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Behind Bzp - Assigning Staff

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower Jan 29 2012 · 162 views

Staff Behind BZP
I had only one question in my inbox for a mailbag this week, so I thought I'd share that first and then go on to the topic of this entry.

Mailbag

Just got one question for you today:

What's the step-by-step process behind hiring new staff?

I like how you tried to set me up for a nice Behind BZP there. Unfortunately, we outline that process very well right here in the Staff Information topic. That doesn't mean I can't use it as a springboard though.

Want to see your questions answered? PM them to me and put 'Mailbag' in the subject line.

Assigning Staff
So once a potential staff member is selected, how do we know where to put them? There's actually a number of things that go into the process.

First is the team they should be on - forums, blogs, news, or reference. For the latter two we usually pick out people we think would be good fits there. For Reporters we find people that write a lot, either in the blogs or the Library or just in a lot of topics. Reference Keepers need to be people who are very passionate about the story. Forum and Blog staff, however, are very similar in a lot of areas. They need to be helpful, courteous, respectful, and show a good understanding of the rules. Most times we pick someone with one team or the other in mind, but occasionally we give them the choice. Generally the deciding factor is where the member is more active, since that indicates which part of the site they like more.

For forum staff (aside from Mentors), there's then another level of assignment - which forums should they be helping out in? If we've recently had a staff member retire, there are obvious gaps we're looking to fill, but sometimes we're just looking to beef up our numbers a bit.

I'll start off by asking the Forum Assistant or Leader where they'd like to be. I don't want to assign someone to a forum they're not going to enjoy - it's happened in the past and usually doesn't turn out well. I also keep a giant spreadsheet: there's a column for every forum and a row for every forum staff member. I use it to not only keep track of assignments but also to gather some statistics to help figure out who should go where.

Each forum obviously needs at least one Forum Leader - more active forums can get two or more. Some less active ones have them too by virtue of an Assistant getting promoted to Leader and not wanting to leave where they had been assigned. The majority of forums also have Assistants. My spreadsheet calculates the Assistant-to-Leader ratio, which ideally I'd like to be at 2 or greater, but that doesn't always happen. It should always be at least 1 though. In addition to that ratio I also look at the total number of staff in the forum. I've also recently begun keeping track of forum activity in terms of page views to get an idea of which forums are the most active and consequently should have more staff.

Once I figure out which forums need staff, I need to figure out who to put where. The spreadsheet also calculates how many forums each staff member is assigned to and the average number of forums per Leader and Assistant. I try to keep these as low as possible because we obviously don't want people getting overwhelmed. Invariably though I see a few staff members asking for more work, so they'll have more assignments than most. Every now and then I'll shift people around though, just to even things out.

Every time a staff member joins or leaves the team, I make a new page in the spreadsheet and update it. This lets me keep a record of the staff changes, so I can go back and look at how things have been trending over time.

So I doubt that was nearly as exciting as recording the Powercast, but I wanted to share it anyway. As always, if you have an idea for something I can talk about, let me know!

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CHRIS PRATT
Jan 29 2012 09:14 PM
I found it interesting. Sounds like a lot of organizational work to keep track of all that stuff on spreadsheets, though. I don't think I could do it. :P
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Way to not mention The Trials.

Nobody gets on staff before passing those.
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Way to not mention The Trials.Nobody gets on staff before passing those.

Those were supposed to be secret! Now I'm going to have to think of something else to test them with.
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Dragonfly the Luminescent
Jan 29 2012 10:13 PM

Way to not mention The Trials.Nobody gets on staff before passing those.

Those were supposed to be secret! Now I'm going to have to think of something else to test them with.


GLaDOS's test chambers? :P
(From Portal)
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Way to not mention The Trials.Nobody gets on staff before passing those.

Those were supposed to be secret! Now I'm going to have to think of something else to test them with.

GLaDOS's test chambers? :P(From Portal)

Please. That wouldn't even qualify as a warm up practice run.
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Hahli Husky
Jan 30 2012 03:11 AM
Seriously? I got in because I was super bossy and wrote rules for this unruly RPG in CoT. I didn't even have full proto when I was promoted. XD

Of course, this was years ago and the same thing will probably -not- get you promoted ...
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I wasn't the one who promoted you. You were just part of the mess someone left me when they made me an admin. ;)
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You left out the part of selecting the staff in the first place. :P

Anyway, very interesting entry, thank you very much. Personally, I would be particularly interested in what went into the creation of the Forum Mentor team, for obvious reasons. :P What led you to the decision of creating a new staff group, and how did you select the candidates?

~Gata. ;)
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THE TRIALS can be bypassed with Fikou. Truth.
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I'm really enjoying these peeks behind BZP. They're interesting and quite informative. Much better than the now-archaic Weekly Updates. :)
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Hahli Husky
Jan 30 2012 03:13 PM

I wasn't the one who promoted you. You were just part of the mess someone left me when they made me an admin. ;)

I know, I know. XP

... wait, what? Mess?? :o
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Toa of Dancing
Jan 30 2012 03:20 PM
In essence, I've broken too many rules and will never achieve my dream of being a Reporter. Or RPG staff (not that I have time for the BZRPG anyways). XD

In seriousness, though, I have one question: Why are the members of the RPG Forum staff not active in the member RPGs? We really need some staff to keep hostility down at times. (Yes, I realize I intigate a lot of that hostility. DX)

Also, sorry, if that's not on-topic.
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You left out the part of selecting the staff in the first place. :P~Gata. ;)

Staff selection is covered in the link I posted.

In seriousness, though, I have one question: Why are the members of the RPG Forum staff not active in the member RPGs? We really need some staff to keep hostility down at times. (Yes, I realize I intigate a lot of that hostility. DX)

I can't speak for everyone, but I know I try to look through the member RPGs a couple times each day. If there are issues, report the posts so we're sure to catch them.
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You left out the part of selecting the staff in the first place. :P~Gata. ;)

Staff selection is covered in the link I posted.

I know. I had hoped for a more detailed description of the process (like, is there some sort of candidate brainstorming between you, Tufi and Kaiapu and how do you make a decision together) but I can perfectly understand if you can´t reveal anything beyond what´s already explained. Anyway, I agree with Sumiki, these are way better than the Weekly Updates. :)

~Gata. ;)
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Obsessionist
Jan 30 2012 05:25 PM
Very interesting. <goes to secret lair and revises 5-year plan for getting on staff>

But seriously, I do enjoy these looks behind the scenes.
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Just don't get too used to them guys. I doubt I can do these weekly for too long unless you have some ideas.
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Sure, getting on the Staff is easy enough, but how about leaving the Staff?
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Toa of Dancing
Feb 02 2012 12:03 PM
Ah, well, It would still be awesome to have more staff interaction in member RPGs. *shrug*
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Welcome To My Blog

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Name:
Andrew
Alias:
Black Six
Join Date:
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Staff Since:
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