Friday, May 8, 2009

Evaluating new applicants

Right now Matt is running a series of posts concerning guild recruitment, and had collected a wide array of knowledge from various bloggers and guild leaders across the net. Since it's Friday, and we're currently recruiting a healer or two (Lodur, where are the resto shamans at?), I thought I'd cover how our application process works (and what I'm trying to get implemented).

The application

Our application is pretty straight forward. We have the standard questions you see everywhere: why us, why did you leave your last guild, explain your build, etc. I've recently added a section at the bottom specifically asking for a WWS report and UI Screenshot. I got a few questions regarding this (and as of yet none of our new applicants have provided this information), and here's my base justification.

WWS reports tell me a lot more than how much DPS or healing you're doing. I can see if you bother to decurse, if you're a hybrid who tosses a heal on themselves, and what kind of DPS cycles you're using. I can see stupid deaths "Joe died to Void Zone", and the combat log has all kinds of fun information.

Screenshots just let me see if you're running raid frames, some kind of boss mod, omen, etc. Plus I can get that heads up that on patch day (which we raid on) that your UI will probably be broken to all hell. One of our healers just uses the WoW raid frames to heal, and he's probably the best healer I've ever met - so I don't judge that you're not using grid.

First Impressions

An app has about 2 minutes to catch my eye, sometimes less. Poor grammar, cut and paste answers, or overall lack of conviction will set me off and I won't go beyond this point. Your app will die before I even do an Armory check.

I'm also looking for an ability to follow directions. Our first line says "Name, Class, Spec" - but someone who answers 'Suicidal Pyrotechnic' gets dismissed. Give me the meat, but don't use this time to express your inner comedian.

Sherlock Holmes

If the application holds my eye, or comes with some good guild recommendations, I put on my hat and grab my's time to use the Internet.

First stop is the Armory - quick look at your talents and reputations. If you're not exalted with the Sons (or an inscriptionist), you're pretty much done at this stage. Also if you're in RP gear, offset, or something other than your raid gear.

Talents are another key look. We don't' require 'cookie cutter' builds, because there are times when someone can pull off a non-cookie cutter run. But if you're applying as a Holy Paladin and don't have Beacon of Light - you better be ready to defend it.

My last stop on the Armory is the statistics page. So many little details are available here, you just have to dig em out. I can see how often you're flasking or using mana potions (not in context to be sure, but it gives me an idea), and I can see how many kills you really have. Achievements do a good job of tracking some of these, and this is just one more tool in the arsenal.

Next I hit for a quick look at your gear. I like the layout better than the Armory, because at a glance I can see if you've got 'BIS' gems and enchants, and what your gear is. Basically it saves me from mousing over everything on the Armory.

Background Check

If you've made it this far, you're just one quick check away from getting a trial run or three. This is where I hit the realm and general forums looking for your name. I have a low tolerance for folks that troll the forums posting nothing but garbage. Sure, you can use an alt to do it, using your main just shows a special level of dumb in my book.

I'll try and gain access to your old guild forums, especially for server transfers, and look for any drama you might be involved in. I also hit to see if you're a guild hopper. It also let's me know if you've had a name change, because there will be a big gap in your data.

The Phone Interview

This is usually handled by one of our other officers, but we'll contact you to chat and make sure you aren't a blathering idiot on vent/chat. At this stage you've got one foot in the door, and your future is squarely on your shoulders.

Trial Period

This is where I'm trying to enact a change. Typically we've just invited new members and judged them on runs we happen to be on with them. We might slide them into a 10 man or something, but we don't have anything official.

I'm fairly certain that starting next week we're going to stick 3D or something similar on our raid calendar for tryouts. 3D might not be the super bowl of not standing in fire, but it's definitely the most chaotic thing outside of Ulduar. Besides, I want a blue dragon.


Everyone's application process is different, and where you are progression wise has a lot to do with it. Right now we're the big fish in the pond (yeah, it's a little pond, maybe a glass) so we have a bit more flex in which applications we take. If we fall off the front of the wave though, who knows what might happen.

What tools do you use that I don't?


  1. I have vetted some holy paladins for my guild. Here are the 10 questions I specifically use for this class/spec (for what it's worth):

    1) Playing a holy paladin in WotLK is a lot different from playing one in BC. What are some of the key differences between the spells you used to get the job done in BC and the tools you use now?

    2) Along the same lines, the stats that are valuable to a holy paladin have changed some with this expansion. List these stats in order of most important to least important: mp5, spell power, crit, haste, int. What benefits do you gain from each stat? Is there a certain number or percentage of each stat you are aiming for?

    3) There is a whole lot of debate about different builds and healing styles right now. Some paladins use a 51/20/0 build and primarily heal with FoL while others spec 51/0/20 and throw out a lot more HLs and rarely use FoL. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of both builds and both healing styles? What types of encounters (type of incoming tank/raid dmg) would be ideal for each spec? Also, are there any other specs you’ve considered using?

    4) What is the way you regen the majority of your mana during boss encounters?

    5) What addons do you use to heal? Is it important for you (as a healer) to have an addon like recount?

    6) What criteria do you use to determine who to beacon and when to beacon them?

    7) What judgement do you judge during boss fights?

    8) If you were called on to salv a dps, bubble/sac a tank, or beacon/SS a different tank mid-fight, how would you do this and how long would it take you?

    9) What glyphs do you use and why? Consumeables?

    10) In your mind, what is the difference between a good healer and an exceptional one?

    * I also have my answers if you're really interested = P

  2. Nice post, I enjoyed the read.

    One word of caution: you need to take wow heroes, be imba, and all those other sites advice with a grain of salt. They don't always agree about BiS enchants, for example they rate my Engineering rocket gloves as unknown while Rawr rates it BiS. I do agree they're great for getting an idea if someone is totally off the mark, though.

    Second, a question: Do you actualyy have any applicants left after this extensive process? In guild leadership activities in the past I'd have loved to be this harsh with applicants but we'd have ended up with no-one. How do you strike a balance?


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