by Matt Mattson
This is a completely random recruitment thought. What if, however, your chapter used Skype, Google Video Chat, or some other web-based video chat software to connect with the larger inter/national organization while recruiting new members this fall.
I “see” my brother-in-law weekly, and he lives in Poland. My 18-month-old “sees” her grandparents regularly despite their 1000 mile distance from each other. If we can figure out the magic of “video-phones” out for my family’s use, there has to be some application for sophisticated college students and Greek organizations in particular.
Often potential members don’t really understand the significance of having brothers/sisters around the country, or a historical headquarters (which many organizations have) that is, if nothing else, pretty neat. What if we used technology to show them? Imagine video chatting with your inter/national president in the library/museum of your organization’s historical headquarters (or something else cool like that). Just seems like an obvious opportunity to connect potential members to the larger idea of fraternity/sorority.
Headquarters could consider using Ustream to broadcast live promotional tours of the headquarters or founding site during heavy recruitment periods so that they could offer the opportunity to a lot of chapters at once. Combine with streaming #hashtag chat on Twitter, and you’ve got a pretty technologically-savvy recruitment opportunity. Truthfully, most first-year students won’t be ready for all that this fall, but start simple and consider how you can use these video/web-based services.
Can important successful alumni video chat with high priority potential members to help them understand the life-changing value of your organization? Can you offer parents of potential members a live virtual tour of your house via Ustream? Can you Skype with a class at your old high school live from the fraternity/sorority house to give thema sneak peak at the college experience? Once new members have joined, can you use Skype or other services for new member education? Could you invite chapter presidents from other schools around the country to “join” your meetings to add new perspective? Can you broadcast your chapter meetings online so alumni around the country can join?
by Matt Mattson
I had a realization today that we’ve never shared this over the blog. Maybe we were trying to keep it a secret, but oh well… here it is (the pic in the blog is a general diagram, to see fraternity and sorority specific diagrams, see the links at bottom).
I also was thinking that many fraternity/sorority professionals may have only seen the first part of our message that we deliver from the main stage of our programs — this blog gives you a peek at the meat of our recruitment system which, when implemented, drives serious results.
Dynamic Recruitment for Fraternities and Sororities, as taught by Phired Up is about continual social excellence, networking, real relationship building, letting quantity drive quality, gathering horses and getting to work, bold purpose, lots of handshakes, providing value and living values, building a system that consistently drives a higher quantity of higher quality members into the organization, values-based membership selection, and deep respect for the people being recruited. The system looks like this (this is simplified for the sake of the blog)…
3. Once the chapter knows the potential members well enough, they choose which persons to give a bid to using an objective, measurable, values-based selection criteria.
5. The potential members always say yes when asked in a way that respects their intelligence and respects the organization.
O.K., that’s about the quickest way I’ve ever described this revolutionary operating model for fraternities and sororities. A lot more goes into it, but that at least provides an overview for those curious about what our year-round, values-based, results-driving, Dynamic Recruitment System looks like. This is the system that is sweeping North America. This is the system that is revolutionizing fraternities, sororities, and other purpose-driving membership organizations. This is the system built by experienced recruiters. This is the system that gets results.
Attendees at our workshops’ advanced sessions receive a workbook with a template for building an action plan for long-term limitless recruitment possibility. To see what those look like, check these out.
by Matt Mattson
This is a simple blog post with a simple piece of advice. If you have a chance, GO!
And yes, this does have something to do with recruitment. If you attend really any of the above opportunities (or anything like them) you’ll get at least these three things from it a) you’ll understand your organization a million times better, b) you’ll learn from other people doing recruitment (among other things) better than you, and c) you’ll have cooler stories to tell potential members.
You’ll get other stuff as well. I can honestly trace the impetus for my career success back to two experiences. The first national fraternity conference that I attended was in Norfolk, Virginia. It was there that I met two alumni that helped me understand the true scope of what fraternity was all about (Thanks Stuart and Kevin, if you’re reading this). Then I attended Leadershape the next summer and learned what it really means to boldly lead with integrity.
Both of those were dramatic life changing experiences for me. Both of which I could have easily chosen to not attend — I had a summer job, I had a girlfriend, I had a softball team, I had some summer classes, I had very little money, I had stuff to do… I had excuses. But I chose to go. I’m glad I made that choice.
I ask students nearly everywhere I go whether they’ll be attending their organization’s inter/national conference or convention during the upcoming summer. The typical answer is either, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure I can afford it.” Fair enough. I’ll just say this… Making that decision has led me down a path of personal fulfillment and a deeper understanding of and connection to my organization. So, you should go.
In these financial times, everyone is trying to pinch pennies every way they can. In an effort to save money, I decided to save a couple hundred dollars every six weeks by giving my wonderful dogs (Max and Brutus) a haircut at home. For record, I am not a professional dog groomer. I’ve never cut my dogs hair at home – I’ve always left that up to the professionals, but it’s pricey. So this week, I was determined to do it myself (Max and Brutus were in desperate need of a haircut). Not knowing what I needed or how to do it, I went on a search, scouring the internet for advice, information, and resources to do it myself.
I found a couple sites that provided me a list of tools that I would need (most of which we already had a home). I then found a couple of videos on YouTube that showed me exactly how – step-by-step – to give Max (our Yorkie) the proper cut. Yorkies have a pretty precise cut that they get for their face that requires scissors, clippers, specific angles, etc. It’s complicated. I watched the videos, took notes, analyzed the situation, and set up shop – fully prepared to dive in headfirst and just try.
What’s the worst that could happen? A lot, to be frank. I could completely jack up my dogs’ hair and make them look totally ridiculous until it grew out. I could make a mistake with the sharp scissors or clippers and end up cutting the one of the dogs. What if one of the dogs moved suddenly and I snipped them accidently? Needless to say, there were a lot of risks and variables in the situation. However, instead of letting the fear of failure stand in my way – I went for it. I tried.
The end result was actually quite good. They turned out pretty nicely if you ask me (you can tell by the photo with the blog). Is it perfect? Heck no! But I know that the more and more I cut their hair myself, the better I will be – the better it will look. I took the risk; struggled along the way, learned from the mistakes I made, yet I am certain that when I try again, it will be better.
What does this have to do with recruitment? A lot actually. Well at least these two things… 1) Try. Just Try. And 2) The instructions are out there, just follow them.
1. Try. Just Try.
Much of what we talk about in our recruitment philosophy is centered around building relationships, meeting strangers, and growing your social network as a way to bring people into your organizations. We have systems to do that, activities to provide opportunities, and lots of resources to help you know what to do. What we find most of the time, however, is that when it comes down to it, that most people struggle with the simplest of the tasks – stepping out there and trying to make new friends; the fear of failure and rejection is so powerful that most of the time, most people don’t even try.
Sure there are a lot of risks – people could make fun of you for being weird, people could reject you, you could totally screw it up. The question remains though, how do you know if you don’t try? Sure you could kinda suck at it the first time, but you learn from the mistakes and try again. The more and more you do it, the more you will learn, and the better you will be at making friends and talking to strangers. You can be certain that the next time you try it, it will be better.
2. The instructions are out there, just follow them.
Phired Up has lots of resources for you to be fully prepared and have all of the resources you need to be successful in recruitment and making friends. Seriously, most of it is free (or very low cost). Read the book, access the free resources, build an action plan in your workbook, read the HUNDREDS of ideas shared through this blog, ask for advice on Facebook, ask your campus advisor to help you build a to-do list that will drive results, call your organization’s headquarters and request an instructive manual or to be connected to the best recruiting chapter in the country, etc. Heck, search YouTube (that link is Phired Up’s YouTube channel) for “sales training,” “networking skills,” “how to make friends,” etc. These searches will likely get you some funny videos, but I’ll guarantee you’ll learn some stuff. My point is that there is a ton of free information out there that can make your life (and your organization) better. Use it. Folow the instructions provided.
Most of all, we dare you to try. We dare you to talk to five strangers this week. We dare you to try to make five new friends. Will it be perfect the first time you do it? Heck no! But we know that the second, third, fourth, and even fifth time you try, it will be better. How will you know until you try? We dare you to use this summer to fine tune your Social Excellence and Recruitment skills, to work on talking to strangers, so that when it comes time for recruitment, you’ll be better. Follow the instructions, and just try.
by Matt Mattson
Visit this website today: www.nicindy.org/fraternityrights. Seriously.
We’ll let that website tell the good news, but here’s a sneak peek…
LEGITIMATE RESEARCH SHOWS…
“Students who choose to participate in the fraternity experience gain a significant advantage to non-participants in many formative measurements that apply greatly to civic engagement, relationship building, and professional leadership skills.”
“Students who choose to join a fraternity leave college better prepared for immediate impact in the workplace and involvement within the community than those who do not.”
And interestingly, this research shows that campuses with deferred recruitment policies are keeping men from important first-semester opportunities that could help them maximize their full potential.
Thanks to some leading organizations who took bold steps to ask some powerful questions of their members, there is now research to back up what we believe — fraternities are a powerful positive force in the lives of their members. The massive UniLOA study that this data comes from is an exciting advancement for Greek Life. This represents new information that all the leaders in our interfraternal movement need to understand and utilize in their work to advance Greek Life.
As you are shaping recruitment strategies for the coming year, consider how this information might be taught to your members, shared with key stakeholders on campus, used to help students (and their parents) make life-changing decisions to “Go Greek,” etc.
Phired Up challenges the fraternity/sorority world to look at this new data as a jumping off point for where we can go together. If we jointly choose SOCIAL EXCELLENCE (for example) as our shared focus and purpose, imagine the even more dramatic transformation students will see after joining fraternities/sororities compared with their non-Greek counterparts. Imagine if we start intentionally and strategically preparing our members to be great social hosts, bold social leaders, and confident, vulnerable, compassionate social communicators.
Of course this data should also challenge us to look critically at ourselves in other ways. If this study is true and we really do provide this level of value in the lives of our members — despite our many transgressions — imagine if we leaned into the behaviors that created these positive results and agressively addressed the behaviors that detract. Imagine what the depth of our impact might be then?
Further, the reasons for deferred recruitment policies on campuses across the country are likely a) the health and well-being of first-semester new members and b) the lower academic performance during the first semester of membership in a fraternity. These two factors are currently outweighing the positive attributes of fraternity membership in the minds of many administrators (so much so that they’re willing to risk backlash regarding freedom of association to protect their students). If we could cooperatively and boldly (really boldly) address these two very real risks AND get the results reported in this study, imagine the possibilities. This is a call for a new approach to the first-semester experience in Greek Life.
Let’s celebrate, but let’s be humble and honest as well. Greek life is doing some things wrong and we need to address them, but we also have the potential (as proven by this early data) to quite literally improve lives in ways no other opportunity on campus provides. This is huge.
Thanks to the NIC and all the organizations that have put their effort and energy into this research.
[UPDATE: Here is the official release from the NIC. It is a helpful read.]
by Matt Mattson
The Phired Up team is building its summer reading list around the themes of Social Excellence and Recruitment. We wanted to invite you to read along with us and perhaps engage in some discussion along the way (via Facebook, Twitter, or our blog). In fact, we’d even like to make a special request…
We welcome guest bloggers. If you read (or have already read) one of the books on our list (or another on a related topic), we would welcome a blog post from you to be published via our Phired Up blog! If you’re interested, just E-mail a draft blog post to us. Make it a) helpful and practical to college student organization leaders, and b) related directly to Social Excellence and/or college student organization recruitment. Don’t just submit a book report, give us your spin, teach us a lesson. In the words of Jim Rome, “Have a take. Don’t suck.”
Here are the books that are currently on the Phired Up team’s summer reading list. I’m guessing you could add some more! (For past recommended readings, scroll down to the bottom of this page).
HOW TO SAY IT FOR WOMEN by Phyllis Mindell
In Good Guys and I Heart Recruitment, Phired Up teaches that Step 7 in The Eight Steps to Limitless Possibility is GROW WISER. Let’s use these next few months, as a greater interfraternal community, to seek wisdom from sources outside our normal circles. Let’s grow wiser together.