This past Fall and Spring we saw an increase in recruitment numbers and engagement surrounding recruitment. This increase mostly came from COVID-19 restrictions being lifted at our various campuses. Lifting restrictions allowed for many of our chapters to be able to get back to in-person activities and events but also allowed for them to continue some new traditions of utilizing virtual recruitment. If the pandemic taught us something with recruitment practices, it allowed for chapters to be innovative and creative. It also allowed for chapters to be more inclusive such as working around a student’s ability to be physically in attendance at an event. With campuses ease around COVID-19 restrictions, we also saw an increase in campuses pushing a more 365 recruitment approach due to the decrease we saw in recruitment numbers from the past few years as a result of COVID-19.
This Spring we conducted a survey asking questions to our chapters regarding recruitment from Fall 2021 and through that data, we found out that many campuses had expanded their recruitment efforts to take place over a few weeks in hopes to be able to meet and develop relationships with more potential new members. We typically see many chapters focus on a week of recruitment practices but it seemed like many groups had opened up to expanding beyond a set “timeframe” to develop and foster relationships around recruitment of potential new members to join our chapters.
In Fall 2021, the average bids accepted by potential new members among all of our chapters resulted in a 12.2 average, not bad given we are still navigating a global pandemic and institutional policies surrounding COVID-19. This Spring, our average among potential new members accepting a bid from Zeta Psi chapters was a 9.07 average. Again, not bad due to a good majority of our chapters focusing on their big in-take of membership in the fall semester vs. the spring semester. As mentioned earlier, we are starting to see a shift in recruitment strategies where there is a focus on 365-recruitment. This practice will allow for new member intake throughout the year instead of a week or two in the fall and spring semester.
This Spring we asked all of our chapters to provide us with a recruitment outline so that a member of staff could review to help, support and assist with those recruitment outlines. We want to thank those chapters who provided us with those recruitment plans and allowed our team work to assist and support those plans. As we gear up for the Fall 2022 semester, if anyone is looking to develop or looking for more guidance on building out a solid recruitment strategy for your campus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your regional education consultant. This year at our 175th Convention in Brooklyn, we will be offering opportunities for chapters to share best practices in recruitment efforts and educational sessions on how to maximize your recruitment experience.
2021 and 2022 has provided us with opportunities to forget about what we used to do surrounding recruitment. Again, if there was a positive aspect of COVID-19 with fraternity recruitment, it is that we have had to be innovative and creative with new recruitment practices. I look forward to seeing how our chapters have had to develop and change their recruitment strategies and begin to advance forward providing opportunities to showcase our chapters and recruit the best new members on our campuses.
J. Chris Hager, Sigma Nu Fraternity
Director of Chapter Services