By Graham Erskine, Director of Canadian Services
With some chapters already finished formal recruitment, and some chapters just getting started, I find myself seeing and hearing similar plans from chapters on how they are going to have a successful ‘rush.’
It almost always starts with a “rush schedule.”
“We’re feeling pretty good about rush. We have our rush schedule created already”
“We have some great rush events planned”
“We have 8-10 guys already interested so we just need to make sure we get them out to some events”
My guess is that you’ve heard someone say something along these lines within your chapter.
Most of you are also probably familiar with the phrase “people join people, people don’t join organizations.” That also applies to events. Potential new members don’t join because of the events you host, they ultimately join because of the people they meet and the relationships they build.
If you believe in dynamic recruitment, then rush schedules are one of the last things to focus on for successful recruitment.
When we send an expansion team to a campus to build a new colony of Phi Delta Theta, their first step is not to schedule a calendar of events. In fact, none of their steps involve making a calendar of recruitment events. Our expansion consultants are able to consistently and successfully recruit at campuses across the United States and Canada, of all shapes and sizes, simply by meeting people and getting to know them.
A recruitment strategy that reflects dynamic recruitment would be one where the chapter spends most of its time brainstorming about who they are looking for, where they will find those types of people and how they can engage them in conversation. Develop individual strategies so each member understands how they can contribute to recruitment. Educate all of your members on the impact successful recruitment can have on the rest of chapter operations. Help each member develop their own personal motivation for why they should actively help the chapter recruit.
“If we recruitment more athletic members, or even just more members, we could have a better IM program”
“Our philanthropy raised $5,000 last year, but if we doubled our chapter size, could we raise $10,000? How awesome would that be?”
“The chapter has set a goal to raise our GPA, so if we target more academically successful new members, what kind of impact would that have on our chapter?”
Do not continue to build a rush schedule and then figure out how to get guys to your events. Instead, focus on meeting people and building relationships on campus and then plan events to give those new friends an opportunity to meet more of your members. Take the time to train our members on how to be confident in their knowledge and abilities to meet people anywhere, anytime and always be recruiting.
Meet potential new members year-round, build relationships, and help them develop their own personal ‘why’ for joining Phi Delta Theta. Then, your “rush” or “formal recruitment” schedule with events becomes less stressful since most of the recruitment work has been done already. Your future members will begin meeting each other, and each individual as the opportunity to become completely confident that this is the best decision for him or for the chapter.
Good luck to every one this September, this fall and this year. Phi Delta Theta has build a reputation of being a leader in the fraternity world. We are not afraid to change the way we do things if we believe it to be the right way. Let’s see if we can impact the way we approach recruitment. Stop with the rush schedules and get out there and meet some new friends.