Planning recruitment always comes with a lot of stress. Adding a global pandemic doesn’t help. We are entering uncharted territory: planning a virtual sorority recruitment. As someone who has been planning recruitment since November of 2019, I was taken aback when the pandemic hit and we were told our recruitment would be fully virtual.
There was one really important thing I realized in the stress of this: I am not alone. Thousands of recruitment chairs all over the country in different chapters and at different schools are going through the same thing that I am. This uncharted territory is a time for us all to lean on each other. Not only that, but for those of us with deferred recruitment, we have the girls who have planned recruitment virtually in the fall to offer advice. I talked to hundreds of recruitment chairs who planned a recruitment in the fall and compiled this list of the 4 most important virtual recruitment tips.
Up Your Chapter’s PR Game
Recruiting the freshmen is always hard. However, with the minimal amount of contact during the fall semester, it is even harder to meet those freshmen. The new freshmen are just as eager to get to know you as you are to get to know them. With this, they will be heavily stalking social media to find out as much about your chapter as they can.
I would recommend setting up a meeting with your PR chair. Make sure you are on the same page as them. Another helpful thing is to take time to talk with your chapter and develop a brand. This will allow you to choose how you want to be seen. If you and the PR chair are on the same page, the PNMs will be able to see your chapter the way you want them to.
Try to be creative and think of innovative ways to showcase your chapter. Create an IGTV with a tour of your house, do sister spotlights, or highlight the memories and activities you typically have in a pre-corona world. These freshmen have not seen that side of you, show them all you have to offer.
Teach Conversation Like a Pro
During a normal recruitment, there is so much going on for a PNM to focus on. There are door chants, pretty decorations, and bumps. As a PNM, your thoughts are consumed with your outfits, not tripping, or how hungry and tired you are. They are so absorbed in all of the logistics of the night, they don’t remember much else.
With all that stripped, what is left you ask? The conversations a PNM has with your chapter. Conversations have always been important, but with virtual recruitment, they carry more weight than ever. It is very important to make sure your chapter feels fully prepared to lead these conversations.
When preparing for virtual recruitment, I spent an entire workshop going over nothing but conversation. I’m a communication major, so I brought in one of my professors to the workshop to help me teach my chapter. They were able to ask her any questions they had, and they learned a lot. I also had events where I brought in alums via zoom so that my chapter could practice not only conversations, but also talking on zoom.
Set Your Sisters Up For Success
If your school is anything like mine, the lighting and wifi in the dorms can be extremely unreliable. During a virtual recruitment, that could stop a PNM from being able to build connections with your sisters, and end up causing a lot of problems. That is why it is beyond important to troubleshoot ahead of time.
Something that might be helpful to look into buying for your sisters or suggesting they buy is an ethernet cord and ring light. The ethernet cords allow the wifi connection to be stronger and more reliable while the ring light will make sure their lighting is always on point. It is important to also make sure that all your members have a good background. You do not want anyone to be sitting on their messy, unmade bed. To prevent this, you could either have background checks or offer a virtual background!
Since you are not spending a billion dollars on decorations, you most likely will find yourself with a few extra dollars in your budget. Not sure how to spend it? Put together a goodie bag for each of your sisters! These can include things such as: any T-Shirts they need, their name tag, a custom mask, a notepad and pen, hand sanitizer, mints, ring light and batteries, and a folder (filled with score sheets, FAQs, finance, and anything else they need)!
Keep Those Sisters Engaged
We have all been through zoom classes, let’s be real. It is super easy to lose attention and get bored. That is why it is important to come up with fun ways to keep your sisters engaged.
Use some of that extra money to purchase small gifts or gift cards to use as an incentive. Give it to the sister who has been most active in workshops and during work week! You can also come up with some fun sister bonding activities (my chapter is a huge fan of Kahoot)!
Virtual recruitment does not have to be stressful. Remember you are not the only one going through this, and you always have others to lean on and learn from! Follow these 4 tips and you will be golden!
Good luck with recruitment!