In a rare moment of clarity, I've actually decided to make this month’s recruitment blog about recruitment. Imagine that! For many of you, the spring "rush week" is probably over, and you're about to sit back and enjoy a few months of relaxation and spring weather. (Jokes, everywhere is frozen and terrible except California, who we can all agree to hate on this month...) But if you're an avid follower of this blog, or have a shred of common sense, you know that recruitment isn't over for you. In fact, your work should really just be getting started, but where do you begin?
The answer, is goal setting. More specifically, SMART Goal setting. Though I'm sure many of you have already heard your Expansion Consultant or Regional Director discuss SMART Goals, let's briefly review their purpose:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
I want to focus on two key parts of SMART Goals, "Measurable" and "Realistic," because in my experience, these are two elements that are often misunderstood and can throw off the whole purpose of setting goals in the first place.
Let's go ahead and get this out of the way, having a measurable recruitment goal doesn't just mean knowing how many guys you want to recruit, but that's a great start. A measurable recruitment goal means having benchmarks, knowing when you want to hit certain numbers, and being able to hold yourself accountable to those benchmarks throughout the semester/year. Here's an example of a bad measurable goal:
"We want to recruit 30 members this semester."
Now, here's an example of a better measurable goal
"We want to extend bids to 15 new members during our formal recruitment week, and extend bids to at least one new member every other week of the semester."
Do you see how even though both goals say the same thing, they automatically portray a very different type of recruitment, AND set smaller, more achievable (yes, I did that on purpose) goals along the way? Setting a goal like this allows you and your recruitment team to measure your success throughout the semester, and make necessary evaluations and changes as you go.
Again, let's avoid some myths right away. A realistic goal does not mean "one we know we can easily achieve." A realistic recruitment goal is one set by honest reflection, introspection, and a willingness to responsibly challenge yourself. When chapters set realistic recruitment goals, they spend time finding the balance between "what we know we're capable of" and "what we want to be capable of."
I use the term balance because it needs to be just that; if the goal is set too low, the recruitment team (and ultimately the chapter) are not challenged enough to progress and develop. However, if we set our goals too high, we risk being disheartened and discouraged by not achieving them. Let's review some examples again, here is an unrealistic goal:
"Since we recruited 30 men last semester, we want to recruit twice as many this semester."
There's not necessarily anything wrong with this goal, as long as the recruitment team has the data and information to prove that it is achievable. (Yep, on purpose again.) However, at face value, it seems pretty unrealistic to think that any group could recruit double their last recruitment numbers based solely on will power. Here is what a more realistic goal might look like:
"Since we recruited 30 men last semester, and know from evaluating our prior successes and areas of opportunity that we missed out on extending bids to at least five other PNM's, we want to recruit 37 men this semester by recruiting 22 men during our university's formal recruitment week, and extending bids to at least one new member every week of the semester after that."
Note the measurable follow up to the realistic number? Also, notice that while the second number seems slightly high, it was set by analyzing where we had missed out on bids in the prior semester AND challenging our recruitment team to increase their numbers by two additional people. Now, we could spend days talking about that analysis step, but that can be another blog for another day. The important thing to remember is that setting goals too high can be problematic for any recruitment team, but setting them too low can be equally as damaging.
Spend time on this. Recruitment goals should not be set by one person in the group looking at a number and adding “x” more extended bids. This should be a team effort (preferably the recruitment team) and should take some time. Be realistic with yourselves, but challenge each other as well. When done right, goal setting should be exciting and inspiring, and should set measurable benchmarks throughout the semester so you can hold each other accountable as you go.
Send me your recruitment goals and how you came to them, and I'll share your chapter or colony's story in my next update!