Recruitment is, arguably, the most important factor of any chapter or colony’s success. Without a strong plan, Lambda Chi Alpha is in danger as an organization to not have the reach it could to positively impact new members.
The past year certainly put the men of Lambda Chi to the test. They had to find innovative ways to create the same sense of belonging in a newly virtual world. Though not the easiest, it was a true testament to how passionate the men of this organization can be.
One of the groups that have gone above and beyond in their recruitment efforts are the men of the Epsilon-Omega chapter at the University of Miami.
In 2019, the chapter went through a rebuilding phase. At only eight members, the men knew it was time to take a hard look at how they were recruiting and what it meant to be a man of the Epsilon-Omega chapter.
At the helm responsible for this culture shift is two-term High Alpha Drew Goheen. When he first transferred to Miami from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was immediately drawn to Lambda Chi because of the shared values with the United States Army. Goheen knew this experience could be something special, but first, he wanted to address how potential new members (PNMs) entered into the bond.
“Values-based organizations are definitely organizations that succeed long term, because it has something that binds people together,” said Goheen.
To achieve that success, Goheen and his Brothers overhauled the entire recruitment process with the consistent help from David Stollman, the chapter’s recruitment consultant, and support from their alumni, starting with the roles associated with it. Instead of all of the responsibility falling to one person, namely the High Delta, the men flipped the script to introduce recruitment teams.
Each team would consist of about five members who would then interact with PNMs on a more intimate level.
“This [recruitment teams] creates a wholistic chapter involvement because when it’s not relying on the High Delta but relying on all of the team captains and team members too, everyone is involved with the recruitment process,” said Goheen. “The teams are also small enough to allow for those intimate conversations to really get to know a group of guys.”
Because of the nature of these teams, Goheen and his Brothers have seen a major uptick in genuine relationships being formed. They also now have the opportunity to keep recruitment events COVID-safe by limiting how many Brothers are interacting with a PNM.
Goheen is extremely proud of how adaptable the chapter has become and the fact that team captains are now holding each member accountable for growing not only the chapter but relationships as well.
Another big change in the chapter culture has been the introduction of an application for potential membership.
“We expect a lot from our members, and the application is able to show things like previous leadership experience, service and philanthropy involvement,” said Goheen. “If they can fill out this application well, it’s a sign that they can potentially be a good officer or a good Brother.”
The men of the Epsilon-Omega chapter pride themselves on giving every member a voice and a chance to develop crucial professional and life skills. As part of the application, PNMs have the opportunity to discuss what they are passionate about and lead the charge if it is not already an officer position.
Through the hard work of Goheen and fellow members, the chapter has seen their numbers soar into the 50s with this revamped recruitment process.
Goheen says that this new chapter mindset has been revolutionary in how members interact with each other while also teaching them true life skills to take beyond their four years at Miami.
For other chapters or colonies struggling with recruitment, Goheen’s advice is simple: Determine what qualities a PNM of the chapter should possess, and then go find that individual.
“These new members are the future, so depending on what you want the culture to be, have a short list of qualities, and then when you are going through the recruitment process, think of questions that align with those qualities,” said Goheen.
In the future, Goheen’s goal is to keep morale high for his men when it comes to recruitment and continue to increase the standards to foster an atmosphere of excellence.
“Recruitment is a huge urgency for every chapter…,” said Goheen. “When you develop an urgency for recruitment, it definitely creates a whole chapter involvement.
“There is some junior or senior in the future that you are creating a great chapter for.”
Find your own recruitment template here.