by Matt Mattson
We are constantly seeking the best recruitment ideas from campuses across North America. If you have good ideas that fall in line with Phired Up’s Dynamic Recruitment philosophy, you can submit them here so that we can share them with the world.
Some of the best ideas we come across have to do with OFFERING A VALUABLE SERVICE TO OTHERS in order to open the door to a possible relationship. Do something nice for someone, and watch how you suddenly have access to and influence over them (it only works if you’re genuinely kind first). We’ve written about this simple concept a lot lately here and here.
Here’s a creative idea for fraternities (see here for more) from Josh Orendi…
FRATERNITY NAMES DRIVER:
We often say that recruitment is about making friends … meeting new people … building our names list … offering a sincere service … something that is truly valued by campus and our target audience. Here’s a lofty idea:
The freshmen dorms of many campuses are full of loft beds. They were constructed at the beginning of the year and now need to be taken down. Some universities contract this service with an outside vendor, others allow the students to find their own solution. Either way, you’ve got a fantastic opportunity to provide value, offer a real service, make lots of new friends, and probably pocket a little money in the process.
How many potential new members could you meet during the final days of school?
What if you volunteered to do this for the women’s dorm? How many high quality gentlemen could each woman recommend?
What if you had freshmen men sign up to help you do this for the freshmen women … being a gentleman and gathering leads, I like that.
What if you offered similar help in the first week of the fall for the incoming freshmen?
Special Guest Post By Rula Andriessen, Extension Consultant, Alpha Gamma Delta
[Phired Up worked with Alpha Gamma Delta on a highly successful extension project at Arizona State University this semester. We asked Rula to share her thoughts on the experience. She chose to inspire others to "Be Brave Enough to Start the Spark." Thank you Rula!]
Somewhere, maybe acknowledged, and maybe not, there is a question in the hearts of fraternity/sorority undergraduates. It could be a question of personal value – their worth to their organization. It could be a question of their organization’s value and worth on campus. Maybe it’s uncertainty about a new member program. Maybe it’s doubt about proclamations of genuine friendship and the possibility for innovative thought.
Maybe their questions will go unspoken and unanswered. What would inspire them to reevaluate themselves and their organizations? What would start the spark?
I began this semester fresh off the road from a tiny private college, where I talked and read “I Heart Recruitment” constantly. I told the women I worked with to question their surroundings, and I believed in the power of a great question. I used the programs in the great pink book to make the powerful point that people join people, and that women should make a friend to gain a member.
I moved to the Valley of the Sun, Arizona State University, where an amazing friend wrenched the pink book out of my grasp with one hand, and with another swift movement, pushed me toward a group of strangers. “Go. Make friends,” was my instruction.
My initial experiences were, in a word, awful. I felt uncomfortable and horribly incompetent. How could I, a professional relationship builder, be socially unintelligent? I attended school out of state and made all new friends…I traveled abroad by myself…I lived out of my suitcase in a different stranger’s house every week for a year! Perhaps most uncomfortable was the idea that I had been running around the country shouting “Phired Up Recruitment” from the rooftops, only to find that my own capacity for it seemed pitiful.
What could I do to make this better? I could only continue talking and inquiring and smiling – I could only continue stepping out of my apartment every day with the words of a great consultant “phiring” around in my head – “How many lives will you affect today?”
The key word in this question is “you”. I began to regain my self confidence. I have something to offer. The Greek community needs the change I offer with my organization. Our organization needs the change we can make as a group at this university. What I’m offering will be a great opportunity for amazing women on this campus. What I’m offering may change their lives forever and will definitely bring them to friends they might never have met.
Maybe someone’s unspoken question will be answered. Maybe this Greek community will get a real idea of their unity. Maybe the extent of their true supportive fraternal spirit will be tested and revealed by this colonization. Our group may redefine the meaning of positive traditions and innovative changes. Maybe our group will help redefine fraternity and sorority organizations at the New American University, ASU.
Social interactions occur because people inherently need each other. Maybe we can’t know how wide open our world can be, or how beautifully needy we really are, until we’re brave enough to stand up, step out, speak up, and bring someone into our lives.
Real bravery can be as simple a pleasant one-liner: “Could I ask you a question?” And can lead something more amazing than you can imagine.
So, are you brave enough to start the spark?
Delta Xi Colony at Arizona State University used Values-Based Membership Recruitment to gather a group of thoughtful, interesting, innovative women as colony members of Alpha Gamma Delta. Intelligent question-asking and genuine human interest became the basis of the Leadership Consultant-led recruitment. The group looks forward to a May 1 installation and a dynamic future at the New American University, ASU.
by Matt Mattson
I’ve had this conversation lately with a number of Greek leaders who are planning their fall recruitment strategies. I thought it might be worth sharing with others.
Twice in the last week, the idea of an All-Greek Barbecue has come up as a means of a) “Showing a strong Greek presence,” b) “Getting our name out there,” and c) “Getting some potentials to hang out with all of the chapters.” In itself, this isn’t a terrible idea. I just have a better one, and it comes with a whole new philosophy your organization can adopt this fall for recruitment.
[Side note: Read this blog post from our good friend John Shertzer about the overall "Myth of the All-Greek Barbecue".]
What if, instead of the All-Greek Barbecue during the first week of school, you hosted a Freshman Field Day. Imagine doing THE EXACT SAME STUFF you were going to do at the All-Greek Barbecue, but this time it isn’t for you, it is for the freshmen students… you just happen to be hosting it.
Here’s my challenge to you as you think about your recruitment strategy for this fall. Adopt this slogan with regard to all recruitment plans: “We serve the community, not ourselves.”
I’ve written about this before here, but just thought the subtle difference between an All-Greek Barbecue and a Freshman Field Day really illustrated my point.
Think just about the names of these two events. Which one would likely attract more non-Greek students so you could recruit them?
Think also about the purpose of the events… the All-Greek Barbecue is for your organization. It is selfish. It is like yelling, “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, COME ON DOWN TO THE BIG BROTHERHOOD/SISTERHOOD SALE!.” The only people likely to show up at that are either desperate for friends or expecting free drinks. While the Freshman Field Day is purely social, fun, and for freshmen. It is actually meant to make their day, their week, their life a little better.
Look at every event you have planned for next semester, and ask yourself if it obeys this mantra: “We serve the community, not ourselves.” The more you serve your community, the more you serve others… the more people will wan to serve with you.