Are You Looking for Quality Recruiting?

People participating in a research project.

Deciding on a vendor for your next research project can be a challenge. While you weigh your options, consider the following four factors. The information you gather from different vendors should check all the important boxes we outline below.

How to Choose a Recruiting Vendor for Your Next Research Project

Are you in the process of choosing a recruiting vendor? Do you have four or five potential vendors who provide the same costs and level of services? How do you know which one to choose without prior experience? Or, maybe your current recruiting vendor is providing lower-quality respondents, and you are searching for someone new? Recruiting vendors are not as common as marketing or advertising firms. Most specialize in one or many forms of qualitative and quantitative data collection and/or geographic locations.

To ensure you have the most successful project, these four factors should always be considered when choosing a recruiting partner company.

1. Database, Database, Database

What makes a recruiting company unique or valuable? Is it the services they provide or facility locations? The quality of a recruiting vendor’s database will make a challenging recruit – good and a simple recruit – great! Ask questions regarding the quality of your vendor’s database: 

  • How large is your database in comparison to the market population? 
  • Does the composition of your database match the demographic mix in your market? 
  • What types of respondents can you recruit? 
  • What is your current recruiting show rate? 
  • Do you track past participation?

Many companies specialize in niche recruiting. Some companies focus on medical and pharmaceutical, others focus on B2B and consumer research. Ensure you are choosing a vendor who specializes in the needs of your next research project. The last thing you need is a struggling recruit because the vendor said they could provide respondents but ended up biting off more than they could chew.

Vendor looking through their respondent database.

Types of Respondents in the Database

Another approach to determining database strength is discussing the types of clients the vendor has served in the last year. This could include:

  • Political
  • Exit surveys
  • DIY ethnographies
  • Automotive IDIs

Recruiting for focus groups is very different from handling exit interviews. Asking the right questions to different vendors will direct you to the company AND the database that is best for your project.

Asking about specific types of respondents will also provide information on client return frequency, niche recruiting services and specific industries you may be looking for with your upcoming research project.

2. Review Recruiting Methodologies

All clients begin the vendor selection process already knowing what type of methodology will be used: telephone, CATI, in-person, etc. However, what you don’t know is how the vendor will find the respondents. 

Some projects are required to remain unsolicited and should not allow outside advertising to recruit. Some vendors only have one recruiting methodology—calling their database or conducting surveys at a mall location. More vendors are incorporating technology to assist in the recruiting process. Ensure that you are comfortable with how the vendor finds and recruits respondents.

Get on the Same Page

Know the level of confidentiality your project requires and cater the recruit to meet that need. You don’t know unless you ask! We have had clients who required respondents from our database only (no posting on Facebook or our website), while others insisted on out-of-the-box thinking to recruit due to low incidence rates. Good recruiting companies will let you know they will go above and beyond the brick-and-mortar walls of their call center to find the right respondents for your research project.

To ensure you are on the same page with your recruiting partner, ask for all recruiting methods, postings and advertisements to be submitted to you for approval prior to implementation.  This extra step at the beginning assures that your expectations will be met and you will have quality respondents who are the best fit for your project.

Market researcher communicating with a client.

3. Prioritize Quality Communication 

How frustrating is it to constantly email your recruiting vendor for an update? When was the last time your vendor emailed you about the hosting details the evening before the group? Part of the responsibilities your next recruiting vendor will carry is managing the respondents, organizing the event and communicating the details.

Good vendors will provide updates daily, but great vendors will provide communication before you need it!  They strive to be experts at anticipating clients’ needs. Being proactive means:

  1. Providing W9 and hotel recommendations at the start of the project
  2. Communicating daily updates
  3. Highlighting new respondents
  4. Finalizing the event logistics three days in advance. 

You are looking for a company that will communicate the challenges during the recruit but also provide solutions for the challenges.

Organization and Communication Go Hand-in-hand

Organization is another key responsibility of the recruiting vendor, especially if they are recruiting in more than one location. When looking at different vendors, know that great companies will provide structure and direction in their communication and data collection. Ask when updates are expected and how they will be communicated.

You rely on your recruiting partner to manage your projects with good organization and communication skills.  Take a look at their initial communication: in selecting your partners, you want these qualities to be evident from the bidding process forward.

4. Setting Your Expectations and Understanding Facility Requirements

It is important to be aware of the amenities your vendor can provide when discussing the environment for the project. Some projects will not require a facility, such as online bulletin boards, exit surveys or ethnographies. Others require a facility, audio-visual services, test kitchens, sensory equipment, etc.

  1. Ask questions regarding a vendor’s facility, amenities and layout. 
    1. Some vendors will provide floor plans on their website or provide pictures to show the appearance. 
  2. Ask detailed questions to confirm the services at the vendor’s facility. 
    1. A client once told me they booked a facility because the vendor advertised a state-of-the-art, in-house test kitchen, but in reality, it was a breakroom kitchenette.

If the project is in a smaller market, you may want to be partially involved in the logistical process to ensure you and your clients are situated in an appropriate facility. Ask your vendor for recommendations and conduct your own research to confirm.

By doing your homework to confirm that a vendor’s facility offers what the vendor says it offers, you will secure the best environment and logistics for a successful project.

Choose Eastcoast Research for Your Next Market Research Project

As a recruiting vendor, we enjoy providing clients with the data they need to make executive business decisions. Our management team has 140 years of combined consumer research and corporate management experience. We are excited every time a client presents a new, challenging recruit, and we look forward to delivering the highest quality respondents for your upcoming project. To learn more about how we can help with your market research needs, reach out to us.

40 thoughts on “Are You Looking for Quality Recruiting?

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