Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tips For Being On The Other Side Of Recruitment

How is it already August 10th? I've already started seeing posts on social media of people going back to school and for some, sorority recruitment has already begun! Boy did this summer fly bye. A couple of weeks ago I asked on instagram if there were any blog post topics that y'all wanted to see this is one that came up and seemed like such a fun and unique idea. I definitely hope to tackle many of the others on the list but since sorority recruitment is happening now I figured that this was a now or never (or at least next year) kind of post.

A little bit of background for you so that you can choose whether or not you would like to take my advice (long time readers y'all know this!). I graduated from Furman University in May of this year where I studied Elementary Education. Furman participates in deferred recruitment so the earliest time possible to go through recruitment was in January of my freshman year. I went through recruitment and joined Kappa Delta. KD was one of my major involvements throughout college as I participated in a number of appointed officer roles, became Vice President of Public Relations and half that position from sophomore year to junior year, and then served as Chapter President from junior year into senior year. In those roles I was heavily involved in the recruitment process and I feel like I have a decent bit of knowledge on the subject. I spoke at our Preference Tea every year, rotated through talking to PNMs (potential new members), and even gave our 12ish minute presentation during Sisterhood Round this past year. Just so we are clear, every college campus and sorority on your campus will do things a little bit differently (just like how chapters vary from place to place) so feel free to adapt these tips to meet your own organization's standards. 

Be Confident
Go Confidently, Go KD (am I right?). Ironic that KD has a platform of confidence and here I am encouraging you to be confident but I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. Recruitment can be nerve wracking. That's especially so as a freshman and that may also be how you feel the first year on the other side recruiting members. The sooner that you can feel sure of yourself in this role the sooner you'll be able to make the PNMs feel comfortable and portray yourself and your sorority in the best light. I always had jitters before the first round but after it begun and I reminded myself that it really is just making friends it was smooth sailing from then (well at least till I had to give a speech or solve a problem). Remind yourself that this is an opportunity to make friends and find other girls with similar interests as you and hopefully that will ease your mind. 

Take Time To Think About Why You Joined Your Sorority
While recruitment isn't entirely about trying to convince a PNM to join your individual sorority (ideally you are trying to help them find the best fit for them) if you are passionate about your organization and what you do then that may happen naturally. The best way to go into recruitment with a positive attitude is to think about why you joined your sorority in the first place. KD was an easy choice for me. I had wanted to be a KD since the first informal recruitment event in the fall since those were the girls I clicked with. Maybe you felt that way too or maybe you had a really tough time  after Pref Tea deciding which organization you wanted to put first. Whatever the case was, think back to what the deciding factor was. I can pretty much guarantee it had nothing to do with exterior appearances but instead was based on the values you shared with the girls you met and the organization as a whole. Taking the time to reflect on this will make you feel more attached to your organization and hopefully help to guide your conversations so that the PNMs can see why you are passionate about your sorority but also will hopefully reciprocate that positive feeling towards your chapter. This is a question PNMs may ask you (usually in the later rounds) so having thought about this before hand will make for a more genuine response. 

Make the PNMS feel comfortable
Hopefully this comes as a no brainer and doesn't need too much clarifying. Your goal when talking to a PNM should be to make them feel comfortable. Regardless of if this is a girl you really want or one who may be better fit for a different house you should be doing everything in your power to make them feel welcome. Don't leave them with a sour taste in their mouth because that's when girls can get kind of catty towards other organizations. Ask them how they are feeling, genuinely listen, and try to find something in common with them. For the most part, PNMs are pretty nervous so try your best to calm those nerves by being inclusive. 

Don't Listen To Other People When Scoring The PNM
Hi, scoring PNMs is not a groundbreaking thing that I created. I know the idea of scoring people can be controversial but I'm here to tell you that it happens and if it didn't I'm not really sure how numbers would be narrowed down. The sooner you think about it as helping a PNM to find the best fit house for her the sooner you will feel comfortable scoring her. My biggest piece of advice when it does come to scoring PNMs is to make sure that you are basing your score on your own conversation with this girl and how based on that conversation you think she would fit into your house and not on the silly rumors you may hear from other people. You were paired or chosen to talk to this girl so this is your responsibility not her ex-boyfriend's older sister's score who happens to be in your chapter and is annoyed that the PNM and her brother broke up right before prom or something silly like that. Most of the time scoring isn't based on feelings at all but more so on fact so stick to the score card and your own intuition. 

Have Some Conversation Ideas/Questions and Transitions In Your Head
As I mentioned earlier, it's ideal to find something in common with every PNM. It's usually easiest to do this by asking open ended questions. It may calm your nerves being on the other side of recruitment as a recruiter to have some conversation topics and questions in the back of your mind. If the conversation lulls you can rely on these to get it back on track again! You'll also be transitioning into and out of conversations so try to make those a bit more natural by having ideas in mind! I'm sure no one needs this reminder but make sure that you are following the conversation guidelines set by your chapter and Panhellenic. The 5 B's if you will (booze, boys, Barack, bible, bucks) are ideal to steer clear of since they may be controversial and not every PNM will feel comfortable discussing these things.

Best of luck to anyone recruiting or going through recruitment this year! Joining a sorority and choosing to get involved with it was definitely one of the best things I did in college and allowed me to grow a lot individually, with leadership skills, and branch out. I'd highly recommend it :)
Also, if you're already in a sorority I'd love to hear which one!

Other Sorority Related Posts I've Done:

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