Friday, February 17, 2012

Head Recruiter

Entry: seven hundred seventy-one.

As of a few weeks ago, I became head recruiter for my corporation. It didn't exactly turn out how I thought it would though. It seems being a junior recruiter shelters you from the truth a little bit.

The first and obvious thing to deal with are spies. Sometimes they pose as alter egos or relatives of pilots already in your organization. How do you handle that? I handled it by not doing anything with the application until I spoke with the pilot the applicant claimed to be an alter ego of. As it turned out, my corpmate knew nothing of this 'alter ego', and I was able to promptly reject the application and place it on my DNR list, or Do Not Recruit List.

Beyond that things start to get a little blurry.
Let's say you have several knew recruits, and they want to bring in a friend who may be, in essence, a newborn, when it comes to meeting the goals of your corporation. How do you handle this without risking your new recruits leaving? I don't know if I did the right thing, but I decided on a course of action and am following through. Those new to combat, who don't get the benefits of their sponsors actually helping them are the ones I train. My training isn't easy though. Your average newborn claims to want to PvP, but does not, and will not unless you force him. I do not let them do anything other than PvP except under very special circumstances for their first month in the corp. If I find out they've been ratting instead of engaging in PvP all the time, it's the boot for them.

Yesterday was an example of this: I had just gotten the newest recruit settled in to do combat, and then we got the notice that the alliance was standing down for ten days. Thanks alliance. So, I let him rat for ten days knowing that roams would be sparse, and that he has yet to go through RIP (Retraining, Indoctrination, Punishment). Unfortunately, a roaming gang caught him while he was ratting and killed him. I gave him an ultimatum at this point: PvP or leave. I have his ratting ships, so he will not be able to rat until I give it back to him, which will be at the end of the next deployment if he stays, or sooner if he decides to drop corp.
But why did I let such a fresh into the corp? As I mentioned, this was to prevent losing other corporation members who have demonstrated a desire to fight and a desire to stay with us. If I take him and am forced to kick him, it goes over much better than outright rejecting his application. The hard truth is that getting in as a fresh is all about who you know, not what you know. Staying in, however, is entirely about what you know. I strongly dislike the need to accept this sort of fresh into corp when others must be rejected outright; it smacks of hypocrisy to me. Unfortunately,  it's the least risky of the options presented to me, so I have no choice but to take it.
Another issue is the time it takes to process all of this work. I am surprised at how much time it takes to run background checks, how often I need to accept new members into corp despite a closed recruitment status, and also surprised by the interviews. Some of the applicants are perfect, clearly geared towards fighting, although many an interview start with the applicant saying all they want to is PvP and learn, usually with an emoticon following their sentences to convey a false sense of excitement. It's been easy to sort out the fakes: they are too happy, they don't ask questions, they yes-man you, and every one of them says they want to learn to PvP.

Those I am allowed to reject outright I tell to start by engaging in PvP in low-sec, that I won't take them before they prove themselves. I don't expect stellar combat records. I expect a combat record that shows a basic level of competence. I can't rely on kill/death ratios, or ISK destroyed/lost ratios though, I have to delve into killmails themselves to determine whether it was reasonable said pilot lost his ship, won a good fight, or had a very stupid loss.

Those I can't reject are on a strict probation. Disobeying one of the three core rules results in an immediate kick from the corporation.
As for applicants I want to join my corp, they ask questions. They don't get excited, they don't make many claims, and they don't use emoticons. They state simply that they want PvP, and when I lay out the requirements, they ask questions that could affect them getting what they want. Even if the applicant has no combat record, it is clear that the applicant is going to engage in PvP without me pushing him. He understands that he only needs to meet the requirements to stay in the corporation.
Here's the requirements for new recruits to my corporation:
1) If there is a CTA, join it.
2) Get 40-60+ kills your first month (varies)
3) Stay out empire while the alliance is under a war-dec
4) Avoid stupid losses. Some allowances are made, but repeated losses in that fashion result in being kicked. An example is getting killed while ratting, or flying eighteen jumps through hostile space with an Orca.
With that I think I will finish. To those that read, if you handle recruiting or are looking to handle recruiting, I hope this gives you an idea of how to deal with some of the issues that come up.
Computer: terminate recording.

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