A guide to setting up some recruitment

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by diebrucke No Comments

The following was developed by the AQR/ICG as a list of questions to enable all those involved in qualitative research to develop best practice on a continuing basis.  This is Die B’s abbreviated version.  For the full version, click here: http://www.diebruckeresearch.co.uk/survey/checklist.pdf


1)       Is this sample logical and realistic?  Can it be simplified?

2)       What is the penetration locally/nationally? Can these people be found?

NB Remember, the more specific the sampling criteria, the harder it will be to recruit.

3)       Is there sufficient flexibility in case of difficulties?

4)       Which part of the sample is crucial and why?

5)       How long will it take to recruit this sample?

6)       Have you written simple recruitment instructions?

7)       Would it help to include a summary of the research objectives?

8)       If you wrote the recruitment questionnaire, have you checked it for logic, clarity and simplicity?

9)      If the recruitment agency is writing the screening questionnaire, have you built in time to check it?


10)   Have you made time for a personal face to face/telephone briefing with the recruitment agency?

11)   Does the recruitment agency foresee any potential problems?

12)   Have you listened to any concerns from the recruitment agency?  Remember, they are the experts.

13)   Do you want people who have never been to research before?

14)   Are you happy to recruit people who have been to research before and – if so – are there any restrictions about how often/what subjects?

15)   Have you discussed how the recruitment is to be done e.g. cold/off the street/database/online, snowballing etc?

16)   Is there enough time for recruiting?

17)   How many respondents do you expect in each group?

18)   Do you need to over-recruit e.g. 10 for 8, 8 for 6?

19)   How many is the minimum number for you i.e. below which you would abandon the group?


20)   Do you require any pre-checking or back checking?

21)   If so, what are the key questions to be pre-checked or back checked?

22)   Do you require respondents to prove who they are/or what they own e.g. car logbook?

23)   Do you want the recruiter/recruitment agency to update you about the progress they are making?

24)   Who will be handling the incentives?

25)   Are concerned (including clients) aware of the MRS Code of Conduct Guidelines? (This is on our website.)

26)   Do you need to warn your client of any potential problems and thus manage their expectations?

27)   What criteria can be relaxed?

28)   Does the recruiter need additional help or time?

29)   Does the recruiter need to be able to pay higher incentives/other respondent expenses in order to encourage attendance?


30)   Could anything have improved the process?

31)   What have you learnt for future projects?

32)   What course of action will you agree to rectify this?

33)   Do you need to refine your terms and conditions for the next project?

34)   You should ensure that you deliver praise for a job well done

35)   Let recruiters/recruitment agency know of any issues that might have arisen

NB Do you realise that the recruitment agency/recruiters are your partners.  Be mindful of this fact.

36)   Have you been quick and realistic in responding to problems as they occur

37)   Have you been open and realistic about any difficulties that are being encountered and have you worked together to find the solution?

38)   Have you been open to change? We don’t after all, live in a perfect world

39)   Have you told your client about any potential issues or problems as soon as possible so as to manage their expectations?

40)   Have you looked for solutions to take to clients, e.g. relaxing the recruitment specifications?

41)   Re-recruiting: have you agreed upfront with the recruiter/recruitment agency what will happen if a respondent or respondents are out of quota?


42)   Is the client supplying lists?

43)   How up to date are they?

44)   Do the lists have the information needed e.g. telephone numbers, email addresses?

45)   If not, have you factored in the time and budget to find out this information?

46)   How long will it take to generate lists for the different geographical areas you are recruiting in?

47)   Is the list big enough to be able to recruit the required number of groups/depths?

48)   If the list runs out, can you then free find the remaining number needed?


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