It is a trying time for our communities, and Chi Psi is not excluded from this. With the temporary shuttering of many of our Lodges, and with all academics moving to an online format, many - if not all of you - were significantly impacted by COVID-19 and the necessary response by our higher education institutions. Most of you are likely worried or apprehensive about how this crisis will impact your Alpha in the long-term. It bears repeating that the Central Office is and will be here to support you while we patiently wait for classes and communities to return to normal.
While COVID-19 has essentially eliminated all in-person fraternal operations, we must not lose focus and allow ourselves to become complacent. The situation might ease in time to allow for formal recruitment in the Fall, but we should not rely on that possibility. Instead, we must discuss how we can be proactive with recruitment during this period. How do we set ourselves up for success, when face-to-face interaction is significantly limited? How do we convey the meaningfulness of the Chi Psi commitment to a Potential New Member (PNM)?
Below, you will find recommendations from the Chi Psi Central Office on how to continue - and even improve upon - your recruitment plan. Keep in mind that many of your peers in other organizations will not be changing their recruitment structure, so this is our opportunity to not only differentiate ourselves but provide the welcoming experience Freshmen should come to expect. If you find this resource to not be specific enough to your Alpha, we encourage you to reach out to Daniel Walker, Director of Education and Growth, at the Central Office at email@example.com. We are happy to work with you and your Alpha leadership to put together a tailored plan that works for you. You can see the Central Office's recruitment webinars HERE.
NEW: Do you want to become a certified recruiter through PhiredUp's digital classroom? This is an exciting opportunity to improve your Alpha's recruiting chops and be ahead of the curve in attracting the best PNMs your school has to offer. Learn more here!
Strongly Recommended Practices
Once the dates and times for the on-campus formal recruitment schedule have been set, the undergraduate leadership should complete a comprehensive formal recruitment plan, that will specify not only the events being hosted but who is responsible for what at each event. Brothers should be assigned to setup, cleanup, greeters, etc.
These assignments should then be sent to the entire Brotherhood, and any scheduling conflicts resolved prior to the week of recruitment.
- Time Required: ~3 Hours, depending on input
- Applications Needed: Zoom/Chat Application for Recruitment Committee and EC
- When to Complete: Immediately following announcement of fall dates
(SEE: ChapterBuilder Training VIDEO)
Any undergraduate Brother at your Alpha who will be assisting with the recruitment process should undergo ChapterBuilder training in June/July.
Optional: Brothers could require the training in order to give input/consideration for PNMs for the Fall. Might require by-law revision at certain Alphas.
This training should be conducted by ChapterBuilder staff, with specific support and follow-up from the Central Office extension team.
Alphas that regularly train on the platform and use ChapterBuilder for PNM tracking have significantly more success during their recruitment periods. SIGN UP for a ChapterBuilding demonstration.
- Time Required: ~1.5 hours for training, more for usage
- Applications Needed: ChapterBuilder (CO Provided), Zoom (CB Provided)
- When to Complete: Any point during the summer
The men should begin crafting an alumni correspondence in conjunction with Jeremy Dorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Chi Psi Central Office to help facilitate alumni providing names of friends/colleagues/relatives who will be attending their university in the Fall.
An email/print letter sent to all alumni from your Alpha and all Chi Psi alumni within a certain proximity to your campus should be completed in June, and any names received should be immediately followed up with (campus ambassador, move-in assistance, invite to an event, etc).
- Time Required: 2 hours + follow-up
- Applications Needed: Email, and Mailchimp platform (CO Provided)
- When to Complete: June
While seemingly elementary, it would behoove the men of your Alpha to have a conversation with all undergraduate Brothers about what successful recruitment looks like. Specifically, how to work a room during a recruitment event, how to open a recruitment-based dialogue, conversation do’s and don’ts, etc. A specific conversation about tailoring recruitment to the constraints presented by COVID-19 should be a topic of discussion.
This conversation should be a town hall-style webinar, where undergraduates can ask a panel of current staff, past staff, alumni, and recruitment chairs from other Alphas specific questions about recruitment. This conversation should include a discussion about what type of New Members the Alpha is looking for, and where those might be found. The Central Office is happy to help facilitate and set up a session.
- Time Required: 1 hour + planning
- Applications Needed: Zoom/Applicable teleconference application
- When to Complete: ASAP, or late summer
Utilize University class year Facebook pages for outreach to incoming Freshmen. All verified incoming Freshmen men are worth reaching out to. Work with your recruitment chairs and undergraduate leadership to develop an appropriate message. Don’t simply let individual Brothers reach out without a script.
Brothers should offer these men move-in assistance in the Fall, recommendations for dorms, local eateries, classes, etc. They should act as de facto ambassadors and tour guides for the campus, and not immediately pitch the men on joining Chi Psi. Remember, friends before Brothers whenever possible.
If applicable, men should also invite the PNM to an event or meal scheduled for the early Fall.
Make sure this does not violate your University’s policies or guidelines on recruitment prior to beginning the outreach.
- Time Required: 1-2 hours, if delegated to all active Brothers
- Applications Needed: Facebook, phone/email
- When to Complete: 4-6 weeks before start of the fall semester
While typically done in-person, the men can utilize the Zoom platform to still meet with sororities and solicit names of Potential New Members.
The men should record a presentation before then, pitching the sorority on the type of men they are looking for. The men should utilize the Central Office’s standard sorority presentation, and leverage any existing relationships within the Greek community.
If soliciting names on Zoom, video, or social media seems inappropriate, consider instead setting up times with sororities to present in person in the fall. Just realize that you will have less time to develop those on the names list.
Thank you notes should still be completed.
- Time Required: 4-5 hours total, including thank you notes
- Applications Needed: Zoom, and envelopes/letters/stamps
- When to Complete: Mid-summer or early fall
Our most successful Alphas typically hold annual discussions about the type of men that the Alpha currently needs, and how specifically to target those types of men.
This should be a remote meeting, moderated by the undergraduate Executive Council, with participation from local alumni and/or Central Office staff. All men should be encouraged to join and give input when desired.
The Central Office can help you develop an agenda for this meeting.
- Time Required: 1 hour plus planning
- Applications Needed: Zoom or another chat application
- When to Complete: ASAP, or early fall
Working with the Lodge Manager and applicable alumni entities (Alumni Corporations or Advisory Boards), put together a plan to ensure the Lodge is kept at a clean and presentable state throughout the duration of recruitment.
The Lodge should be heavily cleaned prior to recruitment, to a standard set by the corporation/AAB/undergraduate leadership. From then on, the Lodge Manager will be in charge of maintaining the state of the Lodge throughout the recruitment period. Tasks should be assigned as needed. Those unable to attend recruitment events or meetings should be encouraged to take extra cleaning shifts.
- Time Required: 3-5 hours depending on assistance
- Applications Needed: None; cleaning supplies only
- When to Complete: Beginning of fall
The Alpha, with consideration from their local alumni and/or Central Office staff, should host a discussion (preferably in-person) at the beginning of the fall semester to review the overall culture of their Alpha and address any issues that need to be brought up prior to recruitment.
While any cultural issues the Alpha is experiencing will likely not be solved prior to recruitment, it is important to address those concerns and ensure all Brothers are on the same page about what needs to be done in the interim. Any Brothers not wishing to support the direction of the Alpha should be excluded from recruitment activities.
The Central Office is happy to work with you and the undergraduate leadership to develop an agenda specifically tailored to your Alpha.
- Time Required: 1 hour plus planning
- Applications Needed: None
- When to Complete: Preferably at the start of the fall semester
If possible, a recruitment-focused relationship should be developed between you and any nearby Alpha. Typically, Alphas will utilize high-school “pipelines” to add names to a PNM list. When possible, if colleagues from those high schools are going to a different Alpha’s University, those names should be shared.
Another topic of discussion could be general best practices. Since no Alpha is competing with any other Alpha, all should work to ensure the mutual success of both recruitment efforts.
The Central Office can help facilitate this conversation, or simply make introductions. Part of your officer transition should incorporate following up with the other Alpha(s) to ensure the relationship is maintained.
- Time Required: 1 hour plus follow-up
- Applications Needed: None, maybe Zoom
- When to Complete: ASAP
Starting the first week back on campus, the men will host a weekly dinner, where they can gather as a Brotherhood and also invite PNMs to attend.
This event will serve as a “catch-all” event that any Brother can invite any PNM to participate in. It also will serve as a weekly informal Brotherhood event that will hopefully persist beyond the recruitment period.
Use your best judgment to determine if this should take place at the Lodge or at a restaurant. If at a Lodge, please stress to Brothers that in order to eat the meal, they must engage with the New Members who are present. This isn’t simply free food for Brothers to take back to their rooms.
- Time Required: <1 hour plus pickup time
- Applications Needed: None
- When to Complete: Start of fall semester
Recruiting with Alumni
If you have alumni willing and eager to help with recruitment, consider yourselves lucky. Not all Alphas have enough alumni nearby to make a meaningful impact on recruitment. First and foremost, remember that these alumni are volunteering their time to help. Even if you are not always on the same page as your alumni helpers, make sure that you and the Alpha are constantly treating them with respect. However, remember that an organization is judged by all of its members, alumni included. While rare, if you find yourself in a situation where an alumnus is acting inappropriately, they should be asked to leave the event immediately. Likewise, any recruitment policies that undergraduates follow must also be followed by alumni. This conversation, if needed, should happen well before Potential New Members arrive at an event.
Should alumni be present at recruitment events?
The answer to this depends on your Alpha, and what has worked successfully in the past. If you already expect and rely on alumni input and engagement, nothing should be changed. If you are welcoming alumni into the process for the first time, you might be apprehensive. We recommend incorporating alumni in a targeted way, by giving them the floor to talk about their experience at some point during the recruitment process. This should be a structured meeting, with the alumni being available for questions afterward.
Remember: the success of recruitment falls squarely on the shoulders of you, the undergraduates. Alumni should usually not be a part of the deliberation process unless specifically allowed in your Alpha Bylaws.
How do I know which alumni to contact/How do I ask them for names of PNMs?
The Central Office can help with this. We are happy to share an active list with contact information for all alumni from your Alpha, and those within close proximity to your campus. While the number of names they submit will usually only be a handful, that built-in connection makes these highly-rated prospects and immediately worth reaching out to.
The Events Coordinator, A.J. Hannan (email@example.com), can help you get in contact with your local alumni leadership, should you not already have a relationship.
Additional Digital Resources
- Digital Recruitment: blog.phiredup.com/digitalrecruitment/
- 60 Ways to Drive Names: www.tinyurl.com/drivenames
- How to Recruit Gen Z (Blog + Video): tinyurl.com/howtorecruitgenz
- Virtual Meeting Tips: tinyurl.com/virtualmeetingtips
- Being Social Excellent at a Distance: social-excellence.com/blog/q-dares
- 100+ Small Activities Ideas: tinyurl.com/smallactivityideas
- 1 on 1 Meeting Tutorial: tinyurl.com/1on1/meetingtutorial
- Recruitment Committee Meeting Agenda: tinyurl.com/recruitmentmeetingagenda
- Better Data, Better Members (Blog): tinyurl.com/betterdatabettermembers
- ChapterBuilder Technology: phiredup.com/chapterbuilder
- Be About Something: www.tinyurl.com/pupbeabout
- Check out Chi Psi's virtual events, many of which have to do with recruitment: https://www.chipsi.org/c19-resources/