Officers’ Quarters: Recruiting members to help recruit
When we rebooted Officers’ Quarters here at Blizzard Watch thanks to all of you fantastic supporters out there, I immediately had a huge backlog of questions. It sometimes took a long time for answers to appear on the column, and I apologize for that. I’m now caught up, so I can respond much faster. This week we have a question from Twitter. You can ask questions for the next Officers’ Quarters column either below in the comments or on Twitter @QuestVendor.
Marc, I’m going to assume that you (or whoever the guild leader is, but I’m going to assume it’s you for the purpose of this article) are actually trying to recruit, but you haven’t been successful. As a result, members have been grumbling about the lack of new members.
If people think you aren’t trying, one way to prove them wrong is to give status updates. Tell them exactly what you’ve been doing to try to drum up interest in the guild: the number of days you’ve sat in trade chat to post ads, the forum posts you’ve posted and bumped, the players you’ve talked to. This shouldn’t across as defensive or snarky — just give the facts on your forums or your guild’s social media hub, at regular intervals. Even if the results have been less than stellar, at least your members will know that you are out there and you are trying.
It might actually inspire them to help.
In my recruiting article a few weeks ago, I talked about how officers need their members to help recruit more than ever before. It’s simply too big and too difficult a job for one person to manage alone these days. So how can you encourage them to pitch in?
1. Don’t be like Gul’dan. Vague promises/threats aren’t going to get anyone to help, nor will abusing your community members, delegating work with high-handed commands, or offering beverages of questionable origin like Mountain Dew: Mannoroth.
2. Ask for specific tasks. Just telling members “help me recruit” will usually result in no one doing anything. Recruiting in the most general sense is a daunting and potentially endless task. Many guild members don’t even know how to go about it.
Instead ask for someone to carry out a specific job: “Can someone post a recruiting ad on the guild forums and make sure it stays on the front page?” Now it’s no longer a nebulous, many-tentacled request akin to striking out against an Old God. Now it’s just doing this one thing. Most people, no matter how busy they are with their lives, can do just one thing to support something that they enjoy and believe in.
The tasks you ask for can be one-time tasks or ongoing. The more you can make those tasks granular and distribute them across many different volunteers, the easier the entire effort will be on everyone.
3. Offer a bounty. It’s not unheard of for guild leaders to offer rewards in exchange for recruits. Heck, companies do it all the time. They offer bonuses to employees for finding a person to fill a needed position.
Granted, the recruit must work at the company for a certain amount of time in order for that employee to earn the bonus. That just makes sense. If you bring in a dud, you shouldn’t be rewarded for it. The same can and should apply to guild members or raiders. Make sure you don’t provide the reward until the recruit has proven him- or herself to be a worthy addition to your roster a few months in.
Some guilds offer gold rewards. That’s the most straightforward option, but not every guild has access to that much raw currency to offer a substantial enough gold reward. Rewards can also take the form of hard-to-obtain equipment, pets, mounts, or transmog items that an officer or member already has and is willing to part with. Rewards can also be a donation of time: officers can volunteer to help that player with specific achievements, for example. Or they can be even more intangible, like the guild leader offering to sing the chorus of Bad Blood over voice chat every time the raid wipes to a boss.
Some players will call it a “bribe” or joke about it, and that’s OK. The fact is, you’re providing compensation for a very important service. You’re recognizing that the recruiter has done the guild a huge favor and you’re offering a well-earned thank-you gift.
If you’ve been asking for help for a long time, and you’ve tried the methods above, and you still have no help, at a certain point you have to ask yourself: Is it all worth it? If you’re the only one who cares enough to try to save the community, is the community worth saving? It’s a huge bummer of a question to think about, but a guild cannot live or die on the efforts of one person alone. No matter how hard you work, you can’t save it single-handedly. In the process of trying, you can burn yourself out very fast. In this case, it might be best to let it go.
But let’s hope it won’t come to that! Good luck, and
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