Every interaction. Every event. Every one-on-one. Every recruitment conversation. Everything about recruitment should lead to one simple and powerful thing: authentic connections.
To many recruitment interactions are robotic and surface-level. If there is one universally accepted problem with sorority recruitment it is that there isn't nearly enough authenticity in recruitment.
So, how do you create conversations that are "less robot, and more human?"
Most sorority recruitment conversations live on the surface… they are filled with typical questions about a PNM’s hometown, major, residence hall, and summer activities – questions that we usually already know the answer to from their recruitment application or our creepy social media stalking since the moment she registered for recruitment. These conversations lack substance, they lack depth, and they don’t actually inform good membership decisions.
When we think about values-based conversations, most of us go immediately to the creepy zone where we imagine an intense, awkward conversation comprised of us listing off our values and uncomfortably trying to create a conversation from there. That’s not a good solution either.
Good recruitment conversations are centered around our organization's (and personal) values, but maybe not directly or obviously. We should ask lots of questions and let the PNM do lots of talking but those questions should be natural and about what the PNM values and what we value?
You can ask "What do you value?" in like a million different ways. "What was your favorite moment of the summer?" "Tell me about the best parts of growing up." "Tell me about why you chose your major?" "What's your story? Like, your real story?" Etc., etc.
Here's an example. If we know sisterhood is an important component of our organization we might inquire to leran whether relationships would also be important to the PNM. We then have questions to ask and a conversation topic that is values-based: We can ask about her relationships with friends from high school, college, family, etc. Now, we can not only ask if she has brothers and sisters, we can ask what her relationship is like with her brothers and sisters. Those responses help us better understand if she would make a good member, but also tell the PNM – “This is so important to us, we’re asking about it.”
The conversation might start with a sister saying, “You know Sally, sisterhood is something we really pride ourselves on as a chapter. We are committed to our friendships with one-another. Can you tell me about some of your close friends from high school?” That might sound like an interview (we’ll get to that in another blog), but it’s the right way to have a conversation that is centered around communicating our values.