By Ned Kelly (Massachusetts, Theta Mu '15) Past President
Contributors: Mike Champigny (Theta Mu '15) Past Recruitment Chairman, Brian Ward (Theta Mu '16) Recruitment Chairman
Following a poor fall semester where we felt there was an overall lack of organization and communication, we decided to change how we operated the 3-4 week rush period. First and foremost, we benefited immensely from having a recruitment visit from Jake Vanderlugt. His presentation to the entire chapter was very insightful, but being able to contact him and briefly discuss plans, goals, obstacles, and really just flush out ideas was huge. Without that initial visit in the fall, we never would have been able to reach out multiple times, and get insight from those who have dealt with similar situations before.
Spring Recruitment Plan
Looking ahead to the spring, we changed the structure of our recruitment team. In the past we had a single rush chair and a committee of about 10-15 brothers. For us, it was hard to assign roles effectively and hold everyone accountable.
This past semester, we used three captains who oversaw different parts of the operation. While the Recruitment Chair and his assistant had direct involvement in every area, creating these ‘captain’ roles augmented our ability to mobilize the entire chapter. Allowing these captains to have some responsibility and operational freedom really boosted the energy and commitment. Moreover, we saw that when we focused mobilizing the younger guys and the newly initiated brothers led to better interactions during events. Coupling these two things together — better organizational structure and more natural interactions at events — really helped with the overall level of commitment from the chapter. That high commitment was something we lacked in previous semesters. Creating a system where the President, Recruitment Chair and his Assistant could oversee the captains and their respective teams, led to more accountability, better communication and much more successful rush process.
Working Smart with ChapterBuilder
Finally, as a whole our chapter decided to give ChapterBuilder a try in the spring. While we were initially hesitant to use the software (specifically because of the price) we realized that if we could bring in just one more individual, his dues would cover the cost. Not only that, our existing process was a Facebook group, spreadsheets and long chapter meetings discussing prospective new members.
It’s hard to move away from that process. Nevertheless, we saw engagement increase almost immediately. Having a platform that lets you log on at any time, see a list of PNMs and add a comment to one of their profiles all in the span of 5 minutes played a major role in our success.
We saw the benefits come in three waves. First, more guys were engaged simply because it was easier to be engaged. You can log on in the library, and leave a comment about a conversation you had with a PNM at the gym earlier that day. This leads into the second point; interactions like the one above would not have been recorded in past years. Having one centralized ‘hub’ where the entire chapter can comment and view comments about certain rushes made everyone more knowledgeable. Finally, it helped chapter meetings move along a lot faster. When all the information has been recorded prior to the meeting starting, you can move through discussions must faster.
Overall, reaching out to staff from Memorial Headquarters, tinkering with our recruitment organizational structure and adding ChapterBuilder to our arsenal all contributed to one of our best spring semester (numbers wise) in years. We average about 10-12 guys for spring recruitment and too see that figure double was awesome. Going forward, we’re adding a ‘ChapterBuilder Captain’ to oversee the platform and drive engagement online. We are really excited to see what the fall brings and are hopeful that having ChapterBuilder live during Fall Rush will lead to record numbers again.