Vilfredo Pareto is an Italian Economist who came up with the 80/20 rule. In short, his theory states that 20 percent of the people are responsible for 80 percent of the results. You can see how this applies to fraternity recruitment.
First off, 20% of the brothers typically bring out 80% of the guys to rush events. Maybe this 20% is more motivated or more able, but this has held true in my experiences. A fraternity leader must realize that this is going to happen, and be sure those 20% are appreciated. Sure, you always want more brothers to be bringing guys out. But if you neglect this 20%, then you are dead before you even start. Be sure you are feeding your horses!
Second, 80% of the guys end up joining due to 20% of the experiences they have during recruitment. Put another way, this means the guys rushing your fraternity will base their decision on a small sample of what you have offered. That points out the waste we have during our recruitment periods. Spending a ton of money does not ensure a large new member class. Find out what convinced your current brothers to join – and do more of that.
Third, 20% of the guys rushing will attend 80% of the rush events. These are the guys who are going to become your new members. Don’t become complacent with these guys. While you have them now, it isn’t hard to lose them. Be sure they continue to feel the love from the fraternity.
Finally, 20% of the brothers will have an influence on the decisions of 80% of the guys being recruited. While this statement isn’t made to slight any brother, the fact of the matter is that some brothers are more socially competent than others. These more popular brothers will have a bigger influence on a perspective new member because that is the type of personality that a young guy will look up to. Because of that, be sure the popular guys in the chapter are being exposed to as many guys as possible. This will increase the likelihood of a prospective new member becoming impressed by him, and will help you seal the deal with that recruit.
This is a pretty amazing theory that hold true in nearly every facet of life. The important take-away is remember to concentrate on your strengths. This will be a lot more productive than continually dwelling on your weaknesses. This is a critical skill that every fraternity leader must know.
To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.