by Kevin Uland
[Occassionally Phired Up comes across an outstanding proactive undergraduate fraternity man that wants to share his recruitment wisdom with the world. We're happy to provide that opportunity to people like Kevin Uland, a Delta Chi from Ohio State. Kevin made a terrific first impression at a conference Matt met him at in Michigan last year. He offers some great advice in this blog! If you'd like to be a guest Phired Up blogger, E-mail Matt@PhiredUp.com]
As a top recruiter on your campus, it is important to always be aware of how to utilize every method to follow up with potentials you've already met and meet new potential members. Many fraternities fall into the static ideals of hosting big events such as a barbeque, poker tournaments, parties, and many other events that literally rack up thousands of dollars a year to support. What is being underutilized on many campuses for recruitment is the use of campus-sponsored events. These events are great recruitment tools for many reasons. Here are some of them:
1) The events are FREE! ‐ A majority of campus events share two similar themes; free food and an engaging activity. Freshmen are especially drawn to these types of events because of the "free food" aspect, and a chance to meet new friends. Whether the activity is human bingo, a movie night, involvement fairs, or an event hosted by another club/organization, hundreds of students gather and partake in these activities whether you're there or not! So why not take advantage of something free!?
2) Neutral ‐ Instead of inviting a potential member to your "big scary fraternity house" who has possibly only known you for a few days, consider the idea of making it a little more comfortable for them by meeting on campus. What a lot of recruiters have trouble with understanding, is that we tend to make the event easier for ourselves to attend instead of the potential member. A neutral event on campus is key to making both sides feel comfortable, even if that means your members must go a little further than just walking downstairs for a recruitment event!
3) Lots of people ‐ Referrals, referrals, referrals. One of the major components to driving more quality names onto your names list is social networking through referrals. Cluster recruiting with campus events is huge. Don't be afraid to ask your potential member, "Hey man, bring you a roommate or floor mate, afterwards we're going to play football on the quad." Or, "Hey man, nice to see you again, who are your friends you brought along!?" Identifying a point man in a dorm that is social and extroverted can do wonders for the amount of names your names list contains.
Before the campus events happen, make sure your members are enthusiastic about the event. If it is something they are excited about, many of them will be more willing to call up potentials and transfer enthusiasm to the recruits! Also, when calling, use strong verbiage. Don't say "hey man, there is X event going on and it'd be cool if you could make it"" DO SAY, "Josh! There is a paper rock scissors tournament going on today at the quad, you need to be there!" By saying you need to be there' you're implying "I'm going to be there, and you should be too" which, is a lot more compelling to get a potential new member out to an event!
I hope this helps your chapter with recruitment. We're all in this together as Greeks and need to support each other! Thanks to Matt and Josh, the two most incredible men I know, for giving me a minute to share my thoughts!
Ohio State 10
The Delta Chi Fraternity
by Josh Orendi
[Also see here for Matt's take on a simple follow-up call script]
I recently had the pleasure of doing telephone training with fraternity men at BGSU and MTSU. Before tackling hundreds of calls (in under an hour) we did 20 minutes of phone training. Here are the 5 stages we focused on.
1. The first word our of our mouths should be his name, using an inquisitive energetic tone. This is his favorite word and puts you in control of the call. Do not say “hello? … Is this John … Hi, this is Josh …” just follow this tip. Say only his name with an energetic inquisitive tone.
2. Tell him why you are calling:
– I just had a great conversation with Kim at Phi Sig about top leaders on campus. Your name came up at least 2-3 times.
– I've been talking with a few freshmen leaders that were hand selected by this year's orientation mentors, I was hoping that I could pick your brain for a few minutes.
– We're organizing an new student organization with a group of “best-of-the-best” leaders. Your name found its way on the list more than once so I figured I should give you a call personally.
3. Ask YES questions. We then ask several questions that we already know that he's likely to say “yes” to. For example:
– You know Mike Jones right?
– You're a freshman this year, right?
– Do you have a roommate?
– Your name is on our list scholarship applications, you applied for the Don Zimmer Memorial Scholarship, RIGHT?
4. Schedule an appointment day/time to talk.
- I'm sure your week is as busy as mine. I have a little time on Monday morning or Wednesday afternoon. Which is better for you?
– Let's grab a cup of coffee in the union. Are you available right now, or should we schedule a time for next week.
5. “PERFECT.” This is the only answer to EVERY response/excuse he has. Literally! Just say “perfect.”
HIM: I don't really have time.”
ME: Perfect. I don't have much time either. The best student on campus rarely do. Let's make sure our meeting doesn't take more than 15 minutes.
HIM: I can't make it tonight.
ME: Perfect. We have another opportunity tomorrow night that we're expected to be better attended.
HIM: I don't have a car on campus.
ME: Perfect. We're shuttling people to the BBQ starting at 6pm. What time should we meet you out front of the dorms?
BONUS POINTER: The goal is NOT to have a 10 minute conversation. A good conversation is less than 90 seconds long. Take control of the conversation, lock in the appointment, confirm the details, and dial the next number.
by Colleen Coffey, co-author of I Heart Recruitment
As some of you may know, my full time job is not/ was not authoring I Heart Recruitment with Jessica. I work full time as a mental health advocate and speaker. As coincidence would have it, before Matt joined PUP full time he was also a mental health advocate. How do mental health and fraternity/sorority recruitment have anything in common? Josh Orendi and I were pondering this very question over dinner last week. The answer? Quite a bit, actually.
When I think about the purpose of Greek life, I often find myself wondering, "why does this matter?" I mean, at the end of the day fraternity and sorority life are important. Being a member is a lot of fun and we do a lot for our campus and local communities. I especially enjoy the mentorship I get as a young alumna from more established women in my organization. These things are cool and should not be discounted, but really- could I not find this purpose elsewhere? What is it that makes fraternal membership different than anything else? The obvious answer for me is that I am able to subscribe to a common set of values, shared by every other Alpha Sigma Tau in the country but the other, less obvious answer, is BELONGING.
Recent research by Joiner (2005) and earlier research by Baumeister and Leary (1995) documented the need to belong as a fundamental component of mental health. In fact, these scholars contend that a lack of belonging puts individuals at a greater risk for suicide. Mental health concerns have reached endemic proportions for University students. Furr, Westefeld, McConnell, and Jenkins (2001) revealed, through a multi- institutional study, that 50% of college students experience depression. The 2006 National College Health Assessment supported these findings, indicating that 42 percent of college students feel so depressed at times that it is difficult to function. That same study showed nine percent of students reported seriously considering suicide during the previous 12 months. I would argue that the sense of belonging that comes from Greek membership is like nothing else in the world. Belonging to one of these groups, in turn, has the potential to strongly positively impact the mental health of its members. Further, both the recruitment and new member processes have been studied and shown to significantly positively affect self-esteem (Brand & Dodd, 1998; Hirt & Spruill, 2008).
The very core of who we are and what we do in fraternity and sorority life is about belonging. It may be optimistic, but I would say that most of you are in healthy chapters that care about your members and work to make the Greek experience the best it can be for everyone. If that is true, you are doing something remarkable for the self-esteem of your members but also for their mental health. By giving people a place to belong, I think (and I have data to support it) you are doing a lot to positively influence the quality of life for every person in your organization.
The next time you are describing the benefit of your organization to a potential new member- tell them this "we give people a place to belong." It may sound cheesey, but deep down it is what people need to hear.
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