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Recruiting Event Ideas

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p.lewis View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 2:59pm

Does anybody do anything above and beyond a general interest meeting to recruit new team members?

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asims View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asims Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 9:05pm
We always go into the freshmen classes and give a presentation.  Often times they will even have a dedicated "club day" in class just for this. There is also a new student welcome the Engineering college puts on where we set up a booth with the car and hand out flyers with info and meeting times. Our former team captain was also an RA and it always seemed like about half his floor always showed up to meetings, at least at the beginning.

Between these activities and word of mouth we generally get a good number of new people.
Andrew Sims
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blue2kss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 9:07pm
We always went to all new student orientations.  I remember the ones over summer it was all we could do to make it to the morning orientations after most nights hitting the kegerator and talking about the freaking shop.


Dustin Bride
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote adrive7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 9:09pm
Our situation was similar to Arizona. We never had much trouble getting a lot of people interested in the first meeting, or even the second. 

Keeping them beyond that however was a problem I couldn't solve during my 4 years on the team. 
-Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blue2kss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 9:10pm
You guys aren't the only ones.  Once people figure out it requires work and dedication and its not just driving the cars they turn away pretty quickly.  We have tried all sorts of tricks and methods of retention and it was always the same story.  Seems to be a common denominator amongst teams
Dustin Bride
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asims View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asims Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 10:12pm
We find its generally good to have new people do a little work on the cars (generally repairing damage from comp :p ) followed by a driving event.  This lets them see that it takes work to make the cars run, without making them wait 2 semesters for much gratification.  We also do shop organization days and teaching workshops, which helps people become more comfortable coming in to the shop.

We definitely get the people who don't care to put in the time, but if you can give them a quick reward for a little work, it does help retention.
Andrew Sims
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndyRIT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 10:57pm
We did have a hard time getting new students at RIT for a couple years, a while ago. We then started making a huge effort; posting flyers in the dorms, freshman club day, participating in monthly club day, posting flyers, class presentations, etc.
 
During the first couple of weeks we would do small training stuff on the lathe and mill, building random stuff, taking apart the cars and putting them back together a couple of times. A couple driving events (only senior team members driving) We usual get about 40 students the first couple of weeks then drops down to between 5 and 10 by the end of the year who are quality. For the dedicated few that stick around, we usual let them drive in Feb./Mar. usually after a snowstorm with an older car. Evil Smile
 
I am not sure if the team has added anything else but this seemed to work for the 2 years I was team manager.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/19/2010 at 11:49pm
In my experience, there isn't much you can do to make someone want to be there. Most of our quality members had past experience in working on something whether it was cars, lawnmowers, etc... and are addicted to it.

It's very hard to create this from complete scratch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bi-Brow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/20/2010 at 4:19pm
Originally posted by asims asims wrote:

We find its generally good to have new people do a little work on the cars (generally repairing damage from comp :p ) followed by a driving event.  This lets them see that it takes work to make the cars run, without making them wait 2 semesters for much gratification.


Insert shameless pitch:
As it turns out Midnight Mayhem takes place at the beginning of the Fall semester, allowing teams to do this same kind of work to get recruits fired up and get a taste of competition.  (Although Arizona is kind of far)  I guarantee that any newb will get excited for at least a week after the race.  Now when it comes time to the universal problem of keeping them around I would love to know the secrets.


Edited by Bi-Brow - Jul/21/2010 at 12:44am
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p.lewis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p.lewis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/21/2010 at 11:33am
Originally posted by Bi-Brow Bi-Brow wrote:

Now when it comes time to the universal problem of keeping them around I would love to know the secrets.
 
I think people stick around if they have fun and they think the project is worthwhile. I think it is OK that many of the new recruits drop out and decide it isn't something they want to do. Your job is to make sure they understand what the payoff is for 9 months of hard and sometimes boring work... 72+ hours of awesome competition! This event isn't for everybody, but those of us who do it definitely love it -- most people might not be like us.
 
One of our new recruits from last year is a Junior and had a better idea of what the club is when he joined, but he remarked that it takes a competition for new members to see what Baja really is. He suggested going to a non-sanctioned race in the fall or winter to make sure we follow up our recruitment efforts immediately with this experience. New members see the race, see the cars we're competing against, and start thinking "man, we should put in a ton of work to make our car perform like that car, and look professional and pretty like that other car, and to drive our car expertly like that that guy from that other school, etc."
 
What is Baja? Everybody has a blurb on their team website trying to explain the competition and what their team does, but most new members need to get immersed in it to really understand.
 
Don't forget that you're recruiting new members who're going to spend more time with you than your friends and family -- most will become your friends, and in most ways Baja teams can be a family too. The social aspect of the event is important too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dillon_b12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/21/2010 at 1:01pm
I really enjoyed Baja from the time I joined even before I went to a race, but going to Ocala to watch is what really got me hooked.  Nothing you can do will explain the experiences of going to a competition, the relief of passing tech after spending your life making your car, watching a land rush start, etc...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob71zilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/21/2010 at 1:12pm
Originally posted by dillon_b12 dillon_b12 wrote:

I really enjoyed Baja from the time I joined even before I went to a race, but going to Ocala to watch is what really got me hooked.  Nothing you can do will explain the experiences of going to a competition, the relief of passing tech after spending your life making your car, watching a land rush start, etc...
 
I counldn't agree more.  The only thing better than watching a land-rush start is being in middle of one!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LongBeach_1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/21/2010 at 5:27pm
To answer the first question, NO.  Being involved in Baja for five years, the only thing you can do is use the sales pitch that BAJA or and SAE for that matter is amazing work experience.  But, from my knowledge give me 4 to 5 knowledgable and experienced members and we will produce a competitve car, as for the new members they will learn the ropes as GOOD AS YOU TEACH THEM!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S&Tminer baja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/27/2010 at 2:59pm

We're going to try holding small workshops aimed at new members taught by old members. Informal things where an experienced member will request x amount of money to supply each interested member with materials and then he will step by step lead them in making something out of fiberglass or aluminum or wire up something etc. Then the new members get something to keep that they made and also begin to learn a skill. We're hoping that if we space these out right, there will always be sopmething for members to look forward to and keep their interest.

Let you know how that goes... 
-Carl Lacy

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eyeballumbrella Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/16/2011 at 2:27pm
We drive our old cars around campus a lot. This allows students who don't know about the team to see our car in action. We often will drive up and down flights of stairs and hand out flyers to people who are interested. We also make presentations in classes that are similar to our subject such as machine design classes and IC Engines.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BroncoX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/16/2011 at 3:09pm
Seems like we do something similar to most teams here. Last year we had pretty bad organization and we were only able to bring on one new member! This year we changed things up alot by attending orientations over summer, setting up for engineering club days and doing presentations for freshmen engineering classes. We had a lot more interest this year so to keep everyone interested and bring those up to speed that know nothing about vehicles or our car, we decided to have weekly presentations about each subsystem so when they come to the shop and see it on the car they have a better understanding and can ask questions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OctoberSky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/19/2011 at 4:23am
Same story here; we found that by having weekly design meetings where we talk about subsystems for both baja and general use, we get a lot more committed members.  Something about having a set time for a couple of hours a week gets people more motivated to show up rather than just telling them when our shop hours are.  It's definitely taken quite a bit of organization to research and set up the presentations, but it's been good for veteran members, the newbies, and future leadership.  
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