by Josh Orendi
What would you do if the 100 highest quality, freshmen/sophomore students from your school sat in front of you at the request of the President/Dean to be recruited into your organization(s)?
Crazy? Nope. All you need to do is ask.
Fraternity/Sorority life represents a significant percentage of your school’s undergraduate leadership. We are a partner (not a parasite) to our host institutions. Top students come together to better the community, campus, and each others lives through a mission of friendship, service, leadership, scholarships, and integrity. We’re the training ground for social excellence that compliments scholastic excellence. It’s time for you to present that argument and ask the partner institution for their support.
Leverage the support of alumni and/or the fraternity/sorority life office to approach the Dean, university president, or an administrator of similar status. This is a perfect responsibility for a high functioning Council. Ask for his/her direct support contacting the top 100 leaders from the freshmen/sophomore class. Ask for a letter and an email sent directly from him/her requesting that student’s attendance at a meeting, luncheon, etc.
How to define the top 100 students?
- consider the top 100 GPA’s, or
- consider non-greek students in positions of “president, vp, or treasurer” of any recognized student group, or
- consider recommendations from the faculty, or
- consider scholarship/honors recipients, or
- consider letting the students self-select themselves as being in the top 100
Require/request an RSVP and manage the entire process for the Dean. If you don’t get to 100 confirmed guests, send out a new batch to the next 50 in line…
The top 100 non-greek students are about to show up, now what?
- it’s time to practice social excellence.
- don’t talk fraternity, be genuinely curious about them and establish a relationship
- introduce them to others in the room that they might enjoy and/or benefit from knowing
- be a great host
The Dean/President might attend to make a few comments about leadership, excellence, and the school’s endorsement of student organizations that embrace and advance the university’s mission. That’s the segway we’re looking for to introducing the next generation of fraternity/sorority life. A movement that redefines all the stereotypes and targets unlikely joiners … like them. You get the picture.
A follow up meeting is a good idea, but the real magic happened when they walked in the room. Your best greek leaders were mixing, mingling, networking, and flexing their “social excellence” muscles as they built new relationships. It’s time for personal invitations for coffee, lunch, a study group, small social function, etc. Now you’re recruiting the best of the best!
If you’re feeling like you need more content in your meeting, ask for their help. Literally. Ask them to complete a survey reflecting their opinions of greek life. Or, ask them openly (think focus group) for their thoughts. This does not need to be a sales pitch. Remember that part of social excellence is being genuinely curious and even vulnerable.
PS. There’s no particular reason why this has to be the “top 100.” You could focus on the top 1000 or the top 10. Your choice.
PPS. Thank the Dean/president with a nice card signed by each member/chapter and maybe a small gift. Be sure to include a line that says, “we can’t wait to do this with you again next year.”
The team at Phired Up Productions has been highly impressed with the way that Phi Delta Theta Fraternity has been leading the fraternity/sorority movement in the usage of technology to educate, recruit for, and organize their organization. Their website and social media usage is something for many of us to learn from.
Check out a couple of recent blog posts that are particularly applicable to recruitment…
Using Technology in Your Recruitment Efforts by Steve Good
In today’s world, those who do not adapt to technological change will be left behind. Companies who do not embrace new technologies to reach their customers will eventually fall behind tech-savvy companies determined to acquire market share through today’s technological platforms.
You know what these platforms are – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, iPhone applications, wikis for solving issues, etc.
It seems like everywhere we go now, companies, organizations, politicians, athletes, and many other entities are promoting their presence on these platforms. Some do it well but others seem to just do it because everyone else is doing it. Those doing it well have a distinct strategy behind why they spend time developing content to share through these platforms.
Recruit Smarter, Not Harder by Dustin Struble
Let me just throw this out there: Rush sucks.
It is exhausting, expensive and time-consuming. Most importantly it is used as a crutch by many chapters, relying on potential new members to come to us rather than seeking out the top men on campus. Should we do away with rush? Of course not. Rush is a great opportunity to introduce potential new members that you have been year-round recruiting as well as showcase the fraternity to men that are first considering fraternity membership. However, rush should be the icing on the cake, not the end all be all. Similarly, the amount of time the chapter spends focused on rush should proportionate to other methods of recruitment.
Unquestionably, every campus and Greek community is different. However, here are some time-tested recruitment tactics that if used will yield positive results:
by Matt Mattson
Occassionally we get the chance to brag about our home chapters… We try not to do it too much, but my guys are making me proud right now. I’ve talked about them before here and here – the Delta Phi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi at Grand Valley State University. This time I’d like to share some of their success and a simple concept they employed (2 on 1′s) to get a lot of their success this fall… There are a couple of other pretty cool lessons in here too.
Coming into the fall 2008 semester, the chapter had 18 guys and were in a pretty bad situation. They had a high need for recruitment success. We did a little work with them, and they nailed it. Fall 2008 they recruited 19 guys (more than doubling in size). Spring 2009 they recruited another 11 guys to take them to 48 total. They continued their success this fall (2009) by taking the largest new member class in the chapter’s history – 21. But it gets even better. For the first time ever, the chapter is taking a second fall pledge class! These guys are giving out bids right now and expect another 7 men to become new members of the fraternity.
Phired Up teaches the concept of the “+1 Ratio.” This is the idea that instead of overwhelming potential members with piles of brothers/sisters all at once, in order to help your prospects feel comfortable, we should engage them in small groups… ideally never more than +1 members when compared the amount of potential members. So if there is 1 prospect, no more than 2 members. Two prospects… no more than three members so that the prospects feel comfortable and not overwhelmed.
Well this chapter took this concept and made it a centerpiece of their fall recrutiment. Early this fall they made the core of their relationship building strategy 2-on-1′s. They built a solid Names List, and then engaged the people on that Names List not only in recruitment events, barbecues, and traditional rush events, but mostly in simple 2-on-1 lunches. 2 brothers. 1 potential member. Doing normal things together (lunch, coffee, dinner, gym, etc.). They built most of their relationships through this simple process of small, 2-on-1 activities. It was cheap, easy to plan, easy to manage, and easy to build into their already busy lives.
One of the other reasons this was so important to the chapter was because “easy to plan, easy to manage” were vital for this group. For a number of complicated reasons, the chapter came into the fall without a recruitment chairman! A lot of chapters might have scrambled to fill the position with anyone. This chapter decided that it would be better to “gather their horses and get to work.” And they did. They built a recruitment team, and executed the best recruitment period in the history of the chapter (and the best recruitment results of all chapters on campus) without a clear recruitment leader. They did it as a team. They gathered together and focused on recruitment behaviors, not on recruitment plans. They just did the work that was necessary.
Three huge lessons can be drawn from this chapter’s continually evolving story of success…
1. Why aren’t you taking a second class of new members this semester? Instead of hoping you’ll get those members next semester during your Spring recruitment, what if you built your class right NOW? Will it complicate things and make it difficult to figure out your new member process, etc.? Probably, but is it worth it? It was for these guys.
2. 2-on-1′s is a simple idea that works. Maybe we don’t have to overcomplicate things. Maybe we could just focus on doing this one simple thing really well. A lot of 2-on-1 meetings. Maybe that would be smart, efficient, effective, simple, and easy for your members.
3. Gather your horses and get to work. High performing recruitment chapters understand that it shouldn’t be about the skill and motivation of one or two members. Even if challenges happen like your recruitment chair doesn’t perform or doesn’t exist… you can still gather your recruitment horses, and get to work.
Keep making me proud brothers. And I hope this story inspires other chapters out there…
by Jessica Gendron Williams
We’re rounding the hump of the middle of the semester and your are either coming off of a big recruitment push or gearing up for next semester’s big push. Either way you might be experiencing a lack of motivation in your chapter when it comes to recruitment. You’re likely frustrated, overwhelmed, and a little burnt out. You might be asking yourself, “Why can’t I get anyone in the chapter to do any recruitment?” There is only one solution to this problem – Do Work!
It starts with you. It starts with one.
You can’t motivate your chapter to do work. You can’t even motivate five people to do work. The only thing you can do is motivate yourself. Do Work! You have the power to recruit and be successful. You may not be able to single-handedly double your chapter in size within the next four to six weeks of the semester, but you DO have the power to bring men or women into your organization – one, two, five or more highly qualified and highly motivated members. However, you aren’t going to get there by complaining or by pushing members of your chapter to do it. The only way it will happen is if you – Do Work!
You have to model the way. You have to – Do Work! If you are in charge of recruitment for your chapter and don’t actually do any recruitment, how can you expect any of your members to do any work? You have to be the role model. You have to set the standard. You have to be the best recruiter in the chapter. You have to be the most motivated member of the group. You have to – Do Work! Stop worrying about what people aren’t doing and get busy. Make friends, attend events, hang out, be visible, and be around. Do the things you wish your members would do. As you start to bring people to the organization or into the organization, others will notice and want to help, but if you aren’t doing the work – who will?
YOU have to meet people. You have to get their contact information. You have to add their name to the Names List. You have to hang out with them doing small activities. You have to talk to them about the sorority/fraternity. You have to – Do Work! Be the model of Social Excellence within your chapter. Be the model of good recruitment. Set the standard. Do Work!
Here are five things you can do in the next seven days:
Recruitment success starts with you. It starts with one. Stop complaining about everyone else. Stop making excuses. Suck it up and – Do Work! You may be the only one, but if you don’t, who will? Do Work!
by Doug Sweeney (Guest Blogger, Friend of Phired Up, Current Expansion Professional for Delta Sigma Phi)
Two types of guys join fraternities. Guys who want to gain value from a fraternity and guys who add value to it. I looked at all the fraternities my freshman year on campus. All but one told me I would gain value by being their brother. I rushed Delta Sigma Phi, the newest and smallest fraternity on Stetson University’s campus, simply because a few good men needed me to add value to their fraternity. Together, that small group of us had this dream that we would be the men that put our chapter from last place to first place.
From day 1 as a “pledge”, myself and others went out and told men on campus exactly what we dreamed and asked them if they would be willing to help us bring that dream into fruition. My fondest memories in the fraternity came from the outcomes that followed recruiting men like this. There’s a real natural high that comes from doubling a fraternity and bringing in a new class of men who want to add value to your organization. And for us… It didn’t take rush shirts, big events, flyers, tabling, trophies, reputation, parties, girls or our house. All it came down to was a dream, me and like 3 other guys… check it out.
by Matt Mattson
The best student leaders aren’t interested in helping you maintain the status quo. They might, however, be highly interested in co-creating a wild, bold, spectacular dream with you. If you can inspire them with what is to be, if you can dream a remarkable dream… then they might be interested. What do you want your fraternity/sorority to become? Watch the video and we dare you to make a two sentence statement on Facebook and Twitter stating what you want to create…
So, what do you want to create? Tell the world in your Tweets and Facebook Status, and tell us at www.Facebook.com/PhiredUp!