by Josh Orendi
Thursday, 7:30AM, August 30, 2012. I had the honor of attending a membership meeting of Kiwanis International . Special thanks to my friend John Shertzer — who many know from his popular blog “Fraternal Thoughts” — for the invitation. It wasn’t until about 45 minutes into the meeting that I had a light bulb moment — I was being RECRUITED, and this was not the Kiwanis Club’s first recruitment rodeo. I was in a vortex of recruitment excellence. My light bulb moment became a fireworks show of Dynamic Recruitment lessons as I replayed all the little things that were creating my first Kiwanis experience. The moment I got home, I sat down to record the important lessons that I witnessed so that my fraternal friends could benefit from my remarkable experience I just had on the other side of a recruitment handshake.
Part One: How I Ended Up in an O’Charley’s Restaurant with 60 Strangers:
Two weeks earlier I was sitting at a Starbucks on 86th Street in Indianapolis after a meeting with some friends from Zeta Beta Tau’s headquarters. In walks a friend, Paul Lawson, with a guy I don’t recognize. Paul introduces me to Roy Hedeen. In less than 60 seconds Roy figures out that he and I share another mutual friend, John Shertzer. Roy is a member of Kiwanis International and he tells me I should join him and his Kiwanis club for a free breakfast in 2 weeks where John will be a featured speaker. Caught in the moment and the charisma of both Roy and Paul I say, “yeah, that’s a great idea.” We exchange business cards. Later that same day I receive an email from Roy thanking me for the meeting, asking about my business, sharing details about the upcoming meeting, and introducing me to another colleague of his who he thinks I would enjoy talking to (Rhonda). The next day I received a warm, funny email from John that he just heard from Roy that I was attending the upcoming meeting. The following day, Rhonda emails me saying she can’t wait to connect. WHOA-WHOA-WHOA I’ve spent nearly my entire professional life teaching recruitment. This felt so natural – so normal – that I didn’t even make the connection. I was being recruited!!!
Later, I literally had an internal conversation with myself: “Was Roy a sly recruitment master or a passionate gentleman eager to share the gift of his club’s membership with others?” Answer: BOTH! He was thoughtful and intentional. He believes in his organization and he believes that my life will be better through his organization. He cared enough to:
1. meet me by shaking my hand
2. treat me like a friend
3. introduce me to his friends
4. introduce me to his organization
5. ask me to join.
HOLY SH*T! Roy Hedeen just recruited me with the NIC 5 STEP MODEL !!!! I felt like that moment in Karate Kid (Part One) when Daniel-san’s arch rival Johnny Lawrence meets Mr. Miyagi and gets his ass kicked. The star pupil had just been schooled by the master. Roy Hedeen just crept from the shadows of northside Indianapolis and beat me with my own best recruitment moves.
Part Two: 20 Recruitment Lessons I Experienced at One Kiwanis Club Meeting:
by Matt Mattson
First year students are arriving soon. College student organization leaders are giddy. It’s time to get to work recruiting these freshmen into the organizations that will shape their college career. Let’s go get ‘em!!!!
…Whoa, tiger. Wait a minute before you charge out the door on the hunt for fresh-meat — I mean freshmen. Take a moment, before you give them your smooth pitch, your cool promotional items, and your well practiced handshake/wink combo move. Do you remember when you were in their shoes?
You were nervous.
You were trying to figure out what the new “cool” was.
You were scared.
You were clueless about how the new social scene worked.
You were secretly trying to impress the people who impressed you.
You were really missing that small group of close friends you had back in high school.
You had no idea what organizations like the one you ended up in were really about.
You were overwhelmed by all the colorful t-shirts, sidewalk chalk, banners and posters, but never really read them.
You were only really interested in the groups that had people in them that you already knew — or the groups that your friends were joining.
You barely knew how to navigate campus, much less navigate the process of joining a life-changing student organization.
You just wanted to be listened to.
You just wanted to feel included.
You just wanted to feel important.
You just wanted to be cared about and loved.
Put yourself in their shoes… Strategize accordingly.