Nationwide recruiting firms have a number of methods for recruiting that extend beyond databases. As qualitative market research studies become increasingly targeted and niche, so do the requirements for recruiting.
Some qualitative research firms have internal recruiting departments, while others build partnerships with market research recruitment agencies. It doesn’t matter if recruitment is handled internally or outsourced to a recruiting firm, as the same strategies apply. The simple fact is that without qualified and vetted research participants, it’s impossible to conduct quality market research.
Seasoned recruiters get creative when it comes to finding participants for studies, especially when needing to meet very specific requirements of eligibility. Here are five ‘outside the box’ ways that recruiters work to connect with potential recruits.
1. Expand the Network: Since most market research recruiting firms keep databases, the first and easiest way to expand the network is to get referrals from existing database members to other qualified people. Recruiters will sometimes craft an email aimed at recruiting and send to their personal contact list asking them to forward their contacts. These two ideas are easy ways to amplify networking and outreach.
2. Influencers: Knowing who the influencers are for the community you are looking to reach is an important ‘recruiting trick.’ Going to specific people who command the attention of certain audiences and asking them to broadcast the study opportunity can be extremely effective. Keep in mind that it’s always good to pay these influences a small ‘finders fee’ if you end up getting a lot of leads from them.
3. Social Media: One of the first places recruiters turn to when putting out the call for a study is social media. Social Media is more than Facebook. Think about posting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and B2B groups. There are many communities formed around specific topics on various social media platforms, and getting your study in front of these audiences often yields good results.
4. Direct Mail: Thinking about direct mail may seem ‘old school’, but it’s still highly effective. You can easily purchase mail lists to targeted zip codes. It doesn’t cost too much to create a mailing piece and have it delivered. Direct mail is a great option when targeting specific regions. Responses that pour in from direct mail solicitations are also great ways to build up your database with names for future market research studies.
5. Face-to-Face: Making personal connections with people, whether through service organizations or conferences is another option for recruiters to build their networks. Make sure you have a stack of business cards at the ready to pass out.
There are lots of other creative ways that recruiters can connect with potential study participants, all it takes is imagination and not being timid.