Recruitment Workshops

Short Description

It is a basic expectation of the Recruitment Chairman to organize, plan and execute a recruitment retreat. In the Appendix, you will find a sample workshop outline and agenda that can be implemented into a recruitment retreat. Coordinate this effort with your BOG recruitment advisor, chapter advisor, Leadership Consultant, Greek Advisor, and any other alumni that are knowledgeable in the area of recruitment.

Target Audience

Recruitment Chairman
Recruitment Advisor

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus



It is a basic expectation of the Recruitment Chairman to organize, plan and execute a recruitment retreat. In the Appendix, you will find a sample workshop outline and agenda that can be implemented into a recruitment retreat. Coordinate this effort with your BOG recruitment advisor, chapter advisor, Leadership Consultant, Greek Advisor, and any other alumni that are knowledgeable in the area of recruitment.

As Recruitment Chairman you have to keep in mind that while you are in charge of orchestrating events and organizing everything you are also responsible for training the chapter. You need to address your chapter’s strategy, goals and the right way to recruit with the chapter on an annual basis. When it comes to these three areas the entire chapter needs to be on the same page. Keep in mind that you have members in the chapter that have initiated this year and may have no clue how to effectively recruit and no understanding of the chapter’s strategy or goals. We must communicate these three objectives. Also, it is good to revisit the topic of recruitment with older members as well. After all recruitment is the life line of the chapter. You must recruit well to thrive on your respective campus.

The Motivation

The key to having a chapter motivated to recruit is a motivated recruitment chairman to lead them. As recruitment chairman, you can determine the entire recruiting effort with your attitude. If you are excited about rush/recruitment, your chapter will be as well. The same holds true for your recruitment workshop. If you are excited about the workshop, then your chapter will be also. A group of motivated men are much more willing to talk about recruitment for two hours than a not-so-motivated group.
++The Sell
How you sell the workshop is as important as the workshop itself. Many of your members may not feel that a workshop is needed. These are the same members who will detract from the presentation and come up with a million reasons why they don’t need to be there. You can avoid these arguments and future distractions during the workshop by properly selling the workshop to the chapter. In selling the workshop to the chapter, provide statistics from other chapters which have used this same information. Showing how one chapter has improved using the tools you’re about to teach is a great way to sell your members on the material. If you don’t have this information, appearing to be sold on the information yourself is the next best thing. Enthusiasm is contagious! By showing your members that you believe in this information, they will likely believe in it as well.

Types of Workshops

Successful recruitment depends on total chapter organization and communication. A workshop can help the chapter achieve this. This section is designed to provide the workshop leader with ideas, exercises and topics. The leader must be careful to design his own workshop around those topics of discussion which best fit the chapter’s needs. Ideally, workshops are scheduled several times through the year. Workshops are effective when held prior to the chapter’s major recruitment effort of the year, during a chapter retreat, as part of the membership orientation program or periodically during chapter meetings. The goal of all workshops is to recognize and address areas for improvement in the recruitment program. There is always a reason for poor results. A brother’s reluctance to talk to a prospect usually indicates he is unsure how to recruit or what to talk about. Chapter apathy is usually a result of brothers not being made to feel actively involved in the process. A party idea which fails was probably implemented without the input and approval of the entire chapter. The great guy who turns down a Phi Kappa Tau bid can often be traced to a well-meaning but inexperienced brother who had nothing but criticism for other campus fraternities and whose statements reflected poorly upon the chapter. Recruitment workshops can be broken into two general categories—organizational workshops and skills workshops. Chapters may choose to incorporate elements of both into a single workshop.

Organizational Workshops

These workshops serve the purpose of organizing and planning the actual recruitment program. Extensive input from chapter members is requested in order to develop a program which will actively involve all members and accomplish the chapter's goals.

Goals of an organizational workshop include:

  • To discuss and clarify the chapter’s membership needs, its goals (both qualitative and quantitative), and its strategy to accomplish these goals through recruitment
  • To communicate an outline for the program while soliciting suggestions for improvement from the members of the chapter
  • To organize the chapter to execute the program; to identify specific tasks and delegate duties to chapter members according to their individual talents and interests; to define the role of the recruitment committee
  • To discuss the resources available for finding prospects
  • To communicate facts regarding the recruitment program (rush calendars, IFC rules, individual responsibilities)

Skills Workshops

These workshops provide brothers and associates the skills necessary to approach and recruit prospects successfully. Specific skills are communicated by the workshop facilitator. Chapter members then participate in group activities and hypothetical situations to develop their individual recruitment skills.

Goals of a recruitment skills workshop include:

  • To give every member a better understanding of communication skills so that members feel confident and comfortable meeting and talking with new people
  • To cover the dos and don’ts of rush
  • To review the chapter's programs in scholarship, intramurals, leadership development, service projects and social activities (the chapter must be able to communicate what it has to offer)
  • To review chapter policies on association, grades, conduct and financial responsibility so they may be discussed intelligently
  • To review facts regarding the National Fraternity’s strength and reputation
  • To get brothers excited and enthusiastic about rush

Workshop Discussion Topics

Here are three topics which may be discussed in recruitment workshops. The topics are organized to help 1) plan the rush program; 2) develop skills; and 3) answer specific questions. These topics should be incorporated into workshops to meet the specific needs of the chapter.

Planning the Recruitment Program

If the chapter is in the rush planning stage, these topics should be discussed to develop a collective effort which achieves the group goals.

  • Discuss the qualitative and quantitative goals of recruitment.
  • Ask the brothers to list the reasons they decided to join the chapter and what appealed to them. These areas should be emphasized throughout the recruitment program.
  • Ask the chapter members to make a list of the activities they would like to see as part of the program and things they would like to see eliminated.
  • Ask the chapter what should be done to make recruitment a natural and friendly process.
  • Discuss effective and ineffective recruitment techniques.
  • Ask brothers what past activities they liked in your chapter as well as other fraternities on campus.
  • Ask the chapter for new resources to be utilized for building a list of prospects.
  • Discuss examples of activities and functions other than actual events which prospects can be invited to attend.
  • Discuss ways to get high caliber prospects to assist in recruiting other qualified prospects.

Developing Recruitment Skills

These are topics which may be discussed to help develop recruitment skills among the membership.

  • Discuss the best ways to start a conversation.
  • Discuss examples of stimulating conversation topics.
  • Discuss the most boring topics brothers remember discussing as prospects or the topics least likely to be viewed as stimulating.
  • Discuss the aspects of fraternity life that should be emphasized to prospects.
  • Discuss how to tell if a prospect is disinterested in the conversation and what to do in this event.

Answering Questions from Prospects

The chapter should be prepared to answer questions. Answers to these questions must be developed by the chapter and understood by all members prior to rush.

  • How does membership in Phi Kappa Tau prepare an individual to be successful later in life?
  • What is meant by “Building Men of Character” or “Mark of Distinction”?
  • How does Phi Kappa Tau promote scholarship, and how will it help me when I go looking for a job?
  • Doesn’t everyone in your chapter talk, dress and act the same?
  • What is the difference between this fraternity and a drinking club?
  • Isn’t that a lot of money for dues?
  • How does involvement in service projects, social programs and intramurals help an individual?
  • What are the advantages of fraternity membership?
  • What have you gotten out of your fraternity?
  • What would be expected of me in terms of finances, time and personal obligations?
  • How would you describe __ __ __ fraternity here on campus?

+Methods of Conducting a Workshop
Once workshop topics have been identified, a workshop schedule and location should be determined. A chapter retreat away from the distractions of the house and the campus offers an ideal environment for an extensive workshop. Many chapters hold a series of mini-workshops at chapter meetings throughout the year to focus attention on the program and recruitment skills.
Different methods of conducting a workshop may be incorporated to meet the needs of the chapter. The following is a summary of methods of involving the entire chapter in the workshop to identify and solve problems and implement new ideas.

Guest Speaker/Facilitator

A distinguished guest speaker (alumnus, chapter advisor, Greek advisor, university professor, administrator, or Executive Offices staff) is a great resource to be utilized in a recruitment workshop. Guest speakers are effective at holding the attention of the chapter and bringing a fresh outside perspective to the recruitment process.

Sometimes chapters utilize local alumni with extensive sales experience or people skills. These alumni can share their own experiences and show the chapter ways to sell Phi Kappa Tau and recruit the highest caliber young men. A motivational guest speaker just prior to the recruitment period is very effective. Chapter involvement should be incorporated into the workshop.


A lecture by the chapter president or recruitment chairman is effective for communicating schedules, rules, rush dos and don’ts and other facts. However, it is often difficult for one person to keep the attention of the chapter for over ten minutes, and the speaker must avoid sounding authoritative. Topics should be distributed among different speakers to keep the program moving.

Task Force

Split the chapter into groups and assign each group a specific problem or weakness. Give the groups 10-15 minutes to come up with solutions or new ideas, and have them report their conclusions and recommendations to the entire chapter. Problems to address may include a particularly ineffective recruitment program, a negative campus image, lack of chapter attendance at events, or excessively long bid sessions.


This is an excellent informal method for getting out new ideas or solving problems as a chapter. Brothers sit around in groups throwing out random thoughts, regardless of their feasibility, so that new methods can be devised. Some great new ideas are often generated through this activity.

Group Discussions

Group discussions are effective for working on recruitment skills and developing statements regarding chapter policies, what the chapter has to offer, and how to answer tough questions from prospects. The recruitment chairman can serve as a moderator for an entire group discussion, or several moderators can run several group discussions.

Role Playing

One brother plays a prospect, the other is the brother rushing the prospect and a hypothetical situation is presented. The situation may consist of starting a conversation with someone you don’t know, presenting a bid, handling a prospect who is not convinced he wishes to join the chapter, or making introductions. Role playing can be done in front of the entire chapter so that the brothers can evaluate one group, or several groups can be formed to give more opportunity for the brothers to practice their skills. A group of three brothers can be very effective. Two brothers take part in the role playing and one member takes notes to share with them after they have finished.

The following are situations that you may want to role play in your workshop:

  • You are talking with a good prospect, but you don’t feel that you have a great deal in common. What do you do?
  • You have been working on a prospect for a long time; he’s a good guy, and the brothers like him. How do you find out if he is interested?
  • There is disagreement about a prospect among two brothers. What should be done?
  • A good prospect decides not to associate at this time. What do you do to keep him interested?
  • At an event, you notice brothers involved in their own personal conversations, straying away to the television or the kitchen, and ignoring the guests. How do you change this?
  • During the summer, you receive from the recruitment chairman a list of names and addresses for new students who live in your hometown. How do you go about contacting these men? What would you hope to accomplish by contacting a prospect on the telephone?
  • You are approaching a prospect on campus. He sees you, but you can’t remember his name. What do you do?
  • You are talking with an extremely shy and quiet prospect at a recruitment event and he is not responding. How do you get him involved in a conversation?

Best Practices

Much information can be communicated through handouts which can be saved and re-read after the workshop. Items such as schedules, the dos and don’ts of recruitment, lists of prospect names, addresses and phone numbers, and facts regarding the chapter and the National Fraternity should be given to all members.

Did you find this information useful? Do you feel you can improve upon it? Are you an expert in another area? Join the site and edit or create new resources for Phi Kappa Tau.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License

SSL configuration warning

This site has been configured to use only SSL (HTTPS) secure connection. SSL is available only for Pro+ premium accounts.

If you are the master administrator of this site, please either upgrade your account to enable secure access. You can also disable SSL access in the Site Manager for this site.