While on raid hiatus, I’ve been looking around, trying to figure out what I want to do in the game. Which means- and I apologize to any guildies reading this who haven’t been talking with me recently and may be shocked, nothing’s been decided so please don’t go jumping to conclusions – reading a lot of guild websites and recruitment adds. And what really amazes me is that some of these guilds manage to find members at all. Several of the guilds were impossible to contact, others confused the heck out of me and some downright made my eyes bleed. In the era of smallish guilds and accessible raiding, there is a lot of competition for good players. So unless you’re fortunate enough to be a guild of considerable fame, you’ll need high quality potential applicants to 1)find you, 2)decide if you have what they’re looking for, 3) apply. If you’re trying to attract players from other servers via sites like wowheadhunter, this is even more important because you can’t rely on server reputation and trade chat to advertise yourself. So here, as a guild recruitment add browser, are the things I wish all recruiting guilds did:
Have a website and link to it
Seems straightforward enough. Guild bank, tabard and website, no? Apparently not! I came across a few guilds who flat out indicated they didn’t have a website(!!!), others just didn’t have a link. There are a million guild adds to browse and so little time. If there’s no link to reach more info about you, you’re not getting a second thought.
Update your website
If your last news update was from 3 months ago, people will assume the guild no longer exists. Next please.
Clearly state your raid times
It’s heartbreaking to find a guild that seems so perfect, only to realize that they raid at 3 am. Also, if it takes too long to find information on raid times, potential applicants will stop looking. Next please.
[Edit]Want to add that “server time” means nothing to someone from a different server. Use actual time zones.
State whether you do 10 mans, 25 mans or both
That ugly widget on free guild websites is hard to read and not always accurate. Just flat out say what your focus is in your add and on your front page.
Its ok to be different
Just because you’re not 4/5 HToGC doesn’t mean you can’t advertise. Not everyone who reads guild recruitment boards wants a competitive guild. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find guilds that are somewhere between progression oriented and ultra casual? Apparently they’re all over WoW but they never advertise! And even if you are a guild that’s 4/5 into HToGC, what makes you different from the 10 other 4/5 HToGC guilds that posted an add today? I also have a dream of finding a serious raiding guild that doesn’t believe in reading up on boss fights beforehand (I love my current guild and all, but a dream is a dream). I *know* they exist, but I can’t find one anywhere. (If someone from such a guild reads this, bossypally at gmail dot com please and thank you)
Make your policies/guild charter/loot rules are up to date and easy to find
Guilds want applicants that make a good fit. Applicants want a guild that is a good fit for them. Applicants considering paying money to server transfer especially don’t want to screw up. Make sure all the nitty griddies about your guild are easy to find and easy to read. Again, there are a million guilds out there and so little time. Having to sort through 15 stickies on your recruitment forums to figure out what you’re all about = next please!
Be careful about how you word warnings to your members
So so so many guilds have stuff like “please be on time”, “please don’t go afk during raids” on their websites. This translates to : “our members are unreliable”, “we don’t start on time”, “there’s a lot of downtime during our raids”. Wording like “we start our raids on time, if you’re not there, you will be replaced” gives a much better impression to someone looking for a reliable raiding team.
Have a “contact us” page
Not many guilds have this, but someone considering a server transfer may have some private questions to ask the GM or recruitment officer before applying. Rolling a level 1 toon on your server to send out an in-game email is just weird. Have some contact info on your webpage.
Make your general chat forum public
Most guilds don’t do this and I hate it. You can set security so that only known guild members can post or something, but general chat forums contain a precious sample of guild atmosphere which is so important to applicants wondering they’ll be a good fit. By reading the forums, applicants find the answers to: “how active are members outside of raids?”, “what kind of language do members use when typing?”, “what kind of conflicts occur and how are they handled?”, “how much familiarity is there among members?”. People shouldn’t be posting personal stuff on forums anyway, so I don’t get the secrecy. To me, it just looks like your guild has something to hide.
Have a website that doesn’t cause eye bleeds
Most guild websites are so friggin ugly! I know that not all guilds can afford self hosting and stuff, but there’s got to be way to configure free websites in a way that makes them less hideous. You don’t need to be a graphic artist either. Tidiness, accessibility and matching colours go a long way. And those addons that show your progression, say who’s on your vent channel and more? Ditch them if you can. They’re ugly. Also, if you can’t be bothered to update your recruitment addon thingy, ditch that too.
Like any type of communication, when recruiting, you need to speak to your audience. If the message you’re trying to transmit isn’t accessible to your audience, no ones going to hear it. In the sea of guild recruitment adds, you want people reading yours to learn all about you in a matter of seconds. It would also be in everyone’s best interest that you preserve their eyesight as much as possible. In the name of recruitment add readers everywhere, I thank you. And with that, happy recruiting!