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Recruitment is the process of inviting or soliciting prospective members, participants, and/or volunteers to participate with your organization - whether that's joining as a member, attending events, and/or assisting the leadership. Recruitment is most effective when there is a formal plan to recruit and it is vital to a strong RSO.

Why is recruitment important?

Recruitment is important because it provides structure to how your organization attracts new people. Some people may join your organization without having ever been formally invited or solicited. However, such instances are random and should not be counted on as the only way to increase membership or seek volunteers. Instead, a formal recruitment plan should be developed.

When Should You Recruit?

Your recruitment plan should include the entire year. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to timing:

  • Summer: While most RSOs are less active during the summer, use that time to plan for the year. This can include updating your organization's DawgDen page, Facebook page, and planning for the year. Updating your information during the summer ensures that any new or returning students researching involvement opportunities over the break will have accurate information about your RSO. You don't want them to try and contact a former President and become disinterested when they don't hear back!
  • Beginning of School Year: Orientation, Welcome Days and the first involvement fair of the year all occur in just the first couple weeks of the school year. And that's just a handful of the formal recruitment options available to your RSO. If your organization is connected to an academic program, consider asking for your RSO to present at program-specific orientations, classes, or meetings. Regardless of any those opportunities, the first few weeks is a prime time to host information meetings and welcome events for new members and students considering joining. Everyone is excited about a new year - hook them early and get them involved!
  • Throughout the Year: Don't forget that someone can become interested in your organization at any time. If your organization has open membership, consider continuous advertisement of meetings and events. Make the efforts of your RSO known and attractive to others!
  • End of School Year: While many think the end of the school year is time to wind down and close-up your RSO - it's also a good time to recruit for the following year. Especially when it comes to next year's officers and leadership. Recruit new members at the end of the year to help keep your organization alive and prospering into the following year.

How Should You Recruit?

Everything that your organization does should be considered recruitment - any one thing could be what draws someone in. Look at every meeting, flyer, tabling reservation, and event that you host as recruitment efforts. Here are a few formalized ways that you can recruit:

  • Flyers, TV ads, and Husky 411 emails
    • Flyers, campus TV ads, Husky 411 emails, and Facebook posts are all services offered through the Center for Student Involvement. Check-out the Advertising Resources website for more information. And don't forget that our office has free printing for all students - including student organizations!
  • Tabling
    • Get out and get your information heard! You can reserve spaces on campus to table (indoors and outdoors!) to share information about your organization. Sometimes you have to go to the people and not expect the people to come to you. Tabling is a perfect way to recruit new members.
  • Utilize DawgDen
    • There are a variety of things that you can put on DawgDen, which are public to all users, to recruit for your organization. This includes new stories, events, and all of the information on your RSO's page. Make sure to utilize these and keep them up-to-date. If you post your events to DawgDen, or write new stories about the going-ons of your organization and how people can get involved, then other users of DawgDen will see them too!
  • Participate in quarterly Involvement Fairs
    • Each quarter, our office hosts an Involvement Fair on this campus. This is the perfect time to advertise your RSO and recruit new members. The fairs are typically offered the first or second week of each quarter. RSO Officers should keep an eye on their email for more information each quarter about involvement fairs, as well as on DawgDen.
  • Participate in the annual RSO Block Party in the spring quarter
    • Each year, in the spring quarter, all student organizations come together for the annual Block Party! You can learn more about Block Party on the RSO Events page, but similar to the involvement fairs, Block Party serves as a great end-of-the-year recruitment event.
  • Use your events and meetings as recruitment opportunities
    • If your meetings and events are open to anyone - not just current members - use them to recruit! If you have people show up who have never been to a meeting/event before, take time to highlight your RSO. Also try to connect individually with that person, chat with them about their interest and why they are there, and encourage them to come back.

Keys to a Strong Recruitment

Although there are a wide variety of reasons why students join organizations, there are two primary reasons that you are able to control:

  • Benefits: One reason why students may join your organization is because your organization offers them some tangible and/or intangible benefits. Benefits include a sense of belonging, friendship, shared experiences, life/career skills, networking, and opportunities to learn something new.
  • Personal connections: Another reason why students may join your organization is because you and your fellow student leaders are able to make personal connections with these students. It is easier for someone to join an organization if they know at least one person in the group and/or feel comfortable with the members of the group.