Target-Rich Environment

by Matt Mattson

large_kelly-mcgillis-sexy-top-gunOne of my heroes, Maverick from Top Gun, once noted to his friend, wingman, and fellow naval aviator, Goose, “This is what I call a target-rich environment.”

Mav and Goose were on to something.  If you want to have more success recruiting, put yourself in more target-rich environments.

O.K., I was at Colorado State University a couple weeks back and I heard a fraternity guy talking about the reason they should go over to the dorms to eat dinner (instead of at the fraternity house).  He said, “It’s a target-rich environment.”  Smart dude.  Just like Mav and Goose.

Top Gun fans might be thinking… “You know, you’re right… many potential members walk past our house or recruitment party and when they think about going in, their smarter friends are probably like, ‘Negative Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.’” Non-Top Gun fans are wondering what the h*!! this blog post is even about.  Fair enough.  Let me draw it out a little further.

If you want to have success recruiting, spend time (as individuals and as an organization) where your potential members are.  Fraternities and sororities — if you want to recruit first-year students, the group that spends the most time near the dorms will win.  Simple.

If you want to recruit scholars, spend time at or around the library.

If you want to recruit athletes, do stuff over by the rec center or on the IM fields.

If you want to recruit anyone, go where they are comfortable instead of spending time where you are comfortable.

Just for fun, here’s a little dose of Highway to the Danger Zone.