Is Live Recruiting Right for Your Next Research Project?

Recruiting can make or break your market research study.  Recruit the wrong people and the quality of your findings will suffer.  For each research project you undertake, what defines the “right” person will vary significantly, as can the best recruiting strategy for finding them.

At Clearworks, we consider ourselves fortunate to have some of the best recruiting partners out there, who time and again find us excellent people for our studies.  We do a lot of traditional recruiting with partners who can ramp up the creativity when they need to go beyond just the names in their database.  But there are times when you are trying to recruit very specific types of people, and you may need to consider more out of the box ways to find them.

This was the case on a recent fitness study we conducted.  We were looking for men and women who engage in certain lifestyle activities and meet a certain physical profile.  In order to find the “right” people for this study, we decided to use live recruiting.  Unlike most traditional recruiting, live recruiting takes the recruiters out of the office and into the streets to find target consumers where they live their lives.  Rather than casting a wide net in the recruiting database and social media channels, and hoping people would come to us, we flipped the script, and decided to go to them.  Our recruiters hit the streets, and went to running events, yoga studios, fitness stores – anywhere our target recruits work, shop, exercise, or hang out.

From our perspective, live recruiting works really well for studies that require people to fit into a very detailed target or activity profile.  There are three key advantages live recruiting can give you in that situation:

  • Instant target audience:  You can go where people are doing the specific activity you need – instead of hoping to find them in a database, you have an instant pool of people who you already know engage in that activity.
  • On the go validation:  You physically meet people, and can vet them on the spot for energy level, articulation, physical abilities, etc, and not run the risk of them being a dud in your session or fibbing their answers to get into the study.
  • Fresh perspective:  Because live recruiting relies on in-person, intercept style recruiting, rather than a database, you most often have recruits who have never done market research before.  According to our live recruiting partner, typically about 90% of the people they intercept during recruiting have never participated in research.

So before you jump straight into recruiting your next research project, I encourage you to take a step back and think about whether you can benefit from live recruiting over a more traditional path.  Live recruiting isn’t always the answer, but depending on the type of people you need, it could be right for your next research study.

Jennifer Cuthill

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