Knowledge is a powerful thing… If you know it about the right person

20th February 2018

Participant quality is the biggest challenge facing the research industry at present, according to Livemind and SketchBook’s 2018 Research on Recruitment report. Effective recruitment is about finding genuine people who meet the brief and can contribute meaningfully to a project; it’s not just about bums on seats. Particularly in the fickle world of FMCG, it can be all too easy for a participant to pose as a Brand X loyalist one week and a Brand Y loyalist the next.

Thankfully we’ve never experienced such horror stories as the bald man in a shampoo group, or the vegan in a pork chop group! Bad recruitment can be avoided by working with the right recruiter and having good local knowledge which is vital for placing the best people for the job. There are plenty of recruiters out there so it’s important not to play favourites, if there is someone else better suited to the job. When dealing with unfamiliar locations, viewing facilities can be an excellent source of information in recommending those ‘best in breed’ recruiters who will go the extra mile to get the right people.

The recruiters we work with take their jobs seriously, going above and beyond the need to simply tick boxes. Sometimes, the tougher the recruit the better. Having more stringent criteria requires more time and effort from recruiters and daytime groups require an extra level of commitment from participants. Equally, setting realistic project timescales ensures there is enough time to find the right people. Taking all of these factors into account means you’re not left sitting around a table with a group of ‘anybody’s who might have been cobbled together the night before.

In a nutshell, great research is only possible with great recruitment and we all have a responsibility to be rigorous about WHO we want. Let’s go that extra mile (literally!) and avoid over researched locations and always make sure we are matching the right recruiter to the right research project.