Complicated specs and low incentives can gives rise to poor quality respondents!

I’m sure you agree with me that recruitment for focus groups and all other qualitative methodologies have got increasingly tougher to recruit over the past 5 years and we are asking for so many variant’s on every group /participant recruited, that even the simplest consumer group has many recruitment challenges! Look at the following specification with a total of 8 variant’s: Here’s an example of a recent consumer profile mobile phone group -2015

8 Participants 90 minutes central viewing facility consent to be recorded send up to 10 free texts over 3 days Incentive €50


Age 25-35

Children under 7 years

Social BC1

Main shop Dunne’s

Smart phone prepaid

Looking at changing mobile phone provider in next 12 months

Free on May 2nd at 6pm

( this is just an example!)

– so what are the odds that you find this person I’d say slim enough and you need to get 8 of them for a focus group for 90 minutes and for an incentive fee of €50 and it could take most people about 45 minutes in travelling time to get to the location and they need to arrive on time 15 minutes before the group starts.

All in all they need to give up about 2.5 to 3 hours of their day for €50 and pay travel costs and parking out of that etc.

When you put it like that who in their right mind would take part in a focus group?

But despite this we have a team of dedicated recruiters who find these respondents every day of the week and often work in very stressful conditions short time lines late in the evening ,weekends to get the right people.

Increase Incentives

Incentives haven’t increased in over 8 years and the incentive for pre tasks have decreased what can we do about this?

We are more demanding of our participants requiring them to sometimes do quite lengthy pre tasks for little reward! Can we dispel the notion that people go to focus groups for the experience and not the money.

I the coming months I will ask respondents to rate their experience and I will publish the results in June 2015

We are asking more from the respondents today than ever before.

We are also asking much more from the recruiters than ever before

Recruitment fees are down from what was charged in 2008 partly because of the recession and partly because clients beat market researchers fees down also

This has a domino effect! Everyone in the chain is affected!

Clients and researchers should be discouraged from going to recruiters directly to recruit their projects as these people are not regulated and supervised properly and we cannot monitor the quality and standard of their work.

If you really care about quality and want to bring about change to improve the quality of recruitment in qualitative research the industry must introduce more stringent regulation, quality standards and training, and discourage companies taking shortcuts and going to individual recruiters whose work is unsupervised

All qualitative recruitment should be managed through a bona fide Market Research Company with a field division or a specialist fieldwork company. Would you go to an unlicensed electrician to do work on your electrics? Sure it’s cheaper but is it safe??? Can you trust it?

I rest my case.