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4 Things to Look For Before Hiring a Market Research Recruiting Firm

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4 Things to Look For Before Hiring a Market Research Recruiting Firm

market research recruiting firmRecruiting is a critically important aspect of an overall market research project, and it directly determines whether the insights gleaned will be intelligent, actionable and practical – or questionable, confusing and inapplicable. Indeed, it does not matter what advanced technology tools are used, or how much money is allocated to focus groups, interviews, and other qualitative and qualitative data generation methods. If recruiting is anything less than excellent, then the process and outcome will be adversely impacted.

At the same time, most companies that need or want to benefit from market research do not have an in-house recruiting department or team, and therefore need to outsource this function to specialized firm. However, all of these firms are NOT created equal! As with any industry, there are professional-grade providers, and those that fall below requisite standards for expertise, efficiency and ethics. 

To help you choose the right market research recruiting firm, here are 4 essential things to focus on before hiring – not after:

1. Experience with Comparable Research Studies

A market research recruiting firm should have proven experience with comparable research studies, and speak competently and confidently about the challenges that are unique to the target audience you are pursuing. Naturally, this also means they should provide recommendations on what will and will not work for the research setup.

With this in mind, it is often the case that a market research recruiting firm cannot provide you with specific, detailed data about a comparable research study -- not because they are trying to hide anything, but because doing so would reveal the identity of the client in question. However, this should in no way be an obstacle to covering the issues and recommendations noted above.

2. Contact List Source

If you are not providing the entire list that will be used for recruiting, then a market research recruiting firm should openly communicate about how and from where they would source a list for your specific needs. Obviously, your list must be very high quality and you must have confidence in it, since you can only recruit the people that you contact.

3. A Clear List of Services Provided

Like any other specialized discipline, market research is complex and multifaceted. However, this does NOT mean that it is impenetrable and incoherent to all but those who have years of experience in the industry. As such, a market research recruiting firm should provide you with a clear list of services that they propose to provide, along with details covering reporting and communication flows. Just as importantly, they must explain in jargon-free terms the value, need and integration of each service (i.e. how one service connects and relates to other services).  

4. The “Big 3”: Scope, Timeline and Budget

It is imperative to get a very clear understanding of the “Big 3”: scope, timeline and budget. The above discussion covers the first of this trio, scope. We can therefore turn our attention to timeline and budget.

With respect to timeline, steer well clear of any market research recruiting firm that your instincts tell you is simply saying “yes” to everything. There is a categorical difference between being efficient and unrealistic, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of that bet – because it means you might miss deadlines and exceed budget. You must feel fully confident in the timeline to which a prospective market research recruiting firm is committing. To build this confidence, test them by asking what the feasibility and impact would be of going one week faster or one week slower than the timeline in the RFP (or what they suggested).  

With respect to budget, you need to ask now -- not after the engagement begins -- key questions like: who has decision-making control over price changes? How will you be impacted if the project comes in more than 10% above budget? What strategies are in place to ensure that there are no budget surprises in the final hour of the project? A legitimate and credible market research recruiting firm will not just discuss these issues with you ahead of time, but they will insist on it because it is in their interest to have a straightforward, surprise-free experience, too.

Learn More

To partner with a proven market research recruiting firm that delivers all of the above, contact the experts at Communications For Research today. You’ll speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber who, while learning more about your business, can provide advice on your market research opportunity. Whether you need recruiting services or full-service market research, Colson can give you an in-depth look at the scope of the project, timeline and budget!

For more information how market research can help marketing agencies in many different ways, download our FREE eBook:

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