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Recruiter Expectations before Recruitment

It is reasonable to expect the following points to have been agreed with clients before any recruitment commences:

About the project

  • A briefing on a project’s aims and objective
  • A schedule with the number of participants required, quota profile (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity etc.) dates, times, venues, incentives and any pre- or post-tasks.
  • The ratio of gender requirements if recruiting a mixed sex group.
  • The pre-task or post-task document or details so that you can read them and answer any queries from participants.
  • Any unusual or unexpected aspects planned during a research session e.g. physical activity.
  • Whether pre-tasks are to be sent to moderators before any research session or to be brought along to a session.
  • If recruiting individual depth interviews (IDIs), or telephone interviews, dates and times when moderators are available.
  • If recruiting for online sessions, or telephone interviews, confirmation as to who is responsible for sending joining/logging in instructions, what email address will be used to send them and when they will be sent.
  • A clear explanation of the type of online tool and/or platform being used so you are equipped to brief participants.

Participant arrangements

  • Arrangements for chasing participants for online sessions if they are not contributing, or not contributing fully, once sessions have started.  NOTE: Chasing participants for online sessions can be very time-consuming so you might want to quote separately for this activity.
  • Arrangements for paying incentives for online sessions, telephone interviews or if incentives aren’t being paid at an attended session. Participants need to be told these arrangements during initial recruitment calls otherwise a lot of time can be wasted taking calls from participants later.
  • Who is responsible for sending confirmation emails or letters to recruited participants. This particularly applies to client samples where confirmations may need to be sent by the client. If a confirmation email comes from a private email address it may look like spam, or a scam.
  • Details of client incentive payment. This should include any requirements regarding non-payment – both for participants and recruiters. For example what happens if participants arrive late to a session due to circumstances beyond their control e.g. tube disruption in London – will participants still be paid? Will you be paid for the recruitment?
  • How much clients will pay you per participant recruited. Policies for paying you (or not) for participants who have confirmed but don’t attend. Participants who don’t attend when you were expecting them to are called “No shows”.  Always get an agreement with the client before recruitment starts about what their policy is for No Shows as some clients will not pay for participants who do not attend.


Venue and product arrangements

  • If using hostess home facilities amounts to be paid per hour or session and whether this will be paid to hostesses after sessions or is to be added to your pay claims or invoices. There is no set amount for this but remember that most moderators tend to arrive well before the beginning of sessions and you may need to charge for this time as well.
  • If using hostess home facilities whether any products or materials will be arriving before the session. If a hostess is required to wait in for delivery you will need to cost for this in your initial quote for services.
  • If perishable products or products which require refrigeration need to be delivered to a hostess home facility, make sure well in advance that the hostesses have the capability to store the products correctly.
  • If using hostess home facilities, what refreshments are required and how much will be paid for any refreshments.
  • If using hostess home facilities, or for in home interviews, how many observers will be attending, if any. Moderators sometimes bring clients with them and it could be intimidating for a sole participant if they weren’t advised of this beforehand.
  • If the client is conducting pre-checks when they will be completed. There needs to be sufficient time to sort out queries about quotas or to re-recruit if a participant is off spec.
  • When your pay claim or invoice will be paid.
  • And after the research sessions are completed:
    • Feedback on the quality of recruitment, any participants who didn’t meet the quota or any participants who were late or a no show. Always ask for feedback if you don’t receive any automatically.