Participating in recruitment can be a nerve-racking experience. It can also be one of the most exciting too. The same is true for the sorority women recruiting new members. Those familiar nerves reappear, but the excitement of new sisters and a chance to share your story seem to outweigh it all.
Now you’re looking for women to be your sisters for life. Women who will lead your chapter, uphold your organization’s values and become your best friends. No pressure, right? If you’re freaking out a little bit, take a deep breath. We’ve got everything you need to know to be the best recruiter you can be. We have broken it down into the top 5 tips to productively recruit for your sorority.
1. Be authentic
We ask potential new members (PNMs) to be authentic and show their true selves during recruitment. It is only fair that we, as sorority women, do the same. Show the women who you really are and talk to them as you would anyone else you would meet on campus.
PNMs are looking for their home just like you were a short time ago. Showing them who we are as sorority women will only benefit both them and the recruiting chapters. Allow them to see what being in your chapter would be like by letting them know who you are. Don’t be the person you think they want to meet, show them your true and authentic self.
2. Talk about your real experience
Part of being authentic is telling PNMs about your real sorority experience. Tell them how it was being a new member, what it was like to learn more about your organization or what your favorite philanthropy event is. Letting them see a glimpse of life in your sorority is all they want. This is your chance to brag about the amazing things your chapter is doing. Share the successes and don’t be afraid to share the struggles. Just share how you or your chapter recovered from those struggles. Tell them about the women who have supported you or how the chapter has helped you grow. The experience you have had is what they are looking for. Let them know that it is possible to have that experience through your story. Your experience will be unique to you and sharing that story is going to build a connection with that woman. Our stories are our greatest asset. Use them wisely.
3. Ask questions
While it is important to share information with the PNMs, you should also be getting to know them. Afterall the women you talk to could be your future sisters. Ask questions that are open-ended and leave room for the PNM to explain more about herself. But remember, talk to her like she is a friend and not like it is a job interview.
You’re making a friend and the best way to do that is by asking questions and learning about her. You should also be prepared to answer any question you ask as the PNM may throw the question back to you. If the PNM seems a little shy perhaps you can answer the question first to allow her to feel comfortable with you. Being vulnerable with a stranger can be hard if you’ve never done it before so give her the room she needs to open up.
4. Tell her about why you joined your organization
Hearing the stories of sorority women can really help PNMs make decisions. Getting to visualize life in each sorority allows women to make confident choices. She could be having a similar experience to you and hearing how you made your choices might help her. You can also talk about why you stayed in your sorority and the benefit your membership has brought you. Chances are you are not the same person you were when you joined your organization. You’ve probably grown and sharing how your organization did that can be helpful. Even if she chooses another sorority, you will still be gaining a Panhellenic sister and that is always something to celebrate!
You can also share with her any open information your sorority allows non-members to know. Tell her about your founders and why they formed your organization. Share the values or creed of your organization so she can learn about the weight these things hold in a sorority. Many PNMs aren’t familiar with how sororities operate or that they even have values. Take this time to educate her on your organization and what makes it unique.
5. Make a friend!
Sorority recruitment is stressful for everyone involved. You should make an effort to make friends with the women you are talking to. If you see this process as making friends, it will lift a lot of stress of your shoulders. You won’t feel the intense pressure to ask the right questions and the conversation will flow naturally by itself. If you truly care about the woman you are talking to, you will make a better connection and potentially recruit your future sister!