In our last blog we introduced you to one of our recruiters Serenity Bohon. This week we are excited to introduce you to Jenna Speck, another one of Focus Insite’s star recruiters. Partnering with a nationwide market research recruitment agency provides market researchers with dedicated project managers who are responsible and responsive to every aspect of recruitment. Throughout the year we will continue to introduce you to the amazing team of recruiters who help turn any market research study into reality.
Jenna Speck has been part of the Focus Insite team since 2020. Even though she considers herself a ‘social introvert’, this doesn’t mean she’s shy. For Jenna, quiet time is important, but so is connecting with people. Her background in teaching has honed her communication skills, and these skills come through on every market research recruitment project she manages, “When I was a teacher, I had to learn how to communicate with a very wide variety of individuals, and it was in New Mexico, so with some people, there would be a language barrier. I take my experiences from that part of my life, and the skills I learned there, and transfer it to what I’m doing now, and those skills have served me very well in this position.”
Professional research recruiters make the job look easy, but Jenna says, “It’s not as easy as it sounds. Most of the time, you get to talk with very friendly, personable people. Other times you get the opposite, it just depends on the day.” Jenna reminds herself that ‘everyone is fighting their own battles’ and has learned not to take it personally if someone is rude. Being a mother and a teacher has taught her patience and resilience.
Jenna knows that the quality of the participants she screens is paramount to the success of the study. In past blogs, we’ve talked about the downside of ‘professional’ market research study participants and what to look out for. Jenna takes this to heart and is constantly assessing how honest respondents are being during the screening process. “I think the most challenging part of recruiting is being able to decide whether or not a person would be a great respondent for a study. Sometimes you get people that will lie just to get into studies, and it almost always comes out during the study. It takes great skill to be able to analyze people during a screening call, but with practice, it is doable.”
One of the ways Jenna assesses potential respondents is by asking open-ended questions. “I like to ask potential respondents open-ended questions and see what they say to me on the phone versus what they wrote in the survey. Most of the time, people will answer the same, but maybe elaborate a little more and then you’re able to see how articulate they are and whether or not they would be a great fit. Other times, you’ll get people that change their answers or can’t remember what they said before, and those are the people who are usually lying to get into a study.”
Jenna has managed many recruiting projects, but some of her favorites broke the mold of her more typical recruits for consumer goods or B2B studies. Her top three recruiting projects were all for the same client and were all related to voting.
“The purpose of these studies was to gather information related to voting, and what you think your government is doing for you, what you think it could do better, and I really feel that these studies are truly meaningful and impactful to our world. Simply put, I was so honored to get the chance to be part of something like that!”
It is a recruiter’s job to weed out participants who don’t qualify to participate in a study without narrowing down the field so much that only a few people qualify. Recruiters work closely with market researchers and make judgement calls on candidates who may not be a perfect match in some aspects, but have compensatory strengths that could benefit the study. Jenna encourages anyone who is interested in participating in a market research study to get in a recruiting firm’s database. Even though anyone can sign up to participate in market research studies, it’s up to our talented team of recruiters to make sure they qualify.