Rethink Your Recruits - Living Room Cincinnati
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Rethink Your Recruits

Ah, the focus group. Such a time-tested method of market research, and yet, it often falls short of our expectations. We work so hard to craft the perfect demographic­–just the right subset of consumers we want to hear from, and then the conversation disappoints. Is this the cause of a poor facilitator? Maybe we asked the wrong questions?

Or maybe, we recruited the wrong people.


Market research recruiting can fall prey to a few simple mistakes, which is why it’s time to rethink your recruits.

At a glance, recruiting seems like it should be an easy task. Mobilizing people to share their opinions for money is simple, right? Unfortunately, we live in a world full of skepticism, where getting paid to talk seems too good to be true. Then we have the serial respondents. You know, the people who jump at every chance to participate in market research like it’s a side gig. They give all the right answers to your screener questions but often take a back seat during the actual session.

So what are we to do in a world of skeptics and repeat recruits? We start by taking a fresh approach to the entire process, and here’s how:

  1. Grow your database organically.

Don’t just buy lists and boast of a gigantic database for the sake of seeming reputable. When it comes to your recruits, quality outweighs quantity. By growing your database organically through personal connection and smart promotion, you’re ensuring your database is full of people who will add value to any project.

  1. Screen for how often your recruits participate in similar research.

Ask recruits about the last time they participated in a market research study of any kind. It’s is a simple but crucial step in the screening process. By weeding out those who have recently been involved in a focus group, in-home immersion, consumer connect, or survey, you can be sure each recruit is coming with fresh insights and not just for the cash.

  1. Reassess your screener if needed.

If you’re finding quality recruits are getting disqualified because of a confusing question or unrealistic answer requirements, have a conversation with the project team. It’s okay to revise your screener if it means you’re getting the right people in the door. Make sure you’re focused on the overall goal of the recruit and don’t let one question send the right fit on their way.

Sometimes situations arise that are just completely out of your control. We get it. Recruiting is a tough business. But we also know that when you rethink the way you recruit, it can lead to great insights and most importantly, happy clients–making all of the hard work well worth it.

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