Fraternity “STATIC” Recruitment Story

What’s the opposite of #DynamicRecruitment? Well, “Static Recruitment.” We’ve been telling this story since we founded the company in 2002, and many college fraternity chapters can still find a lot of concepts in the story eerily familiar.

Read this story and highlight any section that seems vaguely familiar to you. This is one style of recruitment — we call it “static.” It’s fine. It’s just not the way the “varsity team” does recruitment. Enjoy.

The Best Guys On Campus

After hours of heated debate, the color and design of this year’s rush T-shirts are determined.  The T-shirts arrive just in time for the big week.  At the last minute the chapter throws together several events for IFC (Interfraternity Council) rush week.  A few members print up fliers and chalk the sidewalks of campus.  One brother leverages his artistic ability to produce a large rush banner on a white bed sheet.  

The chapter invests most of its available funds and hundreds of man hours into preparing for the arrival of freshmen prospects.  The IFC events are OK, but the real recruiting happens at the chapter’s Big Event.  They’re known for Big Event and have a lot of pride in this special occasion.

Nobody is quite sure who will be coming to Big Event, but everyone is sure it will be Big.  Prospective members will be asking for bids by the dozens when they see how the chapter can make Big Event come together.  Special care has been given to cleaning the house (sort of), the women have been invited, beverages are provided, and free food is available.  The chapter is now prepared for the best rush ever.

Big Event goes relatively well since everyone had a good time.  However, the brothers ate most of the free food, the girls in attendance were mostly the brothers’ current girlfriends, and nobody seems to remember but a handful of the prospects by name – except for the 2-3 guys everyone sort of knew were going to pledge regardless.

With the lessons of Big Event learned, the chapter realizes it needs to “step it up” since the rush period is half over.  So they regroup and have… another Big Event.

As rush week comes to a close, the brothers huddle in a room together to begin the infamous voting process.  A few guys slide through with a unanimous “yes.”  Then, a brother slouched on a couch at the back of the room questions a prospect’s credibility and someone else yells out, “Yeah, I don’t even know the kid.”  Another says, “That’s what the pledge period is for.”  Finally, a brother calmly says, “Trust me, he’s a good guy.”  A few others chime in, “Yeah, give him a chance.  He seems like a good guy to me.”  With that, the criteria has been set and the chapter is now several hours deep in a hot room to determine who is “good guy” enough to receive a bid.  

Most of the small percentage of freshmen they’ve met are given bids, but only half of those bids are accepted.  The chapter is shocked!  However, the brothers set things at ease by reminding themselves that – just like last semester – they got “the best guys on campus.”  

“Besides,” they say, “we’re about quality, not quantity.”