3 Warning Signs When Recruiting for Market Research Studies

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Focus Insite provides qualitative research consultants and research firms to help them better understand consumers’ behavior and decision-making processes.

We’ve written plenty about how the quality of your qualitative research companies outcome is directly related to the quality of recruiting candidates to participate in market research studies. Quite simply, good study participants equals good study outcomes.

If you’re wondering what separates a good research participant from a bad one, read on! We’ll cover three warning signs of a bad study participant.

Warning #1: Different answers to differently worded questions

Screening guides are useful tools for recruiters to identify who qualifies to participate in a study. Some of the questions will cover demographic or psychographic questions, in addition to screening for familiarity or experience with a product or service.

One way that recruiters can identify when someone would not make a good participant is the person provides different answers to differently worded questions. Structuring a screening guide to include differently worded questions is a good way to check for consistency. Keep in mind that providing different answers isn’t an automatic disqualifier, but the recruiter should take note and dig a little deeper.

An example of this wording difference can be as simple as follows:

Q: “How many times have you used product “X” in the past three months?”

A: “Four times”

Q: “How many times have you used product “X” in the past six months?”

A: “12 times”

The math doesn’t follow in the answers provided. At this point the nationwide research recruiters would ask some follow-up questions to see if the discrepancy in answers is because the respondent didn’t understand the question, or if they’re trying to get into the study for the incentive payment.

Warning #2: Different answers are given during rescreening

For niche studies, and very topic specific studies, it isn’t uncommon to re-screen candidates before making a final selection. Rescreening is a great way to match answers provided in the first screening compared to the second.

If totally different answers are given during the rescreening process, this is usually a warning that the respondent is trying to give the right answer, and is usually not a good candidate to move forward with.

Warning #3: Exaggeration

Screening guides for health care or medical studies will often include questions to ask what type of paid medical surveys conditions a person has experienced or been treated for. This is rarely offered as an open-ended question. Typically the recruiter would read off a list of possible ailments or conditions and ask if the person has encountered any or all of the listed conditions. If the person says ‘all’, that is usually a warning that they’re trying to get into the study for the incentive payment only.

One of the main benefits to working with a recruiting agency experienced in recruiting for market research studies is identifying qualified vs. unqualified candidates. Our recruiting team has years of experience and have learned many of the warning signs to look out for.

To learn how our recruiters can find you the best candidates for your next market study, contact us today!

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