Bidding on Time

by KJ McNamara & Shira Tober

How long do you need to know someone before you offer them a bid?

a.    1 Week
b.    1 Month
c.    1 Year
d.    Any of the above
e.    None of the above

The correct answer is E… none of the above!

promotional-hourglassThe problem with this question is that it is too focused on time.  Instead of being focused on the quantity of time we know someone before we offer a bid, we believe it’s more important to measure the quality of the relationship that you have.  Let’s go back to the basic definition of a bid – we are offering someone membership into our brotherhood/sisterhood, we are telling someone that we want to know them and be their friend for the rest of our lives, and we are acknowledging that someone shares the values that our founders defined hundreds of years ago.  When we think of offering a bid in those terms, rather than time frame, we are focusing on the relationship.  The relationship matters.

In formal recruitment we have a short period of time to turn strangers into friends and friends into brothers/sisters.  At the end of the structured week we offer bids and have a giant celebration to mark the beginning of the journey of actually getting to know one another.  Bidding doesn’t always have to be like that (and shouldn’t).  In the Dynamic Recruitment process, we can focus on the quality of relationship.  There is no time frame of events; rather, we get to know people in more normal and natural environments.  Then, we offer lifetime membership and friendship.

We have been to sororities (and fraternities) all over North America, and we see one common theme: when practicing Dynamic Recruitment sorority women, especially, become impatient with potential sisters after they have not made a commitment within 2 weeks or one month.  We always ask this in response: How has the time you have spent together been spent? Hint: we want to know about the quality of your relationship.

  • Would she say you two are friends?
  • Would she say you are someone she can call when she needs a helping hand?
  • Would she say you are going to be one of the first people she calls when she gets her dream job after college?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then the quality of your relationship has not developed to a point where you are done ‘recruiting’ her.  It is too soon to ask her to be a member of your organization for 5, 6, 7, 15, 25, or 50 years.

Same goes for fraternities…

Don’t overlook a potential member because your relationship has not developed yet; instead, ask yourself ’what can I do to get to know her better?’  Because chances are, if she answered no to any of the above questions, then there is a high probability that you don’t know her well enough to determine if she shares the characteristics and values of your founding sisters and the women within your organization today.

Here’s another way to know if you’re ready to give someone an invitation for lifelong membership in your organization.  Look at your Values-Based Selection Criteria.  Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether or not the potential member meets or exceeds your criteria?  Again, this is based on the quality of your relationship, not on the quantity of time you’ve spent together.