campaigns, the International Office for international student recruitment and Strategic Planning and Insight in managing numbers. It also works alongside academic departments, faculties and colleges in the development of their contributions to recruitment, conversion and admissions activity. SRA also provides domestic market insight and customer relationship management. Current students are closely involved in the delivery of some of our recruitment, conversion, widening access and participation activity. 

Holly Chatbot, an AI Assistant developed by Student Recruitment and Admissions with colleagues in Computer and Information Services and an external company (ICS.AI) was shortlisted for the Times Higher Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year 2021 . 

SRA has adopted a hybrid working model, with staff currently working a minimum of 40% of their time per week on-campus or attending external events, and for the rest of their working time having the option of working from home.  

Staff leave is not permitted during the week that JCQ results are published (that date in 2024 is week commencing 12 August) and on occasional days through the year when major recruitment events are delivered, such as open days. This post is further restricted around core activity that the post holder is responsible for, such as summer school activity.  

Working arrangements: Working hours are usually 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday as is standard in Recruitment and Admissions. However, due to the nature of the role, it may be necessary to work outside of these times and occasionally on evenings or weekends. The role requires providing support to other teams and activities and as such will involve travel occasionally, which may include nights away from home. We are currently working in a hybrid way, meaning that some remote working is possible.  

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description. 

Working at Durham  

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:  

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.   
•    We offer a generous pension scheme. As a new member of staff, you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS). 
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies. 
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.  
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state-of-the-art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme. 
•    On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays. 
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers). 
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community 
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.  
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.  
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas. 


Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a university, equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. 

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

How to Apply    

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  Please don’t forget to check if there are any weighted criteria. 

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.    
Submitting your application  

We prefer to receive applications online.   We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates. 
What you need to submit    

•    A CV: and 

•    A covering letter or statement which shows examples of how you meet all of the essential and desirable criteria within the Person Specification. We encourage applicants to use a table or sub-headings to ensure they set out clearly how they meet each individual criterion.    

*Please note the criteria with an asterisk (*) require detailed evidence within the application submission.  
Contact details    
For a chat about the role or any further information please contact Karen Wilson (Deputy Head of Student Recruitment and Conversion ) [email protected] 

Essential Criteria

  • Excellent oral communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally. * 
  • Excellent written communication skills, with the ability to communicate information in a variety of written formats, to high standards of accuracy and clarity, ideally with experience of writing for publication.* 
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office, ideally with expertise in using event management platforms including for digital delivery* 
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience). 
  • Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise used to contribute to the delivery and development of customer-facing services, events and activities within the organisation.* 
  • Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area. 
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines
  • Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues. 
  • Experience of being able to work collaboratively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.*
  • Experience of managing and developing a team or teams and/or line management qualification. Ideally with experience of managing and delivering training to large cohorts * 
  • Ability to plan/prioritise and organise work independently and as part of a team including when under pressure and to tight deadlines, maintaining accuracy and professionalism at all times.* 
  • Excellent customer service skills with a clear commitment to delivering a consistently high standard of customer service to internal and external contacts and continuous improvement of the service.* 
  • Experience of working within a large customer focussed administrative service team or teams. 
  • Experience of successfully delivering large scale complex events involving input from other parts of the organisation. 
  • Ability and willingness to drive a vehicle, including having a full UK driving licence.
  • Desirable Criteria

  • Marketing, Public Relations or Customer Service qualification. 
  • Experience of working in higher education, especially in marketing, recruitment, widening participation and/or admissions. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of social network channels and new media platforms. 
  • A good understanding of the student experience provided at Durham University. 


    Typical Role Requirements 

    Service Delivery 

    • Recognised student recruitment and conversion service specialist with responsibility for management of a dedicated team. 

    • Working with the Head of Service & Deputy Head of Service to create and deliver a market leading strategy for the University’s flagship recruitment and conversion events. 

    • Ensure events align with current strategy and policy for university business goals, such as widening participation, access and student growth. 

    • Keep abreast of sector developments so that Durham maintains its place as a market leader in this area. 

    • Provide input into the design and development of Undergraduate Recruitment and Conversion processes, techniques, platforms and deliverables and leading on the implementation of these, within a continuous improvement culture.  

    • Manage the delivery of Undergraduate Recruitment and Conversion activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.  

    • Working with the Data and Evaluation Senior Manager to develop robust tracking and evaluation processes for events and activity. 

    • Provide management of key team activities such as the analysis of feedback for patterns and trends, and making recommendations for improvements based upon this information. 

    • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services, marketing of programmes and the University reputation, particularly with schools and colleges, external organisations such as charities, and internal staff and students 


    Teamwork and Team Development 

    • Manage and monitor team performance, targets, service level agreements and workload outcomes and staff, planning cover to ensure smooth service provision through peaks and troughs.  

    • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews for direct reports.  

    • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues from direct reports, acting as an escalation point within the Team and referring more complex welfare issues to appropriate support services/senior management.  

    • Delivery of ongoing coaching, mentoring and training to team members, including to wider University staff and students when they are involved in the delivery of events.  

    • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and sub committees at departmental and operational service levels to help shape service delivery and stakeholder expectations 

    • Responsible for managing budgets for casual staffing, consumables and some capital items.  

    • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.  

    • Recruit and induct new team members.  

    • Implement and monitor protocols, procedures, processes and regulations.  

    • Monitor and report incidents, with particular reference to young people attending events and activities. 

    • Analyse service data and provide reports to Service Heads, making recommendations for improvement as appropriate. 

    • Ensure the review and improvement of Undergraduate Recruitment and Conversion systems and procedures in line with University, School, Department or unit frameworks.  

    • Distribute service information and provide advice to stakeholders regarding compliance and regulations, paying particular attention to Consumer Protection Law and Data Protection Legislation.  

    • Ensure regulations and procedures are updated to take account of internal and external changes.  

    • Coordinate and oversee committee working and deal with complaints.  

    • Any other reasonable duties.  


    Communications and Networking

    •    Provide advice to colleagues as well as young people, teachers and parents and other external stakeholders in relation to University, School and/or Department policy, procedures and regulations.  
    •    Use a range of digital media and tools to communicate with a diverse range of key stakeholders, both verbally and in written format who may need to access information. No score 

    •   Establish, maintain and develop productive and ongoing relationships with stakeholders to influence perception of the University.  


    Knowledge and Experience 
    •    Maintain an awareness of current policy for university business goals such as Widening Access and Participation, student recruitment, and admissions.  No score 
    •    Awareness of the external environment and sector best practice to support high quality services, particularly around access, student success and progression.   No score 

    •   Carry out in-depth investigations, searches and research information and data to identify trends and patterns in higher education progression of under-represented groups.  

    •    Any other reasonable duties. 


    Specific role requirements 

    •   DBS Check 

    •   Ability to travel independently between locations across the campus and occasionally nationally and to be able to transport promotional materials and equipment. This may involve the occasional overnight stay. 

    •   Have a full UK driving licence and be willing and able to drive large hire vehicles such as a van. 

    •   Due to business needs, there will be some restrictions to annual leave. This is to ensure successful management and delivery of scheduled events, A level confirmation periods and other such tasks as required. Restricted dates are typically known far in advance. 

    When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas. 

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