Nota Bene: In the next few days, there may be some strange random changes on this blog as I attempt to duke it out with the HTML to create a site more aesthetically pleasing (to me anyway.)
Recruitment gets tricky for us in the EGA (the alliance of which I often speak).
We aren't a guild, and therefore we lack many of the resources many guilds have, such as a guild bank, a strict set of guidelines for members, and ownership of players' souls. We are very casual, and yet still focused on progression. Balancing these things is incredibly difficult - and we have no precedent to follow, so we end up making up the rules as we go along. With the exception of the EGA, I have yet to hear of any other similar Alliances that tie guilds together under one banner the way we do.
Unofficial recruitment is sorta my thing. As mentioned before, I'm a very bottom-up person, and I focus a lot of my attention on individuals. I use my personal networks, word of mouth, shower my alliance members with attention, and get to know new people on a very personal level. Where do I go when I'm hunting fresh blood?
Pick up groups.
We all know it's hit or miss with pugs. With the release of WotLK, and the 10/25 man raiding differential, we've got a lot of raiding options - and a lot of raid lockouts each week. We've got badges too - so I don't like to let a week pass without running 10 and 25 man OS and Vault. These are short fights, and incredibly easy to pug - everybody's doing it. It's the new thing! If the pug is truly awful, you aren't stuck with them for very long in these raids.
But what I love about pugs is that they are the most fertile pools of people who want to raid, but may not have the guild resources to do it on a large and regular scale. That is exactly the niche EGA fills. What better place to find potential new raiders to fill our slots?
Do I just spam the raid chat with EGA information? Not at all. A lot of people may actually pug raids to give themselves a break - it's easy to be lazy in a pug. While everyone else is relaxing though, I am furiously inspecting others, checking recount, looking people up on wow-heroes, sending tells left and right to feel people out. It's a lot of work - I also have to remember to heal on occasion. I usually don't mention the EGA per se. I add good players to my ever-expanding friends list.
During our progression nights, we nearly always end up with 5 or 6 open slots due to a shortage of sign-ups. If it's just a handful of slots, we can usually fill them pretty easily with some of our more casual members who choose not to sign up for events and through various guild members who are not active EGAers. This is where I pull out ye olde friends list, and start sending out some whispers. Before I add puggers to my friends list, I always chat with them a bit via whisper - this way they remember me when I invite them to something later. If they join our raid, and see what we're about, and the positivity that runs rampant over vent, we can often score ourselves a new EGAer. Casual is okay.
It works very well, and I've managed to pull in a couple of new EGAers this way. And, if I bring in one new person, I also inadvertently add their entire guild to our network. The key detail is networking - and networking requires a lot of time and proactive effort.
I'm not the only person who uses this strategy, so it must work for others as well. I know this because I too have had fellow puggers attempt to recruit me. My name is relatively familiar in the raid pugging circuit, because I do it every single week, at similar times. So even though people often associate pugs with strangers, one might be surprised to discover an extensive community of regular raid puggers. We just start to recognize one another's names. If i see a few names I recognize, I also know that this particular pug will likely go well.
Puggy recruitment requires a lot of work, and it requires a person to be extremely proactive. But, the greatest benefit is that you are able to pre-screen everyone. The pugged raid itself is the pre-screening process. The pressure of testing people and potentially finding out they are a poor fit is significantly smaller, due to the nature of a pug.