by Erin Chatten
Let’s call out the obvious here. Recruitment is going to look different this year. It may be online, it may be the way it’s always been, and it may include social distancing. Whatever happens, there are steps we can be taking starting right now to set ourselves up for to successfully guarantee a better experience for our potential members and chapter members.
I’m talking about pre-recruitment rounds. Round 0, Round 0.5. Pre-voting. Whatever you want to call it. I’m talking about your entire chapter engaging in pre-recruitment PNM prep. A way to know our PNMs, identify what we are looking for, and engage members in recommending other chapter members they think those PNMs will have a great conversation with.
If your chapter does a pre-score round where you input scores for every PNM based on your national organization’s criteria, great job! Keep doing that! But there’s more you can be doing aside from adding in scores for if they meet your GPA minimum, or noting if they have a letter of recommendation.
Ask Better Questions
A successful pre-recruitment round starts with having better data to work with. That means our registration, intake form, or interest form has to ask better questions. We wrote an entire blog on that here. If you are recruiting informally or generating interest using a tool like ChapterBuilder or GoogleForms to collect your initial information, start infusing these better questions right now. If your campus or council manages recruitment registration, send them this blog and ask them to add additional questions to help you gather better information to know PNMs in advance.
Identify Who You Are Looking For
Every chapter offers a different experience and looks for different qualities and characteristics in a potential member. Let me repeat that. You are all different and unique. Start recruiting that way by identifying the type of PNM that contributes to the culture your chapter is striving for. These qualities and characteristics are different than your national organization’s values. Push yourself to think beyond the qualities like, “Friendly”, “Loyal”, and “Leader” and identify those unique points like “Go-Getter”, “Quirky”, or “Selfless”.
This can be done by identifying your chapter’s needs and your chapter’s unique culture. Start by asking your members to answer these questions…
Who is graduating from the chapter that has helped make this chapter what it is? Name the qualities of them that have been valuable to the chapter.
In what ways should the chapter be improving? What type of individuals helps us achieve these goals?
(Use the common characteristics and themes from these answers to create a list of the top 5 characteristics in a PNM your chapter needs)
Describe what makes this chapter different from the other organizations on campus (be specific!).
What is this chapter a boss at that makes us proud?
Fill in the blanks… We are a chapter for people who believe ______, we are for people who want ______ from their experience, by joining us we promise you will receive _______.
(Use the common themes you from these answers to create a list of the top 5 characteristics that describes the chapter’s culture)
Take these 10 themes you identified and turn them into Tags on MyVote (TechniPhi’s membership selection software) or ChapterBuilder by going to Settings > Tags > Add New Tag. These qualities or characteristics help your chapter members know what to look for in their conversations.
Read, Tag, Match
Involve the entire chapter in the Pre-Recruitment round. (If you don’t have a round set up in MyVote go to Settings > Rounds > Add Round and select the category type “Pre-Score”. On your home page open voting to the “pre” round.) Have every chapter member access or view the PNM list. The goal is to have multiple members read a PNM’s profile and use their information to:
Apply a Tag* if we identify any characteristics or qualities that align with our needs and culture.
Recommend a Match** to match the PNM to a chapter member that we think they would get along with
Write a Note*** about questions you would want to ask this PNM or chapter experiences that we should share with them based on their information.
If you have a large PNM pool, consider splitting your chapter up into small groups and giving them a group of PNMs to conduct the pre-recruitment round on. Split PNMs by ID number or the first letter of their last name. On ChapterBuilder, you can assign a “main contact” that is your small group’s leader and restrict the list by the main contact to view only those PNMs. Make sure each PNM’s profile has been reviewed by a minimum of three members.
*Tags can also be used to flag any PNM of concern. On MyVote, use the “Viewable By” feature to create a tag such as “Flag” that members can use but only admins can see to identify any PNMs of concern that an executive board member should talk to. It can be used in a similar way to tag PNMs who are of “High Interest” who seems like an especially good fit.
**If you are using MyVote’s advanced matching, recommending matches helps generate stronger recommendations.
*** On MyVote, you can make these notes public for all chapter members to view under Settings > Chapter > Notes > Turn ‘Hide Notes’ Off
Put Your Work to Work for You!
Everyone knows you can’t recruit who you don’t know. Now you have the capability to move beyond preliminary basic Round 1 questions or the “Get to know you” phase. You are equipped with knowledge and knowledge is power to take your conversations deeper, quicker so you can make more informed decisions on whether or not a pnm meets the membership criteria of your chapter. Having completed a pre-recruitment round, you now have the tools to drive a better experience no matter what your recruitment looks like. You can:
Elevate your conversations by having members read the profile, notes, and tags on a PNMs profile before meeting them.
Build upon a strong foundation of information to get to know individuals faster and identify culture fit
Identify if pnms pre-qualify to meet your chapter’s values and membership criteria
Use the advanced matching feature in MyVote to generate official matches based on the recommendations chapter members entered.
Avoid asking the same question over and over again.
Ensure the right members are joining your chapters