An Unlikely Recruitment Story

An Unlikely Recruitment Story

by Matt Farrell

The most successful player in NFL history just signed with the least successful team in NFL history.

Tom Brady is the only player to win 6 Super Bowls. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ .387 winning percentage is the worst in all of professional sports.

You may be thinking of all the cards you have stacked against you after COVID-19. But this is the equivalent of a 4.0 triple-major, campus leader signing with one of your chapters that is barely recognizable on their campus.

It reminds us of the hope still out there.

So how did it happen?

This is a fascinating breakdown of how the Bucs recruited Brady.

Here’s 3 things we can learn from the team and 3 more from the recruit:

What the Bucs taught us

  • You have to pick up the phone and try. Recruitment is an opt-in game. Literally nothing can happen if you don’t decide to play. The Bucs were more willing to hear the word “no” than to sit out of the process entirely. This wasn’t just the case with Brady; the article makes it obvious they were assessing all of their options.
  • They were willing to be interviewed by the recruit. Check out this line: The Bucs had gone in with a detailed plan and under the firm belief that they would have to make an aggressive sales pitch to have any chance…. Instead, Brady [interviewed them]. Having a sales pitch and being prepared isn’t a bad thing. However, your goal should always be to use it as little as possible. Getting your recruit to be comfortable, open up, and talk about how they fit into the context of what you’re doing should always be the ultimate goal. Did Brady make this easier on the Bucs? Sure sounds like it. They still deserve credit for scrapping some of their plan and answering his questions willingly and genuinely.
  • The coach helps. Even the best are aware of how much better they can be from good mentorship. The coach played a critical role in closing the deal here. Reminder: you can easily check within ChapterBuilder to see if your chapter has an active chapter coach.

What Brady taught us

  • People want to do things on their own terms. No matter how much success he had previously, priorities change. We have seen this play out with star recruits joining new expansions instead of the “sure thing.” Perhaps this is a concept all of our chapters could realize and adopt better.
  • 1 on 1 connections are the number one value add. Did you catch Brady’s only request? He wanted everyone’s phone number. Does this mean you should send your chapter roster to every top recruit? No (trust me, I’ve made that mistake before). Most recruits aren’t going to reach out on their own. This simply reminds us what they’re really seeking but don’t want to say out loud.
  • A carpe diem spirit. This line stood out to me. I get that it’s not a new phrase or new concept. But it summed up a lot of what’s been on all of our minds in a weird 2020. Up is down. Things don’t make sense. Death or disruption feels closer around the corner for all of us. So how does it affect us? I’d argue it simply elevates the two points above even more.

Brady to the Bucs would’ve seemed totally bizarre before this year. These days not so much, for one simple reason: when the future is uncertain, why wait on what makes you feel fulfilled & connected to others?

Put on your Brady hat for a minute.

You want to do growth on your own terms, and this mess has opened up some doors for you. You already know 1 on 1 connections are your organization’s top value add. They have to be virtual now (for Brady, and for your members) Which only leaves the carpe diem spirit. That’s up to you.

There’s never been a better time to elevate the future of your organization. We can help you build your system, and we have the technology to support it.

I’m happy to talk through ideas together. Grab a time to chat here.