Qualitative Market Research – How To Trim Your Recruiting Costs

“Your per-recruit price is too high. Can you lower it to $100?”The recruiting service told the client they could lower the price. But to reflect the budget and maintain quality, they would have to adjust the scope of their service. The recruiting service offered the client the following options:
Reduce your group size. Using the client’s suggested fee and the supplier’s hourly rate, the supplier would have to recruit one respondent every hour and fifteen minutes. Considering the complexity and timing of the project, they felt their chances for success were slim. Recruiting eight instead of twelve would be more realistic.

Relax your specs. Consider which specs can be eased while preserving the integrity of your research objectives. Seasoned recruiters will tell you how loosening quotas, demographic mixes and qualifying criteria will affect your costs.

Shorten your screener. Remove questions that can be answered another time. A shorter screener means more budget for recruiting. (Besides, a screening questionnaire that takes too long for respondents to complete invites trouble.)
What to watch out forThere are many moving parts to respondent recruiting that are invisible to research buyers. Be wary of recruiters who lower their price simply because you ask. Ask yourself this: Will they reduce the quality of your work? Will they skip replacing cancellations? Will you beg for recruiting progress reports? Will you be forced to relax specs you weren’t planning to relax? Suppliers who lower their price without question or qualification will likely jeopardize your project–or worse.Beware of recruiters who can’t say “no.” Company policy likely requires them to keep projects from going to the competition. So they underbid to get your work. They agree to anything (whether it’s in your best interests or not). Suppliers who can’t say “no” damage qualitative research–and reputations. Learn who they are, and stay away.Getting what you pay forNot all suppliers are created equal. Some recruiting shops know what it takes to properly service clients and make a profit, others don’t. To get the respondents you need for your qualitative market research, be cautious when you’re weighing quality against cost. You could get less than you bargained for.

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