Are You Building Something, Or Just STACKING BRICKS?

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!