At InterQ, we pride ourselves on our custom qualitative recruiting services, both for our own internal projects, as well as the recruiting we do for projects we’re not conducting full-service research for. See, the absolute key to a good qualitative research project is the quality of participants. Since qualitative research has smaller sample sizes than quantitative studies (read all about why in our post on qualitative saturation), we have a dedicated internal team that focuses just on custom qualitative recruiting. Our recruiting services span UX studies, focus groups (in-person and online), in-depth interviews (in-person and online), and ethnographic research. This allows us to hyper-focus each recruiting effort on the target market. Additionally, we have an extensive screening process. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Primary screening
To begin, we put out targeted ads (on social media, LinkedIn, and specialized forums) to advertise that we have a study available. Interested participants take an online screener to see if they are a fit for the study that we’re conducting. If so, we invite them to a secondary screening.
Step 2: Secondary screening
In step 2, we interview those who went through primary screening in a Zoom call. This serves a few purposes: It helps us ensure they have a strong internet connection and good camera (for online interviews). Additionally, it allows us to verify their ID and ensure they are who they say they are, and that they live in a region we’re targeting (if you’re curious why we do this — here is an article about how rampant fraud is in qualitative research recruiting). If the participant passes this test, we then invite them to the study.
Custom B2B and B2C qualitative recruiting
If you have an upcoming study that requires custom qualitative recruiting, don’t outsource your project to companies that have large databases. Though at first glance that may seem like a positive (thousands of participants in a database!) the issue here is selection bias. Essentially, you’ll only be interviewing people who are looking to be in studies and make side money. The best studies take a truly representative slice of the target population, versus people who are actively seeking to be in studies.