I LOVE RECRUITMENT.
Let me just say that again, I. LOVE. RECRUITMENT.
But, I acknowledge that not everyone else feels that way.
Recruitment workshops are the bane of some sisters’ existence. I heard one sister describe her chapter’s trainings as “hell with some glitter on it”. It breaks my heart that some people dread recruitment, because as a collegian it is the greatest honor bestowed upon us. The future of our sorority is in our hands and we make the crucial decision of membership for the next four years. It sounds dramatic, but I feel so passionately that sisters look forward to recruitment, not just tolerate it.
The eternal question is: how do you make sisters look forward to buying into the vision?
Let’s start with the planning piece. You only need three steps to plan a great training. Then we’ll focus on how to make it fun.
- Set the Goal
When planning your workshops, try to stick to ONE theme per session. As you apply to your Executive Council for dates on the calendar, make sure that you have enough sessions to cover all of your topics. Not everyone can attend every workshop so make sure you review at the beginning of each time slot. What is it that your chapter needs to work on? For the sake of example, let’s say that movement is an issue for your girls. People bump into each other and transition PNM’s awkwardly. Let’s fix that this session!
- Plan an Activity
Set scene: you have two hours to make sure your women feel as confident as possible with transitioning around the room.
0-5 minutes: BLAST some pump up music as everyone walks in to set the energy for the evening
5-20 minutes: Take a good fifteen minutes to review the past sessions. Have your poster that you made at the beginning of the year with your overall goal and the breakdown of sessions (see my post on creating quality chapter education). Run through, quickly, the main points of the sessions you have already covered and the overview of this training. End this fifteen minutes with something like: “Alright ladies, now that we’re all on the same page with our goals let’s break down today’s agenda.”
20-30 minutes: Have everyone stand up and wiggle!!! Then start this training. Bump groups make girls feel way more confident knowing that there is a system in place. Before the session, tape X’s on the floor in your house (or meeting space) where people are supposed to stand. Whether you decide to assign partners, go over your system here. HUGE posters and visuals are necessary here. Maybe using a white board and using magnets to move people around would be helpful. Tell the girls who their partners are and what the X’s are for.
30-50 minutes: Practice the rotations with candy! If you’re at the end of the day, blood sugar is low and it’s time to call in reinforcements (aka mints and jolly ranchers). Get a cool sound effect app and play a weird sound effect to get people in the habit of the timing. Seriously, when you play a cow ‘mooing’ girls will be laughing and the mood should be pretty light.
50-70 minutes: Here I would sit people down and teach the key to rotational groups: knowing your partner. Here I would have a huge poster with an life ring on it and we would discuss “lifesaver questions/topics”. Once girls have these questions to keep in case of an emergency, getting to know their PNM will flow more easily and the partners (or whatever you use) will work more seamlessly. Maybe a sisterhood event designed to get to know your recruitment partner or group would be appropriate?
70-90 minutes: PRACTICE! I like to run rounds using women from other sororities as PNM’s. This way, your girls are a less comfortable and more apt to take the simulation seriously. Keep this section long enough to get the feel, but not long enough to cause burnout.
90-110 minutes: Field any questions about how the workshop made them feel. Ask, “do you feel more comfortable with the new system now?” or “how did the exercise change your thoughts about recruitment?” Get some good feedback and write it up on the whiteboard/poster. Make everyone feel heard!
110 minutes: Always finish early! Be respectful of other people’s time and they will be courteous of your message. Pass out ‘vision sheets’ and throw out some more candy to people who nailed it. Then, of course BEYONCE exit music.
- Closing Materials
Remember, not everyone was paying attention and most likely no one took notes. I like to provide sheets with the top points. Make it fun and have colorful half sheets of cardstock or something fun (so, hopefully, they won’t throw it away). During polish week, you can pull out these ‘vision sheets’ and refresh everyone’s memory in a short period of time.
What’s your favorite part about recruitment?