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.