Staff Application Process

Discussion in 'Forums Suggestions' started by Jorjie, May 10, 2019.

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  1. Jorjie
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    Jorjie New Member

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    Jorjie
    I would like this thread to serve as a medium for an open discussion regarding this subjective thought. Personally, I disagree with staff applications being open for judgement and scrutiny from the community. I appreciate that certain criticisms and opinions from the community on certain applications are quite intelligent and have sound logic, however, the majority of the opinions are not approaching the application with the right mentality.

    I feel that a staff application should be submitted, viewed and processed by the staff team and I do not think the applicant should see the comments made by the staff team. In the event, that a controversial application is approved and the applicant has seen who has supported and not supported them within the staff team it can and will definitely cause a certain degree of bad blood within the staff team.

    The counter-argument, that a staff team will maintain professionalism irrespective of their subjective opinion and will respect the overall consensus is an idealistic argument without a grip on the reality of how any respective staff team functions.

    An applicant should not have insight into the voting process of the staff team or a written concrete piece from the community on their thoughts about the applicant. If the staff team would like to keep the community's thoughts as part of the application process, I feel the applicant should not be able to respond or view these comments because it can cause severe issues when they are in a position of authority on the server.
     
    • No Support x 5
    • Support x 3
    • Neutral x 2
    • Disagree x 1
    • Informative x 1
  2. Mai
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    Mai Senior Member

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    You know, I agree with what you're saying. However this would only work if there are more staff & more of which are active. The community helps highlight the good & the bad about certain applicants that staff themselves may not know. Overall, it shouldn't be whether a community wants someone to be staff or not, it should be based on whether the applicant is fit to be staff and I think a lot of people forget that.

    I think the opinion of the community matters however it shouldn't be treated as if it's the more important opinion, or the only opinion. Applications should be judged by the staff team BUT the opinions and criticism by everyone else should be taken into account as long as they are valid.

    I personally don't agree with the support / no support system. Especially when it comes to ratings. I feel like all we should be able to do is give feedback and move on. Us no supporting or supporting an application is not necessary.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Jorjie
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    Jorjie New Member

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    I agree with your overall sentiments towards the system here. From my personal perspective, I think if the staff team's inactivity is the basis of this community support system thriving that's an indication that a certain amount of change is required. The staff team should take an active role in pursuing the expansion of the team and paving the future of the staff team.

    Everything staff related has a timeframe, from the medium of communication, the staff team, the management team, managerial systems, etc. Therefore, the staff team should aim to convert potentiality into actuality, by processing these applications in a professional manner and updating the system would be a good idea.

    The current system has several inherent flaws, I highlighted a few in this initial post and you brought up several other issues which should be tackled to improve the overall server. This server has managed to maintain a significant player base despite the depreciation of other servers, such as Mineplex, the Magnum Opus of the Minecraft server world in a different time era.

    Therefore, taking into account the active player base, the staff team should match the activity to help the community thrive, and to credit the staff team rather than criticise it entirely, I would like to applaud certain helpers and moderators that do not play Economy but still come on for moderation which is a refreshing sight.
     
  4. lilCupcakeFreak
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    lilCupcakeFreak Active Member

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    I get what you mean, but also don't forget we are talking about a minecraft server. Although staff inactivity is a problem we also can't forget that we're dealing with people who have lives away from the computer.
    I used to work at a cinema with a somewhat similar staff application system (one where people could tell about the person wanting to be staff). Managers were around often but you can never fully tell if someone is doing something for the right reasons.
    For example: you can write a perfect 5 page long application but if you don't live up to what you put down not only you, but also staff/management could possibly get in trouble for adding someone to the team who isn't fair to other people. Therefor the opinion of other people gives an idea about how someone functions in the community.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  5. MrGallifrey
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    MrGallifrey Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying, but similar to what mai said, the staff team is quite small, and if staff only see the good things, they can't tell the quality or dedication by themselves. I understand not everyone's views on the applicant are mature, or particularly valid, but it allows them to see the flaws they would not otherwise see.

    Do take into account that what the community says counts. You wouldn't want a politician or someone with lots of power who's done nothing but flawed deeds in that position, right? The community gets to state their opinion, because it's a type of democracy- "Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting." And just like the united states government, it gives insight of what they want the representatives to vote for. Now, (just like democracy, this doesn't mean the community controls everything.) There's many applicants who are chosen who have low amounts of supports, or even a lot of no supports, because they think the candidate is good for themselves. I'm not saying the system doesn't have flaws, because it does, but I feel it's better for this small community.

    I don't think it's particularly necessary, for the support/no support ratings, but I enjoy the feedback on staff applicants because it lets them improve, realize why they won't be good at moderation, or give them an insight of how prepared they are. I believe that they should keep these things open, so people can continue to receive feedback.
     
  6. Lana Del Rey
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    Lana Del Rey Senior Member

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    I'm going with a no. From what im getting, you think that if you're applying, you shouldnt be able to judge other applications? Um, honestly if you're really wanting to apply for moderator, you'd be supportive and constructive when others are doing the same? I know that we don't want too many staff members, but I doubt there's even a limit anyway, so why would it matter if applicants support/no support each other (within reason) or not?
     
  7. Jorjie
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    Jorjie New Member

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    No, you've misunderstood the point, my argument is quite simple. If the community can critique applications, the criticism, irrespective as to whether it is constructive or not can complicate issues in the future. If a community player has commented in a negative fashion on an application and that applicant achieves Helper, the Helper should maintain a degree of professionalism towards that criticising player. However, in reality, irrespective of professionalism, this system will serve as a gateway for potential underlying biases.

    If you apply for staff, you should not be able to view the criticisms from individuals. If the applicant is rejected a staff member should objectively summarise the criticisms which lead to the rejection in a rejection response to the applicant allowing them to receive the criticisms from the community without being able to view how each respective member of the community responded reducing the likelihood of unfair bias to form in that applicant.

    This is the reason why it matters if applicants support/no support for each other. The argument that these applicants should accept criticism and maintain professionalism, as I stated is an idealistic argument. These underlying issues occur in a team irrespective of the quality of the system but the reduction in these issues would improve community and staff relations.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  8. RedstoneTrails
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    RedstoneTrails Active Member

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    Somewhat touched on by Mai, but I think we would need a much larger staff team if we wished for applications to be properly handled purely through staff.

    From what I've seen across all video games, staff for small servers like ours are essentially picked by the community, with final approval from existing staff. This has been the process I've seen for ARK server, GMOD servers, CSGO servers, Minecraft servers, and many more. A player mentions that they would like to be staff, or formally applies to be staff, and then community speaks on the matter. It brings to light many things that wouldn't be as easily visible to our relatively small staff team. Allowing for the open discussion allows for stories and screenshots, previously withheld, to come to light. There could be damning evidence against an applicant that would take staff a significant bit of time and effort to dig up if they don't have the help of their community.

    With our existing setup of staff and the numbers in our community, the only way I could see us moving to private applications would be through the addition of a staff role purely dedicated to handling applications. I've seen those on larger servers, and they work fairly well.

    Basic process for that would be: Application is filed -> Hiring Manager reads through, and decides whether the applicant is qualified enough to be considered -> Assuming they are worth looking into, the hiring manager then passes on information about the applicant to other existing staff members, to gather input on what they think of the player, and what they've seen of the player -> Passing general approval from the existing staff, the manager when then do a full log search of the player. Checking their chat history in-game, forums, and Discord, looking through chest and block logs for any suspicious activity, and interviewing players close to the one applying.

    From there, the hiring manager generally has enough information to make a solid choice on whether or not the player is fit to be a staff member.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Michael
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    Michael Super Moderator Staff Member

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    While the staff application process may not be perfect, from the perspective of a staff member, I believe that community feedback is essential to this process, as it not only allows us to see how an applicant responds to criticism, whether it be positive or negative, but also allows members of the community to voice their opinion regarding the member.

    While not everyone does this, many people act completely differently around staff members, which is perfectly understandable, as it can be intimidating sometimes to try to interact with a member of the staff team without changing one's behavior at all. Community feedback allows us to see how the player acts when around other players, which is extremely important, as a large part of being a staff member is being a trusted member of the community; it is essential for players to be able to feel comfortable enough to approach any member of our team with issues or concerns they may have. This should not be interpreted as meaning that the whole server must have an amazing relationship with the applicant, but rather that they must prove themselves to be capable of handling various situations in a respectful manner, and show that they are able to maintain a certain level of professionalism, even when dealing with players with whom the applicant has no prior experience.

    Community feedback allows the management to gain a more comprehensive understanding of who the player is, and how well they would be able to carry out the necessary responsibilities as a staff member, while also, as discussed earlier, being able to see how the applicant reacts to criticism, regardless of how valid the points are, or aren't. While it is not fair, or logical, there are occasional situations in which staff members are personally insulted, harassed, and sometimes threatened if it gets serious enough, for absolutely no reason other than the fact that they are a staff member. While these situations are quickly dealt with, in an attempt to ensure that these players are not able to repeat the behavior in the future, it is essential that the involved staff member is able to handle the criticism, ignore the comments, and calmly make an informed decision or ask someone else to do so for them if they do not feel comfortable handling the situation on their own.

    If staff members are not able to accept the fact that people will have disagreements with them, and may even dislike them, it will be extremely difficult to effectively carry out their responsibilities when required to handle heated situations. Feedback should never be taken personally, and should be a summarization of the applicants strengths and weaknesses as seen by the individual leaving a reply, in an attempt to help the applicant improve, not to drag them down. I also believe that it is much better to be open with opinions, rather than trying to "hide" it from the applicant; while that may avoid a few initial conflicts, it will provide fewer opportunities for the applicant to show how they handle criticism, and may lead to future, more intense, arguments, if they find out after some time that a player no supported them, when they used to think they were on "good terms", per se.

    Being open about one's opinions, within reason, while also assuming that the criticism is meant to help the player improve, not just to point out all of their flaws for no reason, is always the best option, at least from my perspective.



    With regards to community members replying to applications rather than staff, while I cannot speak for the whole team as they may have their own reasons, I believe that some of them will be similar to mine. Personally, I generally refrain from commenting on applications, not because I don't have opinions, but because my comments sometimes carry more weight, depending on the situation, and I don't want for players to feel "obligated", per se, to agree with me, just because of my position or the fact I sometimes spend quite a while formulating my responses. I generally avoid comments of that nature, unless I have a very strong opinion, or feel that my insight would provide something genuinely useful to the discussion.



    To also address the issue of negative comments creating biases against that player, staff are always allowed to request that other members of the team handle various situations, if they believe that they would not be able to fairly or effectively handle the player, and users are also always encouraged to come to the team with concerns, even if it is regarding another member of the staff. There is nothing wrong with bringing up your concern with a higher member of the team, in an attempt to explain your situation, which will then be dealt with after discussing the issue with the appropriate team members.

    While I don't want to encourage staff reports for every small issue, those are also always an option if a player truly feels that they are being treated unfairly by a staff member, to the point that they are no longer fit to be part of the team. While it is quite rare, there is always a possibility that it could eventually happen. This should not be used unless the player believes it is truly a very serious issue that must be immediately addressed, but the report section is there for that reason. We do not tolerate disrespectful behavior or harassment from players, much less from staff members that are expected to uphold the community guidelines and act appropriately. However, if they have been given a chance on the team, it is very likely that they have already proved themselves capable of handling these sorts of situations, and we should not have to worry nearly as much about them holding grudges against players that did not initially support them.

    Again, as stated earlier, community responses on applications are not meant to be taken personally, and are simply an attempt at outlining the applicant's strengths and weaknesses, so that they can improve.


    With all of this being said, I do appreciate the thought being given to this discussion, and obvious effort being put into replies. While I do not agree with the current suggestions regarding how to change the application process, as I believe it could easily backfire, I am interested to see what other ideas may arise. Again, please feel free to refute any of my points and provide your own thoughts on the matter, as this is simply my own opinion, not a representation of what the server or team, as a whole ,believes. I look forward to any future responses to this suggestion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. YB5_
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    YB5_ Active Member

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    No support and this is why

    It seems like the public's opinion might not seem to affect whether or not the player gets helper, but its only kinda true. The staff doesn't look at an applicant with 100 support ratings and say they're qualified, but player may know more about the person applying than the staff for several reasons, which the staff team can learn about and use the information to decide whether or not the player should be a helper. There are many players that rate no support just because they are guest banned from the player's island, or support just because they are friends, but those comments can easily be ignored.
     
  11. Terminator966
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    Terminator966 Member

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    Heyo, last server I was staff on allowed community input and as a staff member, it was quite helpful. An application is great and very important but you can spit a lot of BS into an application, having community members commenting regarding behavior, helpfulness, etc. about these applicants is extremely helpful for the staff members choosing. While they (staff members) are online an applicant can act perfectly but as soon as staff gets off they could be a whole different person and this would go missed by the staff team (no fault to them).

    I think that comments should be constructive and not hating on people but I feel they are important for the staff team to make a thorough decision on their applicants.

    No support from me sorry!

    Edit: Also, if an accepted staff member has a bias towards other players, that will surface and be reported in time and with the management team being how it is from what I've seen will be dealt with. If it's not and staff are allowed to do that, then that's a larger issue, not stemming from this!

    Best,
    Terminator966
     
  12. Lemonade
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    Lemonade Senior Member

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    This point you bring up about implicit biases is true. Humans have unconscious, implicit biases in one form or another, and while I do believe having the applications be staff-only would minimize these biases, it would certainly not eradicate them. Implicit biases can form even from one interaction with a player in-game.

    In order for this process to be put into place, it must be on a large scale, and we simply do not have that here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. iGlitcher
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    iGlitcher Active Member

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    100% Support. Please implement this.
     
  14. 52Phenomenon
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    52Phenomenon Moderator Staff Member

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    I would have to disagree with this.

    Let's say only the staff team could see applications and process them. What if the person applying is in a completely different timezone to most of the staff members? Then the team couldn't tell at all if the player is active in game, and also how they present themselves in game. If we've never had a chance to see them interact with the community (due to good reason like timezones), we can't form an accurate opinion of them.

    This is just one of the reasons why I think community feedback is extremely vital in the application process. The community stretches across many timezones and our players are able to see the server at times that certain staff can't because they'd be asleep, for example. The community's feedback on an application can show everyone how active the applicant is and what they act like in game.

    Furthermore, if applications could only be viewed by staff, some applicants could potentially take advantage of this. For example, act in a certain way when staff members are online, but then show a completely different side when there are no staff present. This could mean that the staff team think the applicant is a great fit, but the community may completely disagree. At the end of the day, the community's opinion matters because staff members are moderating the server that they play on.

    Not to mention, I think that for this to work effectively, we would need quite a substantial staff team which we currently just don't have.

    Overall I just don't think that this would help our server in any way and it could lead to problems. I believe that having the community's opinion on staff applications is valuable and it should be kept that way to ensure that the right people for the staff team are chosen.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. TweeCat_
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    TweeCat_ Active Member

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    Okay, I haven't really read much above so this most likely will be a repeat of what everyone is saying. Also ima get straight to the point.

    Neutral.

    I do understand that some people dont understand and know how to write a response or have the right mentality. Though one thing I disagree with is that you were saying something about that no supports is going to cause bad blood. If a staff applicant/new mod stays mad at them, they do not deserve to be a mod. The no supports should not make you mad.

    You said something about that it should be looked at by the staff team and only them. I feel like it doesnt need to be seen by them only, but I do feel every mod should try and check each app and give a support or no support, give some details and why they say that.

    Really thats all I have to say, so, I will be staying neutral unless you persuade me otherwise.
    Have a great rest of your day :D
     
  16. ItsRed
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    ItsRed Active Member

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    Okay so Heres an example I post evidence that AncientOak may not be ready for staff most people change their stance because of stuff thats been brought up Now hes more mature because of being exposed and he fully accepts what he did was wrong
    without me posting because im a applicant he mightve gotten staff back then and mightve been immature and not ready and mightve abused.

    so no support
     
    • Agree Agree x 1

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