I think the above answers are excellent. I'm adding some text too, because I think the topic is important, and to maybe say something they didn't (in a longwinded way).
Our way to handle recruits:
Application form on our forum. That weeds out a whole lot of people, or that is the impression I get, who can't really be bothered writing an application. That is good, if you're not bothered we're not bothered either. Reading the application also give a lot of information about the person, how much depends on the questions I guess. Sometimes you get really nice applications, where the person give a stellar first impression; and sometimes you get the opposite. This is our first weeding process.
Actually when I think of it, to post an application you have to register on our forum. It has happened once that a guy talked to me in game telling me he couldn't pass the registration on our forum. So I guess being able to pass our spambot protection questions (which was where he was failing) is really the first way we weed out recruits.
Clarity of "guildrules". Have a general policy written down somewhere and make the applicants read it before they apply to the guild, not after they are members already. Maybe even have a question where you ask "Did you read the guildinfo/guildrules?". We have a part of the webpage we ask applicants to read with this type of info on. This to make sure that they know what type of guild we are and what we expect, knowing this should reduce some drama.
Trial period. Ours is 30 days.
Recruit threads on the full member part of the forum, up for the duration of the trial period. For anyone to write their impressions in, good or bad.
Direct to full member. If you passed the trial with us you are as much of a member as someone who was here from the beginning. You're not in some bottom-feeder category where you have to work your way up, you proved yourself and thus you belong with the rest. We don't do veterans and members, we have two different member ranks to distinguish between raiders and casuals, but both groups are equal outside of raiding.
A general way of avoiding drama in a raidguild:
Clarity of lootrules and raidrules. Be transparant, or as transparant as possible, with how you pick raids, how the lootsystem works, who gets picked for doing the crappy job in the fight (if there is a crappy job), etc. Have it written down someplace as clear as possible so if anyone gets upset, jealous or feels overlooked, they can go to the rules and feel "hmm.. yeah I guess he is just following the guild policy". This obviously means you have to do your best to follow everything that is written down, but that's usually not very hard. The time you do the most mistakes as a raidleader is when the rules aren't clear, it's all up to you to be subjective, you're stressed and you want to move on, and you don't have time to think. This type of structure in the guild is in my opinion what makes everyone able to actually play for fun. The less structure the more subjectivity, and the more drama.
Personal experience on topic:
When we first started recruiting (in 2008), we accepted almost everyone. Even if it felt like we never got to know a person we would still think, oh well he doesn't seem like a bad guy he hasn't done anything to NOT deserve to stay in the guild. Even when it didn't feel like the person fit into the group we still recruited them if they seemed like an ok person. After a while we had created a us and them in our guild, us being the original members and them being the new ones (partly due to the new members mostly coming from the same guild). We started arguing on our forum (us vs them) and we made dungeon groups in whispers instead of in guildchat (this was when you had to team with people on your own server, and then travel to the dungeon) and it was a bit of a cranky feeling overall. Then the next expansion hit and the new guys stopped logging on, one by one, which at the time felt like a relief (and I don't blame them). A while later we had lost all the new guys and were back to the original team. Our recruitment fiasco taught us to not mass-recruit from the same guild, to be more mindful of who we take on board, and be more perceptive of traits and types that doesn't fit with our group; and it's the reason we are now quite picky when we screen. We have had very little drama over the years, after this initial hump. I don't know if we've been lucky, or if we screened well or structured ourselves well, or if it's just the general mood in the guild that's mellow and not promoting of drama.
Edited by Luria on 29/02/2012 22:15 GMT