It’s no secret that many market research companies outsource screening and recruitment for in-depth interviews and focus groups to market research recruiting firms. But not all nationwide recruitment agencies are created equal, and before signing a contract with one, here are five things to consider.
Recruitment is a crucial component of market research, and you want to select a recruitment agency that can demonstrate easy and timely communication. Many studies have tight deadlines, so ask what a typical turn-around is for screening and recruiting participants for the type of study you’re conducting.
Ask for references from past clients to get a sense of how the recruitment firm communicated throughout the project. Did they receive daily updates? Was the recruiting agency proactive with its communication, or did the qualitative research consultant have to initiate communication?
Some of the many benefits of outsourcing recruiting is it saves time and money. It should also save ‘headaches and hassles’ and good communication between the recruiter and the researcher will ensure this.
Market research studies often deal with sensitive and proprietary information. When participants have been selected to participate in a study, it’s imperative that they are informed of the sensitivity of the study.
Respondent Bill of Rights
The Respondent Bill of Rights was created, in part, to communicate to participants that there is an agreed-upon standard of professionalism and privacy that extends to them when they agree to participate in a study. Asking if a recruitment firm adheres to this bill of rights is one way to gauge the level of respect and care the firm uses when recruiting. It is also a quick way to learn how personal information is managed and the protections that are in place with regards sensitive data.
History of Success
An easy way to know about the success rate of the recruiting firm you’re considering is to ask for a client reference list. If the company can’t generate a reference list, think twice about working with them.
If they share a list some questions to ask of past clients and the recruiting company are:
Was the recruiting company transparent and were its recruitment strategies clearly communicated? What types of studies has the recruiting agency recruited for? How is the personal information of their recruits managed and what are the policies for protecting sensitive data?
Market research studies that feature national or global companies often require participants that span a large geographic area. Ask if the recruitment firm you’re considering can recruit participants that match the geographic demands of your study, and if they’ve recruited for national or international studies in the past. Market research can be broad or local, and you want to know that the recruiting company you’re considering can pull from your target areas.
If the recruiting firm you’re considering can satisfactorily respond to the above questions, your market research team will have the confidence that an important component of your research can be handled.