Recruiting is the life blood of the qualitative market research industry. Without recruiters we have few good options for finding the people we need to talk to. The recruiter’s job is not that easy. They usually have way too little time in which to cast a net and sift through everyone until they find the people who match the specifications we give them. It may not surprise you to learn that sometimes recruiting can get messy.
Here’s a true story. The names have been changed.
RECRUITER: Husky voice. Thick New York accent. “Hello Sarah? It’s Maureen from Focus on Us. How are YOU?”
SARAH: “Hi Maureen. I’m doing fine. What’s up?”
RECRUITER: “Sarah, listen. I’ve got a focus group tomorrow night. It pays $125 for two hours. Are you available?
SARAH: “Yes. I’m free.”
RECRUITER: “Good! Very good! Listen, Sarah, do you drink top shelf scotch?”
SARAH: “No, Maureen, I don’t.”
RECRUITER: “It’d be bettah if ya did.”
It’s a dirty little secret that occasionally people are invited to participate in focus groups who are imposters. Sometimes they are coaxed by recruiters. The impostors may lie because they need a quick buck. I usually say a prayer before each group that everyone IS who they say they are.
One facility, Flagship Research in San Diego, has started recording their recruiting phone calls. This adds an element of transparency into the recruiting process, which I like. So I was surprised when I mentioned this innovation to a recruiter in another city and she exclaimed “That’s not legal! We can’t record conversations.” I thought…it’d be bettah if ya did.