Three people holding question mark signs - Qualitative Recruitment
March 10, 2021

Top 4 Challenges of DIY Qualitative Recruitment

With tight budgets, we understand that it can be tempting to save in areas where it seems like your internal team can just work harder to complete the project at a lower budget. Researchers are routinely asked to do more, with less. In furtherance of keeping the budget as slim as possible, some teams have considered trying a DIY approach to qualitative recruitment. While it’s an obvious way to help cost goals, there are significant challenges to DIY qualitative recruitment. Team Focus Forward explains the top four challenges of DIY respondent recruitment.

  1. Project Changes

When moderators and internal team members take on recruiting for a project, it may seem like a standard process. However, DIY recruitment quickly can become clouded by outside factors that change the timeline in project logistics.

Here’s a common scenario to consider: Your respondents are participating in a focus group to test the user ability of a product. However, there is a shipping delay, and the device won’t arrive in time for testing. Now the entire study timeline needs to be shifted.

In addition to the initial time spent vetting these research participants, they all need to be re-scheduled. And, if the respondents you’ve already selected are not available for the new date, the once streamlined process is now littered with obstacles.

  1. Limited Pool of Respondents

Some DIY recruitment efforts are centralized on the idea that the larger the respondent pool, the better. However, being able to reach people who would like to be in research is a challenge. For broad nationwide projects that are easy to qualify, finding people that fit, understand the expectations, and show up is still a high bar. When the screening criteria leans toward more challenging or has an algorithm to recruit only people with a certain mindset, finding great respondents is much harder. In a study that is 10% incidence, the recruiter screens 10 people to recruit 1. Electronic screening can help, but potentially only attract people who may fit, and those who do fit may never answer your calls.   

  1. Digital Involvement Shortcomings

In the digital era, being part of an online focus group requires some technology aptitude. In addition to only recruiting people who qualify and can do the project, we may need to walk on the respondents and assist with the technology, so they can do the project.

  • Access to the proper technology
  • Level of technical aptitude
  • Commitment to providing an appropriate virtual setting.
  1. A Great Mix

The project should contain a really good mix of respondents. Whatever the screening criteria and weighed percentages, the recruiter, using quota sheets, makes sure that the right mix of respondents are part of the project, and no one aspect is overly weighted. Sometimes, our clients specifically ask for a certain mix. Other times, we need to take a look at the project as a whole and make sure the mix is good. Finding a great mix is hard to do along with your day job. It’s a puzzle – a FUN puzzle for a recruitment firm, but maybe not for your internal research team.

Focus Forward: Top 4 Challenges of DIY Qualitative Recruitment

Since 2003, Focus Forward has been your team for respondent recruitment and all services to support your marketing research efforts. Recruiting participants, handling transcription of your interviews, incentive processing, online panels, survey programming, open-ended coding – we do it all! How can we help? If you have a project where you feel like our team can add value, we would be excited to talk!