How Do We Do VALUES-BASED Sorority Recruitment?

[Note: At the end of this blog we announce an important upcoming webinar series for sororities!]

[Another Note: We've written a highly-read blog on this topic before here. Read it and share these with your sisters.]

by KJ McNamara

Panhellenic Councils across North America are all trying to answer the question: How do we teach sororities to do values-based sorority recruitment?

This has been our goal for years as sorority women; creating a recruitment system that helps our chapters find women who value the same things as our members, and helping our Potential New Members select chapters based on their character.

At Phired Up we have always said the key to values-based sorority recruitment lies in 4 necessary ingredients.  Those 4 things are: the Criteria we use to select our new members, the Behaviors we demonstrate during recruitment, the Conversations we initiate during the recruitment process and finally, the Expectations we communicate to PNMs during recruitment.  Lets break these down a little bit…

Criteria: How do we currently select our members?  How are we helping our PNM’s make their selection?  Are these based on values?  How can we create a selection criteria that is not an emotional reaction for each individual but rather something that is a little more systematic?

Behavior: What does our current behavior communicate about what we value?  What do our values communicate about how we should behave?  Our behaviors should speak so loudly about what we value that we should never have to tell a PNM what we value or put it on our name tags or t-shirts.  Every PNM should walk out of our recruitment events and be able to tell you what we value.

Conversation: Each of our sororities is a lifelong commitment… which means that we need to have a serious conversation with each of our Potential New Members about how important our sorority is, how it has shaped us, and why our sorority matters.  But so often in recruitment I hear women say, “that was the best conversation ever, we did not talk about the sorority once, we talked about our guilty pleasure fast food restaurants.”  Are we preparing our members to have serious meaningful conversations with PNM’s during recruitment?  Are we preparing our PNM’s to ask meaningful conversations during recruitment?

Expectations:  Are we accurately portraying our membership expectations during recruitment?  Are we holding PNM’s up to the expectations we have as Panhellenic Councils?  The information we communicate during our first interaction with PNM’s will be what they remember and understand to be true about our organizations.  Sororities are the most prestigious women’s organizations on any given campus… are we communicating that during recruitment?

As a Panhellenic, these 4 things are a place to start.  If you want to help your chapters incorporate values into their formal recruitment preparation… this is the common ground to start from.  Remember to take small steps. You cannot transform into a values-based recruitment chapter/community over night, but maybe consider a 3-year plan with changes you hope to make each year.  If you want help thinking about what to incorporate values-based recruitment each year give me a call!

If you want more information about Values-Based Sorority Recruitment we are hosting a series of three webinars for Panhellenics everywhere starting in April!  Here are the questions we will answer and the information we will cover (CLICK HERE TO REGISTER):

Week 1: What is Values Based Sorority Recruitment?  Why did it start?  What does it mean?  How do we achieve it?

Week 2: Criteria & Conversations.  How do we create a selection Criteria as a sorority Chapter?  How do we help our PNM’s create a valuable criteria for picking a chapter?  What types of conversation workshops could we host?  What types questions can PNM’s ask to conjure up meaningful conversations?

Week 3: Behaviors & Expectations.  What changes do we need to make to our behaviors?  How can we better communicate through our behaviors?  How can we attract quality members while communicating our high expectations?  How can we hold all women in the recruitment process up to our expectations?