by Matt Mattson
It's mid-semester. You can choose to cruise through the rest of this year and wait til January to plan for a great second semester of organizational growth and development, or you can start planning now.
For many organizational leaders, it can be challenging to tackle all the problems a group will inevitably have. You've got financial strain, you need more members, you've got PR issues, you've got unhappy members, you need a new advisor, you want to improve your programming, etc., etc. It can seem overwhelming to look out over the landscape of the organization and see more mountains of challenge to be climbed than you can count. Well, here's some good news… Phired Up has a tool to help you plan for success.
I live in Colorado, and I love to hike and play in the mountains. I also know that, like trying to solve organizational problems, it is impossible to climb all the mountains I can see at the same time. I have to go one at a time. Phired Up's FREE resource called, Phi Mountain, is a tool that can help you take on one organizational “mountain” at a time.
This is a great resource for you to use during retreats, executive leadership meetings, or just to plan out your next semester. It works best as a tool to plan to tackle one major problem. Think of it this way… If you are going to achieve one major thing next semester, what would you like that to be? Use the Phi Mountain tool to help plan for that.
You’ll inevitably run into major hurdles along the way. You’ll need to ford rivers, jump crevices, or scale cliffs. We recommend that the first mountain you plan to climb is MOUNT RECRUITMENT. If you focus first on recruiting a high quantity of high quality members into your organization, you’ll find that the other mountains start to shrink, and you’ll be left with a clear view of success.
Go get ‘em.
by Matt Mattson
A major piece of the Dynamic Recruitment puzzle is the NAMES LIST. This blog serves to describe the free Fraternity Recruitment Names List that you can download from Phired Up's Free Resources Page. Download the document and follow along as we describe how you can use this tool to increase the quantity of quality members in your chapter.
You can see that this is a simple Microsoft Excel document. Nothing fancy. Nothing complicated. We recommend that you find somebody in your chapter that LOVES spreadsheets, charts, and graphs (every chapter has one of those guys). Put him in charge of the Names List. This document should be a living document that is constantly updated. It is a way to collect names, contact information and data about prospective members. It can also be used to track your efforts, provide qualifying information on prospects, measure success, etc. This is the centerpiece of any Dynamic Recruiting chapter. You might choose to use a more advanced data management system (other than MS Excel), but that's up to you.
Quick note: A Wish List is different than a Names List. A Wish List is simply a component of a Names List. A Wish List measures the potential members your chapter might be interested in. A Names List measures how well your chapter members are networked into campus.
As you look at the document you've downloaded, the first tab (see the four tabs at the bottom of the page) is a sample, customizable Dynamic Recruitment Flowchart. This is the same flowchart you've seen in Phired Up's Dynamic Recruitment training, but it is simplified and put into a spreadsheet. There are two sections to pay close attention to. First, you can customize the section for the Six Cylinders. Remember, these are methods you’ll use to drive names onto your names list. Put your chapter's plan for generating names in shorthand within this section. Secondly, down a little lower on the page you’ll see a section for Small Activities. Customize this section with your chapter's plan to provide continual diverse small activities to build relationships with the people whose names are on your list.
Go ahead and click on the third tab at the bottom titled, “IFC Rush List.” Many campuses or IFC's provide their chapters with a list of all the men who have either signed up for formal recruitment, or all the men on campus who are eligible for recruitment. Go ahead and paste that list here, but understand that this IS NOT A NAMES LIST. This is a rush list… a list of strangers. In order for someone to make the Names List, they must either be someone that a member of our chapter has MET, or they must be someone that was referred to us by a trusted source. You can use this rush list to do cold calls or mass E-mails if you want, but that probably won't get the results you're looking for.
O.K., now go back to the second tab titled, “Master Names List.” This is where you’ll spend most of your time in this document. You can see that it is a basic database with fields to record a lot of information about your prospects. You can use as much or as little of this information as you want to. You can add fields or delete fields. But, let's go over what we've provided as an example.
by Josh Orendi
During a recent visit to a Big 10 school, I had a unique experience with a chapter of fraternity men. This story has all the makings of an amazing tale – hazing, alcohol, sorority chicks…. If you're a small chapter on a big campus, this story is especially for you.
In an auditorium room prepared for 300+ people, I sat waiting for the crowd to arrive. Ten minutes after the designated start time, I found myself sitting at a small table in front of 20 foot projector screen with the only 4 men that chose to attend the recruitment session. That's right … a total of four men showed up. All four were from the same chapter and only 2 of them knew why they were there in the first place!
I asked them to teach me about their chapter and their recruitment process. I heard about Big Events, beer pong, BBQ's, and basement parties. I also heard a million excuses. You might as well have backed up a dump truck to the table and unloaded 1000 lbs of trash. "We're one of the smallest chapters " our house is in the worst location " we have an awful reputation " we're broke " the alumni put pressure on us but don't provide any support " the school hates all Greeks " blah .. blah " blah"."
Now that I understood them a little better, I put on my game face and we started into the Dynamic Recruitment Workshop. Within minutes, the men were deeply engaged in the curriculum asking great questions and wondering why the other 8 brothers from their 12 man chapter weren't there to hear this. As the session came to a close, they refused to leave the table. They continued to discuss, debate, and record their ideas into a personalized Action Plan.
One of the undergraduate men had a look of serious concern on his face. He said, “Can I be honest with you?” “Of course,” I said. “I don't think we can get the rest of our chapter to do all this.” I looked at each of them and answered with a clarifying question, “You're the 4 men that do 90% of the work in your chapter, right? That means the other 8 don't do much of ANYTHING, let alone something like this. Hell, just the 4 of you are nearly 50% of the chapter anyway. I haven't shown you anything that requires their help or an extra dollar of chapter money. Horses recruit horses. I think you might care more about their involvement than they care to be involved.”
I thought that witty reply would be the magical answer to get them over the hurdle, but the real issue was about to come out. “I'm not worried about them not getting involved, I'm worried about them causing all the guys we recruit to quit!” There was an awkward pause at the table as his brothers stared at him. “Look, we have some old traditions that are splitting the house. If we recruit the best men on a values-based message with promises of being something great, they're going to quit the moment we start our pledge process.”
by Matt Mattson
Many fraternity/sorority chapters have enjoyed their first month or so of school, toiled through formal recruitment, prayed through the bid process, and are now simply settling for their mediocre recruitment results.
So, what's next?
The average chapters will accept their averageness, take what they have (as far as quantity and quality of new members), and just go about their business. However, the revolutionary chapters — the chapters that practice Dynamic Recruitment will see this time of the fall as their best opportunity to maximize their potential.
Remembering that “you can't recruit who you don't know,” what should you still be doing? That's right, gathering names. But going out and meeting strangers (so that you at least have a chance to recruit them) can seem like hard work. How can you make it fun?
Scavenger hunts are fun, right? They may seem a little cheesy to some of you, but they almost always end up as a good time. Now I'm not talking about scavenger hunts where you have to go and ask for embarrassing things from people, or the ones that if you don't win you end up getting ridiculed or even hazed. I'm talking about a scavenger hunt for one thing and one thing only…. NAMES!
Grow your names list with a multi-day challenge for your members. Attach a prize to the end, and ~voila~ you've got a fun way to grow your names list (and a way to regain some recruitment momentum after the early fall “rush” has waned).
Scavenger Hunt Challenges…
Gather names and contact information of non-Greek men on or around campus by fulfilling as many of these challenges as possible. Use the challenges to start deeper, friendly conversations, then record who you had these conversations with…
At this point, you're probably starting to understand that the content of your scavenger hunt doesn't really matter — as long as you're using it as an opportunity/excuse to go out and interact with new people. These ridiculous challenges offer an opportunity to start a conversation with someone you just met — which then gives you a chance to add their name to your names list — which then gives you a chance to recruit them.
Important: Don't force/strongly encourage your new members to do this. First of all, it should be the “horses” in the chapter that are doing this stuff. Secondly, you should model the way with good recruiting behavior. Third, if you just make your new members do this, you’ll get in big trouble for hazing — don't be dumb. This should be used as a practical, fun, light-hearted way to get to know more people and grow your names list. I repeat, don't be dumb.