Prioritizing the Relationship Building Process

by Regan Pompeo

It’s finally summer vacation! It’s time to leave the college world behind and certainly not think about recruitment until the fall, right? WRONG!

There are too many students right now that need you to build a relationship with them. They are desiring what your organization provides, but they just don’t know it yet.

You may be saying: “Regan, I’m good. I already plan on losing my voice screaming ‘Go Greek’ and ‘RUSH Apple Beta Pie’. I’ll send a million text messages out to come to the house TONIGHT. I’ll send them the form to fill out if they are interested. We got it covered.”

I am really sorry, but I don’t think that’s gonna cut it. I think there is a problem with the way that we communicate and what we say doesn’t always translate the way we want it to. The average student right now thinks that all Fraternities and Sororities are good for are parties and alcohol, but in reality, we are so much more.

In reality we are filled with Development, Connection, and Difference Making, but to others they only see the stereotype. Why? Because the only thing that transcends preconceived notions is relationships and, if we are honest with ourselves, we don’t know many people outside of our own organizations. When we recruit in the ways we traditionally have, your average student doesn’t hear that we want to build relationships with them. They hear that we just want them to be another cog in the wheel.

You can’t recruit who you don’t know. So we have to prioritize the relationship building process.

That starts NOW. We need to go out and meet more students, both new and old. We can’t wait until the fall because for some the idea of Fraternity or Sorority needs time to grow before they join. For some, they need to actually feel personally pursued. For some, we need to actually show them what a Fraternity or Sorority is.

So, what if we intentionally got to know students over the summer. What if we were curious about what they are doing? What if we asked them about their internship or being a camp counselor? What if instead of sending them a bunch of spam texts that look like they are coming from a bot, we asked them intentional questions that are designed to get to know them? What if we kept track of these students and, when they say they can’t come to summer recruitment events because they’re not in town, we don’t keep asking them if they want to come over and over again?

You as a leader have the opportunity to change the game when it comes to recruitment. For too long, our recruitment processes have been impersonal. This has led to us missing out on so many incredible student leaders. What if instead of playing the same game we have been playing for decades, that is frankly not working, you decided to pause, step back, and ask “How can we make this better?”.

What if right now we looked at the potential new member that is either coming to campus for the first time, or is already on campus, in the eye and with all the authenticity in our hearts said “Hey, My name is Regan and I would love to get to know YOU.”