How Not to Recruit Healers

Our server, like many others, seems to have a bit of a healer shortage at the moment. I took advantage of this by leveling my priest first, and managed to see a lot of instances on the way from 70 to 80.  It has also meant running a lot of heroics at 80, as I developed a small group of tanks that regularly called on me as their pocket healer.  Doing very well in the pick-up groups began to earn me raid invites, as guilds found themselves short of healers, which has meant fairly easy gearing up.  It has been great fun, as I’ve always loved running dungeons, and I’ve gotten a lot of practice healing now.  I’ve gotten pretty good at it, I think.

So, a few of the guilds that I’ve run raids with have extended offers to join their guilds.  I have no intention of leaving my little casual guild, especially if those larger guilds will still have me along to fill out their raids.  It is nice to be invited though.  Nothing like a good ego massage.

I always thank the raid or guild leaders that ask me to join them, but explain that while I’d be happy to fill in that healer spot any time, I have no plans to leave my guild.  They’re usually very cool about this, thank me for the time I am able to raid with them, and keep adding me to the calendar.  The invites are made with the understanding that if they get enough guild healers to sign up, I won’t be going, and this is totally fair, I think.

All that said, there are some folks in these guilds (one in particular) that are not doing themselves (or their guilds) any favors by recruiting very aggressively.  Recruiting is like a courtship.  There is a bit of social finesse required; it doesn’t pay to smother the healer you’d like to recruit.  You should do just as you would with someone you’d like to date.  You should be respectful of their time, give them space, and let them get to know you.  Playing hard to get can make one a little bit more attractive.  Coming on too strong reeks of desperation.

Here are some things I would NOT suggest doing, if you are trying to recruit a healer to your guild.

1. Whisper them the second they log in.

I confess, it is nice to be wanted.  Who doesn’t enjoy this?  I usually get several whispers shortly after I log in, asking me if I’ve done the daily yet, whether I’d like to heal a heroic, etc.  Personally, I usually give a friend a good 5-10 minutes before I whisper them to make sure that 1) they weren’t just logging in to check their mail for just a sec before logging again, and 2) they didn’t have something else planned.  I realize this means I could miss out on a group or two, but I like to give people their space.  Usually, I get whispers within the first few minutes of logging in, while I’m saying hi to the guild and checking my mailbox.  This is fine. Lately, however, I’ve been hearing that “plink” that lets me know a whisper has arrived before Dalaran has loaded… uh…

If it’s a friend or someone just saying hi, that’s no problem.  If it’s someone asking me for something?  Please just give me two minutes to figure out what I’m doing.  It’s sort of like watching your neighbor’s house until they come home and calling them before they’ve even managed to put their bags down yet and asking them for a favor.  It’s kind of rude.

2.  Whisper them every time they log in.

So, this person that has been whispering me the second that I log in has been doing this for the past several days.  Really… is it necessary to whisper me every single day?  I have gotten the picture — I know they want me to join their guild.  I’m always polite about the recruiting part, and tell them I appreciate it, but remind them that I plan to stay with my guild.  (Are they hoping to wear me down?)

Also, they’re usually asking me to heal something at that moment for them.  Because they ask me every day, I find myself much less inclined to run with them.  I don’t want to do anything to encourage this behavior.   If you were hoping to build a relationship with someone, would you really call them every single night and ask them to do something?  Hopefully not.  It sends bad signals, suggesting that you are high maintenance.  This is a definite turn off.  It makes me wish there were some sort of invisibility setting so they couldn’t see me when I logged in.

3. Suggest that what they’re doing instead of healing your instance/raid is not worthwhile.

I am honest with people if I’m turning them down.  “I’m sorry — I’ve just signed on for another heroic.”  “I’m sorry — I’ve just logged in for a few minutes for some fishing.”  “I’m sorry — it’s getting late and I’m too sleepy to heal anything now.”  Normally I get a “kk, thanks!” or something like that.  This aggressive person instead says things like, “Fishing is a waste of time.”  “You’re not really tired, or else you would just go to bed.”  The most obnoxious was last night, when I’d passed on a raid with their guild because my husband and I watch Lost on Wednesday nights.  I had already mentioned it to the raid leader and guild leader, but of course, this person asked me if I was going to the raid.  I said no and explained why.  Their response?  “That show is stupid.” /sigh

So, really… insulting someone is going to make you more appealing to them?  I don’t think so, bub.

4. Stalk them.

A few nights ago, they whispered and asked me to come heal something for them.  I said that I couldn’t, that I was getting ready to log out soon.  “What are you doing now?” they asked.  I said I was helping a guildie for a few minutes.  Seconds later, they showed up and were standing right between said guildie and I.  They danced, they flirted, and as if that weren’t enough, they whispered my guildmate saying I said that my guildmate was awesome, making up a bunch of crap.  Wtf?

And then last night, as I mentioned, I didn’t raid with them because I couldn’t be on much past 9.  We DVR Lost, however, so that gives me a bit of leeway (and allows us to skip commercials).  After an Obsidian Sanctum run with my guild, I ran a quick heroic, which we finished up around 9:20.  Just before pulling the last boss, I got a whisper from this person that said, “LIAR.”  I responded, “STALKER.”

I know, I know, I need to put this person on ignore.  Before I do this, I think I’ll discuss it with their guild leader and let them know the issues I’ve been having.  I would still like to keep myself available for their raids (even if it means raiding with Stalky McGee), so letting them know directly could ensure they won’t get a twisted interpretation of what has happened over the last week.  I’m not sure how they’ll be able to muzzle this guy to prevent him from scaring off healers who may actually be interested in joining the guild, but I sometimes wonder if this is part of the issue they’re having.

Really, it’s worth treating potential guild recruits with respect and at a respectful distance.  Otherwise, there’s no way they’re going to join your guild.  (Plus, they might post about you in their blogs!)


17 responses

  1. Heh, I had a group looking for a healer the other night that kept whispering to my retribution spec’d paladin over and over and over.

    Okay, that isn’t guild recruiting, but somewhere in the zone. Maybe another rule to add though, don’t keep bothering people who aren’t even spec’d for the task!

    I said no the first time, and that did not change through to the seventh or eighth time when I finally had to put them on ignore.

  2. Pingback: Recruiting Healers is Like Picking Up Women (and a WoW Blogger’s challenge) : World of Matticus

  3. Sometimes it is hard to talk things over in-game, and you have a pretty nice write-up here. You could direct their guild leader to this blog post so he/she can read the background, and the follow up with in-game chat…

  4. I cannot believe how well thought out of a post this is. I have played healers exclusively this Xpac to enjoy some of the benefits from the lack of healers and concur totally. Excellent, well thought out post. Bravo!

  5. Every day I have to explain to a hunter that I am not specced healing, but dps-ret.

    I’m thinking of sticking them on ignore, give it a few days…

  6. Pingback: Case Study: How Conquest’s Healers Were Recruited : World of Matticus

  7. Great write up, I would also like to add that pushing a healer through an instance is a definate turn-off. I for one like to have full mana for just about every pull. We all know how quickly something can go wrong and when the healer says OOM! it is somehow always the healers fault……..

  8. I am in one of the top guilds on my server, so I don’t get anything about joining someones guild, however, literally EVERY time I sign on either my resto druid or holy priest, I have 1-2 whispers, generally from people whom I don’t even know.

    How the hell do these people even know me? Where do they come from? Do they sit there doing /who’s until they see someone new pop up?

    It does get fairly annoying after awhile, especially when it’s a person you have run with before, and they were a TERRIBLE player, and you refuse to group with them again, but just don’t have the heart to tell them… *sigh*

  9. @Wilhelm

    Perhaps they were attempting some sort of Jedi mind trick? You can heal for us! You are a holy pally! *waves hand*


    No kidding. What sucks is that I’ve found myself doing the equivalent of turning off my phone and closing the window shades: I’ve been playing alts to avoid this dude. I’m signed up for one of their raids soon though, so depending on how that goes, I’ll discuss the situation with his guild leader.

    Thanks for the linkages and added thoughts in your blog, by the way! I’m working on a follow-up on good recruiting tactics (from my perspective), which might complement your case study and match your latest blogger challenge. 🙂


    I may keep the post open to remind myself of all the points, but so far, I’m a sekrit blogger on my realm. Not many folks know I write here. 😉 Thanks for the suggestion though!

    I’m considering meeting the guild leader in vent to discuss this with them. It will certainly be faster than typing it all out and I can worry less about losing any intended tone. It’s also a reminder that I’m a real person and not some nebulous thing in the game that periodically shows up as raider #25.


    Ugh, I hate that. I felt like tanks were adjusting to my slower-filling mana pool in the new heroics worse than I was. If I asked them to wait, they’d say, “you have half your mana — that’s enough,” and I’d be in total panic mode, knowing that I’d likely have to drink an pot, send out my shadow fiend, and pop all my trinkets if -anyone- other than the tank took damage. And then, if someone accidentally grabbed a patrol after the pull? We’d be dead.

    I finally just started carrying around stacks of honeymint tea and taking a slug of it whenever I got a few seconds to do so. Sort of a waste of money, but then, so are corpse runs.


    > How the hell do these people even know me? Where do they come from? Do they sit there doing /who’s until they see someone new pop up?

    I think that’s exactly what they do. I’ve been in pugs where one person is assigned to go spam trade chat while the others pop into neighboring zones and do /who to find any potential healing (or tanking, or whatever) classes.

    Oh, it’s awful when you get repeat whispers from a bad player, too. I find it easier to come up with an excuse not to heal for them, especially if it’s a tank. If it’s crappy DPS and they just want to do H-UK? Meh, I’ll go. But if it’s a crappy tank and they want to do H-UP… “Sorry! Gotta help some guildies for a while!”

    I have one player that whispers me frequently that, while not necessarily a bad player, she certainly has bad manners toward her healer. Often, we do heroics early in the evenings and she always goes afk if there’s a wipe. In other words, I always have to rez her. In my view, good manners dictate that if your rezzer runs, YOU run, too. It’s not part of the healer’s job to come rez your sorry butt every time. She always says, “sorry, I needed to check on dinner!” or some such, but it happens every single time. I call her on it every time now, too. It’s very annoying.

  10. I feel your pain to a lesser degree. I respec’d to balance from resto as I spend a lot of time soloing content(mid-60s level, casual player).I never realized how much time I had spent healing pugs until I respec’d as furry-owl and the whispers didn’t stop. When I explain I’m not resto but I make a good DPS with occasional offheal I sometimes get “kk, thanx” (polite) but more commonly get “don’t need DPS, nm” (NOT polite). I even got the F-bomb once…
    My guild is mostly social, the GM and officers are all multiyear players just hanging out. I’ve got them fired up and we’re doing raids for the achievements, running with my guild doesn’t make balance a liability but I’m afraid the /who whisperers don’t quite get it.

  11. far too many people run the addon the will send tells to people of various logical breakdowns: 70+ && (druid | paladin | shaman | priest) and ask them: “do u want to healz for uk plz” same addon does “send all unguilded” or “send all unguilded && class/level” pardon me, would you be willing to …

  12. I know the feeling. I’ll go guildless for not even a day and I get /w and /ginvite with out anyone from that guild even talking to me. Just yesterday I was pugging EoE, half of the raid was from a guild, they ditched the raid once we zoned in, I hearth back to dalaran and they /ginvite me, hah no thank you.

  13. @Ry

    I’ve had that issue, too, as I’ve been moonlighting as shadow recently. (I’d like to get in on a few more raids with my own guild, which is a bit healer-heavy, so I’ve decided I’m just going to eat the respec fees until we get dual specs.) Respeccing to heal for a guild run is one thing, but for a pug that may not even get past the first boss? Don’t think so.

    Amazing how rude people can be. Sheesh… don’t think I’ve ever been cursed for turning down a group.


    Wow, I’d think addons like that wouldn’t be permitted. Seems like spamming. Does explain why sometimes the messages come through so frequently though.


    Heh, wow. I’m working on a post about recruiting now, and that’s definitely something I’ll be addressing. If a guild doesn’t seem at all discriminating when they invite you, then 1) what other kinds of crazy people have they collected, and 2) what does that say about their interest in what you have to offer? All around, it’s just a bad sign. Sometimes I’m tempted to join out of morbid curiosity to see what goes on in guilds like that, but I can’t imagine staying with a guild that didn’t have clear recruiting standards.

  14. @Ess

    I have two people in my guild that never, ever, run back to their corpse, it drives me mad. Most of the time I call them on it, but to no avail. It really upsets me, because these people are actually good players, and not the guild jerks (although, we have a few of those too, like I am sure just about every other guild does).


    I have alot of alts, that I play only for a few hours at a time, when I am in the mood. I am generally guildless at all times on these toons, and everytime I sign on one, within the first 20 minutes of playing them, I get a random Ginvite.

    I take every one these invites though, just to see what goes on in guild chat, how many members they actually have, and just out of general curiousity. I play these alts so seldom, that by the time I sign on them next, I am no longer in that guild and again, get that same out of the blue Ginvite again… the cycle continues.

  15. I’ve recently picked my healer back up as I just started playing Wrath around Christmas.

    I’d been focusing on alts for awhile and almost forgot what it’s like being on the receiving end of a lot of what’s been mentioned here. I love playing a healer but there are certain frustrations that come with the territory, that’s for sure! 🙂

  16. @Xylch

    Argghhh… I guess it holds up the whole group, but I suppose you could just refuse to rez them. Easier to get away with that in pugs than in guild though, because they could easily turn it around and say you’re making too big of a deal out of it. That’s a lame excuse for poor etiquette though.


    Thanks for your comments! It is really a mixed bag. I can see how healers burn out very quickly, but on the whole, it’s been a good situation for me. Our guild has needed me more for DPS lately, however, so I’ve been spending time on the dark side once again… 😀

    @Curtain (late reply)

    I wonder if all of this is going to get worse with dual specs. Some folks (myself included) will enjoy having the flexibility of being able to fill more than one role, but not everyone is interested in healing or tanking. It will also make it a little tougher to flatly turn down a healing invite by saying, “Sorry, I’m shadow right now.”

    @Kenneth (late reply)

    I do try to make sure my posts are well thought out — thanks for the compliments!

    Also, I hope you don’t mind that I removed the link that you tried to include as your home page. Did you know that account selling is against Blizzard’s Terms of Service? 😉

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