Future of Qualitative Recruitment


We’re a bit concerned at work. We’re worried about recruiters. You know, those amazing people who find respondents for our qualitative research groups.
I am thinking we have undervalued the importance of recruiters who will be heading the way of the Dodo.
The numbers are currently dwindling and in the not too distant future the best of recruiters will be nearing retirement with little talent to follow. 
In recruiting new talent, there currently aren’t sufficient enough training resources and recruiting bodies for them.
It seems an unattractive career too:
Limited job prospects
Job uncertainty being a freelancer
Bizarre strict samples to recruit from
All within short-recruitment time frames. 
With no face to face recruitment recruiting will done by cold calling from often unreliable lists like they do in the USA. You don’t really know if you’re interviewing the right people.
Good recruitment is vital to the future of research. Well-recruited respondents mean better insights. I am concerned a cornerstone of our research industry could be crumbling without us really noticing.

One response to “Future of Qualitative Recruitment

  1. Recruiters have been a mystery for years. I certainly couldn’t persuade a bunch of people I don’t know to tun up at my house on Thursday to talk about dog biscuits.

    One reason the numbers are dwindling is because recruiters are pissed off about database recruiting. One company I know in the US mailshots every single person in a target area, like say, Atlanta, asking them to give personal details in return for future earnings in attending focus groups. And when it comes to recruiting for a particular job, the computer picks out the relevant criteria and emails potential respondents. In a way this is what successful recruiters have always done, just on a massive scale, and companies in the UK are doing this too. The database system makes quality control easier, so this is also a response to the lack of trust engendered by all those dubious respondents.

    But sometimes there is no better way than face to face, especially for more complex recruitment criteria, and then recruiters love getting invovled in the reasons why they have to ask these weird questions – and what happened as a result of the research.

    The MRS is facing a parallel situation with field interviewers, (some of whom are the same people as qual recruiters) and there was a v gd presentation at the last Field Conference by Danny Wain and others, about discovering what motivates interviewers and how to recruit and manage them. Good not just for content but enjoyable to view. Its at

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