On Recruiting

Recruiting security came up in the comments yesterday, which reminded me of my intention to discuss the recruiting process; so here goes.

The recruiting process in Eve has often been disparaged, with the larger alliance member corps seemingly needing every detail of your private life, right down to your inside leg measurement. Due to the abundance of spies, thieves, awoxers and so on that larger corps, especially in null-sec and wormhole space, attract, this is no surprise.

So, I thought I’d share some insights that I have gained from my time as a recruiter, in an effort to help other corps achieve a balanced process that doesn’t turn away more prospective members than it admits.

Getting the applicants to the door

First of all, if a corp wants new members, it needs to advertise; pretty logical, really.

The first step in this direction is to set up a recruiting channel, a destination for respondents to the advertising to go to learn more about the corp.

There are a few things to keep in mind when setting this channel up.

First, think about who should set it up; whoever sets it up has ultimate ownership and control over that channel. Therefore, the person setting up the channel needs to be an active, long-term member with the time to make adjustments to the MOTD and manage admin rights so that recruiters can kick certain individuals if it’s needed (it probably will be).

The MOTD itself is a valuable time saver, it should clearly outline the recruiting procedure (discussed below) and state any restrictions within the procedure that might exclude certain players, to save time for both recruiters and potential applicants.

It is important that any corp members who are permitted to hang out in this channel understand that, if they do so, then they are under obligation to chat to any potential recruits who may say hello. Otherwise they have no reason to be in that channel, so it’s best for recruiting to keep corp idlers out.

There is nothing quite as negative as getting the feeling that you’re being ignored, so there also needs to be something in the MOTD regarding the fact that there may be a wait until someone responds to a hail.

Now, a recruiting channel inevitably ends up with neuts in it; however, the only ones that need to be there are potential recruits. So what other types of neuts go to recruiting channels?

The first type is the counter recruiter; a neutral alt of a competing corp who will convo potential recruits with the goal of redirecting them to their own corp.

You can check out any possibility that someone in your channel is doing this by dropping into the channel with a neut alt of your own (or a corp-mates) and hailing. Make sure your own recruiters don’t respond and see if the guy convos you. If he indeed tries to redirect you, kick him and ban him from the channel.

The second type is the troll, someone who is lonely and drops into recruiting channels to stir the pot or just hang out. These guys can be irritating and a hindrance to recruiting efforts and they are best dealt with by being direct and firm.

Ask them if they are actually interested in joining, if they reply that they might be, quietly give them twenty-four hours in the channel.

If they troll or fail to say anything after twenty-four hours, kick them and send a quick eve-mail explaining why, with an invitation to revisit if and when they are actually ready to proceed.

A well-kept, well run recruiting channel is an absolute must for efficient recruiting.

So, after a destination for applicants is set up and well-managed,  there now needs to be advertising.

The logical first step is an ad in the Eve-O forums recruiting thread, but you should be aware of the rules and guidelines before putting up a post.

An important thing to note is that you may only bump your thread once every twenty-four hours and this includes bumps from your corp-mates.

Therefore, it’s important to establish your target time zone and put the ad up then. Alternatively, if you are aiming to cover multiple time zones, you can vary your bump times, but be aware that your ad won’t be on the front page for very long at all.

As that is the case, the headline of the ad should be very clear as to your corps primary appeal, whatever you think makes your corp a good place to be for the people you are looking for.

One of the biggest things I would stress with a recruiting ad is be honest! Deceptive recruiting ads are plentiful but they don’t work out to be the best for the corp or the recruit in the long run.

Outline the benefits your corp provides, what is the recruit going to gain by being in your corp rather than an alternative corp? Take an honest look at your corp, its goals, its main activities, its best assets, and use those to make the corp look appealing.

Avoid too much negativity in your post, don’t make an angry list of the types of people you don’t want, all that does is show that your past recruiting efforts have been poorly executed.

Having said that, if the corp has rules that may be construed as negatives, balance each one out with a related positive.

For instance, leadership may have decided that your PVP corp is to have a minimum participation that will be enforced to eliminate it being weighed down by care-bears. If that is the case, after mentioning that, highlight the fact that you have a ship replacement program in place, or that you give out awards for solid PVP efforts.

Too many times, PVP corps try to fill their ranks by glossing over the realities of life in a PVP corp, only to find themselves with minimal and often reluctant participation.

There is absolutely no point in highlighting that you have access to top ratting systems if alliance leadership ends up looking askance at your corp due to your members ratting and trying to let others defend your space.

I usually find a bullet point list of your corps main activities is a good feature, you have people’s attention for a very brief period, so don’t get too verbose and long-winded. Also, avoid too much sales talk; in this day and age, very few people like to think they’re being sold something.

So, that’s the forum ad. For us, that was enough to bring on a flow of recruits that kept us more than busy, the biggest problem was recruiting new recruiters to deal with the influx.

If this happens to you, just avoid bumping the ad for a while to stem the tide.

If your corp has a website, then your recruiting page should follow the same principles, clarity, honesty and enthusiasm.

Your corp details page on the info tab should be kept up to date, you’d be surprised how many people check out your corp that way.

While there are other avenues of recruitment, such as posting in local chat whilst doing a tour of the universe, they are generally not as effective and tend to fill your recruiting channel with more time-wasters and less potential recruits.

By far the best advertising, as in real life, is by word of mouth. Friends of existing members are very beneficial, as they come with a fair idea of what your corp is about and obviously feel it’s going to be right for them.

Therefore, encourage your existing membership to be pro-active and hit their contacts up to come and join.

The drill

So, what is the best procedure for turning a potential recruit into a valued member?

Well, below is the procedure we use today, it was put together by our recruitment director, who has a background in personal security. It has proven very effective at filling our corp with good members who are, by and large, enjoying being a part of our group.

The potential recruits will usually give a hail in the recruiting channel, but if they don’t, ask them if you can help them. While doing this, I find it best to check a few things, like their corp history, their bio and their current corp through the show info tab.

If they start talking, the next place to go is Eve Who to check things like their recent kill history, whether they are a purchased character and whether their forum posts reveal anything about their personality or in-game politics.

Don’t be too eager to gloss over details that may disturb you; ask direct questions about anything that gets your spider senses tingling.

When looking at their character, it will sometimes become apparent that the character is an alt, in which case it is good practice to ask them to join the channel with their main instead and, unless you do, tell them directly that you do not recruit alts.

Once you have confirmed that they meet your requirements, such as skill point minimum or certain real-life age limits, and that they are interested in joining, the next step is a chat on comms.

This one is the real litmus test. Their willingness or reluctance to speak on comms is an excellent divining tool for people with less than honorable intentions.

Your average corp thief/awoxer/griefer will generally not have the strength of character to conduct a civil conversation with people that he intends to grief, some will, but this step filters out many of them.

Make no exceptions to this rule, unless it can be confirmed by a current and trusted member that they do indeed have a good excuse for not speaking on comms, such as a speech impediment, or some other legitimate reason.

I have been a part of a supposed TS3 interview where the interviewee tried every trick in the book to avoid speaking to us. In the end, we asked him to come back to us when all the supposed problems were rectified. Naturally enough, he never returned.

In the conversation, think to yourself not only about how the applicant responds to questions, but what questions he asks, too.

If yours is a PVP corp and the first thing he asks is related to your ratting systems, something should be telling you that this guy is not going to work out.

Similarly, if he seems overly keen to know how soon he might be getting full member access to hangars, there’s something wrong.

Beware of those who straight away offer to help corp move assets with their Orca, Rorqual, jump freighter or carrier.

Make sure that you give him time to express his views, don’t steamroll through the process. It’s important to use this brief time to try to get a feel for whether or not this person will be a good fit in your corp.

If everyone is happy at the end of the chat, the last hurdle should be the supply by the applicant of an API key.

The details of the API key you ask for is something best decided on by leadership; for our corp, we ask for a full API, with all sections opened and accessible.

The API key should have no expiry date and I cannot emphasize enough that it should be a full account API that shows all three characters on that account.

There should be a system in place that requires the supply of alt API’s as well, if these are on a separate account. Be aware that if you are not requiring full API’s for every account that corp members are on, you are at serious risk of being griefed.

Conclusion

All this may seem daunting, and at times, it can be. I can assure you though, that taking the time to get the right people with you in your corp can be the difference between a mediocre corp and something really special.

I sincerely hope that yours will turn out to be the latter.

It’s all in the mind, you know.

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