by Vince Fabra
Where can we see recruitment done right? Let’s look at a few examples.
From these examples we can learn powerful recruitment lessons. Recruit with… INTENTIONALITY, FERVOR, VALUES, TRANSPARENCY, and focus on TOP TALENT.
NCAA Athletics – Let’s use an example of recruitment from a major sport and the reigning champion team from said sport.
How do you think Coach Nick Saban recruits a quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide? Do you think that he walks around campus with a football and says, “Hey son, if you can hit me with a tight spiral then we’ve got a spot for you?” Or do you think that he has a list compiled of every player at each position that he is interested in by the time they are a sophomore or junior in high school? He sends these players letters in the mail, visits them in there homes and invites them to campus for a VIP tour of the facilities. He and his staff are persistent and make a recruit feel wanted and important.
The two key elements of recruitment that are most present in college athletics are INTENTIONALITY and FERVOR.
Intentionality – Players don’t choose schools and schools don’t choose players on accident. There is a reason that they call the commitment letter a high school player signs “The Letter of INTENT”. Teams seek out, identify, and court top talent with an unrelenting FERVOR.
FERVOR – Why does Nick Saban, his staff and every college football staff recruit with such a passionate fervor? Answer: Because they want their team to be the best. Nick Saban works hard at recruiting because he wants his team to be the best.
Recruit with INTENTIONALITY because you believe that recruitment does not happen by accident.
Recruit with FERVOR because you recognize that the members in your chapter are directly related to the quality of your chapter.
Next level – The Military
Now, I don’t know too much about the specifics of any of the branches of the military. I do not have a military background nor does anyone in my family. However, I recognize that the military does an amazing job recruiting with their VALUES. They are TRANSPARENT about the sacrifice and expectations of an airmen/soldiers/marines/sailors, and joiners are aware of those sacrifices and expectations.
Recruit with your VALUES because you are proud of what your organization stands for and you want potential joiners to feel that pride as well.
Recruit with TRANSPARENCY because you know that it is pointless to recruit 30 people and initiate 9.
Next example - Innovative Companies
Among the innovative companies of the day, Apple and the products they produce are on the cutting edge of innovation. It is safe to say that some of the most creative minds around are tinkering with and building the Apple products that most of us use each and every day. Let’s speculate about how these “creative minds” come to work for this leading company. Do you think that Apple posts ads on Craig’s List – “WANTED: A really smart person that can design the new iPhone 5”? Or do you think that Apple IDENTIFIES TOP TALENT in the field and actively pursues them. “You think different, and so do we. Come join our team.”
Recruit by IDENTIFYING TOP TALENT because you want people in your chapter that ‘think different” when it comes to fraternity or sorority.
Step 7 in The Eight Steps to Limitless Possibility (from Good Guys & I Heart Recruitment) is “Grow Wiser.” How often do we intentionally make the time to do this? Ring of Phire member Clark Buckner recently had an idea that he felt would help his fraternity grow wiser. His idea was to create a resource that his fraternity could use each semester to help them grow wiser about what worked, what did not work, and how things could improve during their recruitment process.
Clark created a post-recruitment survey that asked critical questions of his new members to determine what areas his fraternity could grow wiser in.
As Clark explained it:
Do you feel like your organization goes through the same challenges every year with recruitment? Do you feel like you don’t really make any innovative changes to your recruitment effort?
I’ve noticed that much time is spent developing a recruitment plan and executing it, but as soon as recruitment is over, everyone just forgets about it and moves on. If your recruitment effort is static chances are you haven’t been asking the right questions to make decisions to improve your current position. This resource is about creating an opportunity to monitor and learn how recruitment went for your chapter so you can improve your recruitment efforts.
The first step in finding a solution to this problem is creating a post assessment tool for recruitment. You can create a free online survey (I prefer Google Forms) for all of your newest recruits to complete. View a sample here. The questions cover just about everything while staying short enough to fill out in a few minutes. Google Forms even lets you view easy to read graphs to actually see the results showing you what your survey participants said revealing what the chapter did well and the things you have opportunities to improve in.
This is not an exclusive tool to fraternities and sororities. Any membership organization that is committed to finding the highest quality members could benefit and learn from the results of this type of assessment.
Could your chapter benefit from a tool like this? What do you need to know as an organization looking to grow wiser?