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!