by Taylor Deer
When advising a chapter, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of what a chapter needs to be successful for recruitment. After working with hundreds of chapters, I’ve learned is that they really don’t like to spend time mastering the fundamentals. I’ll hear “We already know that” or “We’ve tried that before” or anything that lets me know that they are more interested in focusing on the “sexy” parts of recruitment like branding and reputation management.
However, I’ve also learned that all the stylistic components of recruitment are worthless without a strong knowledge of why recruitment really works.
With every single chapter I’ve worked with in the past four years, there are five things that I make sure every chapter has in order to be successful.
Here they are:
1) Recruitment Bedrock: Relationships
Everything else a chapter does is built from their attempts at building relationships with students on campus. People don’t want to join fraternities and sororities, until suddenly they do. What makes that sudden switch happen? A relationship. A student really doesn’t want to join a fraternity, but he makes a friend playing basketball every week. The student realizes his friend is in a fraternity, says “wow, he’s pretty cool, maybe fraternities aren’t so bad after all”. Then, he meets the friends of his friend who he calls “brothers”, realizes THEY are pretty cool too, then a realizes that this fraternity ISN’T what he thought it would be, and joins. Recruitment isn’t magic, it’s just intentional relationship building.
2) Names List
Your chapter has to keep track of the people they meet. There is no way around it. The only alternative to having a names list is not having a names list, which relies heavily on the supreme photographic memory capacity of a group of 18-year-old men (bad idea). So, they should have a way to track and manage the interactions with their potential new members. This will help in not only having a measure of success, but also make sure that no one gets forgotten throughout the process. Here is an excellent link to a FREE names list tool. Click Here!
3) Recruitment Team
There has to be a group of people responsible for recruiting the next new member class. Otherwise, everyone thinks someone else will do it for them. The trick is to getting a great recruitment team set up is to internally gather members who are already motivated to recruit, set weekly goals throughout the year, keep track of their progress using the names list, and have this team hold the responsibility of the chapter’s recruitment. It sounds crazy, but for people that like to recruit, they will be right at home meeting people and building relationships for recruitment. Always teach the chapter and leave the door open for them to meet new people and recruit, but consider their efforts icing on the cake, rather than the cake itself.
4) Personal Recruiting Fundamentals
Every chapter must know the fundamentals of how to carry themselves throughout the year. How to have engaging conversations. How to put together a small event. How to follow up with a potential new member. How to pre-close someone. How to use their daily routine to fit in meeting new people and building new relationships. The more a chapter feels comfortable with the fundamentals, the more they are willing to help in the recruitment effort. If your members can’t do these things, your advising efforts would be well served to help them develop these skills.
5) New Member Education
New members are essential in a recruitment process. They are naturally connected to new students on campus. They are passionate about the fraternity or sorority, and they have an initial desire to bring others into this new experience. That’s all good, but if they aren’t educated on the above-mentioned things, then they might not necessarily approach recruitment in the right way. Either they are way over the top in shoving fraternity at their friends, or they discount certain potential new members because “they’re probably not interested in joining a fraternity or sorority”. If you read the previous blog, you’d understand that those are the exact people that we want!
We know it takes strong advisors to help chapters have strong recruitment efforts. Looking for more resources? Check out our Free Resources page, and look up our two of our latest blogs here and here! Need more support from Phired Up? Reach out to us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org!