Congratulations! As a chapter, you’ve made it through another year. You’ve probably had some ups, maybe a few downs, hopefully a lot of new experiences and made some great memories. Now you get to relax all summer, sit by the lake, and kick around for a few months until August, right?
I have enough faith in y’all to assume that you can see where this is going. When it comes to recruitment, the summer months are anything but down time. Its 90 days of opportunity that you can use to give your chapter a massive head start going into the next year, and unfortunately, it’s an opportunity too many of us squander every year. Let’s consider a few advantages to summer recruitment.
Maybe you’re taking some summer classes, or maybe you took a part-time job/internship to pay that summer rent. Either way, I’m willing to bet the majority of your chapter has more free time during the summer months than they usually do from August to May. This is a major advantage when playing the recruitment game.
Putting in the work over the summer means that, to a handful of freshman or newly transferring students, you might be the first impression they have of student life at your university. Wouldn’t you like to set the bar pretty high?
By allocating more time to recruitment over the summer, you can afford to spend even more time meeting and developing relationships with specific pnm’s. Rather than rushing a forced relationship during your university’s recruitment week, why not take the extra time over the summer to actually give each of those pnm’s the attention they deserve?
“Neat-O ideas Armstrong, but how do you expect us to actually do it?”
Great question hypothetical member! Sumer recruitment doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a few very simple steps to get started.
Survey Your Membership
I’m going to assume roughly ¼ of your membership is comprised of freshman, right? Now what do you think are the chances that each of those freshman knows one person from their high school who will be attending your university next year? I bet they’re pretty high. Get their contact information, and have that member reach out to them.
Use University Resources
You know who definitely knows who will be attending your university next year? Your university. Reach out to your Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and ask if they have any kind of list of incoming freshman males. Then reach out to those young men and offer to have someone meet them to discuss fraternity life, involvement, and scholarship opportunities. Offer to meet their parents, trust me.
Don’t Hold “Events”
“Oh, you’re having a BBQ in a college town I’ve only visited once and I won’t know anyone there? No, that doesn’t sound intimidating at all.” Said no one ever. Make your recruitment efforts personal, intentional, and approachable. An event with all your brothers there and a band or game or whatever isn’t the most inviting thing for an incoming student to check out. Go to them, place more value on face-to-face interaction. After all, you’re not trying to impress anyone, you’re trying to build relationships.
“But Armstrong, no one else at our university recruits over the summer.”
Good. Imagine what an advantage you’ll have when you show up in the fall, ready to extend 50 bids before school even begins.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to begin making recruitment a priority for the summer. With just a little effort from everyone in your chapter, you’ll be surprised how quickly you see your chapter grow. For more specific details and recommendations for chapters of all sizes, not just small schools, (I see you SEC…) be sure to check out this blog on Summer Recruitment Tactics from Phired Up.
Enjoy your summer gentlemen, let’s make it a productive one. And as always, reach out with questions. I’m happy to help.