What if your chapter had to recruit without spending a dime?

Letters for Bid Day_Mu Kappa_Fall 2013

By Josh Green (Arizona)

Editor’s note: this article was originally run in 2011 and was composed by then director of recruitment Josh Green. 

Tough times have forced businesses to slash their headcount, marketing budgets, and other resources. Managers at small start-ups and Fortune 100 companies alike are now expected to do more with less-but how?

I recently attended a meeting of young non-profit professionals that discussed the book Zilch by Nancy Lublin. The book covers a number of important topics with a focus on non-profits that are expected to perform at a high level with limited resources (sound familiar?). After leaving the meeting I had an idea based on the title of the book: what if we had to recruit without using money?

The first thing that came to mind was getting back to basics. Swearing off money would require us to practice the fundamentals: going out and meeting people, making friends, bringing them out to meet the chapter members, gauging their interest and then extending a bid after the chapter votes.

Relying too much on a large recruitment budget may be the subtle sign of a recruitment strategy lacking substance and genuineness.

How can this be done? I started a list of recruitment tactics that don’t really cost anything. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Talk to your high school friends, or even a past principal or guidance counselor, and see who is planning to attend your college or university.
  2. Talk to your fraternity and sorority life professional to see if you can acquire the contact information for all incoming male freshmen. Depending on the number, call or email them and let them know what Sigma Nu has going on – maybe campus orientation events, move-in assistance, new student workshops like student skills or time management.
  3. Post information on various Facebook groups. An example could be to post on the page for the upcoming freshman class.
  4. Once school starts, introduce yourself to as many people as possible. After all, we are a social fraternity, so you shouldn’t have any issues being social and meeting new people.
  5. Join a club or student organization to meet some additional friends with similar interests.

These are just five ideas I came up with on the drive home. I am sure that are many others that could be developed. And these are just a few ideas on how to meet people. This doesn’t even get into brining them out, which can still be done at no additional cost.

Recruiting without spending a dime relies on creativity and will. This is thinking like an entrepreneur – innovate and be social.

Relying too much on a large recruitment budget may be the subtle sign of a recruitment strategy lacking substance and genuineness. What are some additional ways your chapter can bring a culture of innovation to recruitment?

Bid Day_Ryan Love_Epsilon Mu

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