Lighting The Fire of Recruitment

by Paul Manly

What’s the driving force for your chapter to grow? Is your chapter conducting recruitment efforts out of fear – that is, fear of closing? Or is your chapter growing because you know you have something to contribute? Are you recruiting to meet quota, or to not have “the smallest chapter on campus”? Or are you recruiting because you want to truly share your organization’s beliefs and principles with others? Does your chapter have a destination or a destiny?

Dynamic Recruitment takes a whole lot more work than static recruitment. At Phired Up, we’re constantly being asked, “how can I motivate my chapter to put in the effort to adopt Dynamic Recruitment principles?” If you ask Woody Woodcock his opinions on education and coaching, he’ll reference William Butler Yeats, credited for preaching: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

If this is true, let’s examine the properties of fire. Fire requires three things to exist: fuel, heat and oxygen. The science of building a great campfire is knowing how to regulate these specific elements together to get the end result. So what two or three elements must be present to ignite a fire within your chapter?

In a discussion on education, Dr. Timothy Pychyl – a professor of psychology at Carleton University – suggests two elements absolutely vital to lighting a fire in others: will and skill . Excellent recruiters have the will and hunger to grow their organizations to truly reach their density, not their destination. They understand their chapter’s WHY. In addition, excellent recruiters have the skills to connect with others in a meaningful way, and know the appropriate strategies for conducting dynamic recruitment.

Pychyl resolves, “ultimately, the student must be the fuel for the fire, but that doesnt mean that educators dont have a role in lighting this fire. At the very least, we have to spark the students  interest.” Our chapter officers, recruitment chairmen, and other leaders need to spark the fire in their members. But how?

Winston Churchill once said, “The orator is the embodiment of the passions of the multitude. Before he can inspire them with any emotion he must be swayed by it himself, before he can move their tears his own must flow; to convince them he must himself believe.” Before we can sell our chapter on fully supporting Dynamic Recruitment, we must fully support and believe in it. Confidence goes a long way here. Rally support from other chapter members that want the same things as you.

So, before you can ignite the fire within your chapter, you must:

1) Know WHY you’re recruiting, and have the will to grow your organization to reach its destiny
2) Possess and practice the skills associated with Dynamic Recruitment.

For more information, check out Pychyl’s discussion of Will and Skill here . Try substituting in “recruiters” or “officers” for where Pychyl mentions “educators”.

(Wow, I made it the entire blog without a Phired Up pun! I hope I don’t get Phired.)