I talked before about our rather successful recruitment drive that almost tripled our corp membership and generated quite some buzz in our alliance. Paradoxically, total activity has slowed down a little – I blame the summer, even hardcore geeks see the yellow thing in the sky and swap spaceships for hiking boots. Our fearless Laird has put out a general recruitment call on his award-winning (1) blog. Read that.
But four things irk me with our current approach of recruitment.
- It is passive. We place our advertising and wait for interested parties to come to us, the RL equivalent of this would be Monster.com. But the sheer number of candidates can choke the pipeline and definitely wears the recruiting team out. For example we currently have 3 candidates who really should be accepted but we simply have not gotten around of doing so.
- The expectations of the corp and the new recruit are not always aligned. We – like all who have things for sale – exaggerate our accomplishments maybe a tad. This can lead to problems.
- The quality of the recruits varies from outstanding to so-so. The reason for this is of course that we know the people only from their API and a short Teamspeak Interview. In Real Life, this would be like accepting a new employee based on resume and phone interview only. Never a good idea.
- The third problem with this approach is that it rarely leads to sustainable growth. All corporations, real and in-game, expect that existing members refer new ones. Unfortunately that doesn’t work properly in real life (despite incentive programs) and certainly not in-game (2).
So, what to do?
I decided – in tight communication with our alliance leader Jadecougar to try a different route, the creation of a dedicated wormhole academy. Sort of like a vocational training school built by a large corporation (at least in Germany, Mercedes for example has those), our aim is to take in recruits for a limited time and train them in the basics of WH life. Unlike EVE Uni, we will teach how to “live” in a Wormhole, not just “raid” one.
At “graduation”, students will be given a choice. Either move to our Alliance C4 (or C2), nullsec or other corporation or stay but assume trainer status for new students. This way, we aim to create a solid, fun corp of experienced players but keep the mission to educate and help our Alliance corporations to recruit solid and motivated members. This idea is not exactly new – feeder corporations are the norm in nullsec – but its is the first time – afaik – that this is done inside a mixed alliance like ours.
We are very lucky to have a C2 corporation in our alliance that is extremely motivated to serve as this Academy. The current members have great chemistry, organisational skills and are devoted to have “fun” – something other players in this game often forget.
So, I moved a POS into their hole yesterday, assisted by our first recruit who had been a carebear in EVE for some time but never seen a Wormhole. We guided him through low sec, made him jump through the K162 into our new home and gave him on-the-fly coaching how not to kill himself. I was quarterbacking his approach from inside our main and very well equipped POS.
I had somehow not realised that he had never been to a POS either and never seen the blue bubble, the arrays, the guns, laser batteries and so on. So, when he landed, he was very excited by what he saw and called out to his young son without turning his microphone off. It sounded something like that:
“Wow, come here, look at this, I am in some kind of blue bubble”
In moments like this, I love the game and I am not ashamed to say it. If I can help someone enjoy his precious free time, if I can make and form a team of excited and motivated individuals, I feel fulfilled with my role. In moments like this, my EVE is real.
(1) I, Splatus, due the powers vested into me, hereby award “Notes from New Eden” an award. There. I did not lie
(2) Maybe for really, really big corporations can do this, but I doubt it.