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The single most important aspect of recruiting

Posted by TheEraser , 05 December 2012 · 559 views

So for those that have been paying attention to my blog, I posted a week or so ago a topic about recruiting. In that intro topic, I made mention that I was going to be doing a "series" of sorts on recruiting and more specifically building recruiting teams. I make no claims to be the best or brightest when it comes to this topic, but I do believe I have enough experience building successful programs that I can share some of my core values when it comes to recruiting.

So what is the most important aspect of recruiting? It seems like an easy answer, until you start thinking about it. You've seen over the years recruiting contests and individual recruiters brag about how many people they have brought into their alliance in the last X days, They hold these things up as examples of how awesome their recruiting department is. I used to do the same thing. Bringing in a ton of recruits is an awesome feeling, its a sense of pride.You're actively improving your alliance. But, are you? I mean really, is your alliance better off with 20 new ghosts? So why brag about it like you actually achieved something.

Don't get me wrong, recruiting is important, but I think people focus way too much on the results (i.e. new members) than they do the behind the scenes of recruiting and this is why, in my opinion, that a lot of recruiting teams see peaks and valleys in their stats. When you focus on the results and you have a huge month, its awesome, people jump up activity, they recruit more, and they are more active overall. Until the next month, when you have 30 applicants instead of 100, then people quit recruiting altogether, and the blame for that is soley on the head of recruiting (be it a government member, or just someone that was appointed to run the system). You created a system that was only working when, for lack of a better word, it was working. As soon as the tangible results disappeared so did your staff, and now you're stuck rebuilding yet again. So what do you do?

This is a question that I had to ask myself and the brain trust we had assembled in one my my past alliances. We had a solid internal leadership team and we all put our heads together. we ended up utilizing a few ideas and concepts, none of them revolutionary, though one was unique at its inception. my major philosophy was that to be successful at recruiting you need to achieve one thing and one thing only: send as many messages out as possible on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. track these numbers. This is the only important stat of a recruiting team. I know some of you are screaming your heads off right about now because you believe its important to know how many nations are joining your alliance. Well, that is important, but not to a recruiter.

Allow me to explain. I’ve always believed that the single greatest threat to a recruiting teams success is frustration among the team members. frustration brought on by a combination of abysmal recruiting numbers and burning out the “good recruiters” by making them do all the work. Both of these are incredibly simple problems to solve with the same concept. first, don’t make the goal to get nations to join your alliance. Make the goal daily/weekly/monthly messages sent. When the goal is 500 messages per day, it gets more people involved. one person can not, within the rules of the game, send 500 messages, it forces the team to share the workload (if you don’t have a team of at least 10 recruiters, you’re fooling yourself that they can achieve longterm success). by hitting that goal, morale within the unit stays high because it allows them, and this is the key, to control the process. When the goal and focus is on getting nations to join, all of a sudden those unaligned newbs are in control of your recruiting team. Half of them won't even remember their log ins in a weeks time, and i'm willing to bet a good majority of you are putting them in control of your success!

I am of the firm belief that you can not make a nation join your alliance. they are going to join an alliance, usually, but that doesn’t mean it will be your alliance. In fact, more often than not, it won’t be your alliance. There are simply too many variables to consider. Its IMPOSSIBLE to control this. people get frustrated because they’re trying to control something that can’t be controlled. That said, There is really only one way people hear about, and join, alliances and that is the recruitment message. The recruitment message is the key to nation X joining your alliance. Not for the reasons you think though. I know some of you immediately decided, based on that sentence, that its important to have a “super star” recruiting message. and you’d be wrong, dead wrong. I’ll take an average “stock” message sent to 1000x nations per day over a super star unique message sent to 100 people a day, every single time. The simple reason being, the sample size is larger which increases your odds of recruiting nations.

Thats all for this post, stay tuned for my next post when I go into how to build and sustain a recruiting team. Let the comment rage commence!
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I’ll take an average “stock” message sent to 1000x nations per day over a super star unique message sent to 100 people a day, every single time.


While that may work well for you I've seen the polar oposite work for me in the past. Your approach has its benifits but also its limitations. Head Hunting with a specific message to a specific type of nation likewise has its benifits but also its limitations. At the end of the day both can yield similar results and in many cases I've seen the targeted approach work far better. Each to their own I guess.
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White Chocolate
Dec 05 2012 10:32 PM
Single most important aspect of recruiting:
Be the first to ask the nation to join your group.

This doesn't necessarily assure that you will keep the nation, but it's the most common answer I've received when I ask why people joined their first alliance. "Because they were the first to ask." And it makes sense, because what does any given new player know about the differences between alliances - nothing.
Three things.

1. Message Fast
2. Make your Message Stand out.
3. Offer a !@#$ ton of money for new applicants.
Does offering money guarantee results?

Does offering money guarantee results?


No.
A number of nations automatically rule out alliances that offer money, and I find those nations are usually the best ones to have; they usually expect to give to their alliance, not take from it.
My personal view is that recruitment is successful if your alliance puts great effort in showing people how great the alliance is and all of the advantages of joining and it is true that giving money does not work for people that are sensible, as has been mentioned in our recruiting department back in July, ''I choose this alliance because they showed me respect by not trying to bribe me and just tolled me the alliances ideology''.

That is why I'am under going a overall of the department to get members involved in improving our efforts and this will be done by focusing on our alliance's strength of community to show that off, how you ask? Well that would be telling would it not?

No.
A number of nations automatically rule out alliances that offer money, and I find those nations are usually the best ones to have; they usually expect to give to their alliance, not take from it.


On the contrary.

I find that to be highly unusual and nowhere near the norm. Nations who are willing to ignore any offer that involves money are more likely to choose their alliance by doing some research (happening upon the Sanction Race, et al,) than to base it by an arbitrary "well !@#$ nearly every alliance offered me cash but this one, I'll go to that one."

The key is that the number is important to get them there, emphasizing culture and their activity once they do is what makes them stay.

While that may work well for you I've seen the polar oposite work for me in the past. Your approach has its benifits but also its limitations. Head Hunting with a specific message to a specific type of nation likewise has its benifits but also its limitations. At the end of the day both can yield similar results and in many cases I've seen the targeted approach work far better. Each to their own I guess.

I agree that the approach you're talking about yields good result. however it's not a way to build a successful program. This is something I'll touch on with my next post but the quick answer is that as good as your method it's, it is hard to keep programs running using just this method.

The point of my post is not to say spam is let, it's more about controlling the controllable with recruiting. Why? Because it keeps the team focused and energized which is important if you want sustainable results.

White chocolate is really hitting on something important that I'll be getting into soon when I talk about the make up of a recruiting team.
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Tidy Bowl Man
Dec 07 2012 12:13 AM
You all seem to ignore retention, no wonder this recruiting process seems endless.

You all seem to ignore retention, no wonder this recruiting process seems endless.


That is true.
Pretty much what Tidy Bowl Man said.

you're better off going for the individual than mass PM'ing because it's hard to get a nation interested in any alliance with a standard message, getting a nation to become part of your alliance and getting a nation to join your AA are two very different things.
You can do both.

It's really not that difficult.
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White Chocolate
Dec 08 2012 02:08 PM

Does offering money guarantee results?


No. But I've done both and I get better results in terms of numbers with an offer of money. Doesn't mean they are going to be members who are active or stay, however. I've lost a lot of money that way.

On the other hand, it depends on what you're trying to do at the time. I've helped start two alliances and when an alliance is small getting members - any members - is important at early stages because of the number of members needed to be considered an "alliance" by "the community" and thus not be be attacked.

Does offering money guarantee results?


I cannot speak on the behalf of others, but I can speak for myself. I play other similar games and have been subject to many different recruitment techniques by different alliances. Only 2 things matter to me if I don't know much about the alliance in question - guides, and the stated approach of the alliance to the game

Money sounds good, but it doesn't compare to the other two.

You can do both.

It's really not that difficult.


To be clear, when you say this do you mean sending out a mass stock message PM as well as a unique one or taking the extra time to send unique messages to a large amount of nations?

In the case of the former, i think the extra message would probably detract from the "OMG a message that isn't spam" effect of sending a unique message, plus if they read the spam one first they probably wouldn't bother reading the unique one.

In the case of the latter, that is what i meant but there are drawbacks a lot of recruiters with restrictions on the time they can be at the computer wouldn't manage, and even for those without, they'd be falling behind when it comes to multiple nations appearing at once (as they tend to do -_-), the time between a nation being created and them receiving a message would get longer as you got further through them so it's often more effective to miss a few out to catch up
Both.

4-5 people have a "timeclock," or keep a list of people whom they haven't sent a message on "Display all Nations," page.

These are all unique messages. The key is each person having a similarly unique follow up message and have everyone stalk their "sent messages," for people who have read the initial. The follow up is key because the nation knows you're taking time / are an active alliance interested in them joining.

Cash is merely used to sweeten the deal.

Also guides are pretty much the same everywhere. Every alliance has access to guides at this stage of the game -- or should. Most people who play CN aren't involved in politics at all throughout their career so you have to cater to the audience, and money talks -- especially at first.

You all seem to ignore retention, no wonder this recruiting process seems endless.

Retention is incredibly important to the long term growth of an alliance, however it is not of any concern to a recruiter.

A recruiters job isn't even to get people to join his alliance.

I'll slay another sacred cow, the recruiting message isn't really all that importan either.

At least not in the infancy of a recruiting program (and any team that does not have consistently high results is in its infancy)

I have yet to hear any convincing argument as to why any of the above is important to a recruiter (relevant? sure, but not important)

overall, focusing on the final product (new members, retention the message, etc.) is rather foolish until the foundation is sound.

So, what is the foundation of a recruiting program that is successful, consistently?

So, what is the foundation of a recruiting program that is successful, consistently?


Messages to every new member?

*Caladin also wonders if TheEraser is a RL teacher
Training programs are the most important tool for any recruiting team, Anyone can bring in numbers and add a bunch of rouges to their AA. Making smart and active players should be the goal. Finding that active member to join your community is the most satisfying thing about recruiting.

Recruiting is also a pain, and i love the occasional pm's i get from rerolls. Keep them comin
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katashimon13
Dec 27 2012 03:23 PM
timeclock is a stupid name xP

recruitment dusnt = retention thats a diff job

recruiters jobs are to get pplz to stick in game

alliance is a bonus

yes the message dusnt matter xP

the way you do it does

important things toa recruiter would be consistency >_>

<_<

erm perseverance?

rerolls are usually he easiest pplz to get

unless they happen to be moldavi xP

anyways

i liked how u set message goals instead of recruit goals

to balance out how much work pplz do

so it dusnt all fall on one person >_>

<_<

yes ur alliance is better with 20 new ghosts ^_^

cause one of those 20 will be active for many months xP

the rest are up to the pplz who deal with retention

rawr

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