by Erin Chatten
For several years, brothers and sisters of fraternal organizations have taken our free, online Dynamic Recruitment Assessment to receive a score to better understand how their chapter is currently recruiting. With a potential of 95 possible points, chapters are rated as Static (29 or under), More Static than Dynamic (30-54 points), More Dynamic than Static (55-80 points), or Dynamic (81 and above).
Before you keep reading, pause for a moment and take the assessment above to see how your organization is doing…
Well, how’d you do? Better than you thought? Worse? Don’t worry if your score is lower than you pictured, you are not alone. We are here to provide you resources to make sure your recruitment practices can be in tip top shape by the start of this next school year. Check out some of the key areas we’ve learned that chapters struggle with the most, and find resources you can use to help lead your chapter to recruitment success!
Our fellow fraternal friends most commonly struggle with how membership selections are made. The majority (58%) said that they make selections using phrases like “they’re cool” or “they seem like they will benefit the organization”.
We need to be utilizing written, official criteria for selection that evaluates all potential members on an even playing field where we truly challenge if they are right for membership. Our members should be familiar and have a part in the conversation for the selection criteria. Check out these two resources for an example of criteria for men’s and women’s organizations.
Connecting to unaffiliated individuals
You can’t recruit who you don’t know. 86.5% of respondents said the average member in their chapter only has 1-5 close friends outside the organization and 72% said their average members only would know 1-5 individuals to consider for membership. Too often, I believe that we take the first group of people who knock on our door looking for membership rather than getting to know as many people as possible on our campus. This results in us taking in some questionable members, and coming across as exclusive and unapproachable to unaffiliated members. Check out this blog for how we can make more strangers become members.
Do you have a names list for your chapter of potential candidates for membership? 75% said they do. This is great! However, most of our organizations struggle with how many names are on that list. Whether you are in a men’s, women’s, or co-ed organization, you should always be keeping a list of names (formal recruitment registration doesn’t count!) of potential members you could recruit from. 63% of our names lists only have 1-50 names on it! Using data from ChapterBuilder, we know that only about 10% of our names list will actually join our organizations. This means if we are looking to fill ten new member spots, we need at least a names list of 100 individuals to make that happen.
Panhellenic sororities struggle with this the most. We rely so heavily on formal recruitment, if new members drop or total is not met, we spend chapter resources (members time, chapter money) to hold informal events in the hopes to meet our recruiting goals. If more time was spent creating relationships with non-members and growing our names list, there would be no need to host events. Instead, we could deepen already existing friendships and transform those relationships into new members.
How do you grow your names list? To start, ask each member to write down the names of non-affiliated members who they would consider for membership. Need help? Check out these name joggers for sorority and fraternity. (*Hint* This activity should be done with every new member to see if they have any friends who could be interested.) From there we simply have to be more normal. Make friends outside of your organization, get involved across campus, and develop acquaintances and friends.
Recruitment preparation is important so that our members understand how to identify quality members, can practice their pre-close, address responses to concerns, have stronger conversations, and so much more. We recommend doing this preparation multiple times over the year to alleviate some of the stress that often gets attached to recruiting. Currently, only 4% of chapters have numerous, year-round trainings and is completely prepared to recruit. Most chapters are either somewhat prepared with one training a year (39%), or are a little prepared and have only mentioned recruitment without any training (34%).
Check out these resources for pre-closing for men and women.
Check out this blog on the fundamentals of a pre-close.
Need more help preparing for recruitment, or want to take your assessment a step deeper? Contact me at email@example.com to chat more about your Dynamic Recruitment Assessment results!