Bringing values back to sorority recruitment

Laurel Peffer Price shares how Recruitment Boot Camp is revolutionizing Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor Training.

In the world of a Panhellenic community, Formal Recruitment often feels like the penultimate event for which our chapters have trained all year. They’ve spent tireless hours rehearsing door chants, practicing songs, perfecting decorations and memorizing bump group patterns all in the hope of finding that perfect new member.

But what good does all that effort do if our Potential New Members (PNMs) aren’t fully prepared for this process? That’s where your Recruitment Counselors’ jobs become crucial. Several years ago the National Panhellenic Conference and Recruitment Boot Camp began examining how we could help Panhellenic Communities to better prepare their Recruitment Counselors and therefore their PNMs to make informed, educated decisions during Formal Recruitment. How could we help the PNMs to look more closely at sorority’s values when making recruitment decisions? And the answer became clear, the Recruitment Counselors would be their guide!

Part of our new program RBC: Recruitment Counselor Training Online focuses on training Recruitment Counselors to teach PNMs about values. What if we were able to help our PNMs explore the concept of values on a deeply personal level to allow them to learn about themselves and their priorities? And what if we were able to teach them how to have conversations about values with sororities? It is exciting to think about the conversation changing from “Where are you from?” and “What’s your major” to “Tell me about your life goals?” or “How does the sorority emphasize sisterhood?”

Suddenly the conversations happening during Formal Recruitment are deeper, and more telling of the values and interests of all participants. When I piloted this program, more than 85 percent of the PNMs responded that learning about their values aided them in selecting the best chapter for them. That year we saw fewer distraught PNMs during bid signing, had higher retention rates after recruitment, and the chapters naturally shifted much of the focus of their Formal Recruitment activities and conversations away from the frilly, fluffy stuff to place a greater emphasis on values and purpose.

“I would definitely recommend RBC: Recruitment Counselor Training Online! It supplemented the work we were doing to train our Recruitment Counselors to handle all the details and work with our PNMs in a way that makes the experience of going through formal recruitment successful for them as well as our community.”
– Curtis Burrill, American University Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, University Center & Student Activities

“This program has really helped our students, mainly because they lacked those core foundations and this gave them the exact information they needed. They were able to engage with the information instead of simply being handed a training manual. It walked them through a process through various training components and the assessments allowed us to verify our women understood the information.” – Stuart Umberger, Franklin & Marshall College, Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life

RBC: Recruitment Counselor Training Online is a four part, online, on-demand training program for Recruitment Counselors and Panhellenic Officers created by the National Panhellenic Conference and Recruitment Boot Camp. The program focuses not just on values, but also addresses issues such as understanding and enforcing recruitment rules, counseling PNMs, roles and responsibilities of Recruitment Counselors, and more. In addition to the online components we have also written curriculum for you to facilitate to your Recruitment Counselor Team to dig deeper into the program and get a greater understanding of their role. And thanks to a generous sponsorship from ChapterSpot, the program is available during the 2014-2015 academic year at a 50 percent discount! If you’d like more information about how to bring RBC: Recruitment Counselor Training Online to your campus, please contact Laurel Peffer Price at