So You Want to Recruit, Eh? Part 2

It’s been a while since the last installment of this series, but I didn’t want to drop this part completely! Now that I’m sitting in a hotel room for a few hours killing time, it seems like a good time to finish it up. Today’s topic is: What every guild recruitment message should include.

I’m specifically going to target forum recruitment threads for today. Everything here is also applicable to in-game recruitment messages, although you’d obviously want to condense those down so that there’s not a HUGE WALL O’ TEXT hitting people’s chat walls. I’m also going to assume that you’ve read So You Want to Recruit, Eh? Part 1 already. If you haven’t, I really recommend it.

Okay, so let’s get started!

Your Guild Name: Of course, it’s a no-brainer.

Your Guild Website URL: These days, it’s a given that unless you run a guild that consists only of people you know in real life, you need a website. If you’re wanting to recruit, you definitely need a website, if only to have a convenient way to facilitate communication with potential recruits. If you’re not a web guru or don’t want to spend money on hosting, never fear. There are fantastic guild hosting websites that will host your website for free and come with pre-installed templates to choose from. I’ve had extensive experience with GuildLaunch and I’ve had great experiences with their customer support, however there are lots of newer choices out there such as Enjin & Guildomatic.

My only other suggestion regarding guild websites is to please, please, please keep the design clean. Try to stay away from garish color combinations, busy backgrounds, and animated images since they can be difficult to read and tend to look like a amateur MySpace profile. Some folks will be viewing your website at work or school, so make it easy for them, okay?

Server, Faction, & Time Zone: Particularly if you’re going to be posting this in general gaming forums or on 3rd-party websites, people need to know where to find you. If you’re playing WoW or another MMO that has the same server names on both US and EU servers, be sure to indicate US or EU as well.

Type of Guild: Are you a raiding guild, a PvP guild, a social guild, a leveling guild? Are you hardcore? Semi-hardcore? Casual? Casual-Core? I don’t even know what that last one means, but whatever floats your boat.

Raid/PvP days & times: If you’re a raiding guild with set raiding times, those need to be listed. If you raid on Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays and an applicant has class on Tuesday & Thursday evenings, it’s not going to work.

Classes Recruiting: If you’re a raiding or PvP guild and are looking for level-capped players of specific classes or roles to round out your teams, by all means mention that. If you’re more casual and are accepting all classes, roles, and levels, mention that too.

Attendance Schedule: If you require members to have a minimum attendance or activity level, this also needs to be mentioned.

Officer Names: Please have a list of officers for potential recruits to contact. Include frequently played alts of those officers as well. As a new recruit it’s super frustrating to always look for one particular character of one particular officer. If the recruit goes several days without seeing that character online, they’ll likely write you off and continue their search.

Guild Flavor: Here’s what really makes or breaks guild recruitment posts. The above items are informational, objective, and needed, but by themselves they don’t really set your guild apart from other guilds out there in a significant way. There are thousands of hardcore Horde guilds that raid 3 days a week in the EST time zone. So why would a recruit want to join your guild in particular?

Think about what makes your guild unique, and what type of players you want to attract. You want to talk about your guild in a manner that would appeal to your ideal candidate. Show them, in a descriptive paragraph or three, exactly what your guild is about and why they should choose your guild. You could include:

  • your guild history
  • your guild philosophy
  • the fun/interesting things you’ve done as a guild
  • your top achievements as a guild
  • your current member demographics
  • the atmosphere in guild chat
  • guild rules/guidelines (top-level only, save the details for guild website)
  • guild logos/images (on forums where these are allowed)
  • guild videos (if applicable & allowed)

Basically, you want to present your guild in such a way that your ideal candidate realizes that this is the guild they’ve been waiting for. If you’re a family-type of casual guild with fun and silliness, show that in your recruitment post. Conversely, if you’re a serious hardcore PvP guild that participates primarily in battleground premades and arenas, present yourselves that way.

Whatever you do though, don’t be dishonest. Sooner or later your recruits will see what the atmosphere is like for themselves, and you don’t want them feeling like the guild was not as advertised. They’ll leave quickly and you’ll have wasted your time and theirs.

Now, if you used all of the components above, you’ll have a good start on a detailed & well-thought out recruitment post. Take your time and write the post in Word or Notepad first. Use spell-check and pay attention to punctuation. This is going to be your main guild marketing piece and in most cases will be the only chance you have to make a good first impression on recruits. Save your post, and then it’ll be easy to copy/paste it to whatever forums you desire.

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