North Dakota HBA Finds Membership Success with a Culture of Recruitment

Filed in Membership by on July 26, 2018 0 Comments

When you look at the organizational chart for the HBA of Fargo-Morehead in North Dakota, you don’t see the EO or the chairman at the top of the heap. You see the members.

“Membership is the No. 1 priority at our HBA, from the top, down,” said Sami Eidenschink, membership & marketing coordinator at HBA F-M.

While most HBAs place a similar priority on recruitment, HBA F-M’s entire culture revolves around member engagement and new member recruiting. But members aren’t pressured to hit goals or shamed if they don’t recruit. They just do it.

Rather than relying on focused recruitment drives to build membership, the HBA fosters a culture of membership growth that begins on each member’s first day.

HBA F-M serves the largest metro region in North Dakota and a neighboring county in Minnesota, and boasts a growing roster of more than 900 members. Each one of those members receives a one-on-one orientation when joining the HBA as part of a structured onboarding process that emphasizes member recruitment.

“I’ve never made a cold call to a prospective member,” said Eidenschink. “I’ve never had to because there are always plenty of leads from members to follow up on.”

Builder members generally focus on recruiting Associate members, while HBA staff target builders. Fargo is a growing area of the country, with plenty of builders entering the market.

It’s those new entries that are the focus of the HBA’s long-term recruitment strategy. HBA F-M works very hard to engage not only members, but the workers and crew of members.

A crew enjoys a free lunch at the 2017 Muddy Boots Picnic.

The group, like most HBAs, hosts numerous events throughout the year. But many are open to members’ employees and crews. In late July, HBA F-M hosted its annual Muddy Boots Picnic, an event right in the HBA office parking lot where members could bring their crews for a free lunch.

Eidenschink said that some of those crew members will start their own companies in a few years.

HBA F-M has also launched a committee focused on young professionals in the area: FLEX, the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Xchange.

HBA F-M has figured out that real engagement is the key to recruiting and retaining members. “I’m never in the office,” said Eidenschink. “I, and others at the HBA, are always out meeting people, talking about the HBA and the benefits of membership.”

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