As any reader of our blogs has likely learned by now, market research recruitment doesn’t ‘just happen.’ There are a lot of behind-the-scenes steps that recruiters take to present a slate of candidates to the researcher. Techniques and methodologies for recruiting qualified candidates will vary depending on the type of market research study being commissioned. Recruiting for B2B studies is different than B2C studies, and is even more different if it is for a medical or healthcare study.
We’ve had many clients come to us after they exhausted all their internal resources trying to directly recruit for a market research study. They often wonder what our ‘secret sauce’ is when it comes to market research recruitment. While we make it look easy, if you were to peek behind the curtain while our team of recruiters were in the middle of a project you’d see a flurry of activity with the recruiter juggling phone calls, spreadsheets, online searching, and the occasional swear word.
There is no ‘one way’ to recruit, but we have learned some best practices along the way. Here are some considerations when recruiting business decision-makers to participate in B2B studies.
Make your outreach personal. Even if you have an internal list of qualified candidates, you need to personalize our outreach efforts. It is very unlikely you’ll be successful in recruiting busy decision makers if your outreach efforts are generic or cookie-cutter. Business decision makers are busy and you have precious few moments to capture their attention. There are many ways to personalize your efforts. You could look up their LinkedIn profile and see what commonalities you might reference, or maybe you know this person attended a specific conference or was on a speaker panel, and you can reference this. Bottom line is your odds of success go way up if you make it personal!
A multi-prong approach is best. There is no ‘one way’ to recruit, no matter what others may claim. Our recruiters first cast a wide net and then whittle down their field. It does get a little tricky when recruiting for B2B studies, in that your pool of qualified candidates is already small. This is why it’s best to implement a multi-prong approach when trying to connect with business decision-makers. You’ll find that some candidates prefer email, while others only respond to DMs through LinkedIn, or other professional channels. Don’t get discouraged if you have to try multiple methodologies during outreach, it’s the name of the game.
Don’t call during peak times.Know your industry and avoid calling CPAs during tax season, or medical professionals at the end of the year (if you can help it, of course!) Each industry has its own particulars, so first familiarize yourself as to when you’re most likely to be successful in connecting with the people you need to participate in your study, and time your study to align with ‘slower times.’ Given the busy schedules of business decision-makers, give yourself extra time to complete your study. You’ll be thankful for a stretched out timeline in the end!
Sell them on why they should participate.When trying to recruit business leaders, it’s not uncommon to have to get past a gatekeeper. Have ready a variety of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ incentives that you can offer to entice the person to consider participating in your research (or to get the gatekeeper to pass along your message.) Remember that medical professionals and business leaders aren’t participating in research for the compensation (although your incentive offer needs to be higher for such participants) so make the case as to what they or their industry might gain from their participation in your study.
If you are looking to conduct a B2B study and need help recruiting qualified participants, we are here to help.