Nice post from Matt Mattson at the Phired Up blog. Here’s an excerpt:
While wandering around USC’s campus the other day making friends (which was a blast), I happened upon a very creative student organization recruitment tactic.
There were a number of tables set up along the main drag of campus — there were some political groups, the Greenpeace folks were out there, a guy selling tickets to play paintball, a Relay-for-Life group, and a gospel choir selling delicious $1 cookies. All were doing good work tabling, but there was one other table that really stood out to me. They had a sign hanging on their table that read, “What’s Your Beef With Christianity?”
Now, religious content aside, I was first intrigued because their sign was a QUESTION, and not a statement. So, I walked up and asked them about it. I assumed they were an atheist/agnostic group that was looking for like-minded people with whom they could commiserate, but I was wrong. At first they wouldn’t really tell me who they were, they just said…
Merely sitting behind a table to “get your name out there” is not an effective recruitment strategy (especially if you’re just surfing fb statuses on your iPhone). It’s about as effective as littering the campus with recruitment calendars and expecting prospective members to flock to the chapter home. It just doesn’t happen.
Recruitment means actively finding people who will fulfill the vision of your organization. And, as this lesson shows, part of the recruitment process is the willingness to engage your critics in genuine conversation.