Fraternity Recruitment: Finding the Right Members
What is Fraternity Recruitment?
Fraternity recruitment is the process by which fraternities seek out and attract new members. This typically takes place during the initial weeks of the semester and is commonly referred to as Fraternity Rush. Depending on the university, fraternity recruitment can follow either an informal or formal approach.
Are You Ready for Fraternity Recruitment?
Often, within a fraternity chapter, there's one member who excels at recruitment and is responsible for about 75% of the fraternity's success in attracting new members. The chapter tends to direct potential recruits towards this brother, hoping that he can effectively persuade them to join. This particular brother possesses an innate charm, especially during the recruitment phase, making him stand out. But what sets him apart and makes him so successful?
Most notably, he is exceptionally outgoing and engaging. Charisma is a challenging trait to teach, and he naturally possesses it. His likeable and easy-going nature allows him to connect with others effortlessly. However, there are other characteristics that contribute to his success that might go unnoticed. Let's explore these traits so that you can be well-prepared for your own recruitment endeavours.
1. First and foremost, he is genuinely interesting. His repertoire of captivating stories captures the attention of those he meets. With practice, he has perfected the art of storytelling, making each narrative more compelling than the last. Like a skilled performer, he leaves the listener feeling as though they've missed out on some incredible experiences, sparking a desire to be part of future adventures.
What stories can you tell that are compelling? Remember, it doesn't necessarily have to be about you; the key is to share stories that recruits would be eager to be a part of. Think about memorable experiences from your fraternity life and be ready to share them.
2. This brother's genuine love for the fraternity is unmistakable. He proudly wears his letters and, more importantly, can articulate why he holds such a deep affection for his fraternity. This aspect is particularly captivating for recruits who might be unfamiliar with fraternity life. When the reasons for his passion align with the interests of potential recruits, it becomes a powerful recruitment tactic.
Can you explain why your fraternity holds such significance for you?
Can you describe the value of your membership and the moments that solidified your belief that there's no better place for you?
During recruitment, you're essentially selling the vision of lifelong membership to someone you've just met. If you can effectively convey why the fraternity is essential to you, it becomes easier to convince an outsider to join.
3.This brother knows his strengths and what he brings to the table within the organization. In any fraternity, every member has a role and can make an impact, but the most significant influence comes when someone is in the right position. The exceptional recruiter thrives in this role because of his strong social skills, which are particularly crucial during rush.
What are your strengths? What special talents do you possess and bring to the table? Perhaps you're not the most outgoing person, but you excel in academics or athletics. This allows you to connect and relate to guys with similar interests, enabling you to explain what they can gain from joining the chapter. Moreover, there are various other roles during recruitment that need to be fulfilled, such as event planning, recruitment tracking, designing marketing materials, and organizing the efforts of the brothers. Know how you can contribute to the recruitment process and make a difference.
4. He genuinely cares about the recruits. During conversations, he listens with sincerity, not merely to recruit new members but because he values learning about the individuals he meets. People have a keen sense of detecting authenticity; they can tell if someone truly wants to engage or if they're just going through the motions.
Ask yourself, do you genuinely care? If your heart isn't fully invested in recruitment and the growth of your chapter, take the time to understand why and address it. Recruitment success hinges on genuine care and sincerity; you cannot fake these qualities.
5. The great recruiter serves as an inspiring example for potential recruits. I vividly remember a guy from my chapter who excelled at recruitment during my rush days. He was popular among his fellow brothers, had a charming girlfriend, excelled academically, dressed impeccably, and drove an impressive car. As an 18-year-old, I truly admired and looked up to him.
Are you the kind of person a potential recruit would aspire to be like? Do you have your life in order and represent the best version of a fraternity member? Your actions reflect the kind of person one can become by joining the fraternity. Always remember that you are an ambassador for the fraternity.
Where can you find potential recruits for fraternity rush?
Finding potential recruits is not a challenge, and chapters claiming otherwise may be using it as an excuse for laziness or lack of focus. Here are nine places where you can find potential new members - proven to work for me, and you can surely come up with more if you put in the effort.
1. Recruit Your Friends Outside the Chapter: The timeless adage of "always recruiting" holds true. Every brother in the fraternity has unaffiliated friends who make excellent recruits. Since they are already friends, convincing them of the fraternity's greatness shouldn't be necessary, making them easy to recruit if your fraternity is indeed exceptional. However, if they prove difficult to recruit, it should raise a red flag for your chapter. Investigate these scenarios, fix any issues, and eliminate deterrents.
2. Recruit Your Friends From Home: In the early years of college, most students know guys who will be freshmen in the fall. These friendships may have started during high school summers, and focusing on these individuals can jumpstart your fall rush. Freshmen are often eager for guidance, making you the ideal upperclassman to show them the ropes. Remember to prioritize these friends during the first few days after summer break. Making them a priority can significantly impact the quality of your new member class
3. Recruit the Dorms: Brothers residing in dorms should be excellent recruiters for your fraternity, especially if they live with freshmen. This holds even more true if they serve as Resident Advisors (RAs). The position offers a unique advantage, as parents trust RAs, and freshmen see them as reliable advisors and confidants. It's truly a dream scenario for fraternity recruitment.
4. Initiate Recruiting During Freshman Move-In: Freshman move-in was always a memorable day during my undergrad years. Brothers, despite hangovers, would come together and engage with the incoming freshman community. While some brothers helped the freshmen girls, those focused on recruiting would seize the opportunity to meet potential new members. Often, we would help freshmen carry their belongings to their dorm rooms, engaging in casual conversation. If a guy showed interest, we'd secure a commitment and exchange contact information. It's essential to get the commitment early, as it creates a sense of obligation. Taking the initiative and keeping in touch is crucial to avoid missed opportunities.
5. Leverage Referrals from Legacies: Over the summer, reach out to alumni and seek referrals for potential recruits. Ask if they know anyone joining the school, especially legacies or family members connected to the fraternity. These recruits often come with an established connection, making the recruitment process smoother. Start the conversation early during the summer, showing your fraternity's interest in them.
6. Elevate Recruitment with Athletes: To elevate your recruitment efforts, consider targeting athletes. Recruiting a star athlete, whether from the basketball team, football team, or other sports, can have a positive domino effect, attracting sports enthusiasts to your chapter. Don't overlook other sports, including club teams, which may offer fruitful opportunities for recruiting either individuals or entire teams.
7. Recruit Leaders from Other Student Organizations: Aim to attract high-caliber leaders from various student organizations, such as student government, honor societies, and clubs. Having influential individuals like the student body president or the chair of the honor council as fraternity members can make your chapter stand out.
8. Seek Sorority Referrals: If you've fostered close relationships with sororities, capitalize on those connections. Approach your sorority friends at the beginning of the semester and ask for recommendations of potential recruits. This method not only introduces you to potential members but also strengthens your ties with the sorority.
9. Befriend Recruits' Friends: During recruitment events, make an effort to recruit the friends of the guys you're already considering. Encourage each recruit to bring along another interested person, doubling your pool of potential new members effortlessly.
Building meaningful relationships beyond the chapter is key to successful recruitment. Embrace social interactions, be outgoing, and create connections that extend your fraternity's reach and make the recruitment process more manageable.
How to Persuade Recruits to Join Your Fraternity?
Have you ever witnessed this common scenario unfold?
A freshman rushes to a fraternity, not knowing anyone in the fraternity beforehand. However, during the ten-day rush period, he becomes close friends with the fraternity members. They make him feel valued and introduce him to the exciting aspects of college life, making him believe they are great guys.
As a result, the freshman decides to join the fraternity, making a four-year commitment based on trust. Unfortunately, shortly after joining, the dynamics changed. The same fraternity brothers who seemed sincere during rush begin behaving differently, leaving the freshman feeling resentful.
This story repeats every semester on college campuses worldwide, tarnishing the image of fraternities and contradicting the values they claim to uphold. This issue poses a significant barrier to recruitment, as outsiders can discern when a chapter is being disingenuous or genuine.
No one wants to join a fraternity that comes across as fake.
The key to successful recruitment lies in building genuine personal connections. Simply hosting fun events isn't enough; it's crucial to form meaningful relationships.
Make it a priority to connect with potential recruits on a personal level. Invite them to meals, workouts, or other shared activities to foster a deeper relationship. It doesn't matter what you do together; what matters is that you forge authentic connections.
Furthermore, the strength of your fraternity as an organization significantly influences recruitment. People want to be part of a successful team with a positive reputation on campus. Ensure your brothers understand what sets your fraternity apart and why it is an excellent choice for potential members.
Encourage every brother to be able to explain the reasons why someone should join the fraternity.
While it's essential to talk about your fraternity's greatness, storytelling is even more effective. Share pictures and narratives of recent accomplishments, showcasing standout brothers and success stories. Captivating stories create an allure, and potential recruits can see themselves in those scenarios, envisioning the benefits of joining.
Recognize that all individuals seek opportunities for growth in college. Whether academically, as leaders, or socially, recruits have their motivations. Tailor your message to address their needs and demonstrate how the fraternity can fulfil them.
Despite your efforts, roadblocks may arise in the recruitment process. Address common hesitations and concerns head-on to overcome potential barriers:
- Concerns over the time commitment
Be transparent about time requirements and reevaluate if necessary.
- Parents objecting
Demonstrate that the fraternity prioritizes safety and offer to have a senior brother or chapter advisor address parents' concerns.
- Financial Considerations
Clearly explain the costs and value of membership.
- Fear of a long-term commitment
Emphasize that recruits aren't committed until they complete the new member period, offering an exit option.
- Hazing issues
Refrain from any hazing practices and uphold the fraternity's reputation.
- House living expectations
Don't impose strict house-living policies, and ensure the fraternity house is a desirable place to live.
Persuading recruits to join your fraternity during recruitment is a significant challenge, but it's also an invaluable learning experience. Mastering the skill of building trust and getting others to believe in your vision will serve you well in both college and the professional world, ultimately contributing to your success in life.
How to Organize Fraternity Rush Effectively?
In fraternity recruitment, the approach you take is crucial; it surpasses the specific activities you plan. The sections above provide ample guidance for an extremely successful rush period. However, for completeness, here are some insights on organizing your recruitment effectively.
- Set a Recruitment Goal
Establish a clear goal so that the chapter can gauge its success during recruitment. Without a defined goal, it becomes challenging to measure progress. Set an attainable target that also challenges the chapter to excel.
It's truly astonishing to see how much fraternities invest in recruitment. The math simply doesn't add up. Spending $10k on rush and getting only 10 new members results in a staggering $1000 per recruit. As we emphasized earlier, people join fraternity brotherhoods primarily because of the connections they form with others, not the extravagance of events. Instead, concentrate on organizing events that foster meaningful interactions and bring people together. Allocate your budget wisely, reserving resources to enhance the fraternity experience for existing members later in the semester.
- Recruitment Target List
Before recruitment begins, create a list of recruitment targets and maintain it throughout the process. The recruitment chair should act as the point person to ensure consistent communication with these potential recruits. It's essential to note that the chair doesn't necessarily have to handle all the communication personally; they can delegate the task while still being accountable for its execution.
Focus on organizing events that facilitate meaningful connections between the brothers and the recruits. Remember, extravagant spending isn't necessary. Instead, plan activities that resonate with the interests of your brothers. If they enjoy playing hoops, have a basketball event; if they like live music, attend a concert together. While showcasing your best aspects is crucial for successful recruitment, it's equally important to provide an authentic representation of your chapter. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of new members staying committed to the brotherhood after they join.
- Engaging the Brothers
Maintaining high engagement levels among the brothers during rush is always a significant challenge. Some may not show much interest, while others might attend events but put minimal effort into recruitment, preoccupied with banter amongst themselves, neglecting the recruits they should entertain.
To boost brother involvement, success is the key. Once the chapter senses victory in recruitment, they will become more active participants. Everyone loves being part of a winning team, and rush is no exception.
However, before reaching that winning stage, you must proactively provide brothers with information and clear expectations. Ensure they know where and when they should be present and what their role should be. Mere attendance won't suffice; leave no room for uncertainty.
Moreover, strive to secure commitments from the recruits attending the events. It's essential to remember that success in recruitment can resolve many challenges and obstacles.
- Preparing the House
First and foremost, ensure the house is presentable – that's a given, and I'm sure you're already aware of it.
However, go beyond the basics; your house can be a powerful selling point. I still remember my first experience in a fraternity house – the pledge paddles hanging over the fireplace, each engraved with a unique nickname, telling intriguing stories.
Emphasize the allure and mystery of fraternity life. Remember that the guys rushing are often unfamiliar with fraternity culture, making it all the more captivating and intriguing for them.
- Establishing Campus Recognition
Your fraternity's public relations team should continuously work on increasing your visibility on campus. Small gestures can make a big impact during the initial weeks of the semester.
Encourage all brothers to wear fraternity shirts, as potential recruits will notice your letters around campus, giving the impression that your fraternity is bigger and better than it may seem. Working a recruitment table on campus is also beneficial if your brothers are outgoing enough to make it worthwhile.
In any case, focus on spreading your fraternity's name to all potential new members, ensuring it's prominently seen on campus.
- Formal Rush
While I lack expertise in a formal rush due to never experiencing it myself, I believe little differs outside its structured format. Regardless of the type of rush, the key remains connecting with potential members to persuade them to join your chapter. Developing genuine relationships is paramount, whether it's an informal or formal recruitment process.
- Social Media
Ensure your social media presence is well-maintained. Prospective recruits will undoubtedly check it out. Make sure it aligns with the stories and ideals you've been sharing. Fill it with pictures of brothers having fun and enjoying memorable moments. Your fraternity's social media serves as a window for outsiders to glimpse into your world, so make sure it portrays an accurate image.
Fraternity recruitment is undeniably challenging, as it requires convincing individuals to make a significant commitment to something they may barely comprehend. Nevertheless, it is crucial for your chapter to excel in recruitment. It serves as the lifeblood of the fraternity, identifying future leaders and ideas. Ensuring a steady flow of new members is essential for the fraternity's economic sustainability. Moreover, recruitment provides the vital energy that fuels the chapter.
Dedicate yourselves to recruiting diligently when the time comes. The rewards of these efforts will be cherished for years to come.
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