During my years as a campus-based professional, I spent a lot of time working with multiple Panhellenic communities, guiding them in their council and chapter growth and development. I spent many long days and nights during the formal recruitment process talking with advisors, recruitment specialists, chapter officers, and membership teams. I would make my best effort to walk around during each round to stop by to say hello to each chapter, check in on how they were doing, and see if there was any way that I could help them during the high-stress time. As I walked around from room to room, or house to house, there is one thing that I commonly noticed: a group of disgruntled women, hidden away, out of the recruitment limelight, fully disengaged from the entire event taking place upstairs or in the room next door.
I began to notice this in each house, or room, that I walked into as I made my way across campus. While I believe that some women actually would prefer to be on the membership team, and not on the recruiting floor, I also began to have a hunch that some of these women weren’t given the choice to recruit, but rather charged with the task of crunching numbers and data. Yes, this is absolutely an incredibly large task and a completely necessary role within recruitment, but my heart constantly ached for these women. In their eyes, and by their comments, I could see that they weren’t enjoying recruitment the way that the rest of their sisters were and felt left out of the process altogether.
Why is it that some women become the “backroom girls”? Is it because they aren’t great recruiters? Maybe they aren’t the best at carrying conversations? Or maybe they are slightly awkward talking to potential new members?
As sisters, however, we have an opportunity to help these women become stronger recruiters, help them to develop their conversation skills, and assist in building their confidence for public speaking and networking. The wonderful thing about sorority membership is that if done right, one can learn and strengthen many of the skills needed to be successful in job interviews, networking events, client presentations, and other career related aspects, not to mention the conversation skills needed for a successful date!
There is an internal hierarchy in our recruitment processes that we all need to admit exists. Sure, there will always be those women who are fantastic recruiters and should absolutely be the front line for your processes. But don’t forget about those women who aren’t naturally strong or confident in their abilities, and help them to develop those skills because it isn’t just about the recruitment process, but also about their future successes personally and professionally.