5 Reasons to Recruit This Spring–Even if It’s Not a Big Deal on Your Campus
By Chris Buck, Associate Director of Expansion
For many campuses, the spring term is in full swing with chapters and colonies hard at work planning their philanthropies and service events, prepping members for that first exam of the term, and putting the final touches for the term calendar. But before that schedule is finalized, recruitment should play a large role in your chapter or colony’s priorities for spring 2017. Many of you may be thinking, “We just finished fall recruitment and got the best men on campus, why do we need to keep recruiting?” or “Spring recruitment isn’t big on our campus; nobody recruits.” If you are feeling this way, here are five reasons why you should be recruiting this spring term, even if it’s not a big deal on your campus:
- Less competition. – For our brothers on campuses where “recruitment isn’t big in the spring,” this is great news. This means that the bulk of the fraternities on your campus will not be pursuing new members, and that means less competition for you. You have free range to find values-minded men and leaders who were not given a bid in the fall. This is like Wendy’s saying they are only going to serve the folks who visited in the fall, and McDonald’s getting everyone who hasn’t visited either restaurant or who is new in town. Sounds like a great deal to me; I think I’ll have it my way.
- High-caliber candidates – Believe it or not, but we did not get all of the high-caliber men to join during the fall recruitment push. There are men who decided not to join their first term to focus on academics and to become acclimated to college life. There are others who were intimidated by the formal process your campus may have had. One of the biggest benefits of continuing recruitment in the spring is that for the majority of students, including prospective brothers, they now have a college grade point average and a semester of figuring-college-out under their belt. These are all areas that can be easily evaluated to ensure you are getting the best men to join.
- Practice for the “bigger” fall recruitment – For those of you who think that fall recruitment is all you need, consider this: if you only recruit once a year, you are basically putting all of your eggs into one basket. This means, if you have a bad fall recruitment, your chapter or colony is drastically affected. Recruiting in the spring can be a great practice run for the larger, formal recruitment. It is a great opportunity to show and teach the newest members how to recruit the future of your chapter and evaluate what worked in the fall and try new things that you may want to add. Either way, practice makes perfect.
- Actually grow your chapter – It is very rare that a chapter catapults in numbers; most hover around the same size, never daring to become “too big.” Often, this is a result of only recruiting enough members to replace those that are graduating. This is not a bad thought, and it is sustainable, but can you imagine if you were a larger chapter? Do you know what you could do with an additional ten or twenty men? Each of those men means additional resources in both human and financial capital that allows the chapter or colony to achieve more. We can accomplish more with more hands and we can do bigger, better, and more impactful activities with additional funds. So dare to dream this spring on what a bigger Lambda Chi Alpha chapter on your campus could do.
- What do you have to lose? – This may be my least compelling point, but truthfully what are the downsides to recruiting in the spring? Is the chapter going to suffer from interacting with unaffiliated men, who may bring fresh ideas and stellar experiences to the table? Is your chapter going to be held back by increasing its presence on campus and sharing why Lambda Chi Alpha is working to enhance the college experience? Recruiting in the spring is truly a win-win situation, so what do you have to lose?