When companies are in the process of launching a new service or product, they often hire nationwide qualitative research companies to conduct research to examine the perceptions, thinking, and decision-making processes of participants. There are many types of methodologies used in qualitative research, from focus groups to in-depth interviews, and online bulletin boards to mobile tracking. Qualitative research consultants often rely on an assortment of methodologies when exploring “why” and “how” a consumer thinks or behaves a particular way.
Whichever methodology is used for qualitative research, the most important factor is the quality of study participants recruited. Most market research firms know that recruiting is time-intensive and a costly component of the project, and frequently outsource this crucial task to a focus group recruitment agency.
Experienced market research recruitment firms keep well-organized databases from which to choose recruits. Nationwide recruitment agencies don’t just find the right people, they also manage them, ensuring they follow through and participate in the study. Managing recruits eats up a lot of time and resources, which is why research companies often outsource this task to the professionals.
Here are four steps that participant recruitment agencies may take when soliciting participants for studies.
Step 1: Finding Recruits
One of the early questions recruiters ask is, “what is the best way to reach potential participants?”Experienced recruiters know that if a targeted respondent base prefers to be reached by phone, then they’ll make a phone call rather than send an email. The opposite also holds true.
Beyond emails and phone calls, recruiting firms spend a lot of time on social media platforms.
Successful recruiting agencies often employ a multitude of tactics to reach qualified participants.
Step 2: Screening Guides
Once potential recruits are identified and contacted to gauge interest, the following step is to screen the recruits to ensure their interests, backgrounds, or professions align with the subject matter being studied.
For example, let’s say the research is focused on understanding the online gaming habits of men between the ages of 21-35. A recruiter may have a large pool of men in this age bracket, but it doesn’t mean they are qualified candidates. Recruiters rely on robust screening guides to ensure participants meet the specifications of the study.
Screening guides are also helpful when considering geographic areas. If a company is looking to focus on a specific region, then screening potential recruits to make sure they work or live within the designated area is crucial. It doesn’t do any good to recruit a person who lives in Mississippi if the study is intended for Californians.
Step 3: Confirmation
After a recruiter has screened the best-qualified recruits, next is extending an invitation to participate. This can be a frustrating process. It isn’t unusual for schedules to not align, or obligations to creep up that prohibit recruits from committing to participate. For every five qualified potential participants, perhaps only one will commit. Getting recruits from “interested to “confirmed” can be the most aggravating part of recruitment. This is one reason why recruiting firms are consistently updating their databases. The larger the pool to draw from, the more likely it is to get qualified people to participate.
Step 4: Follow Through
Once the participants have been identified, screened, and confirmed, the next step is making sure each recruit is given all the details of the study. Sending confirmation emails, explaining the responsibilities of participation, and coordinating with the researcher are the next steps recruiters take. There are often a lot of frequently asked questions participants want answered, which is why hiring a nationwide recruitment agency can save researchers time and money.