When you think of recruiting for healthcare studies, recruiting patients might be the first thing that
comes to mind. While many healthcare market research studies are patient centered, there’s been an
increase in federal research funding for studies aimed at clinicians. The number of National Institutes of
Health (NIH) projects focusing on providers has tripled from 2010 to 2012!
While it’s great that healthcare-provider studies are being funded, the challenge of recruiting this
already over-worked and stressed group of participants remains a barrier. There are a few papers
published by NIH that detail the challenges of recruiting healthcare workers for qualitative studies.
These papers highlight the difficulties of accessing clinicians to participate in research, as well as the
hurdles that are present before recruitment even begins.
The success of market studies is largely dependent on the quality of recruited participants. Healthcare
studies are no different, and if anything, the recruitment strategies pose more of a challenge. Designing
a good study is time and energy intensive, and the recruitment process takes the lion’s share of the
effort. Recruitment difficulties can derail studies by prolonging the study period and inflating budgets.
Given such challenges, it is recommended to outsource the recruitment process to professional firms
who specialize in recruiting and who have quick access to databases of participant groups to populate
Regardless of whether or not you choose a professional recruiting firm, you’ll have more success if some
basic principles are adhered to. A paper authored by Leif Solberg–based on his many years of
experience in recruiting healthcare professionals and recruitment literature–has identified seven “R-
factors” as determinants for successful recruiting strategies of healthcare professionals. These R-factors
are: relationships, reputation, requirements, rewards, reciprocity, resolution, and respect. These seven
factors are open to some interpretation, but they provide a good framework for the recruitment
Focus Insite adopts many of the R-factors in its recruiting efforts. Here’s how we interpret and
implement these factors:
Relationship: We are involved in medical communities across the nation and have relationships with
many practitioners and patients.
Reputation: We have a positive reputation amongst market researchers and are known for our high
standards, professional management, and privacy standards.
Requirements: We understand the requirements of a successful study, and are committed to making
the recruitment as stress-free as possible.
Rewards: We advise market researchers to appropriately compensate study participants and provide
guidance on industry standards.
Reciprocity: We are very clear with clients and participants what the expectations are of study
Resolution: We are persistent and will repeatedly make contact with participants as needed until
agreement to participate is reached.
Respect: We genuinely respect study participants, their work, and their restraints. We don’t ever take
our clients and study participants for granted.
Looking to recruit healthcare professionals for your next market research study?
Contact us here.