This is Sydera’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.
It’s 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, and where’s your resto shaman? Oh right, he’s taking three months off raiding to spend time with his new girlfriend, and you need that tremor totem for Vashj right now. What do you do? If you follow these ten easy steps, you’ll be seeing the beautiful banana beams of Brain Heal again in no time.
Call me crazy, but I like doing guild recruiting. So far, I have recruited ten total strangers for my guild, Collateral Damage of Vek’nilash, and eight of these new members have become great friends and guildmates. As for the other two, well–you the readers will have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. How do you tell the truly awesome players who will someday invite you to their house for homemade ravioli from the habitual guild hoppers? This simple list will help you navigate the chaos.
1. Look early and often
Guild turnover is a constant surprise, and you will never be able to predict exactly when you’ll be short-handed. If you’re not recruiting, your guild is shrinking. If you have specific needs, allow a month or so to find just the right player.
Over time, I have observed that my best recruits were rarely those that fit my narrow search criteria. When I tried to recruit a resto shaman, all I found were two wonderful holy priests. Jesmin and Fortitius have since become cornerstones of the healing corps, and as a side note, they’ve both invited me over for dinner! If you find an exceptional player, don’t ever miss out.
2. Build up your guild’s reputation
A guild’s recruitment officer is also its public relations specialist. Start participating in your realm forums–you’d be surprised just how much goodwill you can generate with some friendly, respectful posts. Potential recruits may be reading, so don’t act like a jerk unless that’s the attitude your guild is going for!
3. Search creatively
Almost all recruiters post both on their realm forums and on Guild Recruitment. Those two search options are no-brainers, but there are other tools out there to help you. I use www.wowlemmings.com to sort through the posts on the official forums, and I always write to WoWInsider’s Guild Watch column when I post a new opening. In addition, community sites like PlusHeal or TankSpot often have a recruitment forum. Try to reach the widest possible audience.
4. Write an advertisement with personality
Your advertisement should be both expressive and informative. These two examples, both from Sunwell guilds, show how an ad can reflect a guild’s general attitude.
Sample Ad #1: Relaxed and uncensored
Sample Ad #2: Businesslike and respectful
|“Mostly our raid vent and guild chat is used to discuss non-WoW related things such as affairs with married women, getting your girlfriend pregnant, binge drinking, and other topics. We are looking for highly skilled players that have a good sense of humor, want to progress, and won’t burn out or quit the first time they get to second base with a girl.”||“We like to keep a calm and collected raid with leaders who don’t yell at their raiders at every turn, while still managing to be successful. We’ve recently cleared all of Sunwell. We are 6/6. But that doesn’t mean we plan to cease raiding. =)”|
|I like the irony that <Casual> uses in their description, but as much as I might admire their writing style, I know right away that they’re way too macho for me!||The second guild, <Lunacy>, uses a serious tone for their ad, which tells me that they are more hardcore than the first guild. The smiley, however, softens the ad a bit and gives it some humanity. Even though Casual’s ad is more creative, Lunacy’s ad would attract a more reserved player like me.|
To sum up: write an ad that appeals to the kind of player you want.
5. Prepare a thoughtful application
Most guilds use an application template. Search around, find one you like, and adapt it to suit your guild’s needs. Provide a link to the application on your guild website, and make sure the instructions for posting are easy to follow. Include at least one question that lets your applicants show who they really are. Collateral Damage asks applicants to tell us a joke. This question is an idiot check, and anything that’s not obscene will work for us. Extra points are awarded for silly–we’re more likely to invite players whose sense of humor matches ours.
6. Know your competition
Find out which guilds on your server are similar to yours, and lurk in their forums if you can. If they are currently recruiting, you should know about it! If you admire something about their organization or application procedure, imitate it! If you get applicants that don’t suit your guild, refer them to the kind of guild they want. In addition, talk to other guilds’ recruitment officers and share information–you may learn some useful gossip.
7. Research your candidates
Inviting new members into your guild is like welcoming strangers into your home. Trust is important–after all, you don’t want them to leave with the silverware in their pockets! In addition to scrutinizing someone’s gear and reputation through the Armory, you can look up his guild history at www.warcraftrealms.com/charhistory.php. You’re checking for one of two warning signs: a list of guilds a mile long, or no list at all. A player with a short record has very likely changed names, which goes right along with guild- and server-hopping.
Remember–if you do the research, you have to use what you learn. Both of my failures in recruiting came from giving a player the benefit of the doubt. When you recruit, go with your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
8. Contact your prospects personally
One of my recruits, Thunm, told me that he chose my guild because one of our officers took the time to go to his server and talk to him one-on-one. When you see a promising post on the forums, make a personal reply, and follow that up with an in-game contact. Chat over vent, and let your prospects ask questions–they will want to check you out as well.
9. Make a good offer
When you invite a new guild member, do so in good faith. Try not to recruit positions that involve lots of bench time or poor prospects for loot. In short, make the kind of offer YOU would want to accept. I see many guilds make the mistake of thinking only about progression or about their longtime members–remember to make your new guild member feel welcome.
10. Follow up!
Congratulations! Your guild has a new healer, and you are the person she knows best. Serve as her mentor, and check in with her often. If the guild isn’t happy with your recruit’s performance, be the one to explain why. If it seems that the guild is a good fit, be her champion when the officers vote on whether she should be promoted to full member.
Always remember: Be honest, both with yourself and with any applicants you talk to.
The more you know about your guild’s personality and style, the better you can describe it to your potential recruits. You don’t want to be one of those lolguilds that advertises in general chat with really original lines like: We haz guild bank and taberdz, pst for invite!
And most of all, don’t panic! The right person for your guild is always out there.