A Day In The Life…

by Matt Mattson [written at 3:59 p.m. on 3/16]

As many readers already know, at Phired Up we don’t just teach recruitment, we do it.  Many of our team members are busy engaging in real recruitment this time of year, from Jessica out at USC last week, to Woody, Josh, and Geik working with Delta Sigma Phi and Sigma Tau Gamma at ECU, UW-Osh Kosh, and Miami of Ohio, to all of our M.D. chapters, to my work with the Colorado State IFC and where I am now — Georgia Tech’s Chi Phi chapter — we’re busy not only presenting Dynamic Recruitment but also demonsrating it in live environments.  I wanted to provide a snapshot of a day doing this type of work (mostly because I thought it might provide some good, practical, real-life recruitment examples).

Yesterday I showed up at Georgia Tech and presented to the “horses” of Chi Phi’s chapter. We did an evening workshop and training session from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. where the participants learned Dynamic Recruitment, but also put the finishing touches on a plan for today.  One of those finishing touches was to run a last minute March Madness Bracket Challenge for all studnets on campus.

img00099-20100316-1033This morning at 9:30 a.m. I met with several of the men to get our table set up on campus.  We spent 3 and 1/2 hours on their main campus walkway doing three things, 1) Conducting Surveys, 2) Getting participants for the March Madness Bracket Challenge, and 3) being Socially Excellent.  It was awesome to watch these guys all day long push themselve outside of their comfort zones, engage with other studnets, and try to collect the names and contact information of nearly everyone they saw. 

We only spent 3 1/2 hours doing it because we RAN OUT OF SURVEYS!  They did so well that by the end of our time out there we had collected nearly 200 surveys, and most importantly about 70 names and contact information of non-Greek men.  Over 30 people signed up for the March Madness tourney too… Huge success for these guys (especially because nearly doubled the size of their chapter’s Names List in that short amount of time).  And it was a fun day interacting with people.

While the guys were tabling, I took a short break and visited the Greek Life Office.  I was hoping to learn about how I could help these men connect on a deeper level with the leaders of the highly influential Panhellenic community here on campus.  I was lucky enough to meet 4 sorority leaders.  I was nice to them. They were nice to me.  And I ended up getting a very kind invitation to have a few of the Chi Phi men join me at the Panhellenic Executive Council meeting that evening.  Our plan is to just go and learn from the best women on campus about what Chi Phi can do to create a better organization in their minds.  Awesome.

We also have three other meetings set up with leaders of 3 important sororities on campus… All this afternoon/evening at 3:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Unfortunately dorm-storming is frowned upon here at Georgia Tech, but two of the freshman members headed over (on their own) to go through their dorms to shake some hands, have some conversations, and get more people signed up for the March Madness Bracket Challenge.

The 3:15 meeting just happened and it was with two amazing members of Alpha Gamma Delta.  These women gave us their advice about recruitment, offered a couple of referrals (men the Chi Phi’s should connect with), and two other things… 1) They invited Chi Phi to come to their next chapter meeting to request referrals from all 160 members of Alpha Gam, and 2) They were open to the suggestion that Chi Phi take a group of their members out to brunch once a month just to build better relationships and continue to gain advice about how to build a truly excellent fraternity. Brilliant.

Early this evening we’re playing basketball on campus and inviting as many of the guys’ non-Greek friends as possible.  No big deal, just a small activity of pick up basketball with friends. Maybe nobody will come.  But maybe someone will. Maybe a lot of potential members will (honestly, it depends on if the members make calls or not).

Notice how… 1) Nothing took very much planning, 2) The only money that was spent was on a $25 gift card for the winner of the March Madness Bracket Challenge. 3) We had a DAY FULL of engaging with students in a meaningful way. 4) Just by asking, we got same-day meetings with people that could help us. 5) The chapter added 70 names to their names list in a very short amount of time AND they have multiple reasons to follow up with those people. 6) It was all pretty fun, and none of it was weird or awkward or out of character at any point.

I really appreciate these guys.  They’ve been great hosts and they’ve been willing to try new things.  Over the last two days we didn’t just sit in a classroom and learn about recruitment (although that was a great way to start), we went out and felt what it was like to be socially excellent and to engage in results-producing activity. 

We would have worked longer into the night, but I have a 9:50 p.m. flight home…