One of the most contentious points that I’ve seen in various chapters regarding recruitment is the bidding process, and how the chapter decides on who will be getting a bid. It is always best practice to have the recruitment chairman of the chapter decide who is or is not given a bid. The recruitment chairman is appointed by the president and the president is elected by the chapter. When the chapter elects the president, they vote for his character and judgment and ability to lead the chapter. This is just one of the many times when the chapter needs to trust the person appointed to do their specific duty.
Many chapters that change their bid voting process are concerned that many people in the chapter will be upset with the change. The members may feel that their power is being limited and they want to have an equal say of who can and cannot be a part of their chapter. This is a very common concern, but it can easily be resolved when the chapter understands that the committee is better suited to make such decisions.
For the recruitment process to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, the following is absolutely necessary:
- Recruitment chairman appointed by the president, not elected by the chapter.
- Recruitment chairman has total authority to bid whoever he believes is right for the chapter.
- Recruitment chairman handpicks his committee to further provide him different perspectives and assist in all recruitment related activities.
- Chapter must vote 2/3 affirmative for any new member to be initiated at the end of the new member education process.
- Leave the heavy lifting and major decisions to the recruitment committee. The recruitment committee, which attends all recruitment meetings and events, are the people that are often most familiar with potential new members. It only makes sense that they leave the discussions and major decision making with this specific group of people that are most knowledgeable and trained to work with rushees.
- This will save time. Instead of long meetings with the chapter fighting and bickering about the many potential new members, just the committee will meet. They will discuss some of the blue chips or men that they don’t want to bid. Ultimately, the recruitment chairman will use that information to decide who to offer a bid.
- There’s more talent in the recruitment committee. The recruitment committee will likely be composed of the most trained brothers in the chapter. The recruitment chairman can further educate them on recruitment concepts so each committee member will know what exactly to look for in potential new members. They will also know how to plan events, conduct interviews, phone calls and more.
- This will encourage more people to strive to be on the recruitment team! The committee is expanding and this is a great opportunity to keep your brothers involved in recruitment. They will want to be a part of the meetings, make big decisions and help the recruitment committee.
How do you explain this to the chapter?
- Explain that this will save them a huge amount of time. They don’t have to show up to recruitment meetings or “bid” meetings anymore. All they have to do is show up to the recruitment events and bring potential new members to the events. (This will also save time with interviews and the rushees time. If we know that PIKE will not bid him, we don’t have to waste his time or our time.)
- It will save the chapter some money. When the committee and recruitment chairman know who will not receive a bid, the invite only events/dinners will be much cheaper. What’s the point of a bid dinner if you don’t plan to bid those men, right?
- If initiated brothers want a say on the committee, they can go to their respective delegate or a brother they trust on the committee. This communication system will save time, get brothers more involved, and will potentially get more men to want to be on the committee.
- Above all, and if all else fails, there is a 2/3rd chapter vote before initiation for each new member. If an initiate really does not like a certain new member, even after the new member process, then he will get the opportunity to communicate that when the chapter votes.
How do you carry out this plan?
- Recruit a diverse committee. Show them your plan and tell them the value they provide the recruitment committee. Even some of the loud men that you think will oppose the idea. Once those brothers understand they will help other brothers understand.
- Get recruitment committee support. Get everyone on the same page and make sure you combat all the no factors on the front end. Sell them the idea and get them to buy in.
- Get executive council support. Explain to them the benefits and get them to support the plan.
- Have executive council and recruitment committee, slowly, get everyone in the chapter to buy in. Get them to talk to their big brothers/little brothers/best friends in the chapter and to talk to people one-by-one. This is a huge step and if done properly, people will not only allow this plan, they will WANT to do it.
- Sell it to the chapter. Use phrases like “I’ve spoken to many of you about this and I’m glad everyone likes this idea” and “This is a great idea we got from Eduardo and other nearby chapters, from the sounds of it, a lot of you are excited too!” Make sure to sell it and let them know that the current bid process is changing. Tell them the “why” (more effective and efficient process, saves money, saves time, saves effort, etc.), the “how” (recruitment committee will discuss but the recruitment chairman will make the decision), and the “what” (the chapter just needs to show up and bring potential new members, make sure they want to stick around and talk to them.)
If you need further assistance in making this change in your chapter, contact our director of membership growth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jarrett M. Way
Director of Educational Content & Strategy