Guild Leadership :: Singing the Recruitment Blues

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You know, I could have spent more time playing WoW seriously. I could have continued on as a guild master for another expansion, perhaps even through Warlords of Draenor, instead of bowing out as Cataclysm ended. Well, I could have spent more time playing if it weren’t for the number one energy-drain that exists for guilds trying to do any kind of organized content: recruitment.

Even today, far removed from my last stint as a guild master, the word sends shivers down my spine. It makes me break into a cold sweat, sort of like how I felt the first time I saw my entire raid’s health during the Chimaeron encounter in Blackwing Descent.

From Kurn's first night of Chimaeron attempts in 2011.

From Kurn’s first night of Chimaeron attempts in 2011.

… yeah. Honestly, it can be that bad. In fact, it probably will be that bad at some point. Other days, it won’t be so bad, but it’ll still be a topic of concern. Sometimes, miraculously, you’ll feel as though you have nothing to recruit!

This is where experience comes in handy: NEVER STOP RECRUITING.

Let me say that again, with feeling, for those of you who missed the italic text: NEVER. STOP. RECRUITING.

If you’re running some kind of organized content, whether that’s raiding, doing rated battlegrounds, arenas or role-playing events, I promise you that you are going to lose people. It’s just a fact of life. Stuff happens, people get new jobs, people graduate from college, people move, get married, have kids… All of these things (and more) will cause your trusted guild members to move on. This is not the exception to the rule, this is the rule. Even if no one is leaving today or tomorrow, someone will leave or stop playing or have something change within the next two or three months.

It’s my goal here at Sentry Totem to give you practical advice in every column that gives you a specific action to perform that will benefit your guild in some fashion. Today’s task is to recruit diligently for one full week.

What do I mean by “recruit diligently”? I mean posting a recruitment post in the appropriate guild recruitment forums and bumping it multiple times per day. Aim for three times a day. You should also post on your realm forums and any connected realm forums, if your realm is connected to another. This doesn’t need to be done daily as realm forums are much quieter than the general recruitment forums, but try to stay on the front page of those forums.

You should also use the amazing tool created by Shawn Holmes: This site will comb through various recruitment forums and will organize people who are looking for a guild by class, faction and region. This is an outstanding tool and it saved my guild’s life on more than one occasion. (Shawn also writes an excellent blog about his adventures as a guild leader: Eight Years In Azeroth. Check it out.) So use WoWLemmings (follow it on Twitter!) and find people you think might be a good fit for your guild, then post to them and add a personal touch. Invite them to apply to your guild and leave contact info, whether it’s your in-game name, an email, a Twitter account or your BattleTag/RealID info.

Do this consistently for seven days and I think you’ll see a difference.

What if we’re full?

It’s simple, skip the personal responses to specific people and just put a disclaimer on your recruitment post saying that you’re only adding “exceptional applicants” to the roster at this time. Think about it, do you really want to turn down an exceptional healer for your guild events? An outstanding DPS? A tank the likes of which no one in your guild has ever even seen before? Doubtful. Sometimes amazing players come along at the worst possible time, but you don’t want to lose out. Keep that door open and never stop recruiting.

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