There are no finite answers as it relates to the future of recruitment. I don’t have any answers, and I do this for a living. However if there’s anything we’ve realized over the last couple of months it is the resiliency of the human spirit and need for human connections.
Enter fraternities and sororities. The fraternity and sorority experience is one of the few that provides a sense of security and a home away from home. We know that potential new members come to our organizations because they want to fulfill a sense of belonging. But there are some things we do know: that once this is all over things will look and feel a little different. So let’s look at this as an opportunity for a starting point.
Questions That Need Answers
There are a plethora of questions out there, and it seems like we find more to ask every day. Here are a few questions and helpful hints that I’ve heard over the last few weeks.
• How many members are coming back to campus in the fall? Will they stay active members? (hint: it’s ok to start asking now, because this will 100% impact your budget for the foreseeable future)
• What will the timeframe of recruitment be? (hint: work backwards from when Bid Day is scheduled) Also, be sure to make any room reservations you might need, just in case everything opens up by start of the academic year
• If you’re a member of a Panhellenic chapter: What will Panhellenic primary recruitment look like in big groups? (hint: it might look different, but with a similar concept – large events online where you get to know the PNMs; we also know that the National Panhellenic Conference will be releasing a set of recommendations in summer 2020)
• Why should a PNM invest in your organization? (hint: you’re going to need to really be able to articulate who you are as a chapter, and what sets you apart from everyone else) (double hint: you can’t just say sister/brotherhood because everyone says that)
Think of it this way – you need to shift your social media presence to show the personality of your chapter and its members. Focus on personal stories and why people joined, but keep it short. Think about the length of a TikToc or less.
• What do your dues actually cover now? (hint: keep in mind most of you get billed on your chapter insurance based on last year’s membership numbers; do your chapter budget and dues need to be revised?)
• How can you generate an interest (wish) list of potential members? (hint: start by looking at who you took classes with this spring and was a part of group projects, preferably active in the group project process too) (double hint: talk to the Maybe Joiners that you already know and interact with; you will be more successful when it comes to creating the wish list because you already have a relationship with them as opposed to Always Joiners that just sign up for recruitment that you spend too much time debating)
I don’t have all the right answers. But I’m willing to ask the questions that can get us somewhere. And it seems as though we’ve all got lots of questions right now. As always, if you’d like to touch base to talk through ideas, concepts, or just figure out what in the world you should do next, feel free to email me at Faill@campuspeak.com and we’ll find a time to chat.