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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 03:36 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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The Best Strategy for a "Weak Recruiting" Chapter

So I was thinking about the thread on mutual selection, and who gets to do the selecting, and I said that weak recruiting chapters (hereafter "WRC") don't get to do much selecting. Under RFM, they are heavily recommended not to release too many women.

But then I thought about whether this is really the best strategy, and decided to take a break from my real math work to ponder this.

Let's say that there are 4 chapters, and 100 PNM's, and we can rank both, i.e. the PNM's rank in desirability from 100(best) to 1(worst), and the chapters likewise from 4 to 1. What we'd expect to happen is that PNM's 100-76 end up in chapter 4, 75-51 end up in 3, 50-26 end up in 2, and 25-1 end up in 1.

Now, let's say chapter 1 is sick of getting the very worst of the PNM's, and they say "forget RFM, we're only going to invite PNM's 100 - 21 back". Now, there are only 80 PNM's left instead of 100, so PNM's 100-81 end up in chapter 4, 80-61 end up in 3, 60-41 end up in 2, and 40-20 end up in 1.

Chapter 1 gets a smaller pledge class, but they have gotten far more desirable PNM's than they would have if they had followed their RFM and invited all 100 PNM's back.

Of course, I have seriously over-simplified the model; assuming there is one round and everyone attends one pref, and then signs a bid card, but it got me thinking about how a WRC could be best off not following the RFM, by under-inviting.

I know this ignores retention and everything else, but the basic thing I am getting at is this: If a WRC under-invites, it may be the difference between PNM's having one chapter and no chapters, and therefore being dropped from recruitment altogether. Dropping PNM's obviously decreases quota, but lowering quota usually helps a WRC. So, there is incentive for a WRC to work against what is best for the system.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:54 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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What you wrote makes sense, but it seems IRL when quota is low, the WRC also ends up with a lower number. Say quota is 15 or 20-WRC ends up with less than 10. We could probably look at some of Irishpipes fabulous recruitment schedule/results threads to see examples.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:09 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
What you wrote makes sense, but it seems IRL when quota is low, the WRC also ends up with a lower number. Say quota is 15 or 20-WRC ends up with less than 10. We could probably look at some of Irishpipes fabulous recruitment schedule/results threads to see examples.
Ah, this is a good point. I think the problem would be how many of those women I put in the 40-21 bucket would stick around if WRC was the only chapter on their list.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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Ah, this is a good point. I think the problem would be how many of those women I put in the 40-21 bucket would stick around if WRC was the only chapter on their list.
Bingo. That is the problem at some schools, definitely mine. Girls who were left with the 3 or 4 WRCs chose to drop out because the campus is large enough that not going Greek isn't social suicide. It still goes on at my campus, so I am sure it goes on at others.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:58 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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I can think of several things that you are overlooking to start with. One: even in the bottom 20, there may be some the other groups want. And two, you are assuming that none of those 20 meet the WRC's standards - some might be at the low end but still meet the requirements. And the WRC might do a bang up job of COB that gets them to total. Stranger things have happened. And with 4 groups, there will be more than one round of invitationals - if the are doing standard recruitment and not minimumly structured. So the top chapters are going to release according to RFM the first time around. If the WRC just simply chooses based on merit, they'll get their fair share - as quota will take care of itself.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:08 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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I can think of several things that you are overlooking to start with. One: even in the bottom 20, there may be some the other groups want.
Yes, I assumed that there was an obvious PNM hierarchy, which is an extreme example, and certainly QA's could mess this up. I think that what the WRC would have to be pretty sure that the women they were cutting would not be carried through to prefs at any other chapter.

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And two, you are assuming that none of those 20 meet the WRC's standards - some might be at the low end but still meet the requirements.
Why take an okay PNM if you can take an awesome one?

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And the WRC might do a bang up job of COB that gets them to total. Stranger things have happened.
What does this have to do with FR?

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And with 4 groups, there will be more than one round of invitationals - if the are doing standard recruitment and not minimumly structured. So the top chapters are going to release according to RFM the first time around. If the WRC just simply chooses based on merit, they'll get their fair share - as quota will take care of itself.
But in general, it benefits the WRC to have a lower quota, I think.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:55 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby View Post
Yes, I assumed that there was an obvious PNM hierarchy, which is an extreme example, and certainly QA's could mess this up. I think that what the WRC would have to be pretty sure that the women they were cutting would not be carried through to prefs at any other chapter.



Why take an okay PNM if you can take an awesome one?



What does this have to do with FR?



But in general, it benefits the WRC to have a lower quota, I think.
Some chapters don't mind getting fewer at FR because they know they'll get to quota during COB. And my experience has been that the WRC on RFM get more pledges than the higher recruiting ones. It's harder sometimes for them to keep them but they do initially seem to be on more equitable footing as RFM adjusts quota automatically until it is pretty balanced across the board. That's esp true on a smaller campus.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:09 PM
redlady2 redlady2 is offline
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My chapter faced a similar situation when I was our chapter president back eight or so years ago. We had historically been a weak recruiting chapter, but our recruitment chair had been an absolute rockstar that year and we were ready to improve our chapter recruiting strength. Our problem was that we had an unusually high number of sisters who were on study abroad/internships so our recruiting number was lower. Increased recruiting strength + lower numbers = total double rushing disaster. I was the chapter president and I wound up having to double rush women. What a mess. This was at a large competitive school in the south where each party can involve bringing eighty PNMs through your house.

Our school was implementing RFM that year and there was strong pressure on us to offer invitations to second and third round for women that we did not think were a match and who we could not reasonably handle coming through our doors. We felt that inviting back fewer would mean smaller parties for us than for other houses but that we'd have a better chance of retaining them if we weren't double and triple rushing them, and if the other women under the tent with them were more of our "preferred" PNMs. (We also knew PNMs talked, the "well that chapter invites back EVERYONE" awful tent talk, etc. etc.)

At any rate, we were in agreement with DeltaBetaBaby's argument. Now, with a few years behind me and some perspective, I understand why our HQ and Panhellenic were so adamant that we stick to the RFM figures. (I think we were a pilot school for RFM, so if our chapter went "rogue" it would have messed with things.) I do think there's an argument to be made that releasing more women than RFM recommends is risky but has potential upside.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:23 PM
Mevara Mevara is offline
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My chapter faced a similar situation when I was our chapter president back eight or so years ago. We had historically been a weak recruiting chapter, but our recruitment chair had been an absolute rockstar that year and we were ready to improve our chapter recruiting strength. Our problem was that we had an unusually high number of sisters who were on study abroad/internships so our recruiting number was lower. Increased recruiting strength + lower numbers = total double rushing disaster. I was the chapter president and I wound up having to double rush women. What a mess. This was at a large competitive school in the south where each party can involve bringing eighty PNMs through your house.

Our school was implementing RFM that year and there was strong pressure on us to offer invitations to second and third round for women that we did not think were a match and who we could not reasonably handle coming through our doors. We felt that inviting back fewer would mean smaller parties for us than for other houses but that we'd have a better chance of retaining them if we weren't double and triple rushing them, and if the other women under the tent with them were more of our "preferred" PNMs. (We also knew PNMs talked, the "well that chapter invites back EVERYONE" awful tent talk, etc. etc.)

At any rate, we were in agreement with DeltaBetaBaby's argument. Now, with a few years behind me and some perspective, I understand why our HQ and Panhellenic were so adamant that we stick to the RFM figures. (I think we were a pilot school for RFM, so if our chapter went "rogue" it would have messed with things.) I do think there's an argument to be made that releasing more women than RFM recommends is risky but has potential upside.
What was the outcome of this?
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:44 PM
OneHeartOneWay OneHeartOneWay is offline
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We felt that inviting back fewer would mean smaller parties for us than for other houses but that we'd have a better chance of retaining them if we weren't double and triple rushing them,
I realize this isn't the topic of the thread per say, but I've often thought that this is a the crux of the problem for WRCs. In my experiences with WRCs, it's the double and yes, sometimes triple, rushing that really hurts them. It's near impossible to do matching so that you get two (three) PNMs who may actually be interested in your chapter together with a strong recruiting sister. More often than not, you get an interested PNM, a bored/rude/mean PNM, and a sister who is frantically trying to hold the three of them together in some semblance of normal conversation, thus losing that connection with the interested PNM. I think the best thing a Panhellenic could do to aid a WRC (or WRCs) is to add additional parties for them- I realize this is a logistical nightmare, especially at larger schools, but I think this combined with RFM is what could REALLY help the WRCs get back on their feet.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:53 PM
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^^^^ this !!!! Especially if the WRC is double rushing for preference.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:23 PM
redlady2 redlady2 is offline
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To Mevara: The way it worked out was that we had to stick to RFM. Our national org was adamant that we stick to the figures (I think someone from our GLO was involved in the system's development and it would have been controversial for us in particular to break? That was what we were told at the time, anyhow.) We were in a total panic, because we were only allowed to release a handful of women out of a pool of nearly a thousand, and we knew Round 2 would be a total mess. As we expected, our invitation acceptance rate had spiked that year because our rush chair had done such a fabulous job prepping our ladies to recruit well, and we were then left with the entire house double rushing. I think that after the advisors all saw how Round 2 went, they relented and allowed us to release more, but the "damage" had been done, and we still were double rushing into Round 3 and pref.

Looking back, I can understand why our HQ and Panhellenic said "stick to the figures." I'm sure every exec board at a WRC thinks they are the special snowflakes that are going to "turn the house around" and so our protests of "no, but really, I think our return rates are going to be much higher this year, our girls are vastly more prepared to successfully recruit" were probably not taken seriously.

To OneHeartOneWay and AZ-AlphaXi: You're right, I think the double rushing was brutal. We were able to spin it into a plus for morale for our women ("look how many are back! Our return rates are breaking chapter records!") but I'm sure the message it sent PNMs harmed us. We were not the weakest recruiting chapter on our campus, but I'd say we were maybe the third or fourth weakest out of a competitive system of sixteen.

However, I'm not sure how I feel about adding extra parties, either. Our campus did this as well, and it was a really obvious signal for which chapters were and weren't strong recruiting chapters. About ten chapters out of sixteen got to have one party "off" and it was a little rough on morale for our women to see the houses next door with an empty tent for a party because they didn't need to have one.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:51 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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However, I'm not sure how I feel about adding extra parties, either. Our campus did this as well, and it was a really obvious signal for which chapters were and weren't strong recruiting chapters. About ten chapters out of sixteen got to have one party "off" and it was a little rough on morale for our women to see the houses next door with an empty tent for a party because they didn't need to have one.
Back in my day at Illinois, the first round had 23 parties. You visited 19 NPC groups and 4H, then spent the other three parties in rooms in the union where the associate CPH members told you about their groups. This was changed to just 20 my junior year. It was bad for the smaller groups, no doubt.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:48 PM
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:24 PM
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LAblondeGPhi LAblondeGPhi is offline
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I realize this isn't the topic of the thread per say, but I've often thought that this is a the crux of the problem for WRCs. In my experiences with WRCs, it's the double and yes, sometimes triple, rushing that really hurts them. It's near impossible to do matching so that you get two (three) PNMs who may actually be interested in your chapter together with a strong recruiting sister. More often than not, you get an interested PNM, a bored/rude/mean PNM, and a sister who is frantically trying to hold the three of them together in some semblance of normal conversation, thus losing that connection with the interested PNM. I think the best thing a Panhellenic could do to aid a WRC (or WRCs) is to add additional parties for them- I realize this is a logistical nightmare, especially at larger schools, but I think this combined with RFM is what could REALLY help the WRCs get back on their feet.
YES! I think the single most inhibiting factor for WRCs is the double/triple rushing. There's just no way that you can have the same quality of conversation with a PNM compared to what stronger chapters are doing. Even if the PNM doesn't equate double rushing with "this must be the smaller chapter", it's still a much less positive experience.

One of the additional challenges with RFM is that the strong chapters will often have fewer total PNMs attending their invitational rounds, and the WRC will have even more PNMs attending than they would have under the old system. This particular issue exacerbates the problem, and stronger chapters can chose to use only their best recruiters on the floor.

I'm a huge HUGE fan of these buffer parties, and I think a Panhellenic that doesn't utilize them is doing everyone a disservice. There are ways to work out a system that is helpful to the WRCs without being overly demanding to the larger chapters, it just requires some creativity and planning.
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