Home field advantage is highly touted in the sports world for obvious reasons. The home team gets the larger crowd with far greater support. The home team is more familiar with the nuances of the field because they practice there every day, which means they know what the wind does, how the sun’s glare works, and most importantly how cold and/or hot it gets.
What does all of this provide for the home team? Comfort. They don’t take a plane or a bus to the stadium; they arrive from their homes refreshed and ready to play. Not to mention they are treated like gods when they arrive with eager fans fawning for autographs and pictures. It’s the ultimate self-esteem booster.
But what about away games? It’s new, it’s not yours, the fans despise you or find you irrelevant, you’re a drop in the pond, and you have to exit your comfort zone. Key phrase being “comfort zone.”
This same concept applies to recruitment. Sure, it’s nice and safe to recruit inside your chapter house because it’s comfortable. You know where everything is, you know everyone there, you’re surrounded by friends and brothers, and if you have a trophy case you have a silent testament to your successes.
Now imagine those recruits you invited to come down to the house for a BBQ (a cliché recruitment event if there ever was one) as the away team. Do you think they feel comfortable? Do you think you get to see the actual them or do you get a nervous version?
Flip this concept on its head. Challenge your chapter to be the away team. Go out into the recruit’s comfort zone (hometown, dorm, campus dining hall, hangout spots). Interact with them in their environment where they feel comfortable. You just might find out your away team is better than you thought.