Good sorority recruitment is at the center of a healthy chapter.
How we define “good” and “effective” recruitment practices makes a huge difference. A sorority chapter must bring in not only the right number of new sisters, but also the right quality of membership.
Recruitment choices impact sisters for many semesters to come. However, with the right approach, recruitment can enrich a chapter and help sisters thrive.
Sorority recruitment is a year-round effort, including planning and strategy, holding values-based recruitment events, voting and placing bids, and ongoing member education.
Rush week itself may be a short period of time, but it’s only one part of the bigger picture.
Pulling off a successful rush means different things to different sororities. Whether you’re part of a college Panhellenic or other general social sorority council, or one that is cultural, academic, faith-based, or professional, your goals and approach to new membership will differ.
However, there are common steps almost all chapters take toward recruitment:
Let’s take a closer look at some of these steps toward creating a stronger sisterhood. Here are OmegaFi’s Sorority Recruitment Basics.
You take your first important step toward a successful rush when you elect your next recruitment chair.
It’s important to elect someone who is:
Other skills can be taught during new officer training and reinforced by other executive officers.
Your recruitment chair should understand both the campus culture and Greek culture, and she should speak confidently about your chapter and its goals to PNMs.
She’s a leader who embodies your chapter values. This is crucial, since she will be the first line of recruitment communications for many prospective members.
She must have the time for running point on rush events, leading the planning and strategizing, meeting with recruitment advisors, and maintaining a contact list with PNMs. However . . .
She can’t do it alone.
The outgoing officer must train the new officer properly, both on the technical parts of the job and how to interact with PNMs. This doesn’t happen overnight, and the learning process is ongoing.
Executive officers work with the recruitment chair to plan rush and set a budget.
They should ensure sisters know their roles and expected conduct during rush.
All must work together.
Planning for your next sorority recruitment takes months. Often, it seems that just as rush week ends, you’re already planning for the next one.
Rush is one of the most crucial efforts in shaping any sorority chapter, so naturally it’s quite an undertaking to get it right.
A recruitment budget takes a lot of planning and input from both your treasurer and executive board. Budgets can vary quite a lot from one chapter to the next, and will include things like food, promotional materials, tee-shirts and costumes, decorations, and any number of other rush-related costs.
Some Greek life offices or other sorority officials will limit rush budgets, but this varies from campus to campus.
Chapter budgeting software like OmegaFi’s Vault can help keep your recruitment budget accurate, and ensure you account for everything and stay out of the red.
You want to stand out from other chapters to attract the best PNMs possible, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending more. It also doesn’t mean having better decorations and skits or louder music.
Rush is about finding genuine ways to reach out to prospects within the rules of recruitment.
Connect with PNMs in meaningful conversation and explore if your values are a match. This makes it easier to look out for red flags, like someone who constantly puts partying over academics or has aggressive or risk-prone behavior.
A well-planned rush helps you bring in the right sisters every time.
To attract and bid the right PNMs during rush, sisters must uphold the values represented by their letters and their university.
These values often include things like scholarship, leadership, integrity, philanthropy, equality, and friendship.
Recruitment should reflect those values and present them in a consistent way to PNMs.
All sorority rush events should:
Administrators and advisors set rush regulations that sisters must understand and follow, and they should be aware of the consequences when they break the rules.
They should consult with recruitment and chapter advisors if there is any question about ensuring a safe, efficient, values-based recruitment.
A more informed sister makes a more educated vote when it comes time to bid PNMs.
That means keeping a thorough database of PNMs, including bios, contact information, if they’re a legacy, if they have any red flags that make them a risk, GPA, their major, what year they are, and so on.
Let alumnae advisors in on the membership decision making. They often have valuable insights and experience that they bring to the table.
Also, consider using sorority recruitment software.
This way you can make the process easier with features like tracking PNM information in a central, online hub, voting electronically, and automating your bid list if your university uses ICS recruitment software.
While it may seem like you’re done the moment you turn in your bid list, it’s just the beginning.
Recruitment must be followed up with developing leadership skills and fostering good habits as sisters grow from new members to seniors.
Chapters who place leadership and continuing education at the forefront are building better sisters with brighter futures.
OmegaFi provides software tools to sorority chapters for recruitment, budgeting, communication, and more. See what we have to offer here or call us direct at 800.276.6342.