Sigma Kappa Triangle Winter 2017 : Page 30

By Kat Brangan Held , Xi Director of Release Figure Method Lauren McPartland Mitchell , Beta Zeta Director of Recruitment The mother of a legacy was recently helping behind the scenes at a recruitment event, and as she watched the chapter participate in membership selection using an app on their smartphones, she exclaimed, “Things sure have changed since I was in college!” Truer words have never been spoken. College women arrive on campus today with impressive résumés and clear goals. Their buying power has changed the way companies do business. Women outnumber men on college campuses. In short, recruitment has changed to keep up with potential new members (PNMs). The National Panhellenic Conference surveyed PNMs about their recruitment experience and used the results to update the Values Based Recruitment Policy in 2015. This update includes: • • • • • • A focus on values-based conversation between members and PNMs. Guidelines for recruitment budgets and expenses. Minimizing decorations. Selecting recruitment attire that reduces the fi nancial burden of members. Elimination of gifts, favors, letters and notes for PNMs. Elimination of skits. scholarship programs and successes. Recruiting around our values is at the heart of our preparation and conversations. So, how is this actually working out for the chapters? Below, our recruitment volunteers from across the country share what they’ve seen during these transition years. • Jenny McCullough Cosgrove , Zeta Omicron, University of Arizona, recruitment coordinator for district 6, shares, “Recruiting based on our values keeps sorority life relevant by encouraging women to connect with each other on their character and core beliefs based in a spirit of really getting to know each other. It’s a necessary step towards encouraging women to connect with each other in a meaningful way.” At Appalachian State University, some of these changes were met with concern, but their outcomes were really empowering. Recruitment Supervisor Jacqueline WHAT’S OUT: Skits – and the long nights of rehearsal – have been eliminated from recruitment. Having the biggest fl oral display is no longer a priority. Matching costumes are a thing of the past. Maggie Ryan , Mu, University of Washington, recruitment coordinator for district 5, notes, “Chapters save time by not having to practice skits, songs and other fl uff . Instead, they can focus on strengthening sisterhood, connecting with Sigma Kappa’s values, and building transferable life skills.” WHAT’S IN: Campuses have a philanthropy round of recruitment to engage PNMs in this key component of the membership experience. Chapters speak openly about fi nancial obligations. We highlight our • 30

A New Generation of Recruitment

Kat Brangan Held, Xi

Director of Release Figure Method

Lauren McPartland Mitchell, Beta Zeta

Director of Recruitment

The mother of a legacy was recently helping behind the scenes at a recruitment event, and as she watched the chapter participate in membership selection using an app on their smartphones, she exclaimed, "Things sure have changed since I was in college!" Truer words have never been spoken.

College women arrive on campus today with impressive résumés and clear goals. Their buying power has changed the way companies do business. Women outnumber men on college campuses. In short, recruitment has changed to keep up with potential new members (PNMs).

The National Panhellenic Conference surveyed PNMs about their recruitment experience and used the results to update the Values Based Recruitment Policy in 2015. This update includes:

• A focus on values-based conversation between members and PNMs.

• Guidelines for recruitment budgets and expenses.

• Minimizing decorations.

• Selecting recruitment attire that reduces the financial burden of members.

• Elimination of gifts, favors, letters and notes for PNMs.

• Elimination of skits.

WHAT'S OUT: Skits – and the long nights of rehearsal – have been eliminated from recruitment. Having the biggest floral display is no longer a priority. Matching costumes are a thing of the past. Maggie Ryan, Mu, University of Washington, recruitment coordinator for district 5, notes, "Chapters save time by not having to practice skits, songs and other fluff. Instead, they can focus on strengthening sisterhood, connecting with Sigma Kappa's values, and building transferable life skills."

WHAT'S IN: Campuses have a philanthropy round of recruitment to engage PNMs in this key component of the membership experience. Chapters speak openly about financial obligations. We highlight our scholarship programs and successes. Recruiting around our values is at the heart of our preparation and conversations. So, how is this actually working out for the chapters? Below, our recruitment volunteers from across the country share what they've seen during these transition years.

• Jenny McCullough Cosgrove, Zeta Omicron, University of Arizona, recruitment coordinator for district 6, shares, "Recruiting based on our values keeps sorority life relevant by encouraging women to connect with each other on their character and core beliefs based in a spirit of really getting to know each other. It's a necessary step towards encouraging women to connect with each other in a meaningful way."

• At Appalachian State University, some of these changes were met with concern, but their outcomes were really empowering. Recruitment Supervisor Jacqueline Walker Aldridge, Theta Alpha, Appalachian State University, recalls, "The last straw for frills was about two years ago with the elimination of preference letters. The sisters were worried because they really believed that these letters were what was 'sealing the deal' with the PNMs. It was so eye-opening to realize that it was actually the relationships and bonds they were making during recruitment that was doing this; it was us as sisters and people that was making it happen, not the 'stuff'."

• Maggie Ryan says, "Values-based recruitment encourages chapters to be the best version of themselves rather than what they think a stereotypical sorority should be. Additionally, frills-based recruitment can be very intimidating and project a very homogeneous version of sorority life. In contrast, values-based recruitment is more inclusive, which is especially important since the PNM pool becomes more diverse each year."

This isn't only a Sigma Kappa change – this is happening all across the country on campuses everywhere. Jacqueline shares how the College Panhellenic is as actively involved in values-based recruitment as the chapters who are doing the recruiting: "The [recruitment counselors] are teaching the PNMs to go in and ask the chapters about their values. It's totally changing the way we recruit and prepare because the PNMs are coming in asking and interested in this. It's starting from Panhellenic."

Not only is recruitment itself changing, but how the chapters are preparing is changing as well. Gone are the days of "work weeks" focusing entirely on chants, crafting and skits. Now, the members are building their sisterhoods, growing their personal and interpersonal skills, and learning how to really get to know another person. Jenny says, "Good preparation for recruitment starts with the members connecting with their own values and feeling empowered to represent themselves and their sisterhood in a way that demonstrates them. Maggie points out, "When our recruitment training encourages powerful conversations, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection, our members are gaining valuable life skills." Recruitment is becoming more than just an inlet for new members, but also a way to further develop ourselves.

Sara Dix, Delta Theta, Truman State University, recruitment supervisor for Delta Theta, shares a creative way that the members of the chapter prepare for this type of recruitment each year: "Chapter members pick a value to identify with throughout recruitment and that serves as a conversation starter when meeting with PNMs. Through this process not only are PNMs becoming aware of our values early on during the recruitment process, but the chapter members also grow as individuals by being examples of how Sigma Kappas live our values."

Not everything has changed. We still use the special part of our preference ceremony that brought tears to your eyes, the songs and chants you occasionally find yourself humming are still sung, and Bid Day continues to be pure joy and excitement.

This year we welcomed 5,637 new sisters into Sigma Kappa. When our members engage PNMs in conversations about leadership opportunities and philanthropic activities, we recruit the right women for our sisterhood. This was a recurring theme when speaking to volunteers about recruitment. Sara shared, "Chapter members are having deeper conversations with PNMs which leads to increased retention among new members. The chapter women are able to have a better gauge if the PNM would fit well in the chapter. The same goes for the PNMs, as they are able to gain deeper insight into the chapter to see if their personality and values align with the women they are meeting during recruitment."

One more thing . . . We still need YOU to recommend new members. Please visit sigmakappa.org to submit a Recruitment Introduction Form today.

Read the full article at https://mydigitalpublication.com/article/A+New+Generation+of+Recruitment/2693752/378680/article.html.

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