The Reality of Recruiting Part 2

Here’s part 2! The finale will be published sometime over the weekend. How do some guilds handle the actual recruiting portion? What separates the pretender apps from the contender apps? What’s more important to guilds? Likeability or competency? Here’s what other recruiters and officers have said.

How does the recruiting process work for your guild from start to finish?

They first apply.  The officers then receive the application and discuss any issues in a private forum.  We ask guild members and ex-members from that person’s previous guild.  Finally, we will either:

a) Respond to them in-game
b) Decline them. Even if we respond, we can still decline them if something unsavory pops up.


We try to use as many means of advertising that our guild is looking for good players while still avoiding the catch-all that is Trade Chat.  Of course, everyone used realm forums, but I’ve also used Guild Watch announcements, posted on PlusHeal forums and consistently post in GuildRecruitment channel while leveling my fishing in Org. Hilariously, for a while our guild website was getting quite a bit of outside traffic as a result of the number of women we have in our guild and the rest of the server population wanting to check out our RL Pics thread.  This got the guild name out there a bit.


The applicant places their application on the guild forums and are then asked to join our guild chat channel and disband any guild they are currently in. The applicant has 3 weeks to get to know us and secure a sponsor before voting begins. They have 3 weeks to get into groups and get to know the guild. In that time, a voting booth is opened up and the applicant must obtain 15 yes votes, if for a raider these yes votes must include a yes vote from both class leads. if the applicant receives 3 well justified no votes, the application is terminated. each no vote extends the probation period one week If thapplicant receives the necessary votes, they begin a probation period of 6 weeks. At the end of the period another vote is taken. 15 yes votes again are required, with fewer then 3 no votes. Again 3 no votes will kill the application and the person will be asked to leave.


What is the most common mistake that recruits make when they apply to you?

We’re fairly forgiving, but we don’t like seeing people apply who obviously have no idea how to gear for their class/spec. Not taking the application seriously. We get a lot of applications that are very poorly filled out, featuring little to no capitalization/punctuation, skipped questions and incomplete answers.


They forget that we’ve been raiding successfully without them up to this point, and that their job with their application is to sell us on the fact that they’d make an excellent contribution to OUR team, not that we’d make an excellent contribution to their playing and loot-gathering experience. "I want to join because I’m tired of wiping with people who don’t know what they’re doing" or "You guys seem like a good way for me to see end-game content" are all red flags. I also hate seeing tanks/healers apply when that role is obviously not their passion and they’d rather be joining in a DPS capacity. As a healer myself, few things irk me more than someone who applies as a healer, but can’t wait until the raid ends to spec DPS or log onto a DPS alt, and is only healing so they can get into a raid guild. They never perform as well as people who love the role.


The most common mistake is the new 80 or 77 who joins expecting us to spend our time babying them to raid status or to help them run every group quest in the questlog.  We have no greedy goblins in our guild so they shouldn’t expect their epic flight to be paid for.  Also, another mistake is to join our guild as someone who isn’t 80 and spam chat to run every old world or BC dungeon.  The only dungeon I ever ran while leveling was ramps when I first got into Outland.  It wasn’t until Northrend that I tried to hit every dungeon possible.  It is much faster to quest to 80 then to run every dungeon.


Unprepared players who don’t know their classes as well as they should or higher level raiding, who use green quality gems or who don’t even now about consumables or what kind of consumables or optimal for them. And then there are the players who think that the less text they type the more we’ll like their application…


In contrast, what would you describe as the perfect application?

Well thought out answers which show in depth knowledge of the class and the realities of high end raiding. The ability to type properly (not as common as you’d think).


Answers of 2-3 sentences.  Show me that you took 5 minutes to fill out our application.  After all, you’ll be spending 9-15 hours a week in the raid, what’s 5 minutes to apply?  Also, something that shows they have an understanding of the game and their class, beyond "uber-deeps".  Extensive vocabulary is always a plus.


The perfect application would be THOROUGH. It would convince me that they know their class, know their raid fights (even if they haven’t experienced them first hand), and know their place as part of a team–meaning willingness to rotate with their classmates, acceptance of criticism, and acknowledgment that top-notch raid performance is a journey, not a destination that they have already reached. If I look them up on Armory, I should see that this character really is their main and their pride and joy–this is especially important for tanks and healers.


What’s more important: Being competent or being likable? Why?

That seems to depend on our current needs. At the moment we’re looking for active raiders, so being competent is more important. However we’d still not invite someone we don’t feel will fit in, even if they are a class A raider.


I have to say at this point in the game, with Ulduar recently released, both are equally important. Before, it was likability > competence but in order to actually get anything done in Uld, new recruits need to be able to play or there’s just no point to them being in the guild when we’re trying to progress and there’s this new guy who needs help to get to where we are before he can help us succeed. It sounds terribly self-serving but it’s necessary to be a competitive raiding guild on any server.


We have competent people who aren’t always very likable, and likable people who aren’t always competent. In the end, the likable ones stay longer. They may not raid with us often… but they stay.


Being likeable in a slim margin over being competent. I’d rather have someone who didn’t drive me up the wall personality-wise than suffer an asshole who played like a dream. Since I do heroics and raids with a large group of people, being competent in our guild is not as big of a concern.


You’ll notice a few common themes among answers. I’ll leave them open to your interpretation.

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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. “What is the most common mistake that recruits make when they apply to you?

    We’re fairly forgiving, but we don’t like seeing people apply who obviously have no idea how to gear for their class/spec. Not taking the application seriously. We get a lot of applications that are very poorly filled out, featuring little to no capitalization/punctuation, skipped questions and incomplete answers.”

    I could not agree more with people not taking the application seriously. I cannot understand why people would expect a guild to take them seriously if they cannot spend 10 minutes properly filling out a form. On the other hand I have no problem with people who have no idea how to gear/spec/gem/enchant/play, because everyone is new sometime. As long as you will listen to my advice and show improvement you make me happier as a raid leader than someone who refuses to listen but puts out high DPS.

    Ridges last blog post..Children’s Week: School of Hard Knocks

  2. @Ridge: I notice that the quality of the application is directly influenced by how the person in question perceives the game. Is it “just” a game to them or is it an experience? And those are definitions that vary. My definition of fun is going through raids in a business like fashion. Others just like to run around and do whatever comes to mind and just not take it seriously enough. That’s a perfectly fine approach. This is an open ended game after all. It just means that they won’t be considered by a certain set of guilds. But yeah, bang on with your points!

  3. This prompted me to post my guilds recruitment methods up – and some of the Sherlock Holmes work I do to investigate a player. Sometimes a little bit of legwork up front can ferret out some of those bad apples that haven’t started to smell yet.

    Adgamorixs last blog post..Evaluating new applicants

  4. in addition to the above, I just noticed today that Wow Heroes can be a great source for finding people who have recently left guilds and happen to be of the class/role that you need. How good they are from there is up to you to learn, but at least this can help with the “where are all the (insert class/spec here)?” questions.

  5. Wow, nice list of requirements. What does the job pay? 😀

    After that small tease. A player that doesn’t fit in your group personality wise won’t stay, or you won’t let him stay. No matter how good they are. Competence is nothing compared to the driving up the wall part as someone says above.

    “I should see that this character really is their main and their pride and joy–this is especially important for tanks and healers.”

    Heh, why especially tanks and healers? Dps is allowed to have alts instead in specific cases?

    Yaknow, even if you’re applying for a job you have to remember that you only spend your hour once. You can spend it working, sleeping, eating, or…maybe raiding. After that your hour is gone. You will never get it back. Ever.

    Better make that hour enjoyable instead of hanging out with a bunch of assholes just because they play well.

    Shyraias last blog post..My Guild is the Best Guild

  6. Burnout rate for healers and tanks is much higher than that for DPSers. Often this is because of the reason I’d stated above about people applying as those roles without really enjoying them just because they think it makes them more salient to a raid guild. My point was that if someone spends more of their time doting on their alt than improving their main, their performance and devotion on their main will probably not be impressive.

    Cerinnes last blog post..Limited-Time Rewards for Most Difficult Content

  7. Sometimes I think all these ‘jobish’ requirements for higher end guilds are laughable. I know how to play my spec, I’m gemmed and geared to the best of my ability — in general I have some idea of game mechanics though not in full and to my stand point there is something extremely exciting about NOT knowing everything about a boss fight before you go in there. I think you learn while you play. Anyone whose ever faced a new boss and felt ‘surprised’ by his sudden trick move knows what I’m talking about. I love the sense of mild chaos and the ‘thinking on our feet’ as we adjust to compensate for the new challenge. I love dropping from shadow to quick heal a few parties up before going back to the pew pew that saves us from a wipe. I dont mind silence on vent during a boss fight accept for helpful instructions — but people who feel there is no room for joking around in guild chat, or on vent because we must remain quiet at all times really ruin and in my opinion HIGHLY increase the amount of stress and pressure players feel to preform and not in a good way.

    Anyone whose ever seen a large volume of their player base slowly over time stop logging on .. should perhaps take note that the more ‘hardcore’ they try to be about ALL aspects of this game without leaving themselves open to allowing people to experience the game and have ‘fun’ should consider themselves warned.

    I think being prepared for the fight at hand with consumables, enchants, and the general knowledge of your class and spec to try to avoid crisis’s are great. I think not being open to people NOT knowing absoutely everything .. and not willing to loosen up a little ruins all the fun to be had.

    Who cares if the boss is dead and someone has loot if no one enjoyed killing him?

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