If I Could Reinvent Fraternity Recruitment

by Matt Mattson

Let’s hit re-start on the way fraternities do recruitment. I ain’t mad about it. I just think it would be easier if you and your chapter made a decision to completely wipe your memory of how “it’s always been done,” smile politely at your alumni advisors’ recruitment advice while wearing ear plugs, and throw away that old ass binder the previous rush chair gave you.

Just start over. From scratch.

I’m serious.

Here’s what I’d recommend you do. It’s far easier than anyone before you has made it.

First. Check to see if there is an app for that. There is. Literally. www.ChapterBuilder.com (download the app on Apple’s app store). This isn’t a sales pitch. The thing is free. Just start with the technology that’s been built for fraternity recruitment. Over 25% of the fraternities in the world are already using it. Catch up, brother.

Second. Not everybody in the chapter is going to help. Get over it. (Heads up, here comes a basketball analogy). Round up your starting 5-man team — your workhorses. Maybe get a couple other guys willing to come in off the bench. And make recruitment into a game you can win. So who are your “starting 5?” You’re probably the point guard — organizing each day and running the offense. You need a center — he’s probably a data-head who can stay in one place, work hard, and keep track of everything that’s happening around him (use the app). You need a couple shooters and a couple of boys who can work the paint. Your shooters are the guys you can send out to find non-Greek men to recruit. Your big forwards are the guys who can close the deal with some powerful conversations about joining an organization for life. Your bench guys are just guys you can count on to work hard and win over the crowd when they’re needed. You’re a team, so everybody helps up and down the court, but each player focuses on being an all-star at their job (I think this is the end of my basketball analogy).

Third. Figure out what you want. High quality chapters are made out of high quality people. There is no magic. You want a great chapter, find great men. You need to define “quality” and “great men.” Saying, “He seems like a ‘good guy’ to me” is stupid. You’re better than that.

Fourth. There are only four actions you really need to take to recruit people. a) Meet people. b) Build a relationship with them until they’re ready to join. c) Decide if they’re “high quality,” and d) Close the deal. Break your whole plan down to focus on these four actions.

Fifth. Cut the fat. Don’t waste your time, money, or energy on crap that doesn’t get results. Recruitment ONLY HAPPENS IN FACE TO FACE CONVERSATIONS. There is no other scenario that gets results. So if you’re spending your time planning events, designing posters or T-shirts, driving a truck around with your letters painted on it, carving giant plywood letters, partying incoherently with loud music and inebriating beverages, knock it off. You can’t recruit people with any of those things. People only get recruited in face to face conversations. Don’t be a chicken, talk to other guys. That’s the only way it is done.

I hope that’s helpful. Sure there are some other details, but don’t overthink it, friends. This is supposed to be fun, but it’s also supposed to be something that brings out your ability to perform at a high level. Focus on the fundamentals. Good luck!