Six Surefire Ways to Recruit High Quality Men This Semester
The centerpiece of any chapter or colony which demonstrates success in recruitment is the names list. Your chapter or colony’s names list should be more than just a list of names gathered at the beginning of each semester. It should be a living document that is updated frequently.
Your names list is a way to keep track of the names, contact information, and other important details about potential new members. It’s also a great way to track the efforts of your members by seeing which members are adding potentials to the names list, getting in touch with these potential new members, and having success in recruiting new members to Lambda Chi Alpha. I recommend using Chapter Builder for your names list, however, an excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet will work as well.
Now that we’ve gone over what a names list is, it’s time to dive into how to generate actual names and contact information to add to your names list.
There are six main categories to generate names for your names list. These include the following: Referrals, Summer Recruitment, Member Positioning, Membership Drives, Marketing for Names, and Formal Recruitment. Each category provides a unique method for your chapter or colony to generate names and contact information.
The first is Referrals. Referrals are names that are referred to you from others, or even members of your chapter or colony. Referrals are as simple as just asking. Here are a few examples of gaining referrals:
- Sororities, and sorority new member classes. Reach out to the sororities on campus and ask if a couple of your members can speak at their weekly meeting. When at the meeting, describe the type of member you are looking to recruit, then ask if they know any non-Greek men who fit the description. Also visit their new member meetings. Always remember to thank them!
- Mind Joggers with your new members. After the formal recruitment period at the beginning of the semester, ask your new members for references. Definitely utilize the Mind Joggers activity that is available from Phired Up. I’ve seen people quadruple a list of names by using this method!
- Door Holding Campaign. This is an interesting and very creative way to generate names for your names list. At each of the most populated buildings on campus (library, student union, dining hall, etc.) have a member dressed in a nice shirt and tie hold the door for everyone that walks in. A few steps inside, have another nicely dressed member asking people walking in if they noticed the gentleman holding the door, and that you are trying to prove that chivalry is not dead. Add that there are plenty of gentlemen on campus and ask for the gentlemen they know on campus. Hand them a pen and an index card and have them provide a name and contact information. This will be great PR for your Lambda Chi Alpha chapter, and will provide a ton of names.
Next comes Summer Recruitment. Remember that at the core of recruitment, it’s all about building relationships. This doesn’t have to be done just during the school year, but can be done all the time. Here are a few ways you can utilize the summer for recruitment:
- School Partnerships. Your school hosts activities for incoming freshman and new students throughout the summer. Encourage members to tap into these opportunities by being orientation leaders, campus tour guides, or other positions on campus that come into contact with new students during the summer. While these positions may not allow you to talk about Lambda Chi, focus on building a relationship with new students and being a friendly face when they come to campus. Get their contact info and stay in touch throughout the summer.
- High Schools. At the end of the semester, ask your chapter members who they know from their high school that will be attending your school in the fall. Challenge your members to meet with the incoming students during the summer and begin building a relationship.
- Summer Retreat. A lot of chapters have a time throughout the summer to get together and enjoy brotherhood. Consider inviting potential new members rather than just chapter brothers. Another way to expand on this is to host a retreat that focuses on leadership, service, networking, etc., that entices potential new members to attend.
Another way to build your names list is through Member Positioning. This is all about positioning your members at strategic areas on campus to meet and build relationships with potential new members. Some examples of member positioning include the following:
- 100% Brotherhood Involvement. Campus involvement is such an easy way to not only get more out of your college experience, but to meet potential new members. Encourage everyone in your chapter or colony to be involved in at least one organization other than Lambda Chi. Challenge them to be involved in two or three!
- Targeted Campus Programs. To go along with getting your brothers involved on campus, target specific programs and organizations on campus for brothers to be involved in. Brainstorm areas on campus that are well known and reach a large number of students. For example, student government, student activities, resident hall association, etc.
- 3 to 7. What does every student at your campus have in common? They’re students. They all have class and are there for an education. Why not take advantage of this? Try the 3 to 7 challenge. Challenge every member of your chapter or colony to show up to class 3 to 7 minutes early, sit in the first 3 to 7 rows, and develop 3 to 7 relationships in each class.
The fourth way to build your names list is through Membership Drives. Membership Drives look like the following:
- “Tabling.” No, not the tabling you’re thinking of. In fact, you don’t even need a table. Tabling shouldn’t be a way to tell others about your organization, but rather it’s a way to meet potential new members and build your names list. Do something that people walking by will want to stop and do. Have a rock paper scissors tournament. After the rock paper scissors, ask for their contact information. Have a “guess the score” and a prize for the winner who guesses correctly. Make sure that whatever you do, you’re receiving contact information. For an extra tactic, try “reverse tabling.” Rather than holding your own table, go seek out other tables during an organization fair and meet those at the tables and get their contact information.
- Spontaneous Pick-Up Sports Games. Is there an area on campus with a lot of foot traffic? Try having a pick-up game, or even lawn games nearby. Be sure to invite guys walking by to come and join in.
- Move-In and Move-Out. Many campuses offer a way for you to sign up and assist new students moving in to their residence halls. This is a great opportunity to meet potential new members and invite them to a small event. Try and take this a step further and assist with moving out at the end of the year. Chances are that other organizations are not doing this, and you’ll leave a strong impression with those you help. This is a great way to start building a relationship with students going into the summer, so that they can join next semester.
Another way of generating names for your names list is Marketing for Names. These are incentives that encourage students on campus to give you their contact information. It’s also a great way to build up the reputation of your Lambda Chi chapter or colony on your campus. Here are some examples:
- Scholarship. There’s a good chance that your chapter or colony is spending way too much money on some big event that will only lead to a few new members. Why not cut out that event, and set aside a few hundred dollars for a scholarship. Not only will this attract more interest than a big event, it will also improve the quality of men that are interested in joining.
- Professional Development Workshop. Host a workshop that all students can participate in. You could partner with your campus career center or have a career center representative come in and coach participants on important career skills. Be sure to have attendees sign in so you can get in contact with them later.
- Service Projects. An important aspect of Lambda Chi Alpha is service, and chances are your chapter or colony is already participating in service projects. Why not take it a step further? Open it up to the campus and the community. Work with your campus service office to help plan an event and advertise to the community.
The final idea, and most likely the one that your chapter or colony utilizes most when recruiting, is Formal Recruitment. This is the “recruitment period” at your campus that usually occurs sometime at the beginning of the semester. While this is not the only time that you should be recruiting, it’s still a valuable time to grow your names list and meet potential new members. Here are a few ideas for utilizing the formal recruitment period:
- The Other 22 Hours. Typically during the formal recruitment period, fraternities have an event each night that lasts a couple of hours. Each member usually spends that time trying to get to know a few new members and having basic conversations that don’t actually help you get to know somebody. Instead of doing this, try utilizing the other 22 hours in the day during formal recruitment. Make the most out of these days by meeting with and getting to know your potential new members, and inviting them to your event that evening. By the time the event rolls around, you can relax and enjoy the event with your new friends, rather than spending time trying to awkwardly get to know them.
- “Missed Rush?”. Often times there are men on your campus who did not know about formal recruitment or were not able to participate. A few weeks after the formal recruitment period, make a marketing push that might say “Missed Rush?” or “Missed Formal Recruitment?” Invite these men to an interest session and small activities.
- “Rush” List or No Bid List. An easy way to capitalize on formal recruitment is to request a list of all men who signed up to participate in formal recruitment. Be sure to reach out to these men and set up meetings to get to know them. After formal recruitment, request from your Greek Advisor a list of the men who did not receive a bid during formal recruitment. Follow up with these men.
There you have it. Those are the six main categories of building your names list. These examples are ones that I have seen work, and that I find particularly interesting. It is my belief that all chapters and colonies can do these simple things and be successful.
I came from a colony of 12 men that eventually grew into a chapter of about 50. I know these tactics will work for you, no matter what the size of your membership may be. Many of these examples come from Phired Up Productions and can be found on the free resources page . If you take advantage of these tactics for building your names list, I have no doubt that your chapter or colony will see a significant increase in the quantity AND quality of men you recruit this semester.
For questions or more information, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of the other Recruitment Specialists (email@example.com). You can now request a specific recruitment training program for your chapter or colony at LCAOne.org.
Thank you for your time, and best of luck this year with your recruitment!
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