Did you know: sorority women are the unsung masters of employment branding. While it’s true that new members technically don’t “work” for a sorority, every year the existing members have to interview hundreds of potential candidates. And they have a few tricks up their sleeves that can help your company, whether you’re hiring in large or small quantities.
1. Create well-branded materials. For sororities, their letters are their brand. The girls work to overcome brand fatigue because potential new members visit many houses as part of the rush process. (*Fun fact: some battle heat fatigue too. To make things fair, at some schools sororities are not allowed to use air conditioning during rush events unless ALL sororities have it, which makes for some sweaty interviews.)
To differentiate themselves, most sororities have specific colors, slogans, mascots – even songs and the occasional rap. At rush time, they present a unified front – dress codes are decided, the sororities branded colors are used to decorate and you can bet the sorority letters are displayed on everything from pens to lavalieres. This is useful because it helps candidates remember the experience and what they liked at a particular house. Are your recruiting materials well-branded? Consider incorporating your company brand and culture into every last piece of recruiting material and every interaction – you might be surprised at how well people remember your organization.
2. Schedule interviews with several members. When a woman rushes a sorority, she has the opportunity to meet and talk with several members throughout the experience. This gives her a sense of what being a member would be like and also allows current members to see if she’d fit in with other sorority members.
When you bring in a candidate, are you the only one interviewing them? Naturally the hiring manager makes the final decision, but consider introducing the potential hire to many people on your team. Choose people you trust to give you honest feedback – they may spot qualities and uncover information you can’t. If it’s not possible to have other members of your team meet the candidate, a video like this one created by Alpha Omicron Pi sisters can help you convey the culture and let the candidate know if they will enjoy being part of the team. (Bonus points if your employees can avoid saying “like” seven times in the same sentence, a feat these college women sadly did not attain).
3. Get to the heart of the matter. Sorority women are shockingly good at the elevator pitch. Often, formalized rush events only allow a few moments with each potential member. Sorority members race against the clock to convey all the benefits of joining their own sorority and still learn about the woman they are interviewing.
Can you get to the crux of the benefits to working at your company as quickly? If the answer is no, work on streamlined talking points so you and your team can do this effectively. These streamlined pitches can also be used to craft your employment value proposition into a concise format – perfect for use on your social media sites and other branding materials.
4. Streamline your processes and outreach. The formalized nature of most rush processes by necessity forces sororities to make quick decisions about candidates. Candidates are informed quickly if they are a match or if they have been cut. This is important, because it eliminates negative feelings that come from a long wait of uncertainty. Is your process as streamlined? Don’t leave candidates hanging – let them know where they stand.
*This was true at my school. I was a sweaty interviewer and a sweaty interviewee.
Stay Tuned for Part 2: Recruitment Tips from Frat Guys (ahem, Fraternity Men)