Monthly Archives: June 2010

Recruiting for Your Student Organization

School year is coming to an end, and I am graduating have graduated (I waited before I published this one)!  Right before the end of the year is usually transition time for many student organizations because smart leaders understand the need to spend time transitioning and ramping up their young and fearless replacements.  During this time, applications are collected and students interview other students.  I have done this a few times, so I thought I will share one valuable lesson that I have learned about recruiting students.  The best students are the ones who do the most.

Not all the time, of course; but, when I used to interview other students, I would look very closely at their resume and figure out what they would be involved with in the coming school year in order to gauge if they can dedicate time and properly commit to my organization.  “Will you have enough time for BASES?”  “Where would BASES be on your list of priorities?”  I think these are valid questions and they make logical sense.  Looking back, however, I don’t think those students with less commitments necessarily outperformed.  In fact, my rockstar team members were also rockstars in their many other organizations.  Maybe it’s because these rockstars just prioritize extracurriculars over other things.  Maybe they just have greater capacity than others.  I don’t know.  What matters to me is that when it comes to choosing people to work with, the most important questions to me are: “can I trust her?” and “how can I make my organization be on the top of their priorities list?”

I think that’s what it ultimately comes down to – your job as a leader is to convince the best student organizers to prioritize you over the others.  Find common ground, align your goals, understand their motivations, inspire them with the mission of the organization and your vision for it this year.  That’s your challenge.  That’s why trust is important.  It does not matter how many commitments this person has – assuming that you manage to convince her that what you are working on is a worthy cause, can you confidently say that you can trust this person to carry out what is necessary to get the job done?  Anyway, I’m blabbering.  What do you think?


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