There is no doubt that the pandemic has disrupted our lives. From work to play, we’ve all had to made adjustments. It’s been nearly a year since COVID-19 restrictions came into effect, and while most of us long for a return to pre-COVID routines, there have been some silver linings, especially as it pertains to market research recruitment.
We’ve written a number of blogs that detail some of the changes to the market research industry due to COVID, from exploring various online qualitative market research platforms to recruiting for COVID-19 vaccine and research studies.
For market research recruiting firms, the pandemic has made our jobs somewhat easier. Why? With most qualitative research being conducted online, recruiters aren’t limited by geography or commuting constraints. For many market research studies, researchers have more selection of available and qualified participants, which directly influences the study outcomes.
As any market researcher will tell you, it always comes down to the quality of recruited participants that makes or breaks a study. Recruiting agencies work hard to find quality recruits and rely on screening guides to assist their efforts in finding the best people to fill a study. Over the past several months our recruiting teams have told us that recruiting has become smoother with more people to choose from.
Geographic restrictions aren’t a factor
With most qualitative market research studies now being hosted on virtual platforms, recruiters aren’t limited to searching for qualified participants in the geographic region that the researcher is hosting an in-person focus group.
Removing geographic restrictions has improved recruiting efforts, especially if the focus of a study is specialized with a limited population. Let’s say a satellite-based internet company such as Starlink or Xplornet wanted to learn about how users felt about its service. Given the fact that users who rely on satellite-based internet likely live in remote areas, conducting an in-person focus group would be costly and geographically challenging. Recruiting qualified participants to attend an in-person focus group or in-depth interview for such a study would be time-consuming and frustrating. If this same qualitative study is hosted online, recruiting becomes much easier.
Traveling to a Facility is an Impediment
Even in cities with large populations to draw from, we’ve found that removing the need to travel to a facility has also made recruiting much easier. When a focus group requires in-person attendance, there are additional logistical burdens the participant must consider before committing. Recruiting teams have found that more people say ‘yes’ to being available to attend a virtual focus group than in-person ones.
While there are pros and cons of online focus groups, there is no doubt that recruiting for online qualitative studies is smoother and offers up more available participants for the researcher to select from.
If your company is considering a qualitative market research study, there is no better time.