Why recruit? Because when you recruit great people, you get to take photos like this!

What is it?

What is recruiting?

Definition: The process of seeking and converting a non-member to a member.

While the definition above is a simple one, it highlights three important areas of recruitment.

PROCESS– Recruitment doesn’t just happen. It requires planning and intent.

SEEK– Very rarely do groups have new members come running to them. You will need to actively seek new members.

CONVERT– With so many student groups, jobs, classes, TV, the internet, friends, etc. there are so many distractions. Develop a plan and a pitch on why they should give their time to be part of your group.

Why should we recruit?

If you are a healthy chapter and are content with your chapter size, then this is a tough one to answer. If you are a smaller chapter that is experiencing some pain from your small size, it is much easier answer. Actually, the answer is similar for both groups; long term success.

Groups in the habit recruiting members will have the greatest chance of success. Recruiting members is a way to make sure that the organization has enough “people power” in the pipeline to keep the organization going.

You are going to lose people. Whether it is from graduation, change in majors, transferring to a different school, etc.; you will lose chapter members.  If you don’t recruit new members throughout the year you will find your chapter shrinking over time.

How do we recruit?

Horses vs. Mules. The old 80/20 principle holds true in nearly every organization […]. For most groups, about 80% of the results are produced by about 20% of the members. That small handful of “workhorses” can choose to try to motivate their unmotivated members (a.k.a. “mules”) to participate in recruitment, or they could just gather the horses and get to work. After all, horses recruit horses, and mules recruit mules. When faced with a lack of motivation or apathetic members with regard to recruitment, don’t ask “How do I motivate my members to recruit?” Instead ask, “How do I recruit with my motivated members?”

1. Develop a plan.

This should answer the primary questions: who does what, when?

Plan resources (Free online project management application)

Recruiting New Members (Northern Michigan University)

2. Have your chapter make a name list

This should be a list of people your current members know, along with their contact information. Develop the criteria before asking the chapter to add to the list. Criteria examples could include:

1. Degree program: IS major or minor, computer science major or minor, IT major or minor.
2. Undecided students in your general education classes
3. Members of other tech related student organizations

3. Bring people to a chapter function

Simply inviting prospective members to a meeting or networking event may not do it. They may not feel comfortable attending, especially if they don’t know anyone else in the group. Offer to meet them somewhere else first – perhaps over coffee – then go to the chapter event together.

Success Stories

The University of Utah had 74 paid members for the 2013-2014 Academic year.  Recruitment efforts included regular announcements in both undergraduate and graduate IS classes, supportive messages posted by IS professors in their course Canvas pages, over 10 events in both the business school and university events, and announcement in the business school’s weekly e-newsletter and on the school’s TV screens.

To increase membership over the 14-15 year the chapter recruitment efforts will be focusing on the freshman and sophomore classes as a way to nurture future club leadership and increase the overall membership rate while simultaneously increasing the Information Systems Undergraduate program on campus. In an effort to bridge the gap between paid members and applied members the chapter offered a 10 dollar discount to the 2014-15 membership rate of $35 for students who signed up and paid at our end of year social. 25 members took advantage of this and paid their dues for the upcoming year.To increase value of the chapter, membership dues will also include membership to the Utah Oracle Users group as well as the Hadoop Users group in an effort to get students out in the field and networking with professionals. (University of Utah Annual Report 2013-2014)

Recruiting and Retention
The AIS chapter has a recruitment and retention team that works closely with the MIS faculty. The recruiting team is charged with ensuring that the value proposition for becoming a chapter member is relevant, properly conveyed and effective.

    • Recruiting high caliber, motivated students into the major is the first step in recruiting students into the chapter. Consequently AIS officers oversee the pre-MIS student resume review workshops available to freshman and sophomores. The officers provide beneficial advice to these underclassman in hopes that they understand the benefits of the MIS major and profession. They officers also identify underclassman to actively recruit.
    • Methods of recruitment include outreach to rising high school seniors through University Days, onsite visits to high school classes, information sessions at nearby community colleges, class presentations to freshman business majors, MIS open house information sessions, affinity group events, external image promotion, intramurals and other activities that will be discussed further below.
    • New students to the MIS major are introduced to AIS when the chapter hosts opening semester BBQ event and works with the faculty to ensure that new students attend the second week of the semester’s Corporate Speaker Series. As a result, 97% of the MIS juniors and 100% of the MIS seniors are AIS members. AIS members lead and actively participate in the recruiting and retention activities.

The BYU chapter most heavily recruits juniors who are entering their first year of the information systems program. During the orientation meeting in the fall, AIS leadership sets a clear expectation that all information students are expected to participate in AIS. Of about 120 students who enter the program each year, more than 90% join the club. Officers also visit sophomore and freshman-level IS classes to teach students about the IS program and encourage them to join AIS. Although this method has been effective, AIS at BYU plans to place a stronger emphasis on recruiting sophomores and freshmen who plan to apply to the Marriott School of Management in hopes of attracting more talent to the information systems program as a whole.

AIS at BYU strives to provide quality activities for its members. These activities focus on building relationships with professional recruiters, learning technical skills, and
having fun. At every activity, AIS leadership provides refreshments. During the fall and winter recruiting weeks, AIS delivers a three-course meal over three information sessions. At larger events such as the Opening and Closing Socials, AIS encourages members to attend by providing a full meal and conducting contests with prizes valued at up to $250.

Members of AIS at BYU receive free t-shirts and subsidized computer bags. Events, promotions, and general news are communicated through a weekly newsletter emailed to the members. AIS also has a social media presence that keeps members informed of upcoming events. During the upcoming school year, we look to strengthen this presence by attracting more followers on Twitter and Facebook.

AIS provides its members with exclusive access to recruiters and information sessions, which helps them get internships and prepare for successful careers. Healthy relationships with successful companies allow members a unique opportunity to learn about potential careers and get a jump start before graduation.