by Matt Mattson
Greek Leader: Wouldn’t recruitment be easier if we could just push like a magic button that made real people appear who wanted to be contacted about joining a fraternity or sorority?
Me: It would be cool. But here’s the thing. IT DOES EXIST! The machine is real!
Greek Leader: Hey fella, we don’t live in The Matrix. This is not the future. That machine can’t be real.
Me: It’s real. This is the future. Recruitment is really getting easier.
We all know referrals are the magic sauce in recruitment. Especially referrals from other potential members. People want to join with their friends. Any prospect represents around 5 people who you could probably recruit. Asking, “Hey, I’m glad you’re interested. Who are a few of your friends that we should be talking with as well?” is recruitment gold.
But what if that was done automatically? It is.
Starting this May, our sister company‘s product CampusDirector (the software to manage your formal recruitment process) is automatically generating referrals! Seriously.
In fact, in its first 2 weeks of the feature’s existence CampusDirector has automatically generated over 1500 new leads of REAL people who are friends with REAL students who already want to join. And that’s with only around 20% of the 190 schools using CampusDirector actually having their recruitment processes open.
Here’s how it is working. When someone signs up for formal recruitment using CampusDirector they are asked, “Would you like to recommend a friend to Greek Life?” It turns out that most people would LOVE to recommend one of their friends (or 2 or 3!) to go through recruitment with them!
This is the lesson. When people are asked, they often provide. Fraternities and sororities have missed out on SO many people because we simply haven’t asked, “Who are your friends so they can learn about us too?”
Two big lessons here.
1. Use TechniPhi’s stuff. This is one of many technological innovations they’re churning out.
2. Ask for referrals from EVERYONE! It works.
by Taylor Deer
If you want to build something great you have to have a plan that you are passionate about.
The majority of the times when I ask chapters “What’s your recruitment plan?”. I get some haphazard answer that sounds thrown together at the last minute. “Well we’re having a bonfire. Were getting our name out there pretty well and were looking for about 25 guys”. Said with the same inflection that an assembly line worker might describe their day to day responsibilities.
Let me be very clear. If your chapter has bad grades, has brothers who don’t participate, brothers who haze, and doesn’t have the best reputation its probably because you are saying things like “We’re looking for about 25 guys”
Anyone can find 25 guys. Anyone.
The way you answer that question “What’s your recruitment plan?” tells me whether you are a builder or if you are just stacking bricks. We need to grow up and start taking recruitment more seriously. The reason we have a bad reputation is because we have little to no rhyme or reason as to the people we let into our organization.
We throw together a recruitment week at the last minute and we give guys we barely know the “OK” to be in our chapter based on almost nothing.
Tommy’s picture comes up in your bid meeting. Tommy is a good looking kid. Didn’t do anything weird at the rush events. The majority of the brothers decide to give him a bid.
Stack another brick.
Billy’s picture comes up. Billy put on a shirt and tie for your interview. Seemed cool at your parties. Didn’t creep any girls out. The brothers give him a bid.
Stack another brick.
Joey’s picture comes up. Joey’s a legacy. The brothers give him a bid.
Stack another brick.
You keep stacking until your term is done. Then the next recruitment chair comes along, stacks his bricks, meets his quota. And so on, until the haphazard stack that you’ve been tossing together for the past few years becomes so unstable that either it topples and falls over, or no one even wants to go near it because it looks dangerous.
The best recruiting organizations in the world are builders. They draw up a vision that they are passionate about, and they recruit the people that are going to help them achieve it. Unlike brick stackers they understand that every single person they bring on board should add to, and is expected to actively contribute to that plan. Builders recruit intentionally, with a purpose, they actively go out and find the people that their plan needs to be successful.
Ask yourself this question: “When you come back to your chapter in 15 years. What do you want people to say about it?”. If your answer is, “I want people to say, they’re a group of 50 real tight dudes” you’re a brick stacker. If your answer sounds like “They are men that consistently makes our campus and our community a better place” you’re a builder.
By asking yourself about the future of your chapter, you begin to develop a plan that you actually care about. Your goals turn from “looking for 25 dudes” to “building a strong relationship with Habitat for Humanity on our campus so we can recruit men who care about our community”. The first response is an obligation, a requirement placed on you by the last recruitment chairs expectations. The second response shows that you are recruiting with passion and purpose.
Having a clear plan also allows brother to help you out. Which are your brothers more likely to do “go out and find dudes…we need about 25 of ‘em” or “come work with me on the next Habitat project, I’ll introduce you to a few friends I’ve made over there.” Its the second option.
Lastly, having a vision helps you know where to start looking. If you know you want your chapter be strong contributors in the community, work with community services clubs on your campus. If you want your chapter to be extremely influential and involved on campus. Work with Student Government, the Activities Board, or RA’s or OA’s.
Now get out there, stop stacking, and start building!
by Vince Fabra
I wish potential new members were smarter.
Hear me out. Don’t be offended.
I’m not upset with the academic prowess of our incoming members. I don’t believe that their intelligence leaves something to be desired. I just wish they were a tougher sell.
If you really think about it, every year, potential new members fall for all of the old recruitment tricks. A few cliche phrases like “tight brotherhood” and “best on campus”, a fun party or two, and maybe the attention of a sorority woman or two at said party is all it takes for many potential new members to say “yes” and sign on the dotted line. Man, it is really that easy?! It has to be more complicated than that! Unfortunately, for many chapters across the country, it IS that simple. That’s why I WISH POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS WERE SMARTER. If they were, we might actually have to do some real recruiting and communicate the real value of our experience.
I wish potential new members were more like the panel on the TV show Shark Tank. You know the show. Where young entrepreneurs stand in front of the “sharks”, where they are peppered with questions about profits, losses, earning potential etc. If you haven’t seen the show, they are fittingly called “sharks”, because if the pitch is weak and they smell blood in the water, they will eat you alive. I WISH POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS WERE MORE LIKE THE PANEL ON SHARK TANK.
Imagine trying to sell Mark Cuban with “we’ve got tight brotherhood.” How do you think that would play out?
Imagine trying to sell Barbara Corcoran with “we’re the best fraternity on campus.” Do you think she would invest in your fraternity?
Imagine trying to sell Kevin O’Leary with “we hang out with the hottest sororities.” Would that end well?
Now, I’m not naive. I realize that the “reality” of reality TV is stretched and dramatized. However, these “sharks” are wildly successful, and they don’t have time to listen to or invest in companies with weak-ass pitches. I WISH POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS WERE MORE LIKE THE PANEL ON SHARK TANK.
Our biggest challenge, as a fraternal industry, is with the QUALITY of our members. We have chapters that are consistently making terrible decisions across the country, and in-turn, our fraternities are looking worse and worse. I opened this post with “I wish potential new members were smarter.” That sentence should go on to read “… so that we would have to be better.” Maybe the reverse can also be true. If we are better, potential new members will get smarter. And then everybody wins. That sounds like something I’d invest in.
by KJ McNamara
We all have people who see us at our best and worst. Who is the person in the world who sees you at your worst? Is it one of your parents? Your best friend? Your long term boyfriend or girlfriend.? The person who sees me at my worst is my husband… man alive he sees me when I have not showered for 5 days, when I have the stomach flu and when I just got done with a massive sweaty run… gross.
Brendon also sees me at my other worst, when I am mad, angry and pissed off. We all get angry at different things, we get angry at the person who parks terribly and takes two spots in a crammed parking lot. We get angry about the way the toilet paper roll is supposed to hang in the holster (the roll should always be over), or even worse when there is no toilet paper at all (how hard is it really to replace it or spend $2.14 to buy a new one!) And they see us get mad at the real things in life. The unfairness we see, the judgment and seething parts of our community.
This month, after our 5 year facebook–aversary (check it out on insta @The_Steenbergens) Brendon saw me at what he calls ‘the most angry he has ever seen me.’ For those of you that know me, I am slow to anger. I look for the positive and I try to never pass judgment without putting myself in their shoes. But this time y’all… I. Was. PISSED.
I read an article in light of the challenges we face as Fraternity & Sorority from Salon.com entitled “You can’t ban douchebaggery: Kill the frats, sure, but you can’t stop entitled bros.” The article recounts a number of negative instances of bad behavior on campus by fraternities, and discusses whether banning fraternities would do anything to solve the problem. But in the article’s concluding paragraph is the one that KILLD ME. It sated this, “There’s no denying that frats and sororities are often a particularly grotesque expression of the problems that plague the rest of the country.”
I walked away with a bubbling, explosive, volcanic anger that I could only articulate with one simple thought… “What did we do?”
What did we do? What did we as sorority do to get thrown into the end of that article? What did we do to get the title ‘douchebaggery,’ associated with us? WHAT DID WE DO?
I asked around. I have actually spent the last month of my life chewing on this question. I have asked what do we do wrong? How did we get the title?
This is where I started to hear it, ‘The F Word.’ I heard over and over again, ‘The girls are all … FAKE. They are so FAKE, they are not real they are fake, Fake, FAKE.
I know more sorority women then I know non, and I have one honest message to tell you. Sorority women are the most, driven, well-rounded, motivated, beautiful, multi-faceted, dynamic, and accomplished women I know. We are a lot of things, but we are not FAKE.
We still live in a world and in a society who thinks it is impossible… JUST IMPOSSIBLE that a woman can be, talented, smart, motivated, beautiful and well dressed! IMPOSSIBLE. Not even possible. Never happened.
So the non-sorority women meet us, or the non-fraternity men meet us and think ‘no freegin way.’ Nope. In their minds smart, talented, motivated, capable, beautiful, kind women belong in the same file as the tooth fairy and super hero’s. Fiction.
The F word is killing us. It is the one thing that is stopping us from being the massive, powerful, force that we are… our reputation of being Fake. Authenticity matters NOW MORE THEN EVER.
Authenticity is not about being the perfect version of yourself you think the world expects you to be. Authenticity is about finding out who you really are and being comfortable with your greatness and your weakness. No one can do it alone in this world and we have to stop pretending like we can. It is killing the thing we love so much… sorority. So…
Recruitment Directors – Stop telling your members to be perfect and start giving them permission to be ‘the best version of themselves.’
Presidents – Who you are is good enough! The chapter will not fall apart if you have a bad day or a weakness. Appreciate each of your leaders for their strengths.
Member Educators – Love your new members, you all picked them and you believe in them. Teach them what it means to be authentic. Hold them to the standard of your sorority, because until they understand standards they will never learn self respect.
VP of Standards/Judicial – Remember the point of this thing called sorority is to help people become the best version of them selves. Help everyone identify who they authentically are. We do not punish people for making poor judgment calls, we help remind them that who they are is better then that.
Alumni Advisors – Stop saying ‘when I was in the chapter,’ or ‘these girls don’t get it.’ You are there to help them get it. Teach them the values of your organization and give them an example of a fulfilled, authentic, confident woman. Remember to meet every person where she is and help her become a little brighter or better because of you.
Finally, Headquarters – We can all do our part to not encourage competition between our sororities and others (especially during recruitment). This is not about us being the best on any campus but rather attracting the best women into our loving circle.
Lastly, as far as recruitment goes… I have never heard a woman say. “I joined my chapter because they were pretty, perfect, had great food, or had awesome decorations.” I have heard, “I joined my chapter because I could be myself there. I joined my chapter because those girls felt like my best friends. I joined my chapter because they saw me for who I authentically was.” People join us because of Authenticity. People like us because of Authenticity. And most importantly we will not cease to exist if we all practice Authenticity.
Sorority was founded to give women a support system and a safe space to learn who they authentically are. We still continue to attract the highest quality women on the planet into our ranks, but we can never reach our full potential if we seem, behave or act fake. Be authentic. Who you are is good enough.