While recruitment may seem stressful as a PNM (Potential New Member), it is essentially glitter and smiles and rainbows with rooms full of people trying to impress you. However, at some point you will find yourself on the other side of that equation, and it is not as easy as you might think it is. A PNM is only representing herself- you will be representing yourself, your sisters, and your organisation as a whole. No big deal… Today I will be sharing what I found most important to not only surviving recruitment, but being successful at it! It isn’t necessarily everyone’s favourite part of Greek Life but it’s integral to our organisations. For reference, I have been through formal recruitment as a PNM, as a collegian, as an alumna (helping the chapter), and now as a Panhellenic advisor. I’ve seen it from every angle and you get to benefit from my experience!
1.Prepare and Inform Yourself
Every organisation has its own values, philanthropies/causes, focuses, ambitions, and history- KNOW YOUR OWN. PNMs do ask those questions, and it’s purpose is two-fold: 1) they use it to identify you, and 2) they use it to picture themselves actually being a member. As a PNM and now an advisor, I can’t tell you how many times a PNM has gone back to their neutral to say that the collegians in whatever chapter didn’t seem to know their own information. Not only does this look awful on you, your sisters, and your org, it doesn’t make a PNM want to learn anything more. It might feel boring or annoying to have to learn; however, it’s not that difficult and it should already be close to your heart.
2. Get Enough Sleep
I know that you are busy with school and jobs and family and other friends and then recruitment, but make sure you get enough sleep. It is tiring enough as it is, and you need more energy, not less. PNMs know when you are tired and lagging, and it never has a positive effect. Make sure you have time to sleep, you get to the gym for an energy boost, and you nap if you have to! No one gets excited when someone is yawning at them.
3. Have Easy Conversation Starters
Buuuuut don’t have the generic questions that everyone uses. I personally love reading and I love travelling- I can speak ad nauseum about both of those topics. I usually try to suss out which would interest the PNM more (and pick something else if necessary), and inquire about what they’ve been doing over the break. Pick a few topics that if you heard someone giving an indepth answer, you would get some sort of impression. Don’t ask them if they like campus or their classes or if they miss home- that’s common to most people. Find your “compass topics” and really get to know the girls!
4. Listen to Your Advisors and Recruitment Chairs, and PNMs!
Your Recruitment and Membership teams will need you to do numerous tasks throughout each round- most likely staying quiet and listening- and to do them without having to repeatedly ask you. No advisor wants to feel like a parent, but it quickly feels like that when 20 women won’t stop chattering when you have 5 minutes to go over bumping groups. Be quiet, be respectful, and remember that you aren’t doing anyone any favours by being disruptive. And when you are speaking with PNMs, try your hardest to remember facts and points. We know that you can’t remember everything but you are trying to get to know these women and share everything that you have learned! You can’t do that if you aren’t actually listening to the PNM.
5. Don’t Sound Like a Robot
So, you’re all prepared and the PNM walks in: you want to be awake and happy, prepared to listen and engage them in meaningful conversation, and introduce them to your organisation. However, you have to do all these things numerous times, for each new PNM you speak with. Stay fresh and natural! Try to change things up in how and what you ask, don’t keep a perma-smile plastered on your face all round, and go with the flow. PNMs are unsure, and quite frankly creeped out, when collegians are robotic and over-prepared. You weren’t weirdly prepared as a PNM, don’t let it happen as a collegian!
6. Just Enjoy It!
This is a fantastic time of year, it is the Christmas of sorority life. Have fun and take the time to enjoy it! It goes quickly, and real life takes over immediately- be present and enjoy!
Sorority collegians, what are your tips for successfully recruiting members?