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10-03-2011 @ 2:11PM
Scott has it right on about having the application and making everyone fill it out. My casual, friends-and-family guild gets dozens of applicants a week, primarily because we're a max level guild and people are looking for perks. By automatically denying all in-game apps and sending a personal note directly to each of those people pointing them to the website and asking them to fill out the applicaiton there, I would say we weed out over 90% of our applicants because they simply won't even go to the effort. Of those who do manage to fill out the application, a solid 20% don't bother to read the questions we want answered, use horrible spelling and grammar (when we clearly state that we're looking for it right in the application) and effectively weed themselves out, too.
10-03-2011 @ 2:21PM
We've found a handful of decent members from the guild-finder in-game but mostly it's the level 1-10 people who check every box and don't say anything - or the 55-58 DKs. The ones who actually say something about themselves, with decent grammar and punctuation get a second look. I like your idea of specifically directing them to the forums instead - that might weed out 99% of the spam.
10-03-2011 @ 2:35PM
I 100% agree with Ken. I definitely recommend making the submitted applications visible to all your guild members, too. It's a great way to promote open, honest communication -- and no matter what kind of guild you are, that's absolutely a necessity.
10-03-2011 @ 2:58PM
Our brief time in the guild finder we did similar--directed people to our website and the application there, and told them not to panic when we declined in game. We also do an IC interview process to help intro our RP. If they can't figure out how to use a simple forum and the post template we provided, well, ok then.My other RP guild doesn't have a forum app, but they give you a "trial" to complete, some zany IC thing that's tailored to each person and isn't so hard as folks think at first glance.In both cases, there's an emphasis on patience--I didn't get my interview for a month (thanks, Real Life!) and we tell people we want to see them RP before giving them a trial, an interview--or even before they put in their application. Making people wait a little while, either at a very limited recruitment rank or before they can officially apply, but still come to events and raids, instances, etc to see how they "fit" with the guild can help weed out those who just want perks and a tag they can get anywhere, or someone who really wants to be in the guild for what it is socially.
10-03-2011 @ 3:02PM
This is spot on. While we have gotten some members from the LFG tool, the fact that they are automatically referred to our web site and have to fill out an application deters 90% of them. Everybody, even brothers-in-law or the dreaded BFF, needs to have an interview with either me or an officer and must read our Code of Conduct. This way, everyone is treated the same.I would ask Conflicted if he or she really wants all these people in his or her guild. Do they have slots that need filling in raids? Are they looking for specific classes or have open enrollment? If they don't actually need more people, a guild-wide announcement that, temporarily, recruitment is suspended will slow down the inquiries. But that suspension needs to come with a offer to apply via a web site application. "Each application is reviewed on merit" removes the overt idea that you are picking and choosing, even if you are. What about a 30-day "get to know us" rank? At the end of 30 days, someone gets promoted to full rank in the guild or is told, "Thanks, but, after long discussion, the officers and I don't feel you're a good fit here." Knowing you only have to put up with someone for 30-days makes them tolerable. It's possible, once you play with them, you can be more specific about what grates on you ("Your personality is not a good fit with the guild." "You just can't seem to not stand in stuff." "You're not real good at following directions." ) or they will discover you look better from a different side of the fence. It's been my experience that people who make it through our "get to know us" period, tend to stick around a lot longer and come to understand us better. It's something to consider.
10-03-2011 @ 10:35PM
While trial periods are a good idea, they are often better used with a filter system like an application and interview process. A constant stream of people invited to the guild and chucked out when not suitable can be bad for guild morale. If it happens too frequently, members just start ignoring the recruits until the probation period is ended, which defeats the whole purpose of the trial. Recruits don't feel welcome and you have no basis to judge behaviour cause they're not interacting with the guild.The application and/or interview allows you to weed out the obvious unsuitable candidates, leaving a few likely candidates a chance to integrate with the guild during their trial period.
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