As mentioned earlier, it is impossible for you as recruitment chairman to do everything yourself. One of the best ways to motivate and educate your fellow brothers is to have a recruitment retreat. Typically, a good recruitment retreat would include the following elements:
- Overview of basic recruitment concepts
- Recruitment goal-setting – quality and quantity
- Recruitment practice/role-playing
- Recruitment discussion/brainstorming
- Recruitment schedule
- Motivational session
This retreat should be planned well enough in advance that all the arrangements can be made ahead of time, and so that everyone can put it on their calendar. It is crucial to the success of recruitment for as many members as possible to attend and participate. Consider hosting a brotherhood event directly after the retreat in order to increase attendance.
The retreat could be held outside of the chapter house to keep the brothers free from distractions. There is no set length of time for the recruitment retreat, but the agenda should flow smoothly so that the chapter does not get bored. It is the job of the recruitment committee and you to make sure that everyone is geared up and involved during the retreat.
It is your job as recruitment chairman to make sure that everyone is educated and motivated to have the best recruitment on campus. The more education and direction that every chapter member has on recruitment, the easier your job is going to be. Recruitment is a competition, and the winning chapters are the ones that are the most prepared. The recruitment retreat is the best way to prepare the chapter to dominate recruitment at your university.
A sample recruitment retreat agenda can be found under Appendix F at the end of Section I of the recruitment handbook.
Motivating the Entire Chapter
Once appointed to the office of recruitment chairman, you may find yourself wanting to handle all aspects of the recruitment program. The recruitment chairman who attempts to attend to every detail of rush will soon find himself running out of hours in the day and tallying poor numbers due to the exclusion of the rest of the chapter. A few quality individuals may join the Fraternity, but a large number of quality men will miss the Pi Kappa Alpha experience due to a lack of chapter motivation on behalf of the recruitment chairman.
There are over 200 men serving as recruitment chairman for Pi Kappa Alpha at chapters and colonies across North America. How many outstanding recruitment chairmen have you seen? How often have you witnessed a chapter that benefits from the extraordinary leadership of its recruitment chairman? If you have the sincere desire to succeed, you must understand what great leaders do, and how they accomplish their tremendous feats must be discussed.
Great leaders are almost always simplifiers, who cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand and remember. Motivation is not complicated. It is not even difficult. All it requires is persistence, and the knowledge of what works. In motivating the chapter, there are three key aspects that must be discussed:
Apathy within the chapter often stems from a lack of one or all of these elements.
Organization is Essential
As stated earlier, a recruitment chairman who possesses outstanding "people skills," but who lacks organization, will not be successful for a number of reasons. One of these reasons may be a failure to motivate the chapter. As recruitment chairman, you may believe there are times when you are not getting the support of the chapter. If you believe this is the case with your chapter, take a look at the structure of your program. If there is no structured plan through which the membership can contribute, then the recruitment chairman is to be held responsible for running a one-man show. To avoid or correct this problem, and to provide the proper organizational base, you must do these things:
- Have a thorough understanding of university and IFC recruitment policies
- Research the existing program including past practices, budgets, and events
- Have a written recruitment program that includes the overall strategy for your term of office, as well as the continuing policies and goals for the chapter's recruitment efforts.
- Maintain an active recruitment committee to advise you, and to generate broad support of the program in the chapter.
- Keep the chapter constantly up-to-date on the current schedule of recruitment events, and the short-term recruitment goals.
Confidence is Key
A lack of confidence in the recruitment committee and its program can be crippling to the outcome of recruitment. Recruitment can be an anxious, fast-paced, and emotional time. During these intense moments it is critical that the chapter have the confidence to seize the momentum and finish strong, rather than lose confidence in the program and give the edge to the competition. A lack of confidence can be altered if you are aware of the signs. Symptoms are apathy and lack of cooperation on the part of the chapter members. To avoid or correct this do the following:
- Choose the rush committee carefully.
- Have the recruitment committee in place far enough in advance of the chapter's major recruitment efforts so that they can demonstrate their skills and earn the respect and confidence of the chapter prior to the critical moments of recruitment.
- Always maintain a positive attitude to the rest of the chapter. Even a highly skilled recruitment chairman may tend to dwell on negative things in his conversations. This type of attitude is contagious and can lead to a crisis within the chapter.
- Empower the recruitment committee through the delegation of important tasks and responsibilities. This will help to build trust and accountability amongst the committee.
- Celebrate victories! Winning is contagious and breeds confidence; highlighting individual acts that lead to the collective victory will build confidence and motivate others to work hard for the winning team.
Chapter Pride is a Must
Motivation isn't possible if pride is non-existent in your group of men. The chapter must have a proud belief of their identity as a group. They will be motivated to work hard to maintain the group's prominence (or regain it as the case may be) among their peers. If you are recruitment chairman of a top fraternity on your campus, then you must stress this distinction to the members. Let them know that recruitment will have a substantial impact on the future of the chapter and that the outcome will be a personal victory or defeat for them. If your group is not among the top fraternities on campus, stress to them that as the group's prestige rises, so does that of the individual members. A group that is apathetic, lazy, and lacking in unity is a group that simply has no pride.
To build pride within the group you as recruitment chairman can encourage the chapter to begin developing pride at the personal level. Promote high self-esteem and a strong personal appearance among the members. If the recruits sense the presence of a strong group, the chapter substantially increases its chances of signing quality men. You then need to look to chapter activities that rely on the group strength for success. Athletics and philanthropies are fantastic areas to develop unity amongst the group. By striving together to have a championship season or by sponsoring a philanthropy to support a worthwhile cause the group will see the power of their numbers and the realization that they have the ability to be the top fraternity on campus.
Recruiting the Chapter
Your recruitment committee will devote its’ complete energy to recruiting new members. Yet you must also remember to recruit the chapter on your recruitment program. To be successful in recruiting new members as well as the chapter, organization, confidence and pride must always be consistent attributes of your ability as a leader.
For more recruitment information, take a look at the recruitment handbook.
Jarrett M. Way
Director of Educational Content & Strategy