Why Recruiting Respondents is Such a Time-Consuming Process

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

The era of market research has come a long time ago and it seems that everyone already understands the power of accurate consumer data. Most often, we are asked to recruit respondents, because “all companies have a website or mobile application” and the customer wants to test this site in terms of the level of usability.

And customers almost never turn to us for the calculation of options for monetizing a website or application/product, although this is what will allow for high-quality recruiting or research, thereby increasing profit in the long term by 70%.

The first part of analyzing the budget for recruiting respondents is the calculation of costs and benefits expressed in rubles, which will allow you to analyze what is the cost of recruiting respondents, what is really worth paying for, and where you can save.

The first part of analyzing the budget for respondent recruiting consists of calculating the costs and benefits expressed in rubles, which will allow analyzing what the cost of selecting respondents consists of, what is really worth paying for, and where you can save.

For example, let’s take a website for a B2B company of medium or small businesses, without complex online services. To recruit respondents who will be real/potential customers of this company, the following work should be done:

1. To get acquainted with the information about the company, its products, and competitors. A team of five people examines the specifics of the company, the target audience of the customer, to formulate tasks and ways of providing information to respondents when recruiting. Next, we need to understand the key benefits of the company as a whole, so that when screening respondents, we can ask questions related to why the respondent applies to this company and get the answer, which will be close to the real situation.

Thus, it will be possible to refer an expert to a certain target audience and understand how suitable he is and whether he really has experience of interaction with this company or its competitor.

2. To form a screening structure based on the customer’s requirements to the respondents. For this purpose, the entry-exit point is formed when communicating with the respondent, the respondents’ answers to questions about the product are analyzed, taking into account such subtle points as nonverbal speech, intonation and confidence of speech.

3. To research the product itself as a research topic. In addition, to analyze the competitive environment of the product, its specifics, and distinctive properties.

4. To control data collection, namely: analysis of screening respondents, listening to recordings of conversations with respondents, screening inappropriate participants, evaluation of communication with the respondent, checking the potential participant on the database.

5. To collect confirmations about the respondent’s consumption of products on the topic of the research.

6. To send the address to the respondent, control the respondent’s presence for the research, control the participation the day before the research, three hours before the research, if necessary, arrange a substitute for the non-participant in a timely manner.

7. So, we have a list of participants for the research. We send this list to the customer, but the list may change, as respondents may refuse to participate in the research at the last moment and we are forced to look for a quality substitute, which usually takes a lot of time, as, in the course of one project, about 30% of participants are replaced. The customer can always contact the participants independently before the start of the research, communicate with them on the topic of their product, draw some conclusions and, perhaps, ask someone to cancel if the person does not meet the criteria of the customer specification.

We, in turn, always make efforts to select respondents who will 99 percent fit the research requirements of the customer, since we are directly interested in the successful implementation of the project, regardless of its scale or budget, as well as the popularity of the brand itself, here an important component is so-called reputation work.

The list of participants for each day of the survey, along with screening questions, looks 90% exactly as it will appear before the customer, therefore, it is much easier for us to calculate weaknesses or potential improvements.

8. In the course of the research, adjustments to the research by the customer are possible. We take this into account and put it in the recruiting cost, so the customer can afford to partially change the schedule, the address of the research or part of the non-core criteria, and we will adjust, in turn, to these needs.

9. If a participant needs a substitute in a timely manner, for example, because of the refusal to participate in the day of the research, we try to find a substitute as quickly as possible. Our head of recruiting, who has been working with the company since its foundation, listens to a recording of a conversation with a potential participant, assesses all the parameters of how the respondent fits the customer’s requirements and how the staff recruiter performed all the points in recruiting respondents. The company has its own algorithm for recruiting respondents, which includes 32 points, from the beginning of work on the project to the end of work on it and the final clarification of the customer’s question, whether the project can be considered closed and whether everything went well.

And, if the whole procedure satisfies the above conditions, he, in turn, informs the staff recruiter whether the substitute is accepted. Thus, we receive feedback from the customer, which helps us to improve the interaction.

Recruitment work can be compared with the construction of a house: first, the general layout and drawings (design), then photos of interiors, then the real construction begins -the frame and technical communications (backend), followed by wallpaper, furniture and a fireplace in the living room (frontend). The frame, in this case, is the target audience, which is selected for the research, and if the frame is not durable, the house will quickly crack.

10. At the end of the project, we receive feedback from the customer, make notes and take into account the customer’s requests for the future, if any, that is, we collect information for further even more successful cooperation.

11. After the respondent’s participation in the research, payment of remuneration based on the results of participation in the research takes place. This is perceived by the respondent as a remuneration for the time spent since in most cases the research takes place on weekdays and the respondent must take half a day off to participate in the research.

We understand that the time spent should be compensated, and the person should remain motivated to participate in other projects. Such a thing as contributing to product development by expressing their opinions is often inadequate for our mentality, we wrote about it in previous articles, see “What is the difference between the Russian mentality and the European one in selecting respondents.”

12. And finally, the final stage. The recruiting department, represented by a staff recruiter, replenishes the database of research participants, entering those respondents who participated in the research. After that, comments on each customer, his recommendations and experience of cooperation with him are made in the list of customers in the section “algorithm for recruitment”. This makes it possible for the next project to take into account all the wishes and nuances and invite this respondent again after 6 months if he fits the criteria of the research.

Consider some more issues on analyzing recruitment costs in stages.

  • Recruitment stage. It is unlikely to do without researching the specifics of the company or developing a screener, but you can exclude from the scope of work listening to each recording of the conversation by the head of recruiting. However, this work will still have to be done sooner or later, as in this case, the number of participants who do not fit the criteria may increase. Considering these points when recruiting is usually cheaper than then remaking the recruit.
  • Screening stage. We will not seriously discuss the option of using a nonverbal assessment of the respondent when communicating. You don’t have to. But then all the shortcomings will need to be corrected at the stages of recruitment and turnout of respondents to the research, and an hour of work of the head of recruiting is more expensive than a staff recruiter.
  • Research stage. Someone will still have to gather the participants of the research. It is possible, however, to take specialists cheaper in this field or one and the same person to put to be engaged both in a recruit and screening and carrying out the interview. However, in both cases, it will significantly increase the operating time. An unskilled person will take longer to do work even with simple tasks, and with something wiser may not cope at all. And even if there is one specialist or freelancer of all trades, he will not be able to do work in different directions in parallel as two specialists do. Also, freelancers usually have several projects and your project for him will be one of several. His goal is to make the project as quickly as possible and there is no guarantee that the work will be done qualitatively.

Stage of the second screening of respondents and confirmation of the respondent’s honesty about the actual consumption of the product.

Here you can save on training a specialist in this field. His main duty is to evaluate how correct the supporting documents are and whether the sent photos of the respondents are just a photoshop. Then one of the colleagues should sit down and figure it out on his own, and then try to make the project efficiently, without asking people for research whose profession is to constantly participate in all kinds of research.

The cost-cutting will be minimal, and redoing a recruit will be more expensive. In addition, it is unlikely that in most companies there is a person who can drop his duties for a while and deal professionally with all the above steps.

Respondent recruiting work is a labor-intensive process, each stage takes about several hours of active work, and the entire project takes 2-3 business days.

You can always find a rational solution. But there are patterns proven over the years that rarely fail. For example, the more complex the target audience when recruiting, the worse the consequences of saving.

For example, you can sell products on a one-page landing page, but it will not work with medical services or, say, boiler equipment. And, almost always, the more you save on recruiting respondents, the longer, more expensive and more tedious will be the promotion of the product, and the more likely its withdrawal from production.

The average cost of recruiting experts for personal interviews is from 7,000 rubles to 20,000 rubles.

The average cost of recruiting ordinary consumers of everyday goods for personal interviews is from 2,000 rubles to 10,000 rubles.

The average cost of premium respondents for personal interviews ranges from 10,000 rubles to 25,000 rubles.

The cost is always calculated individually for each project, taking into account the customer’s requirements.

Here are the prices taking into account the qualitative selection of respondents, the cost of searching for participants, conducting a two-level screening of respondents, checking the data provided, controlling the turnout of respondents to the research, interaction with the respondent at all stages of the research, prompt substitute of the participant if necessary, organization of payment of remuneration to respondents based on the results of the research.

In the end, you get quality data with which you will be able to work and introduce a new product into the market or to improve the user experience, will be able to increase brand loyalty and take a leading position in the market of goods and services.

Three “cases”:

Selecting ordinary respondents for B2C in-depth one-hour interviews in the number of (40 people), the average cost of such a project is estimated at 90,000 rubles. This cost will include a recruit of respondents, two-level screening of participants, control of respondents at the research, prompt substitute of the respondent if necessary, the organization of payment of remuneration to respondents based on the results of the research.

Selection of hard-to-reach respondents for B2C (20 people)

Selection of experts for B2B (10 people), paying special attention to the difficulties and mistakes that customers may face if they make a selection on their own.

Rationale for the cost of selection.

The cost is always calculated individually for each project, taking into account the requirements of the customer.

Here are the prices taking into account the qualitative selection of respondents, the cost of searching for participants, conducting a two-level screening of respondents, checking the data provided, controlling the turnout of respondents to the research, interaction with the respondent at all stages of the research, prompt substitute of the participant if necessary, organization of payment of remuneration to respondents based on the results of the research.

In the end you get quality data with which you will be able to work and introduce a new product into the market or to improve the user experience, will be able to increase brand loyalty, and take a leading position in the market of goods and services.

Metodieva Ilona Rusievna

ADS First Respondent Recruiting Agency.

phone / Fax: +7 (499)-394-04-65

E-mail: ads@adsrecruiting.com  

Website: www.adsrecruiting.com

Metodieva Ilona

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