What we’ve learned after spending 150+ hours interviewing discord mods
My name is Louisa and I am one of the co-founders of ModRater.app. We are a 2.0 marketplace for web3 start-ups to manage their Discord communities. After spending 150+ hours interviewing moderators (mods) who applied to our site, we are proud to offer a free moderator application form that can be used by any server owner to screen candidates: https://modraterhub.app/evaluation
Here are some of our key takeaways:
(1) Mods have unique skillsets.
Contrary to common belief, every mod possesses a distinct set of skills. To start, collab managers, (someone that does community outreach to other servers on your behalf), are not mods. In fact, at ModRater.app, we use an entirely different application form for collab managers.
Mods can be further segmented into classes. For example, technical mods are different from regular mods. Technical mods are adept at discord setup, user audit (booting bots and spammers), and bot deployment. They are always in tune with the best practices for server design and security setup. In addition to technical mods, there are “professional” and “casual” mods, characterized by their conversational styles. For example, some mods are subject matter experts on crypto. While they are extremely knowledgeable in their domain and capable of handling any user questions about the project, they should be paired with a casual mod (someone who prefers to talk about life rather than all about projects). Pay special attention to mods who are good at event planning. These mods are usually semi-technical and very fluent in bot deployment. They can be a great addition to your team because hosting events are one of the best ways to keep a community engaged.
(2) First vs Second Generations of Mods.
We noticed that there are two generations of mods on Discord. The first generation started their mod careers more than 4 years ago, working mainly for gaming/Twitch servers. They tend to be well-versed in Discord and have comprehensive skillsets. In fact, most of the technical and event mods we have interviewed are from the first-gen group. We love them at ModRater because these mods have proven track records of “loving what you do” and a sound understanding how to build a genuine community. However, the majority of this group will require training on NFTs.
The second generation of mods started out on Discord about 2 years ago. The most experienced NFT mods have worked on at least 3 to 4 large projects. They are well-versed on the playbook for NFT projects and usually have experience working with other social media platforms (Twitter or Telegram). Most of them became mods because they have long-term aspirations to work in web3 space full time in the future. However, a lot of them are short on Discord technical skills because they usually get hired after a server is built. If timing and getting critical mass in a short amount of time matters for your server, second gen mods are great mods to have.
(3) Seniority is not about years of experience.
At ModRater, we tag each mod based on their skill sets and by one of four levels: Newbie, Adolescence, Senior, or Ultra. The Newbie is someone who has little Discord experience and should be paired with another mod. Adolescence mods have some work experience. A Senior mod is someone who has gone through a couple projects and can independently handle day-to-day server tasks. They can also be a mod lead and manage other junior staff. At ModRater, 12% of our mods are senior. An Ultra mod (< 3%) is someone that has demonstrated abilities to guild the server, by being a positive voice for the team and playing a proactive role to help server owners further improve the community.
In our experience, seniority is not only about years of experience, but also about the range of tasks that the mods have done. For example, we have seen mods who have worked on NFT projects for 2+ years, but the only tasks that they have done are chatting and ticket supports. In this case, the mod was assigned the Newbie level. In another scenario, a mod with 6 months of NFT server experience was assigned the Senior level because he had tackled all aspects of community management: content writing, event planning, ticket support, voice moderations, stage event, and was promoted gradually while working at the server.
(4) Provide the best working experience for the mods.
No matter the skillsets and levels, mods are not hired gun even if they are paid generously. Good mods have a strong sense of duty and only work with projects they believe in. It is the server owner’s job to sell their visions and make mods true ambassadors. Creating a positive relationship between the server owner and the mod is a two-way street. The server owner would provide the mod with education and shed light on how an NFT project works from an insider’s view. On the other hand, the server owner would require their mods to voice suggestions on how to improve the community. Don’t be afraid to hold mods accountable. At ModRater, we developed an analytical dashboard for our clients tracking their Discord server KPIs (https://modraterx.app/dashboard/kurumaNF as an example). Some of our clients use the dashboard on a daily basis in order to coordinate with mods and optimize weekly marketing plans to reach their targets. Mods love this process because they get to play an extremely important role and have a sense of accomplishment.
If your server is often bombarded with numerous candidates looking for a mod job, start using our valuation form to automatically screen them out: https://modraterhub.app/evaluation As we receive the applicant’s profile, we would match their answers with our proprietary benchmark to make an initial assessment on skill sets/levels and share our insight with you.