An essential component of any qualitative or quantitative market research study is recruiting the right participants. This is especially true when recruiting for medical or healthcare studies. Many market research consultants partner with a nationwide recruitment agency to populate studies. Recruiting agencies not only find participants, they also manage this component of the study from beginning to end.
If you haven’t worked with a market research recruiting firm, you may be thinking that because you have a big network of people you can call upon to participate in a study, hiring a recruitment firm is just an added expense. As anyone who has tried to manage recruitment on their own will tell you, you’ll save a lot of time and money by outsourcing this critical piece of research. Why? Nationwide recruiting agencies spend all of their time devoted to staying networked and connected to different communities and have expertise to connect with qualified participants. What’s more, recruiting firms are skilled at managing last minute substitutions and no-shows so that your study isn’t derailed because one or two people didn’t participate. Qualitative research goes deeper than quantitative studies, and has fewer participants. If one or two people don’t participate in a scheduled study, it can skew the data and render it meaningless.
So,what’s the ‘secret sauce’ and how do recruiting firms make it look so easy? Here are but some of the ways that recruiting agencies stay current.
Recruiters are often members of a number of various professional networks. It isn’t enough to be passive within network groups. Recruiters stay engaged and up-to-date on emerging trends within any given industry. This engagement gives recruiters the upper hand with recruiting because they are often known within these network groups and will have more timely responses when they call upon people to participate in a study.
While it’s easy to put out a general call on social media, this is becoming less-and-less effective. There are many private social media groups that make it challenging to reach individuals within a group. For example, if you’re recruiting for a healthcare study and need to recruit patients who use a specific pharmaceutical, you’re unlikely to gain access to restricted social media groups without a professional connection to a recruiting firm that can demonstrate respectful privacy policies and other professional standards. Also, it can sometimes be expensive to place ads within these restricted groups, and recruiting firms will have a broader understanding of the demographic and know of alternatives that may be less costly.
Most recruiting agencies keep a database of people they can reach out to. Such databases can quickly be sorted by various filters that will give recruiters a quick read-out of potentially qualified participants. Beyond databases, recruiters will call upon participants to refer people within their sphere that may be interested in participating in a study. Such referrals are especially helpful when recruiting for technicalor medical studies.
When it comes time to fill your next market research study, consider partnering with a nationwide recruitment firm.