By now we are all familiar with the gig economy. Whether your side hustle includes driving for Lyft or offering your skills on Taskrabbit, there are nearly limitless options for earning extra cash. One way that people can participate in the gig economy is by participating in qualitative market studies. While most offers to participate in a survey or focus group are legit, there are also lots of scams, so it’s important to know how to tell the difference.
Participating in a qualitative study can be a great way to earn money, and nationwide recruitment agencies are always looking for qualified participants for qualitative studies, such as focus groups or in-depth interviews. One of the quickest and easiest ways to be considered for a study is to join a panel and include your name for upcoming studies. When deciding if a recruiting agency is legit, here are three things to look for:
1.) Respondent Bill of Rights— One of the first questions you should ask before adding your name is if the company abides by the Respondent Bill of Rights. Don’t waste your time with an agency that doesn’t care as much about study participants as it does the clients it’s recruiting for. Why is a respondent bill of rights important? It gives you, the participant, assurance that proper privacy and confidentiality protocols are being met and that a certain level of professionalism will be maintained throughout the study.
3.) FAQs— For first-time participants, there are lots of questions. They can be as simple as, “What do I wear to a focus group?” to “I had something come up and I can’t attend my scheduled focus group meeting?”. As a participant, you don’t want to be left wondering what your side of the agreement is. A recruiting agency that has a robust FAQ/Help will provide answers to lots of common questions that people ask when deciding to participate in a study. A good FAQ page demonstrates to you, as a participant, that the recruiting agency is organized and cares about its participants.
Participating in focus groups won’t make you rich, but it’s an easy way to earn extra money. What’s more, is participating in focus groups can be interesting and fun.