by Matt Farrell
Congrats on stepping up to oversee recruitment! Wouldn’t it be nice to hear an honest, unfiltered take from someone who’s learned the hard way?
Enter Will Elkins, who just finished up almost three years as a recruitment leader for his fraternity that had ZERO members when he started school.
Will is a member of Phi Gamma Delta at William & Mary. His school is public with a private feel, and his story involves both growing a smaller chapter and maintaining a larger one.
Let’s cut to the chase and hear straight from Will!
It all starts with remembering your own recruitment story
I came to school trying to figure out a lot of things. What I believed, who my close relationships would be, and just looking for something to sink my teeth into. I think we tend to forget about what it was like before we joined but looking back I was in a vulnerable place. The experience gave me a lot of insight into what it would be like starting my own company. It’s a reminder you yourself that you have the capacity to dive in fully, immerse yourself, and find that creative energy. But it’s important to be cognizant of that going forward so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
When your goal is to grow, and you’re facing the pressure of numbers
I’m gonna go very business-like here. You need to understand your value proposition. Where in the marketplace of ideas does your organization stand? What would make somebody join your organization over another one, whether a fraternity or not? You can’t BS your way around that and you have to be honest about both your strengths and weaknesses. When we found better ways to be honest about our weaknesses, potential members started getting intrigued about how they could be a part of the solution. They felt the mission of our organization before they decided to join.
You’re managing a system
One of the issues you’ll run into is bombarding potential members with info. If you’re over-communicative, that’s a turnoff for people. But some people use that as an excuse because being under-communicative obviously means settling. ChapterBuilder was extremely helpful in being our central hub where we could organize how much we talked to people and how the conversation went. Everyone knew where to go to follow up on conversations and bump people to the next step. It made it much easier to get people involved, so the second or third conversation with a potential member never started from scratch.
If you don’t face pressure about your numbers
After growing, my brother Alex Lopez noticed an increasing lack of structure that kept more brothers getting involved. We recognized one-on-one meetings were the best recruiting tool for us, but as our number of brothers and people we were looking at both grew, these were becoming harder to schedule.
We designed a recruitment team system to add more structure. It started with getting 5 or 6 team captains, and putting the rest of the brothers on their teams. The goal was for each brother in the team to meet with each PNM at least once, and the team leader would ensure it all happened. The system kept the focus on the one-on-one meetups. Once it was organized, everyone bought in because one-on-one meetups where the main reason most of us joined in the first place.
This also helped a ton with voting. We had our most seamless vote ever this semester. The system helps you trust your brothers since you all realize you won’t get to meet everyone, but you know everyone is having better conversations to go off.
What I Wish I Knew At the Beginning
The need for resiliency. You have to be persistent with communicating with people to get them on board. Sending that one text and not getting a text back just really doesn’t do the trick. You really have to always be going after it. People want to know you really care about them. You gotta have stamina.
A peripheral role can still be a contributing role. This organization has brought me so much and all I want to do is share that with other people. I know I was struggling hard my freshman year. Regardless of how put together these younger guys seem, everyone is seeking something.
I know the trend is for people to leave fraternities early now, especially after going alum. All I can say is, there’s something special about those guys who stick around. The unique opportunity for us is to act as a mentor for younger leaders. There are very few opportunities in college where you can grow this fast as a leader and give it back to someone else this quickly.
Contact: Branden Stewart
Carmel, Ind.– Phired Up is proud to announce the full-time hire of Hailey Mangrum as an Organizational Growth Consultant, effective December 2nd, 2019. Hailey will also serve Phired Up’s sister company, TechniPhi, in an Account Management role. She joins the Phired Up team full-time following nine months in a part-time capacity delivering programs and developing resources for culturally-based fraternal organizations. Hailey brings her expertise to the position as a current and former advisor and volunteer for Panhellenic, IFC, and culturally-based organizations (including NALFO, NAPA, NMGC, and NPHC groups).
“Hailey far exceeded all expectations this year in her part-time role, so I can’t wait to see what she does when this is her every day hustle,” said Jason Allen, Phired Up’s Director of Education. “She will continue to serve all fraternities and sororities and will be instrumental in blending our technology and educational services.”
Hailey is a graduate of Western Michigan University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University before working full-time with the fraternity and sorority community at her alma mater, Western Michigan University.
Most recently, in her role at Virginia Tech, Hailey served as a strengths consultant, developed curriculum to further advance the interpersonal development of leaders and build understanding of community.
“Hailey Mangrum is a fast-rising star in our industry, but she shines her light on others and that’s what I love about her. I’m thrilled that she’s agreed to help us create the future of fraternity and sorority by joining our team full-time,” said Matt Mattson, Phired Up Co-Founder and President. “She’ll keep quarterbacking our work to help culturally-based fraternal organizations grow, and she’ll also get to use her experience, her talent, her perspective, and her magnetism to help Panhellenic groups and whatever other audiences she finds herself educating. ”
As an active professional within the fraternity and sorority field, Hailey has volunteered for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, several national fraternity and sorority leadership programs, and has developed exceptional facilitation and presentation skills through her role as a lead facilitator for NIC programs like IMPACT and UIFI.
“Hailey is such an empowered leader who exudes absolute confidence and I am so excited for the opportunity to work alongside her! Hailey has already made such an impact on so many students and I’m eager to see what she accomplishes next,” said Haley Cahill-Teubert, Phired Up’s Organizational Growth Consultant.
When asked what she’s excited about when joining the Phired Up team full-time, Hailey said, “My parents always told my brothers and I to use our voice, to speak up. I couldn’t be more excited to get to do that every day through building content, creating resources, and developing relationships with students/professionals all over the world for the advancement of fraternity and sorority.”
In her spare time, Hailey enjoys hosting friends, working behind the scenes at events, and vibing to a good Drake playlist. She is passionate about helping folks make meaning of how our lived experiences influence our leadership, decision making, and identity.
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About Phired Up Productions: Phired Up Productions helps fraternities and sororities grow. The company’s products, services, and brands are creating the future of fraternities and sororities by transforming the way people join. The company delivers relationship-focused, data-driven, results-producing TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, and STRATEGY solutions for every aspect of the pre-member experience from first-impression through initiation.
Your Names List is a critical first step in developing a successful recruitment system. The larger your Names List gets, the more successful you will become (Remember, “Quantity Drives Quality!”) You’ll have a greater opportunity to recruit more quality individuals when you increase the size of your Names List. Put every non-Greek prospective student on your chapter’s Names List!
Here’s an exercise to get you stared. Before you watch the video, DOWNLOAD THE FREE RESOURCE HERE for full instructions of how to do this with your chapter.