Alright, so by now we have managed to name our guild, figure out how we want to structure the guild, and managed to figure out how many officers we need. Seems like we are heading in the right direction right? Wait, if the officers are to lead someone, then I guess that means that we need more people in the guild! So how in the world do we recruit? That is a great question, which really has a multitude of answers. I think the way to approach it will depend on what your long term goals for the guild are. Are you going for the laidback approach? Are you going to be hardcore raiding? Do you aspire to be the most hated PVP guild?
There is a lot of things to consider when thinking about recruiting members. Those are just some of the questions that you will need to answer. Hopefully by this point of your guild development, some of those answers will already be known. A good majority of those should have been answered when the guild was created. At least if you put some thought into it. For the sake of the series, we are going to assume that you have been developing your guild and answering these questions all along. So now let's look at some ideas for recruitment. I am going to take them in no particular order, as the "different strokes for different folks" mentality applies here.
1. Spam the trade channel!
I absolutely dispise this method. I hate when I am sitting in a major city trying to list auctions or whatever, and all I see is some person spamming:
" is looking for new members. We are a laid back guild with tabard, 3 bank tabs, and a website. If you want to join a laid back guild then we are right for you! Pst me!"
" is currently recruiting for 25 man raids. Must be geared and know the fights. Scrubs need not apply."
This stuff just drives me up the wall. It is annoying, I would rather see the horrible murloc references or other attempts at humor than this. I always wonder what kind of people do these guilds recruit? I imagine, that they end up getting the people who just jump from one guild to the next. Sure they come in all excited and talking a big game, but then something "upsets" them and they jump to the next guild who is currently spamming the channels. Needless to say, at this point, I will not allow my guild to do this. I just think you do not get great members by the endless spam on trade channel.
2. Recruit your friends!
I am a huge supporter of those who recruit their friends (both in-game and real life). I think it does a couple things for both the players and the guild. For the players, it puts someone in the guild who you know that you can rely on for help. I think back to how MAS started and it grew from a bunch of friends who played. Those friends recruited friends and it continue to grow using this method. For the guild, it gives a sense of family. I always laugh about my guild being a disfunctional family, but in truth, there is a sense of closeness in the guild, even with the newer members who have come in later. I think that when you recruite friends it works out all the way around and the benefits are there for everyone. I definitely mark this as a win-win situation. We must though accept that, eventually, we will run out of friends to recruit. So while this method is great, it will likely not get you running 25 man content.
3. The random recruit from trade channel!
Alright, I have seen several members join our guild simply because they were spamming on the trade channel that they were looking for a guild. To be honest, most of those members left the guild as soon as they saw spamming that they were looking for well geared members. I still allow our guild to recruit those people who are looking for a guild and we attempt to gear them and help them see the content that they want to, but I am very hesitant in relying on them to be in the guild for the long hall. Once again, I am not in favor of this method, but I am not opposed to it either.
This is a scary one. When two guild merge, more often than not, it seems that they never tend to stay a strong guild for very long. I think the main reason you see this happen is that there is one guild which will usually be sustainable and growing and one guild that will be showing some cracks in its foundation. The cracks are typically hidden from the stronger guild and unless the leadership asks the right questions, they take on some serious issues. Other times you get some good people but there are too strong of wills between the two guilds and personalities clash resulting in solid members from both guild leaving and in the end, the guild has no more members than it started out with. The rarest case is the two guilds merge successfully and the guild continues on as a solid group of players. I would say that this is a viable option, but guild leadership must be very careful and thorough in the questions that they ask to the other guilds leadership. After all, you want it to be a good fit for all parties involved.
5. Recruitment through PUGs!
If you have read my blogs for a while, you will probably caught the underlying hint that I dispise PUGs; however, in the event of recruiting, a PUG is a great way to gain new members. You get the inside scoop on how these individuals play and carry theirselves in a group. This is my favorite way to gain new members. So far, this has been a great experience for our guild. Some of the best players that we have gained, has come through the method of recruiting out of a PUG. I would definitely consider this and promote it for your members to look for potential recruits from the groups they run with.
In closing , these five methods are the basic options you have for recruiting. All of them can help you to increase your guild members, but keep in mind that you want to get quality people in your guild. Definitely do not be afraid to ask new members questions and get a feel for them. Sometimes it may be better to pass on someone than get a rotten egg to stink up your guild.