Monday, December 11, 2017

Excellence in Qualitative Recruitment: It’s in our DNA

Recruitment of qualified research participants requires a complex set of skills and abilities, but providing excellence in this service is simple:  start with great people and train them well.  Because that is our approach to everything at Accelerant Research, when we began offering recruitment services to the research industry, hiring and teaching our recruiters properly was already in our DNA.  So we did that the way we do everything else.

Hiring and training are two areas taken very seriously at Accelerant Research.  In many cases, our new-hires are those at the early stage in their career as professional researchers.  After they have completed their undergraduate or graduate program requirements, they intern at the firm as trainees.  And it is only those in whom we see talent and motivation that we invite to stay on in full-time capacities.

Training Well-Rounded Researchers
Written manuals represent only a small fragment of the training our staff receives.  To begin, all our staff, regardless of their background and experience, are trained to be problem solvers, first and foremost, and this level of worldliness is utilized as an invaluable resource by all clients.  Furthermore, all new staff rotate through recruitment and study-related positions.  As a result of this combined set of experiences, recruiters learn firsthand exactly what is entailed in full service project work, and research staff develop an intuitive understanding of what is entailed in recruiting study participants.  These perspectives are passed on to our clients that find working with us is easy.

The Outcome: Serving our Customers Better
As a result, whenever you are dealing with anyone on our recruiting team, you are dealing with a researcher, one who has served as a team member of a group that manages full service studies.  Getting a complete picture of the research study process enables our researchers to better serve our recruiting clients as they are trained to and tasked with immersing themselves in the study objectives and have the ability to weigh-in and offer ideas and plans for conducting the research.  Moreover, our staff recruiters know how to effectively communicate to recruited participants whether the study method is in-person, online, or over the phone.

High Quality Participants
We invite you to request a cost estimate from us.  Immediately, you will get the sense of dealing with professionals.  If you choose us as your recruiting partner, you will see the difference in quality of our recruitment.  For example, across hundreds of studies for which we have recruited thousands of participants for our clients, we have a 95% show rate.  That means, we always deliver what the client hires us to do for them.  But best of all, our clients find that our recruits are well managed and come to the study ready to opine.  They are verbal and articulate, which does not happen by magic, but rather the way we screen for verbosity.

We know what counts most for our clients when it comes to recruiting participants.  While our fees are competitive, it is our quality that is sort by new and old clients.  The last thing the moderator wants to worry about is that participants do not show up, are lost, have forgotten the study details, or are shy and quiet.  We know all this because of how we have all made our careers as researchers, able to empathize with clients on what is needed.

For more information about our services, please visit us at:, or email us at or call us at 704.206.8500

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Liars and Cheaters and Bears…Oh My! How to Recruit Quality Participants for Qual Studies

Incentives paid to participants for qualitative research can be quite generous. Of course, that is what is intended in paying people for their time. Incentives help facilitate the recruiting process as its
attractiveness in amounts motivates participants to:

  • Show up at the right place at the right time
  • Provide their opinions to the people that are paying for the research who really need their help
  • Be articulate, creative, focused, open and honest
  • Cooperate in a manner that makes for a positive experience for everyone involved

But incentives can be a double-edged sword.  While they may be the impetus to participate in qualitative research, some people may try to do anything they can to qualify for studies so that they can reap the benefits of the incentive provided.

Of course, participants must be screened and qualified in order to be invited to a study. Sometimes, the potential participant will try to psych out the recruiter by trying to answer screening questions in a manner that gets them qualified, regardless of whether their answers are truthful. In essence, they will lie, cheat, and do whatever it takes to “get the study.”

Therefore, in order to ensure quality participants, the recruiter must be on his or her game at all times. You see, the recruiter is the last line of defense on behalf of the client (moderator) who has hired them to compile a list of qualified participants. Imagine if the recruiter simply went through the motions in the job of recruiting, paying no mind to the possibility that candidates may be lying.  The participant recruited under false pretenses will probably not have a clue about the subject matter and, having faked their way into the study, really has nothing to offer the moderator or his/her client in terms of opinions from which insights are culled.

At Accelerant Research, our team of recruiters are well trained to be sensitive to these conditions of lying and faking, and require all potential participants to provide anecdotes and even artifacts (photos, etc.) to validate their usage of or experience with the study topic. We pay close attention to their “stories” and probe them to clarify or expand their answers. In the end, we provide quality recruits that are both qualified and articulate.

We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step. Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email ( If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of recruiting service you receive will be a marked improvement. 

Good luck and safe travels.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Recruiting Participants for IHUTs:  Control is Critical and Cheap is Dear

Sensory scientists are those in the research and development(R&D) department who operate as liaison between R&D initiatives and the consumer.  Through testing, they determine what the consumer wants.  As such, these professionals take great care in designing field experiments that eliminate, or control for, a wide variety of confounding variables that can otherwise invalidate the findings of the studies they conduct.

Recruiting participants for in-home-usage tests (IHUTs), on behalf of these sensory scientists, can be done in a variety of ways, but really boils to just two different approaches:  (1) electronic (email) only, and (2) live recruiter.

The Email Way to Recruit Participants

The email way to recruit IHUT participants is to treat the recruitment process as one would for a quantitative study in which a survey is administered online, and a sample provider’s panel is used to source the study with respondents.  While this method, at first glance, may seem less expensive and easier, there are several things wrong with this approach. 

First, panels from sample providers are strewn with “professional survey takers” whose key motivation is to complete surveys as fast as they can and redeem their rewards for doing so.  Their mindset is not necessarily focused on the subject of study, nor are they inclined to be thoughtful in their responses and aid in the discovery process for which the research has been sponsored.  As such, about three (3) times as many participants need to be recruited in order for the target amount to actually participate.  Moreover, those that do participate usually do only the bare minimum required in order to receive the promised incentive.  If part of their involvement warrants keeping daily logs, you can count on them to do nothing until the very end of the test period, at which time, many will fake their way through and provide false data.  The main reason for this low quality result is that these email-driven participants were recruited in a manner that does not lend itself to inspiring them by detailing how important their opinion is, or what purpose the research serves in the business of the sponsor.  Even those that may want to fulfill on their study-related responsibilities may be left in the dark about questions they may have, or instructions that may not be clear to them.  Simply, there is no live person with whom they can follow-up and obtain clarification and any issues about which they may be unsure.

The Live Recruiter Way to Recruit Participants

Instead, more care can be applied to the recruiting of IHUT participants by using telephone calls from professionally trained qualitative research recruiters that will fulfill on several key objectives of this aspect of the study, namely:

  • Qualify each individual by going through the screener in real-time to ensure their qualifications
  • Weed out anyone who seems to be falsifying their information, unable to understand instructions, or unable to comply with the study requirements
  • Explain the very nature of the study, why it is important, and why their efforts are considered so valuable
  • Inspire them to do the best they can and fulfill on their responsibilities dutifully and with great care
In light of the importance, time, resources and expense of these IHUT studies, and the great effort expended by sensory scientists to design carefully controlled field experiments, it makes sense to do things the right way.  When the recruitment process for IHUTs is treated the same way as when recruiting for qualitative studies, that is through live calls from professional recruiters, the quality of the data collected is far greater.  Moreover, instead of emailing 300 people to obtain an otherwise disengaged group of 100 participants, recruiters need only enlist about 120 people to ensure 100 committed participants that do what they are incented to do, with a purpose.

So many colleagues have come to Accelerant Research for just this purpose, and have shared their war stories of how they learned the hard way with email recruiting.  Although their stories vary, they all center on the age old lesson that cheap is dear.  We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step.  Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (  If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of recruiting service you receive will be a marked improvement over the email method of recruiting for IHUTs.