When Should You Start Preparing for Formal Recruitment?

by KJ McNamara

I have a lot of different sorority officers, advisors, and members ask me when to begin preparing for their fall formal sorority recruitment.  The answer is always this: right now!

I believe that at a successful sorority recruitment will kick off the remainder of the year in the most positive way possible.  A positive sorority recruitment means better grades, more people signing up for leadership positions, and better chapter morale.  We teach recruitment because we honestly think this is the best way to help our chapters fix all of their other issues.

So, why start preparing for sorority recruitment this early?  Simple! It’s because recruitment is the most important three – ten days of your year.  This is like the Olympics… you do not show up in Brazil after a few days of half-hearted prep and cramming.  You come to Rio de Janeiro in the best shape of your life knowing you are about to bring the heat!

Below is my suggested prep plan.  Think of it as your workout regiment!

 11 months out:

  • Survey your members about what they liked about their process
  • Survey current chapter members about; how they felt, what their opinions were, what they liked and what we could improve

10 months out:

  • Come up with suggestions based on assessment of 3 target areas for next year
  • Talk with advisors and HQ staff about where they would like to see you improve and incorporate this into your plan

9 months out:

  • Get everything ready for officer transition (if fall recruiting chapter)
  • Make a list of what you wish you knew, had done, prepared ahead, and done instead

8 Months out:

  • Unveil new plan to chapter
  • Get chapter input and buy in
  • Discuss how we will be overcoming previous weaknesses

7 Months out:

  • Prepare all logistics
  • Teach entrances, exits, and rotation
  • Meet with day/round/party chairs and talk about the vision of each day (center it around strategic plan)

6 Months out:

  • Begin conversation practices
  • Tie practices back to 3 target areas
  • Identify key PNM traits you are looking for to overcome weaknesses

5 Months out:

  • Teach round specific conversations: Philanthropy/Sisterhood/House Tour/ Preference
  • Teach voting

4 Months out:

  • Assess chapter members recruitment confidences and fears
  • Assign bump groups
  • Do sisterhood bonding activities

3 Months out:

  • Purchase all necessary decorations, rentals, and clothing
  • Craft your little heart out (make sure you do this early so if something goes wrong you have time get everyone back on track)
  • Teach chapter members how to talk about why their sorority has had an impact on them

2 Months out:

  • Give members all of the information they need for spirit/work days: timeline, themes, expectations, fun, and tell them you cannot wait to see them
  • Prepare a plan to keep members motivated, positive and feeling the love vibes during spirit days and recruitment (seriously delegate this out to a group of good motivated seniors)
  • Check in with advisors and your HQ team to make sure you have everything you need and ask them for feedback on all workshops, activities, voting, and the current chapter’s state

1 month out:

  • If you have followed your plan the way you should, then you should have this month to relax take a look at the recommendations that come in and the legacy forms
  • Check in with your logistics committees and make sure they are feeling confident and done with their job
  • Go back through spirit days schedule and see if there is anything missing and if you can delegate any tasks out

The time to start preparing for sorority recruitment is right now!  This is our week where we put all of our hopes dreams and motivation into action.  There can never be too many workshops, sisterhoods, and brainstorming sessions to help your sorority get the type of women they are looking for to continue to help you grow. If you want help, input, or guidance, please email me anytime at  KJ@PhiredUp.com!