By Steve Good – Vice President of Growth & Communications
Like many organizations, Phi Delta Theta is spending an increasing amount of time each year analyzing and sharing findings from the data it collects. While data analytics can be overwhelming at times, our findings are being used to shape future strategies to improve the Fraternity in many different areas. With a limited staff and only so many hours in a day, we know that mobilizing our volunteers and undergraduates to act on shared data helps us become more efficient with our resources.
When it comes to recruiting new members at the chapter level, data can paint a very clear picture about whether a given chapter is trending in a positive or negative manner. We know that the consistent recruitment of great (and enough) young men drives chapter success. We also know that weak recruitment can very quickly threaten a chapter’s future.
We recently shared recruitment trend lines for all of our active chapters and colonies. The data shows the number of men recruited each year going back to 2013. We’ve been very encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from sharing such data. In many cases, a simple visual has caused many to take action to improve their trend. It has also reassured many that their diligent work on recruitment is producing results.
The remainder of this post serves to provide suggestions on how you can act on the chapter’s trend line given your role within the organization.
If your chapter’s trend line is negative:
Step 1 – Digesting a negative trend and committing to positive change is a vital first step for anybody who can enact it within a chapter.
I’m the chapter president or recruitment chairman for a chapter with a negative trend:
- Identify those who can assist in reversing this trend. Make a list of current undergraduate members and volunteers who will advocate for changes that need to be made.
- If your chapter does not have a CAB member who solely focuses on recruitment, make a call to your province president and CAB chairman to develop a strategy to recruit somebody into this role.
- Visually show your trend line to your brothers to begin creating a sense of urgency to do something different.
- Examine how you elect recruitment chairman. Yes, it’s important for recruitment chairmen to be sociable, but it’s equally important for them to be organized and on top of their game.
- Document the chapter’s recruitment strategy on paper for the upcoming year and plan to infuse the discussion into your first chapter or executive board retreat this fall (or even this summer).
I’m on the Chapter Advisory Board for a chapter with a negative trend:
- Has the CAB prioritized recruitment when supporting the chapter? If not, prioritize the placement of a recruitment adviser who has past experience in the role or sales experience in his/her career. Contact GHQ for a list of past recruitment chairman from the chapter or in the area. This audience could be a great pool to recruit support.
- Plan to spend more time with the chapter’s recruitment chairman this summer, either by phone or in person, to review the chapter’s recruitment strategy for the upcoming year.
- When you are in front of the chapter, show the trend line and spark a discussion about the need to improve in this area.
- Reach out to the chapter’s alumni to seek referrals of potential new members who are entering college this fall. Alumni can be great resources for training opportunities too.
- Work with the recruitment chairman, other volunteers, and other resources in the area to plan a recruitment workshop early this fall.
I’m the province president for a chapter with a negative trend:
- The priority should be finding an adviser who can assist the chapter with recruitment. Our best recruiting chapters have volunteers who provide consistent recruitment advice. This is crucial given the turnover in the recruitment chairman role.
- Identify chapters in your province that have positive trend lines and facilitate conversations with those who have negative trend lines.
I’m am an alumnus for a chapter with a negative trend:
- Simply making your chapter aware that alumni are concerned about the chapter’s recruitment trend can go a long way. To do this in a constructive manner, think about the resources you may have access to and offer them to the chapter.
- Take a few minutes to identify great young men in your community who may be attending the campus in the fall and submit a referral form for them.
If your chapter’s trend line is positive:
Your chapter is moving in the right direction, but is its recruitment strategy built to last? It’s easy for complacency to settle in when life is good. Focus on continual enhancements such as:
- Further enhance the chapter’s recruitment strategy and show your brothers how they can help execute the strategy. Continue doing what has worked well. Ditch tactics that can’t be traced to good results.
- Continue to reach out to those who can help you get better, educate your members, and provide recommendations for potential new members.
- Perfect the process of interviewing potential new members in a small group setting.
- Identify types of individuals or areas of campus that are underrepresented within your chapter and recruit to fill this gap.
- Become smarter in your marketing and advertising. Digital marketing and social media is powerful and will work for you even when you’re asleep.
On a global level, Phi Delta Theta has used its recruitment data to identify 30 chapters that have the greatest potential for growth. These chapters were identified through a simple three-factor algorithm: one-year growth rate, three-year growth rate, and the number of men below or above the average size for fraternities on campus. During the upcoming school year, we will be working with these chapters and their volunteers to enroll them in our Recruitment Coaching Program. Our goal is to most effectively deploy our recruitment resources to those chapters in greatest need.