Maximizing your Recruiting Time

Managed to take down Shannox, Beth’tilac, Lord Rhyolith and Baleroc in one night. The kills are a little rough around the edges at times, but every week shows a marked improvement. Learning Alysrazor once was a pain. Relearning it again is a trial by fire to be sure!

Also for all you budding young hunters out there. Never have growl turned on in a raid setting under any circumstances. The rest of the raid will be eternally grateful (and not want to injure you).

For recruiters, looking for players often cause anxiety because you never know if you’re going to find the right players to help you. There is a whole plethora of players still looking for the right guild. I’m not sure what the ratio of 10 man guilds to 25 man guilds are but no doubt there are way more 10s than 25s. There are players looking for PvP guilds, progression, casual, hard mode, RP and others!

We’re going to focus more on raiding guilds. When I’m out shopping for players, I generally shoot for overall experience as the biggest indicator. Gear is a secondary concern. If a player has taken down the first six bosses in Firelands, that tells me a lot more than his 370 item level. Players looking for guilds typically state what number of bosses they’ve killed in the current tier.


6/7 Priest LF progression guild weekdays
2/7 Mage LF raiding guild weekends
7/7 Rogue LF hard mode guild only

With so many players looking for guilds, you could take the shotgun approach and reply to every single “LFG” forum thread. But that’s too tedious especially with the one post per minute limitation. Your time is precious and you can’t possibly visit every thread, track down every player in game, or add every individual on real ID. You need to manage your time better and maximize your returns! Naturally you’re not going to shoot for classes that you’re already stacked to the brim of. Nor are you going to go after people who can’t make your raid times or days.

There is one more indicator you can use.

Try bracketing

Experience matters a lot. You don’t want to pick up a player who is too far behind you. On the other hand, you don’t want to shoot for a player who is beyond your progression unless they explicitly state what they’re looking for in their ad. The first step is to determine how low you’re willing to go.

  • A guild that is 6/7 Firelands might be willing to go for a player who is 3/7 or they could aim for a player who is 1 hard mode boss in.
  • A guild that is 2/7+ Firelands (+ meaning hard mode kills) might go for a player with a low end of 6/7 normal modes and a top end of 4/7+.
  • A guild that is 3/7 Firelands is okay with taking chances on new players who haven’t stepped foot into Firelands or players working on 5/7 or 6/7.

For your own sanity, do not waste the other player’s time. Don’t waste your own either. Don’t aim too high and don’t aim too low.

So what should the experience spread be?

Personally, I like to use a 4 boss spread. That is, I will actively pursue players who are either 2 bosses ahead of where I’m at or 2 bosses behind. If they don’t have kills, that’s okay. As long as they can demonstrate that they were working on some of those bosses and wiping to them, I’ll count that as experience. Obviously that spread is going to vary wildly depending on where you are on the progression path. It also depends on your guild’s current state of raiding. I think 2 is a nice number because if they’re 2 bosses behind, we can accelerate their learning a bit. Chances are they’re familiar with the unkilled bosses anyway and they ran out of time for it. If they’re 2 bosses ahead, they can offer some insight or little tricks to help your raid group get there.

If you’re having trouble with attendance and filling up raids, you might need to expand.

If your roster is stacked as is, you can tighten up the restrictions to a 1 boss spread (or even stating that you’re not going to pursue players with experience below what you’re working on).

One more thing

Make sure you scan LFG posts. Look for keywords such as their availability, preferred loot system and progression. Note raid sizes. In some cases, they’ll indicate rankings. Some players will even indicate specifically what guilds they’re looking for.

Here’s a few examples:

  • US Top 100 only
  • Must be active in PvP and raiding
  • No less than 5/7 Firelands
  • 25 man only
  • Immediate core position for <class>
  • Must be able to accept all 3 of us
  • Professional environment
  • No female officers*

* Not making this one up. Actually saw it in an LFG post on the official WoW forums. 

Not sure what any of that means? Don’t worry! In an upcoming post, I’ll help you interpret the subtle needs that players say they’re looking for but what they really mean.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I know I said this jokingly, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

    What would be nice is a resource where people could go to either have, say, someone help them improve their recruitment posts. Kind of like how folks will provide advice on writing a good resume.

  2. LemonyYellow says:

    I’m not sure if you’re implying that recruiters should ignore people who have requirements that their guild can’t meet, but if you are, I disagree with that. Some of the most wonderful and skilled raid members we now have on our team weren’t originally looking for a guild like us and didn’t even know such a group existed, but once they read what we were all about, they were compelled to drop their requirements list for something different than what they had thought they wanted. I’ve successfully recruited many raiders who initially specified 10 man guilds only, Horde guilds only, 4+ day a week only, high pop server only, free xfer only, etc. We meet none of those requirements, but I’m still able to recruit these people by showing them what we have to offer.

    Futher, we’re working on 2/7HM and have accepted people with as few bosses as 1/7 normal and have built them up. If someone can get you logs and you can see that the player has strong fundamentals but is stymied by his or her guild, you can, in essence, grow your own raider. I love getting these people that other guilds will overlook. (Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t be sharing my secrets!) They tend to be extremely loyal and open to constructive criticism.

    On the flip side, last tier, we recruited someone who was 4 HMs ahead of us. He ended up being an amazing asset to get through those last few HMs and has continued to be a great asset to our raid team.

    While I understand and agree that you shouldn’t spam everyone, I also don’t think there are any “hard” requirements that should preclude an individual from your purview as a recruiter. You never know when you might meet someone who initially seemed all wrong but is exactly what you need.

    • Mm, yes there’s always the exception to every rule. If you’re a person tight on time and/or patience, I don’t expect you to go after the players that don’t fit the criteria. I’d say that most players on the recruiting forums have an idea of what they’re looking for. Some players would be open to a different style or atmosphere then what their comfort zone would have been. I have a suspicion that players who are 4 bosses ahead of a guild wouldn’t give serious consideration to them unless they weren’t getting other attractive offers.

      It’s like negotiating or haggling. Everyone has their ideal price. But there’s always a value that they’ll settle for.

    • LemonyYellow says:

      Seems like you have a very jaded view of the recruitment process and the raiders out there looking to be recruited. It’s not about convincing people to settle, it’s about offering them something unique and different. 70% of recruitment messages read exactly the same: we’re at x progress, we’ve achieved x in prior tiers, we need players who are awesome, we raid x nights for x hours. BORING!

      I wont tell you what it is about our guild that gets people excited, because that’s our niche, but what I will tell you is that not one of our raiders felt like they were settling when they came to us, despite several coming to us with higher progression. Instead, they were excited to be a part of something different than what most guilds offer.

      That is the key in recruitment. Offer something different. A lot of raiders have had bad experiences in unstable or poorly managed guilds. They’re thirsty for something better. If you can show them how you are different/better than all those lousy guilds out there, you’ll have people knocking down your door to join. (For real, I turn away qualified raiders each week because we just don’t have the spot in our roster for them.)

    • Cool, cool. Clearly you’ve got a solid strategy and a setup that works for you which is appealing to the many raiders that are coming your way. If that’s the case, then you’re not going to glean much from the post. It’s for the 70% who’re struggling to ensure their rosters are filled. Keep it up ^^

  3. Ouch, @that person who requires no female officers. And yet, I can completely understand where they were coming from.

    The guild that I was with for the majority of TBC ultimately met its demise due to a single female class lead (who landed that position out of seniority, mind you) who ended up gquitting and taking half of our raiders with her. The guild lead reacted by making the entire guild males-only, which sucked for me given that I am also female.

    I would say that good references are also very useful in evaluating potential recruits. ‘Experience,’ like achievements, are blanket filters that don’t really tell you much about the player him/herself. As general practice, if I am looking for a new guild I tend to include the names of a couple officers from my previous guild(s) that a recruiter can contact (without my knowledge) for third/fourth opinions about my ability as a player. I do this because I am confident in my past performance as it also reflects my ability to quickly learn new encounters.

    For the majority of my time in WoW (and other games) my gaming ‘career’ has been full of exceptions. I believe greatly in exceptions, both the good kind and the bad. Since you suggest scanning the posts anyways, though, there’s a lot you can read about the player -outside of- their experience and progression.. if they made their post detailed enough.

    Actually, considering most LFG posts, any post that’s more detailed than average would cause me to pause and read through it more carefully.

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