The importance of briefing your Research Recruiters

Shared by Kate, London

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Two members of our team arrived at the home of a participant and his wife for an in-home interview. When the participants opened the door, they were very surprised to see two people – they’d been expecting the man who had spoken to them on the phone (our recruiter). After some reassuring introductions, the team went ahead and entered the home, but after a few minutes it  became clear that the couple were too anxious, uncomfortable and almost angry about having foreign strangers in their home for the session to go ahead. The team made their apologies and left, but were shaken up by the experience and frustrated by the misinformation provided by the recruiter. We often rely on recruitment agencies to ‘do their job properly’ and assume that they’ll pass on the relevant pieces of information to participants, or let them know precisely what to expect in an in-home interview, but some recruiters (especially those who usually only recruit for market research focus groups and the like) might not have the right kind of experience to draw on in order to anticipate what they should tell respondents, or simply might not be sensitive to these considerations. We prepare our recruiters to represent our organization when they speak with respondents, by thinking about precisely what we would like the participants to hear before we meet them ourselves.

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