Here are five essential tips that every fraternity recruiter should review…
1. Use the technology that is built for fraternity recruitment and that thousands of other chapters across the country are already using. Learn more at www.chapterbuilder.com.
2. Gather the “workhorses” in your chapter together and get to work. Great recruiting chapters understand that it is a group of key members working their a$$es off to build meet high quality men and build real relationships that gets the best results. Read more here.
3. You want the RIGHT men for your chapter. You want brothers, not just buddies. Choose wisely. Did you know that nearly 100,000 men will join a fraternity this year. Let’s make sure we get the right ones. It’s time for every chapter to determin what a “5 Star” recruit really looks like for them. You should know the objective, measurable, data-driven criteria your chapter uses to screen PNMs to ensure only the best get an invite. You’re not looking for “good guys.” You’re looking for men who will help build the future of your chapter.
4. Remember, “You can’t recruit who you don’t know,” and “People join people.” Break recruitment down into easy steps. Meet people. Build relationships with them. Decide if they’re high quality men who deserve the honor of wearing your letters. Close the deal. Systemize and maximize this relationship building process for success.
5. Cut the fat. Whether you’re doing a structured recruitment or you’re recruiting all year long, there are things that get results and things that distract you and your brothers. Prospects don’t need to be impressed, they need to feel cared for. The best potential members don’t care about flair, they want to feel like they belong. Focus on what really matters, and cut the rest of the B.S.
Watch this video and share it with your members!
by Hailey Mangrum
Anyone who knows me knows that my dad is a character. Seriously, he needs a reality show. Along with his humor, he is also a charter member for the chapter of his fraternity. Cool, right?! In one of our conversations, I asked him if he ever recruited someone to join his fraternity. I mean, after all, wasn’t he recruited seeing as though he’s a charter member?! He went on and on with a bunch of pretty words and nice sentences, all to say no. He insisted that because of the image, programs, and impact the chapter produced on campus, men would naturally flock to join. Because of this, he felt there was no need to recruit. My dad isn’t an anomaly to this thought process as I have heard this same rhetoric from various members of culturally based fraternal organizations (CBFOs).
I was curious to see what current students thought of this, so I launched a survey for members of CBFOs asking two questions: (1) what inspired you to join your fraternity/sorority? and (2) have you recruited someone to join your organization, or will you?
Within a day I received 100 responses. The results were fascinating:
• 79% of the participants joined their organization because the mission, values, and/or programs resonated with them.
• 72% of participants said yes they have recruited someone, or they will recruit someone to join.
• 52% of the participants were initiated within 2016-2018.
• 31% of the participants joined their organization because of a mentor, coach, teacher, or church leader is a member.
Friends, this is good stuff. I mean, good. This tells us that a) members of CBFOs have a desire to be engaged in purpose-driven work, b) there is a belief in recruiting, and c) that people join people.
While a chapter may not host a recruitment driven program or have a recruitment chair on the board, recruitment is happening. And many chapters want to actively recruit because they desire more help, more impact, and more chances to change lives with the privilege and development that comes with membership.
The reality is that every program, every Instagram post, and every interaction with someone is recruitment (or if you don’t like that word because it reminds you of stuff you despise, let’s call these “growth tactics”). Growth in organizational impact, community influence, and member development.
Infusing techniques to build rapport, foster influence, and develop relationships into the member development curriculum is integral to the sustainability of CBFOs – and that is exactly what I am excited to do! The desire and/or natural affinity to be in community is who we are at our core.
I am inspired to develop strategies, tips, and resources for students to engage in community through conversations that matter. Whether the content is through web-based material, in-person conversations, or one-one-one coaching, I am committed to developing resources to educate around building relationships and sustaining rapport.
It is important for members to begin having meaningful conversations with people interested in joining. It is important for members to know how to maximize impact and growth through relationships. It is important for members to be equipped with tools to begin a paradigm shift in establishing a culture of interpersonal development within CBFOs.
I am so excited to be on this journey with Phired Up to provide leadership for the expansion and execution of intentional educational experiences for CBFOs. It’s time to move the needle forward in our organizations. We cannot wait for you to join us on this journey!
I’d love to hear from you to talk more about growth for CBFOs! Email me at Hailey@PhiredUp.com to get a conversation started today.
“We can’t just have this be a history class.”
We’ve all heard a variation of that phrase. It can be a gateway to new member processes gone wrong, but we must admit it’s a valid concern. Especially with scrutiny on the new member period that has intensified recently. Campuses and headquarters are tightening their grip on what students can and can’t do, starting with helping them standardize the process. The positive is putting some structure in place, since some chapters have gone decades without having to report an official plan to anyone.
But there’s still a major problem: students are tired of class. That’s where their time and money was already going before they joined. For fraternity men in particular, the unknown is more enticing than the tried & true. Scrutiny drives mutiny. And as new member programs feel more and more like another class, it’s encouraging students to come up with their own alternatives.
How can we stop it?
We probably can’t, and that’s ok. Some of my personal favorite new member programs are ones that recognize this urge and allow students to customize their experience to break out of the classroom. Some key tips for fraternity leaders to consider when creating their own new member experience:
Outside the classroom doesn’t mean winging it. Regardless of how successful a chapter is, every member is likely on board with the idea that the new member process is a critical component. If that’s the case, why should any event be brainstormed on the fly? Use your offseason to create ideas and discuss with your stakeholders. One of the biggest issues with the new member process on a national level is the lack of available content ideas created by students. At Phired Up, we have created an anonymous anonymous event list to help (the submission form is at the end of this post).
Huddle up. Much of the “history class” frustration stems from one person lecturing. This puts additional pressure on your new member educator, and even when they do their job well it keeps the new members from connecting with each other. The experience vs. class debate is less about the setting, and more about how members are opening up with each other. If your new members aren’t feeling the brotherhood first, why should they care about any dates, facts, or names?
Involve your new members in the process. We’ve all heard countless active members refer to their first few weeks of the fraternity as “the best thing I never want to do again.” While they may smile fondly, it’s the big reason so many stop showing up after initiation. Why should we be surprised when we look back at that quote? The goal of any strong new member experience is to keep the motivation strong beyond that semester. By allowing the new members to have a say in what aspects of the fraternity are most important to them, the experience can focus on their needs. Rather than ask what they want in their first semester, find out what they want over the rest of their college experience and beyond. This will make it easier to connect them to the plans you already have in place, and keep them motivated after.
Listen to everything. Many new member events gone wrong stem from members of the chapter feeling like their ideas aren’t heard, and taking matters into their own hands. As long as the new members are on board, the event will happen regardless of approval or risk. It’s important to forge a culture in your chapter where every event idea is seriously considered, and ones that feel purposeless/unsafe are reformed rather than rejected.
We’re listening to everything, too. Whether you’re a student, advisor or alumni please take a few moments to add your favorite events to this anonymous form. We want to do whatever we can to help students across the country create the new member experience they want.
If you haven’t already, check out this video!