When is recruitment on your campus?

by Matt Mattson

When is recruitment on your campus?

…wait  …wait  …wait for it… [DRAMATIC PAUSE]

O.K., how did you answer that question? 

Did you give a list of dates?  Did you say “the fall” or “the spring”?  Did you start explaining your deferred/delayed recruitment process?  Did you say it starts with when “online sign-up” opens?  Did you explain the difference between formal recruitment and C.O.B./C.O.R.?  Did you start searching for your calendar?  Did you say, “Uh, I don’t know”?  Did you start explaining the rules set up by “the university” or your Greek Council?  Did you feel like you had to ask your chapter president or recruitment chair?

Did you say “Recruitment is 24/7/365″?

Did you say “Now”?

Did you realize that the question is sort of ridiculous to begin with?

If you agree with us that recruitment is NOT about convincing enough people to join your organization, but instead recruitment IS about giving the life-changing gift of your organizazition away to people who deserve it…  then you probably think that the question, “WHEN IS RECRUITMENT?” is pretty ridiculuous.

If recruitment is about changing someone’s life for the better by giving them the gift of your organization, then recruitment should happen whenever that opportunity arises.  Whenever you and your organization know someone well enough to know that a) they measurably, objectively, and demonstrably represent your organization’s values, and b) if you offer them membership, their life and your group will forever be changed for the better — whenever that happens, GIVE THE GIFT.

Don’t wait for the 1 week out of the year when you think it is allowed.  Do it.  Make it happen. Now.

The highest performing groups we work with are open to…

  • weekly votes on potential members,
  • multiple community “bid days” per semester,
  • open recruitment policies for all groups,
  • “rush week” or “formal recruitment” as a time to get a few extra members that the chapter hasn’t had the opportunity to meet yet,
  • 24/7/365 Social Excellence + Recruitment whenever the opportunity to GIVE THE GIFT of membership arises,
  • summer recruitment,
  • recruitment policies built in the interests of the potential members, not just the chapters,
  • standing up strongly against policies that prevent the “simple beauty of recruitment.”

What is the “simple beauty of recruitment”? 

It is simple: a person wants to join a values-based, cause-oriented group it believes in + a group wants a person to join them because they believe in him/her, and they believe that that person can help them make the world a better place through the power of the group. 

It is beautiful: a person’s life is changed forever + a group receives the gifts that a unique new member has to offer. 

Should anything stand in the way of that?  Ever?

So, when is recruitment on your campus?

Request Online Referrals

by Matt Mattson

This is just a quick Dynamic Recruitment tip to help you grow your Names List over the summer.  Be sure you’re providing clear opportunities online (and making clear requests) for people you know to refer potential members your way. 

Here’s what I mean. 

Inter/National Fraternities and Sororities are pretty good at offering easy opportunities to capture recommendations.  Here are some examples from Beta Theta Pi, Triangle, FIJI, Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, and Alpha Phi.  Interestingly, I searched at least a dozen other organizations (including NPHC and other culturally-oriented groups) and didn’t find a recommendation option on most of the websites I found.  This seems like an easy, no-brainer, front-page addition to me. 

If you use the GoogleDocs Names List from our Free Resources you can easily build a form to embed on into your website to collect this information.  You can also embed that form into E-mails or just send E-mail/Facebook requests with a link directly to the form.  Just make it as easy as possible for people to refer potential members your way.  This form is easy to build and easy to use.  Leverage your network to build your Names List. 

Here are five recommendations for requesting online referrals.

  1. Add a form to your website (or utilize a form already on your inter/national org’s site).  Make it easy for anyone (alumni, members, friends, lovers, pals, teachers, counselors, pen pals, parents, etc.) to refer people to your organization for consideration.
  2. Send an E-mail (with the form or link embedded into it) to your high school teachers, counselors, administrators, janitors, and lunchladies requesting that they complete the form for at least three students who will be attending your school next year.
  3. After a face-to-face lunch meeting (or at least a phone conversation) with your 5 favorite college professors, send a follow-up message with a link to the form  requesting that they complete the form with information about their top 5 students from the past year.
  4. Request referrals, submitted through your form/website, from anyone who joins any Facebook group or Fanpage you have.  Ask members, potential members, girl/boyfriends, friends-of-the-fraternity/sorority, etc.
  5. Request that your chapter’s “Horses” complete the referral form with all of their non-Greek friends over the summer.  It is an easy task to complete no matter where they are this time of year.

Art & Science of Organizational Growth

by Matt Mattson

Art vs. Science.  Both are necessary when it comes to growing your organization.


We had a great conversation with a trusted colleague this weekend.  He suggested that because we have two big lessons we teach  (Dynamic Recruitment & Social Excellence) there might be some confusion about our message.  So, here’s a fun way to think about it.

The ART of Organizational Growth: Social Excellence.  The art side of what we teach is less about what you do, and more about who you have to become.  Become an artist in the social realm.  Connect with people’s emotions and who they really are through authenticity, curiosity, vulnerability, and generosity.  Create a work of art through genuine connections with real people.  Social Excellence is about being a great recruiter.  It is about who you are.  It is about choosing to live a lifestyle and being the best version of yourself.  This is not science, it is art. 

The SCIENCE of Organizational Growth: Dynamic RecruitmentThis is the system, the business model, the framework, the flowchart, the engineering of organizational growth.  The Dynamic Recruitment System is the proven repeatable scientific process that is measurable, manageable, and proven through results.

Phired Up will continue to develop educational products and services to teach both the Art and Science of Organizational Growth.  We teach what you have to DO and who you have to BE.  Sometimes it makes sense to deliver these separately.  Sometimes they need to be combined.  But to understand the big picture of how to build a membership organization that is world class, first understand that there is an art and a science to it, and both are required.

Exercise Your Social Muscle

by Matt Mattson

The Talent CodeA number of us on the Phired Up team have been reading THE TALENT CODE by Daniel Coyle this month (I had mentioned this back in the summer reading list).  Honestly, this book has invaded my mind and I can’t get it out.  The applications of the principles in this book to what we do at Phired Up are innumerable, and it has really been a fun read.  I’m sure we’ll have more to say about the principles in this book and how they apply to Dynamic Recruitment education and Social Excellence Training, but let me start with this…

Think of your current level of Social Excellence (your social aptitude).  Your social aptitude can be strengthened just like a muscle. All it needs is the right kind of exercise. 

Coyle goes into significant detail about the brain chemistry surrounding building “skills.” Particularly he focuses on a sort of brain circuit insulation called “myelin” which essentially wraps the wiring for certain skills/behaviors/thoughts in protective layers.  These layers get thicker the more times you practice those skills/behaviors/thoughts in the right way.  Early in the book he describes the “myelination process,”

“(1) Every human movement, thought, or feeling is a precisely timed electrical signal traveling through a chain of neurons – a circuit of nerve fibers. (2) Myelin is the insulation that wraps these nerve fibers and increases signal strength, speed, and accuracy. (3) The more we fire a particular circuit, the more myelin optimizes that circuit, an the stronger, faster, and more fluent our movements and thoughts become.”

I’m guessing I’ve lost some readers at this point, and I can understand that.  This content is a bit outside of this blog’s normal range, however, this concept is a huge breakthrough of knowledge for me personally.  It tells me that ANY skill/behavior/thought can be learned (and taught), and there are examples in the book of elements of Social Excellence being mastered over time! So for even the most timid, shy, scared people we work with, if they have the right stimulation and the right kind of practice, they can become Socially Excellent!

I already knew that, but the fact that fancy brain scientists agree with me… well, that’s cool.

When exercised in the right way, your social muscle (or brain circuitry) can truly be strengthened (or myelinated) so that you can be Socially Excellent all the time.

This is why we’re building more and more curriculum that challenges people to learn through experiences that sometimes cause them to (1) fail, (2) learn from their mistake, and (3) keep trying until they get it right.  Sounds simple, we know, but this basic process, is something that has been shied away from in many educational settings — especially with regard to social skills. 

As Josh said in a recent post, “For many, becoming Socially Excellent depends very much on your willingness to first feel the pain of social discomfort.  You’ll feel awkward, clumsy, and scared the first few times you try to adopt an attitude of Social Excellence.  But that’s just the feeling of growing as a person.  Think of the person you want to become, think of the organization you want to create — the only difference between right now and that vision is a small amount of growing pains.”