3 Week Open Recruitment Plan

A Simple, Detailed, and Effective 3 (or 4) Week “Open Recruitment” Plan

by Matt Mattson

If you are in charge of recruitment, it can be easy to get confused and overwhelmed. There are so many options and variables. Especially if you’re doing “open recruitment” (where there is no significant council support and no “rounds” or “schedule” already in place). Sure, you could look at what the person in charge of recruitment last year did, but sometimes it is helpful to start with a blank piece of paper and make your own plan.

This post is meant as an example. Before you dive in, I recommend you read this (everyone), and this (if you’re an IFC chapter), this (if you’re a Panhellenic chapter), or this (if you’re a member of a culturally-based fraternity or sorority). Then, be sure to also pay attention to the links below.

Here is a simple and effective 3 (or 4) week “open recruitment” plan.

Week 1: “You Can’t Recruit Who You Don’t Know.”
The goal of week one is simple: Put as many names on your names list as possible.

Sunday: Do a Mind Joggers exercise with your whole chapter during your chapter meeting to make sure you start with a strong Names List. Ask everyone in the chapter to text 5 of the names they put on the list to invite them to have coffee, lunch, or to “hang out” at some point in the next 3 days (try one of these Small Activities). GREAT START!

Monday: Do a Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Update your Names List.

Tuesday: Do a different Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Update your Names List. Between 8pm and 10pm get 5-10 of your most reliable members together in a single room (let’s call these members your “workhorses”). Open up your Names List on everyone’s computer. Send individual text messages to everyone on your list inviting them to upcoming events, activities, and/or 1-on-1 meetings. Update your Names List.

Wednesday: Fun group activity on campus: spend a couple hours in the afternoon doing something fun and inviting on campus. Try pick-up sports, a fun philanthropic fundraiser, a hike nearby, a study group, etc. Not a big “recruitment event,” but something simple and easy for anyone to participate in. Throughout the day invite as many strangers, friends, people from your names list, and passersby to join you. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Thursday: Do a different Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Update your Names List. You might consider holding a formal “informational meeting” on campus for about 45 minutes in the early evening. Between 8pm and 10pm get your “workhorses” together in a single room. Open up your Names List on everyone’s computer. Send individual text messages to everyone on your list inviting them to upcoming events, activities, and/or 1-on-1 meetings. Update your Names List.

Friday: Fun group activity on campus: spend a couple hours in the afternoon doing something fun and inviting on campus. Try pick-up sports, a fun philanthropic fundraiser, a hike nearby, a study group, etc. Not a big “recruitment event,” but something simple and easy for anyone to participate in. Throughout the day invite as many strangers, friends, people from your names list, and passersby to join you. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Saturday: Keep churning with text messages, small activities, and 1-on-1 meetings… or just chill. Your call.

 

Week 2: “People don’t join organizations. People join people.”
The goal of week two: Keep growing your names list and move potential members up your list.

Sunday: Give an update to your chapter. You should have added hundreds of new names to your list last week. You should be able to report how many points of contact you had with potential members last week. You should have moved a bunch of people from “D’s” to “C’s” (if you’re using ChapterBuilder). You’re doing great! Ask the chapter to take 10 minutes to make sure they’ve logged all the information about their interactions with potential members on your Names List. Ask each chapter member to identify their target list of 10 potential members that they’re going to give extra attention to this week (it’s o.k. if there is overlap). Teach chapter members how to do “chunking” in all of their interactions with potential members this week. Keep spirits high and show appreciation to everyone for their contribution.

Monday: Do a Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Tuesday: Do a different Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Update your Names List. Between 8pm and 10pm get your “workhorses” together in a single room. Open up your Names List on everyone’s computer. Send individual text messages to everyone on your list inviting them to upcoming events, activities, and/or 1-on-1 meetings. Update your Names List.

Wednesday: Event #1! Your first “recruitment event” should be really low-key. Keep it on “neutral turf” (away from the house). The success of the event rarely is determined by the event itself — success depends on how well you do getting people to the event. Send texts and make calls in the 2 hours right before the event. Go over to key areas of campus where you can find potential members in the 45 minutes prior to the event and physically invite people right there in person to attend. Have a blast. Make sure you’re “chunking” people at your event. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Thursday: Event #2! Your second “recruitment event” should be really low-key too. Keep it on “neutral turf” (away from the house). The success of the event rarely is determined by the event itself — success depends on how well you do getting people to the event. Send texts and make calls in the 2 hours right before the event. Go over to key areas of campus where you can find potential members in the 45 minutes prior to the event and physically invite people right there in person to attend. Have a blast. Make sure you’re “chunking” people at your event. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Friday: Do a Names Driving activity (pick 1 of these 60 ideas) for 2-3 hours during the day. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each.  You might consider holding a formal “informational meeting” on campus for about 45 minutes in the early evening. Update your Names List.

Saturday: Keep churning with text messages, small activities, and 1-on-1 meetings… or just chill. Your call. *Note: you probably have some potential members you’re getting close with. This is a good time to start “pre-closing” those prospects. Take them out to brunch, coffee, lunch, dinner… or ask them to watch some sports with you… or do whatever as long as it creates an opportunity for a meaningful one-on-one conversation. Update your Names List.

 

Week 3: “Recruitment is a relationship business.”
Week 3 is a big week with a lot happening. Be ready for some major results this week!

Sunday: Give an update to your chapter. You should have added hundreds more new names to your list last week. You should be able to report how many points of contact you had with potential members last week (it was probably a ton). You have likely moved a lot of people from “D’s” to “C’s” to “B’s” and maybe even to “A’s” this past week. Congratulate your members for their great work! This is a great day to start making some decisions. Use a smart selection process (read this and this) to identify prospects you’re ready to give a “bid” to. Text those prospects right away to set up a time to meet and give them their bid (be sure to “pre-close” them if you haven’t already). Spend 20-30 minutes texting “C’s” and “B’s” on your Names List to invite them to small activities on Monday and Tuesday. Update your Names List.

Monday: Fun group activity on campus: spend a couple hours in the afternoon doing something fun and inviting on campus. Try pick-up sports, a fun philanthropic fundraiser, a hike nearby, a study group, etc. Not a big “recruitment event,” but something simple and easy for anyone to participate in. Throughout the day invite as many strangers, friends, people from your names list, and passersby to join you. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing a lot of 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. This is the week where many of these meetings are really important conversations about membership.  Update your Names List.

Tuesday: Event #3! If you have a house, feel free to have your event there (if not, obviously that’s o.k. too). This event should be built for people with real interest in the chapter (like “B’s” and “A’s”). Make sure all prospects who attend are interacting with a wide variety of current members. You’ll have to actively host them, and facilitate the connections between the prospects and the members.  The success of the event rarely is determined by the event itself — success depends on how well you do getting people to the event. Send texts and make calls in the 2 hours right before the event. Go over to key areas of campus where you can find potential members in the 45 minutes prior to the event and physically invite people right there in person to attend. Have a blast. Make sure you’re “chunking” people at your event. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. After the event, gather your chapter (or just your “workhorses”) and decide on additional people you’re ready to invite to join your chapter. Text them to meet up tomorrow! Update your Names List.

Wednesday: Give out “invitations to join!” Spend a big part of your day asking people to join. Then between 8pm and 10pm get your “workhorses” together in a single room. Open up your Names List on everyone’s computer. Send individual text messages to everyone on your list inviting them to upcoming events, activities, and/or 1-on-1 meetings. Update your Names List.

Thursday: Event #4!  If you have a house, feel free to have your event there (if not, obviously that’s o.k. too). This event should be built for people with real interest in the chapter (like “B’s” and “A’s”). Make sure all prospects who attend are interacting with a wide variety of current members. You’ll have to actively host them, and facilitate the connections between the prospects and the members.  The success of the event rarely is determined by the event itself — success depends on how well you do getting people to the event. Send texts and make calls in the 2 hours right before the event. Go over to key areas of campus where you can find potential members in the 45 minutes prior to the event and physically invite people right there in person to attend. Have a blast. Make sure you’re “chunking” people at your event. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. After the event, gather your chapter (or just your “workhorses”) and decide on additional people you’re ready to invite to join your chapter. Text them to meet up tomorrow! Update your Names List.

Friday: Event #5! But first… Give out “invitations to join!” Spend a big part of your day asking people to join. Then in the evening have an event or do an activity focused on building connections between all the people who have accepted invitations to join so far. Great work! Update your Names List.

Saturday: Breathe. Relax. Celebrate (but make smart choices).

 

Week 3: “Keep growing!”
Week 4 is about taking all the work you’ve done so far, and turning it from a “victory” into an “unbelievable success story!”

Sunday/Monday: Do a Mind Joggers exercise with all of your newest members. Ask them to send a text message to everyone they added to the Names List inviting them to the activities and events happening over the next couple of days.

Tuesday: Fun group activity on campus: spend a couple hours in the afternoon doing something fun and inviting on campus. Try pick-up sports, a fun philanthropic fundraiser, a hike nearby, a study group, etc. Not a big “recruitment event,” but something simple and easy for anyone to participate in. Throughout the day invite as many strangers, friends, people from your names list, and passersby to join you. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing two to three 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. Update your Names List.

Wednesday: Event #6! But first… Give out “invitations to join!” Spend a big part of your day “pre-closing” people and asking people to join. Then in the evening have an event or do an activity focused on building connections between all the people who have accepted invitations with any new prospects you can get there. Try to do something in an easily accessible venue that is welcoming to anyone (and not a “house”). Great work! Update your Names List.

Thursday: Fun group activity on campus: spend a couple hours in the afternoon doing something fun and inviting on campus. Try pick-up sports, a fun philanthropic fundraiser, a hike nearby, a study group, etc. Not a big “recruitment event,” but something simple and easy for anyone to participate in. Throughout the day invite as many strangers, friends, people from your names list, and passersby to join you. Throughout the day, hopefully your “workhorses” are doing a lot of 1-on-1 meetings or small activities with people on your names list each. This is another week where many of these meetings are really important conversations about membership.  Update your Names List.

Friday: Event #7! But first… Give out “invitations to join!” Spend a big part of your day asking people to join. Then in the evening have an event or do an activity focused on building connections between all the people who have accepted invitations to join so far. Great work! Update your Names List.