Our little hiatus is over and its back to We are BlackSky! This segment will be less about story and more about the actual ideas behind the guild and its OOC policy, that being our probation period known as “Prospecting”. I’ll cover the reasons behind why we have a loose sense of probation, and some of the ideals behind our general recruitment.
So what IS Prospecting?
The term Prospect as a rank we take from real life biker clubs. In a club you are join as a Probate or a “Prospect” for a set period of time. The big difference here is that Prospects are at the beck and call of the club in real life, whereas for Prospects OOC exist in a probational period of membership. Most guilds keep these new members around for a set period, and then decide at the end if the person is working out. Now, BlackSky doesn’t prescribe to this mindset. We in fact do not have a set probational period, and here is why. First, what is really proven in two weeks? People could perhaps act their best, get in and then cause a ruckus! Or you might miss out on a fantastic member who simply has horrible work week pop out of the blue on them! Truth be told hard probational periods are not our thing so instead we aim for something different. The primary aim of our recruitment policy is to find people who are not only seeking to join our guild, but seeking to become a fellow brother and sister.
We are in many ways one big communal family. So what does that mean? Well here’s how things work. A member applies for BlackSky, and they are filtered after being interviewed by an officer or leader. If they are approved they become a Prospect. Prospects hold the same basic rights, and privileges as any member. They can join events, participate in guild decision making by posting feedback, and are considered a brother or sister to be. Who becomes a full member is decided by the Officers and the Guild Leadership, and also the members themselves can speak up and partake in the process. The entire point of our process is to find those who are interested in being members. A strange statement right? What this means is that we look to build up our family with people who after a while basically become members in everything, but the title.
This means that as a prospect interacts with the members we look for the following qualities:
- General interest in the guild. Giving feedback, talking to other members, and getting into roleplay.
- Or just generally communicating and showing interest. We realize people have busy lives and we don’t hold it against them in the judging period (we look for enthusiasm and commitment).
- Do they mesh with the other members well? Are they adding to our existing culture of friendly laid back fun, and discussion?
- Do their characters mesh with the guild in character, as they bringing new elements to the story?
Friendly, Inviting, and Brothers / Sisters
In our segment on Brotherhood / Sisterhood we discussed the concepts of how our members are treated. One thing here we want to bring about for Prospects as they apply is a sense of open arms and welcoming faces. The point of this openess is that we want to actively seek those who are going to embrace our nature, and see who just doesn’t seem to hold interest. Many people will apply to a guild then get in and their activity suddenly drops (note we are not talking about IRl, just general commitment). I mean its kind of obvious right? By being friendly, nice, welcoming and inclusive we are forming bonds with applicants right away. The entire point of the brotherhood concept and how we promote our members is looking at the idea of “is this person now one of the gang?”
Member Evaluations and Patching Over
The next step to this entire process is something we call member evaluations. This is when the Officers and the Leadership sit down and discuss the prospects in order of has a prospect the longest. After each prospect has been discussed we’ll then consider who has meshing with the guild; began to or has already formed a social bond with the standing members and other prospects; and from then on we’ll begin the next part of the process, Patching. This aspect is pretty simple, once a prospect has reached our expectations their permissions are upgraded, and an announcement is made on our official Patch Thread.
What about those that do not get patched over (or becoming a member)? Well, we tend to let the most recent members stay prospects a bit longer as they have not perhaps had time to get to know the guild as much. We also factor in a few other things:
- Is the prospect going through a busy time or stresat a sful time in their life?
- Did any other factors play into their lives?
Often this when we keep people on for a bit longer to give them a chance to jump in and have some fun.
I dislike to use the term idiom “don’t make the cut”, but every recruitment round always have that chance. Realistically it is not very hard to become a member. All it takes is a little commitment and interest in becoming a Malverine or a Sovereign. Those who have a problem showing commitment or simply participating will be filtered out of the running. These mostly are going to be the one shot joiners (those who put up and app and disappear off the face of the world), or those who go quietly (those who sign up and then go to an alt and never come back). We don’t fault people for doing their own thing really, we just want to keep our house clean.
The final thing that may occur is if a character simply does not mix with the rest of a given faction. If a Cassian talks back and constantly refuses to follow the measure that will likely result in the prospect being removed from the Sovereigns. If a granok constantly gives disrespect and refuses to accept consequences for their actions (note we aren’t going to just kick people who cause problems, we’re talking characters that just refuse to get with the gang in any form). Those that wash out are not permanently remove from applying though. They can apply at a later date if they wish, and perhaps things will work out better than the time before.
At the end of the day the aim of our process is to find the people that not only fit in, but will become another brother or sister in the community we are building.