Go Backstage on Qualitative Research Recruiting

Go Backstage on Qual Research Recruiting

You know how those cooking shows portray making macarons as being oh so simple, but in reality there’s more to it than meets the eye? Well, the same is true in qualitative recruiting. We know we make it look easy ;), but here’s how the magic really happens:

Assemble the right ingredients

Project Management is both a science and an art.  So, while many of our PMs have clients they typically work with, we also assign clients based on PM availability, project timing, past experience and more.  We also think through issues such as project complexity, new clients, and recruiting issues in order to ensure that each client gets the attention they need for a successful project.

Make a plan

We like to cover all our bases right from the start, rather than jumping in without a plan.  We have a project kick-off which addresses foundational questions, such as the client’s preferred job number, what platform they will be using, and if they need us to create a profile sheet. 

Get everyone on the same page

We conduct a live briefing with our phone room team to initiate the project. This enables recruiters to ask questions up front. And, while we think we’ve got everything covered (e.g., “make a plan” above), we sometimes go back to clients with questions we just didn’t anticipate.

Dive into the sample

We think through the flow and the number of study invitations we are sending, based on the nature of the sample, the timing, and the audience size, among other factors. 

For some studies, we may send a large number of study invitations right away, but for others, a soft launch may be best. Examples include small, fast recruits; studies that kick off before a weekend; and challenging studies.

Think about the platform

How we write is not always how we speak, therefore we customize the screener to fit the mode.  Verbal screeners are written for comfortable dialog between our recruiters and the HCP, whereas online screeners are written for clarity when reading independently.  We also consult with clients to help them write a screener that makes sense for the project.

Confirm the confirmation

No one wants to miss a party because they had the wrong time or address, and the same is true in qual research.  We put multiple sets of eyes on the confirmation process, so that the right respondents get the right log-ins for the right time.


Juggling recruiting, quotas, homework assignments and scheduling changes is a bit like the orchestrated rhythm of a professional kitchen.  We focus on many things at one time, and each piece fits into the overall picture, until voila!  Dessert is served!