By Matt Mattson
Summer is on its way! This time of year many student organization leaders are NOT thinking about recruitment. Many of you, however (especially those of you who attended a Phired Up Dynamic Recruitment Training or read one of Phired Up's publications), had some good discussions and learned some important lessons about building a year-round recruitment system. So, while the summer is a time to relax and unwind from the rigors of the school year, it is not a time to forget about the importance of recruitment.
And in case you're having a hard time remembering why it is necessary to think about recruitment during the summer, remember that recruitment is at the foundation of all of your organizations successes and challenges. If you want a great 2007-2008 school year for your organization, start working now and over the summer to drive a higher quantity of higher quality members into your organization. After all, a higher quantity of high quality members will mean more people to do the work of the organization, more friends to hang out with, less work for you, more money flowing into the organization, and more energy to accomplish the mission of your group.
Here are 10 Ways to Work Toward Recruitment Results During the Summer!
- Summer Recruitment. Many organizations (fraternities and sororities especially) operate a full-fledged summer recruitment program. They work with incoming first-year students before they even set foot on campus through home visits, community fairs, direct mailings, group trips to baseball games and amusement parks, and many other creative initiatives. Look at Phired Up's publications and free resources for more ideas.
- Summer Reading. Have you read Good Guys or I Heart Recruitment? These are the only two books in the world on how-to do values-based dynamic recruitment for fraternities and sororities. Also, check out some of Phired Up's other recommended readings for your summer days at the beach.
- Recruitment Retreat. Consider gathering the leaders and/or "horses" of your organization at a cottage in the woods or a meeting center nearby to discuss how you'll implement dynamic recruitment practices in the upcoming school year.
- Find a Recruitment Mentor. The summer is a great time to talk with your alumni members, your campus student life professionals, or other community professionals about serving as a mentor. These individuals know how to run successful businesses and organizations and you can learn a lot of important lessons from them that can be applied to your recruitment practices for your organization. Find salespeople, business leaders, or leaders of community groups and ask them for advice.
- Build Your Names List. If you haven't built a formal database yet to collect and manage the names that your members are driving into your organization, the summer is a great time for that. Remember, you can't recruit who you don't know, so the first step to a successful recruitment effort in the fall is building a way to manage the contacts that you and your fellow members will be making.
- Learn from Work. Many people have summer jobs, and while they can often be a drag ‐ keeping you from the beach ‐ they can also be a great way to learn about successful businesses and how to run a quality organization. Whether you work in food service, sales, customer relations, construction or consulting, you can learn some great lessons by watching how your summer job's business operates, and applying those best practices to your organization.
- Learn from Other Organizations. Most campuses have over 150 registered student organizations, but rarely do the leaders talk with one another about their successes and challenges. Connect with some of the other leaders of high performing organizations on campus during the summer months and see what you can learn from how they do business.
- Attend an Inter/National Conference. Many organizations have summertime Inter/national conferences, conventions, leadership institutes, or even recruitment schools. Go to these. They're almost always life-changing experiences. In fact, you might even see Phired Up at your organization's conference this summer"
- Practice. If you attended one of Phired Up's programs this past year, or if you read one of our publications, you learned about some recruitment SKILLS that only really work if you PRACTICE them. The summer is a great time to practice "The Screw," "Getting Digits," "The 5 F*n Ways to Master Conversations" and other interpersonal communication skills. Try these out at the mall, at summer parties, at the beach or even at your family reunion! Practice makes prepared.
- Plan for Fall Training. Plan now to bring Phired Up or another recruitment trainer to your organization in the fall or winter of the next school year. The sooner your members are exposed to revolutionary recruitment practices, the sooner the revolution of success will begin for your organization.
Enjoy the summer, and stay cool!