The Simple Question Most Recruitment Chairs Can’t Answer

by Matt Farrell

I’m constantly meeting recruitment chairmen across the country. Some are desperate to grow their chapter while others are looking for efficiency. The rest are in between and annoyed at all of the busy work. When there’s a group together, it can be tough to figure out how to help everyone.

So I’ve been starting each conversation with this simple question.

“Do you know what CRM is?”

If you don’t know the answer either, you’re not alone. The answer is a “no” almost every time (it’s Customer Relationship Management, by the way).

What’s the big deal–just another acronym, right?

Not really. CRM is rapidly becoming the premier growth strategy for every organization OUTSIDE of fraternity. Whether a traditional business, nonprofit, or startup, success comes down to deepening the relationships between your group and who you interact with. Simply put, CRM is based on the understanding that relationships are the key to business. CRM technology allows as much of the “busy work” as possible to be taken care of, including information, organization, and even personalizing communication. This lets teams free up their time to maximize the power of their interactions with those they’re reaching out to. Quality interactions create relationships to drive business growth. Period.

A great example of CRM can be seen for anyone who visits the capital of the Greek industry— Indianapolis. You just have to look up. The tallest building in the skyline, the SalesForce tower, symbolizes the recent rise of CRM technology. Here’s how SalesForce explains CRM and why it’s important. I find it interesting how my friends who visit always know what Salesforce is and are familiar with CRM. They’re all in their mid-twenties living in big East coast cities.

Whether or not they cared about recruitment as undergrads, they use CRM every day now.

We talk a lot about real world skills in fraternity. Some of these skills are admittedly vague, like networking and leading your peers. CRM is not one of those skills. CRM is an objective measurement of how every industry does business. More than any other position in the chapter, recruitment chairmen are positioned to master it with ChapterBuilder.

Yet they still can’t answer the simple question.

By now, it should be obvious that CRM usage will lead to higher performing chapters. Could that phrasing be the problem?

Maybe the chapter isn’t actually priority #1. CRM technology usage is ultimately about preparing our members to have a clear-cut edge in professional performance. If they don’t know what it is, let alone use it, it’s failing to prepare them for the real world.

If they do, they’re prepared for the job. Maybe their chapter’s successful growth is just a bonus.