Announcement: Deferred Recruitment On Your Campus Starts Today!
Many fraternity and sorority communities have a “deferred” recruitment system that requires that they wait until the new calendar year to invite first-year students into their organization. Whether your recruitment system is deferred or not, RIGHT NOW is what will determine your recruitment success in January.
Dynamic Recruitment is AWESOME for deferred recruiting chapters, however there are a few extra tips we would like to share to truly maximize the opportunities that a deferred recruitment process provides.
Here are 4 strategies to implement immediately to build a great Winter new member class:
1. WEEKLY RECRUITMENT CALENDAR: Each week of your calendar during the fall term should include some basic, consistent, repeated activities. At least 1 phone call session, at least 10 small activities with prospects, at least 1 open activity (not at the house — e.g. pick-up sports), at least 1 actual chapter event to which you invite prospects (e.g. service event, brotherhood/sisterhood activity, chapter meeting) , and at least one discussion each week by the recruitment committee or chapter about which of the prospects are qualified for membership. Take these examples: The IFC community at Northwestern University (which has deferred recruitment) has weekly “Sunday Night Dinners” — each chapter hosts freshman prospects at their house every Sunday night in the fall to build long-term relationships prior to recruitment in the winter. Or take the Sigma Rho chapter at Northern Michigan Univeristy — these guys walk dogs at the local humane society every Saturday morning — this gives them a great activity to invite prospects to every week.
2. “JOIN IN” OPPORTUNITIES : This tip is admittedly related to #1, but it is just that important. What chapter events that you are planning for this fall can you include non-Greeks in? Can you host a major philanthropic event that involves lots of students across campus (and meet and build relationships with them during)? If you host social gatherings this fall, will you write down all the names, contact information, and conversation details you can after each event? Do you have 3-5 “open” chapter meetings throughout the semester that you can invite highly regarded prospects to attend? What is your chapter doing that you can ask others to “JOIN IN”? The more times you get prospects to JOIN IN during the fall, the more likely it will be that they will JOIN IN when you give them a bid in the spring.
3. HELP PROSPECTS HELP THEMSELVES: Be a role model for first-year students. Instead of approaching them to get them to join you (and help your chapter), spend the fall term HELPING THEM get prepared to be a great student and future member. Help your top freshmen prospects get involved in other student organizations, help them build great friendships, help them network with student leaders and university administrators. If you spend the fall helping prospects two amazing things will happen: 1) They’ll be thrilled to join a group full of generous people like you in the winter/spring, and 2) They’ll be set up to be fantastic members once they do join.
4. DO YOUR RESEARCH: You have entire term to get to know prospects! That’s great news! On too many campuses chapters feel RUSHed to determine which prospects are qualified for membership in the first week of the fall. You have the luxury of really researching the qualifications for membership of each of the prospects. Get written applications. Interview them. Check references. At least have a few deep zone conversations to make sure you understand the qualifications that each prospect brings to the table. You should know two things for sure come January about your entire prospect list: 1) If you ask them to join, will they (pre-close)? and 2) Are you 100% certain that they represent the values of your organization?