Sunday, May 4th, 2014
Issue: 2   Editor: FlameS

HDO Recruitment FlameS

In this article I attempt to take a look at the decision of the Elite Guard to turn to a more common practice when finding someone for a position – using recruitment in a more conventionally way to populate the Help Desk Team. This is the first time in Bootleggers history that Help Desk Operators (HDOs) have been selected in this fashion.

In the past HDOs have always been selected by what those in the business world would call being “headhunted”. The staff would offer certain players the position seemingly after they had been seen to consistently display the traits needed to be an HDO and perhaps having proved that their experience is able to be adequately articulated to their fellow players.

This new method of recruitment has attracted lots of players to apply for the position with a fairly straightforward application process – the initial step consisting of just a few simple questions and a personal statement of just 150 words.

This article is really looking to weigh up the positives and negatives of this strategy as I see them. Starting with the positives; this conventionally recruitment strategy is of course less time consuming and requires slightly less effort. Traditionally it is likely that the Moderators would trawl through the forums and over a period of weeks, months or perhaps even years, would recognise the right skills in some players. This strategy of recruitment allowing anyone to apply is obviously much more direct. Mika will only be required to trawl through his inbox for a few days, perhaps cross referencing that with the forums for the duration of the recruitment process – this strategy is of course then much quicker and easier. Mika will be able to focus his attention specifically on the top applicants instead of having to look at the wider community as a whole.

Inevitably in most strategies that decrease the amount of time and effort needed something is sacrificed, usually performance or quality. This was originally my concern when reading that the staff were going to fill some of the vacant HDO positions in this manner. I hope that the application process will not affect the quality of the HDOs the staff select. So far we have only seen the first part of the recruitment strategy that asks for anyone wishing to apply to answer a handful of simple questions as well as write a short 150 word statement summarising the main drivers for their application. Comparing the quality control between reading a well written 150 word statement against being continually recognised by the staff over a number of weeks/months is hardly comparable at all – the hope that the high standard of HDO we are used to seeing was at first diminishing.

At this point in my philosophy is when I decided to construct this article, the main angles I wanted to explore were to consider why the moderators decided to alter the strategy, consider who might apply for the position and also to consider If the current or previous HDOs would have applied in this manner – this will allow us to somehow determine if we will likely keep the standard of HDO we have all been accustom to.

I can fully appreciate that at the start of a new round, with potentially a higher influx of new players and returning players coupled with a plethora of new features the Help Desk must be much busier than in recent months. Thus the need for more players able to occupy the position will likely to have recently increased – Unfortunately the start of this round actually saw the number of HDOs initially decrease. With this in mind it is easy to see how a quicker and easier strategy for getting new players onto the Help Desk Team would have greatly appealed to the staff.

I spoke to Aerius, a new HDO this round who was selected in the classic headhunt style. The question I was burning to ask him was; if you weren’t selected for the position – would you have applied once they opened recruitment? To my astonishment I received the following response;

“I would not have applied to become an HDO. It was never my ambition to become an HDO, but when the Elite Guard approaches you. It is hard to decline them.”

This worried me slightly, if a player as suitable for the position in the Elite Guards opinion to be headhunted for the position would not have even applied, what calibre of HDO can we be expecting is going to apply? Whilst I had Aerius in conversation I asked him if he thought this style of recruitment would lower the standard of HDO we might soon see, he replied thusly;

“No, i think there are a lot of players who will do a great job and just started playing 2 years ago. The problem of these players is that they do not have a name that is recognized by the elite guard.”

Aerius makes a great point; surely some new players somewhat unknown to the Elite Guard have the right skills but are unlikely to be noticed as much. I asked Youn, exactly why the staff used this tactic for the first time now, he replied;

“We felt a few more people are needed in order to have a solid team number wise. The reason we changed the way HDOs are picked is because we want to give everyone a chance to show us their interest in the position, this may end up in people ending up yellow who we otherwise would have overlooked while they might be an excellent addition to the team.”

This certainly does give weight to the fact that the staff are hoping to make a position on the team a little more attainable to new players. I asked Youn if he thought this meant that the standard of HDOs might be affected negatively, he responded as follows;

“I don't think this new procedure will result in lower calibre of HDO's. The 150 words is a place where people can explain why they want to join the HDO team and why we should pick them, but the form applicants have to fill in is not the sole factor we base our decision on, it is simply a step in the procedure and as stated earlier, a way to give everyone a chance to show us their interest.”

To summarise, I was a little sceptical at first, I have played this game for a long time and I am used to seeing long term experienced players working hard to help the community over an extended period of time before a yellow jacket is offered to them. However I am also a great believer in this game, it has the potential to have a huge player base and it would be a little hypocritical of me to stunt the chances of fairly new players gaining position like this simply because they haven’t been noticed by the staff over a number of years. So as I sit here firmly on the fence I must always trust the integrity and decisions made the current staff, they seem to be doing rather well at the moment.

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