Wikipedia:How to nominate somebody for RfA
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How to Nominate Somebody for RfA
I've seen some pretty weak nominations for adminship and I've seen some pretty strong ones as well. The weak nominations have the potential of killing an otherwise solid candidate while a strong nomination can help a weaker candidate pass!
Running for adminship is like applying for a job and your nominator is your head-hunter. A good headhunter will represent you and portray you in the best possible light. It is the head-hunter's job to ensure that you are ready for the job to which you are applying and to market you to the client (the people who vote.) Often, the nom is the first impression that the group has of a potential nom. Thus, it is imperative to do it right.
While there is no single correct way to present a candidate, this method has been shown to be effective.
Paragraph 1: Introducing the candidate.
In the first paragraph it is important that you introduce the candidate. How did you meet? Did they come to you for admin coaching? (Link the coaching page.) Did you go to the candidate for help? Did you observe their work? When did you meet? If you met the candidate two weeks ago when he approached you about being an admin coach, you will have a different level of understanding than somebody you've known and worked with for 6 months on a specific project. What were your first impressions of said candidate when you met them? Have they changed? Why? What have you, as the nominator, done to vet the candidate? Have you reviewed his/her edits? Did the candidate have a previous RfA? If so when? Link them ALL. Did the candidate take to heed the advice given therein? (If so, an additional paragraph may be necessary.) Did the candidate go through peer review?
Paragraph 1a: (If necessary) If the candidate has been through a previous RfA summarize it here. What were the reasons it failed? What has the candidate done to address those concerns? How do you as the nominator know that they no longer exist?
Paragraph 2: What has the candidate done?
Paragraph two is to answer what the candidate has done previously. What areas are they involved in? Mention any FA/GA and significant article building the candidate has done. What projects are they involved with? If they are primarily a vandal fighter, what else have they done? While vandal fighting is important to the project, pure vandal fighters will find it harder to pass an RfA. Tell us about any conflicts that you've seen or know about the candidate being involved with. How does the candidate relate to others? Do others seek him/her out for advice? (If you can provide links do so.)
Paragraph 3: What will the candidate do?
Now that you've shown us what the candidate has done in the past, tell us what you think the candidate will do in the future? How will this person improve the project as an admin? How will his/her having the tools improve the candidate's ability to do the job they are doing or would like to do?
Paragraph 4: (If necessary) Weaknesses/faults of the candidate?
I don't believe in hiding things from RfA reviewers. They will almost always find the skeleton in the closet. The best way to handle a fault/weakness isn't to hope nobody notices it, but to confront it head on. What is there about the candidate that others might oppose? What weaknesses might others see in the candidate? Are these concerns justified? (Sometimes, they are and honesty should be the rule!) If they are justified, why aren't you as the nominator concerned about them? IF they aren't justified, explain why not? For example, in a recent RfA, I nom'd a candidate who was involved in a long bitter ArbCom case. When accepting the case, the committee did so with some pretty damning words that could have doomed the candidate's chances. Rather than wait for somebody to discover this fact, I addressed it head on. I explained why the case shouldn't affect the candidate, thus taking the sting out of the issue and turning it into an asset.
You do not want the nomination to be too big. Each paragraph should be a few (3–5) sentences in length. But remember it is appropriate to Ignore All Rules. A person with 20,000 edits or four failed past RfA's may need more space.
Generally co-nominations should be shorter and to the point, but touching on some of the same subjects as the main nomination, but in less detail. Generally, the number of co-noms should be kept to a minimum. The co-noms should be one or two short paragraphs at most.
More than 1 or 2 co noms (in addition to the main nomination) isn't a sign of a strong candidate, but a warning flag! "Why does this candidate need a dozen nominators? Are they trying to overwhelm us with support?" The only time one should consider more than 2 co-noms (plus the main nominator) is if they have failed at least 2 previous RfA's. Then, the only time that one should use more than 2 co-noms is to address specific concerns from previous RfA's. For example, you can have your routine 3 nominators/co-noms, but in a past RfA the candidate was nailed for activities on a GA. A 4th nominator, who is well respected in the GA community, could go a long way to alleviate concerns that may exist for that candidate.
IMHO, the ideal number of noms should be 2. Two conveys the thought that two people have vetted the candidate and found the candidate qualified. Three can be seen as overpowering. (Four or more definitely is seen as a negative.)
Conduct during the RfA
Just as the candidate should try not to get into back and forths with opposers, the nominator(s) should try not to challenge the opposes (or at least, limit it). Challenging opposes often has the effect of making opposers even more entrenched in their opinions, and can result in the Oppose receiving more attention than it deserves (see WP:UNDUE).
Reminder for Nominators
Ultimately remember that by nominating a candidate, you are putting yourself on the hot seat. If you nominate candidates who are regularly accepted by the community, then more credence will be given to your future nominations. If you nominate candidates who are regularly rejected by the community, then future candidates or even your own Requests for Bureaucratship application will face more scrutiny. In other words, you want to make sure that the candidate is ready before you do the nomination. Your first duty is to the community, not to the candidate. You are noming somebody you think will help the project.