The spring semester is well underway. Recruitment has either just wrapped up or you are beginning to see the retention of your potential new members through new member education periods of your chapters. While a nice break and breather between recruitment cycles is well deserved, there is great opportunity now for your community to begin thinking about ways to improve for recruitments ahead. This is a great time to begin collecting data and stories while the experiences are still fresh in our minds. Both of these can help us understand the opportunities we have to continue to sustain our successful practices and refocus others. Being proactive allows us to take our time providing the education and training necessary for us to improve.
Where to start is a daunting task but creating opportunities to understand the experiences of the many different individuals involved in your recruitment process will set you up well. There are a couple of different ways to do this and you may want to do both depending on the audience.
Administering an experience survey for various audiences will help you incorporate different perspectives so you can have a holistic approach to improving recruitment. For each audience, ask yourself – “What do I want to know about their experience? What information will be vital?” Some audiences to survey include:
- Individuals who registered and completed the process
- Individuals who registered but chose not to start or stopped the process mid-way
- Chapters involved in recruitment
Be sure to design your tool to not only rates the various programming you or the chapters held during the recruitment period but also provide insight into your recruitment marketing strategy, registration processes, impressions of the community for those who participated. This assessment may also allow you the opportunity to gather stories to share in future marketing campaigns for why to join your community. From the chapter perspective, you can gain insight into the changes you may have made to the process or structure and understand their level of satisfaction with your council’s support of them as chapters.
Holding a post-recruitment debrief meeting with chapter leadership, advisors, council officers and your campus fraternity and sorority life staff will be a great opportunity to gain feedback about the recruitment experience. It will be important to set expectations for chapters and goals for the meeting so chapters prepare accordingly prior to the meeting and the conversation is constructive and solution focused. Make sure the information is properly recorded and your council takes time post meeting to draw themes from what was shared.
All in all, in order to properly understand how to improve your recruitment practices and turn them into strategy, you have to start with the voices of those involved. Gathering this information will take some time but will drastically help you understand where to go next. The time is now, so get to work!