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Don’t Forget The PNMs

by Tina VanSteenbergen

I know, I know. You’re reading this title and thinking, “Tina, who forgets about the PNMs?? No one. No one forgets about them! They’re one of the most important parts!”

We don’t forget about them in the obvious ways—we know they’re coming to recruitment, and we know the goal is to create a recruitment experience that matches each PNM with a chapter with which she shares a mutual love and admiration. They, the PNMs, are part of the reason we work so hard on recruitment in the first place.

And so the planning process begins. We start with the logistics—oh, the logistics! Schedules, room reservations, busses, programs, maps, wardrobe, etc. The sheer planning of the recruitment process could be a full-time job in and of itself. We work hard on this piece, pay attention to all of the details, so that the process by which PNMs find their future sisters is seamless.

Then there’s the recruitment counselors—recruiting, interviewing and selecting the women who will be the leaders of our sorority communities. We pour our energy into planning a great training experience for them (maybe even a retreat!), ensuring that they have the opportunity to learn everything they’ll need in order to best help the PNMs connect their values with those of a chapter on campus.

Working with each of the chapters in our communities is one of the largest parts of values-based recruitment planning. We check in with the recruitment chairs, offer them rule and schedule updates, help them create their recruitment training plans with their chapters, and collect and inspect their recruitment videos. We do all we can to help each chapter be the best versions of themselves so the PNMs can find their homes.

And then, of course, there are those PNMs! We have to work to find them, to encourage them to register for recruitment, and make sure they have everything they need to know about the schedules, the chapters, and what they need to wear each day.

I’m sure it doesn’t sound like anyone is forgetting the potential new members—sounds like they’re at the core of each part of the recruitment planning process, right?

We do it all for the PNMs, and yet, so often, we forget the most important part—we forget to teach them, prepare them, and empower them to confidently participate in a values-based recruitment process. I mean, really train them. We teach our recruitment counselors how to lead and guide their PNMs with values and purpose. We ask our chapters to eliminate frills and focus on their values instead. But when it comes to our PNMs, while we tell them what to wear, to bring snacks, and to “trust their hearts” when it comes to selecting a sorority. We can sometimes forget to teach them about their role values-based recruitment.

What would recruitment look like if we shared with potential members how to have deeper conversations, how to ask about values in a way that facilitates real conversations, how our behaviors and conversations show our values, how to set measurable selection criteria they can use to select a sorority? If we prepared our PNMs for recruitment the way we do our recruitment counselors and our chapters, we can truly achieve values-based sorority recruitment!

Don’t forget the PNMs—to train them, educate them, and help them use their values to find a sorority. If we can help you, call us!