How to Recruit for Focus Groups? | Qualitative Recruitment Firm NY

how to recruit for focus groups

The process to recruit for focus groups is similar to many other qualitative market research studies.

Qualitative research is an excellent way to explore mindsets, perceptions, and the decision-making process of participants.

Whether it is a focus group, an online bulletin board, or an in-depth interview (IDI) by phone, qualitative research is the best type of methodology rather than a quantitative study.

However, these projects are only as good as the participants you recruit to participate in them.

Companies and organizations often work with qualitative recruitment firms and companies like Drive Research to qualify and secure participants for their upcoming focus groups, IDIs, or web interviews.

These qualitative recruitment firms often have the expertise and proprietary lists of panel members to make the recruitment process run smoothly and cost-effectively.

All while obtaining high-quality respondents for the market research.

Thinking about qualitative market research and need help with recruitment? Here are 5 steps you'll need to follow to recruit for focus groups or any other form of qualitative market research.

How to Recruit for Focus Groups? | Qualitative Recruitment Firm NY

Need participants for your qualitative market research? Contact our focus group recruitment company in Upstate New York. We specialize in quality recruits and quick turnarounds this our online processes.

Step 1: Determine How to Reach Your Audience

Where do target participants spend their time?

The first question you need to ask yourself is where do your intended participants spend their time?

If 90% of your customer base or targeted respondent base prefers to talk over the phone, is email a good option for you to recruit? Probably not.

The same holds true on the opposite end. Who answers the phone anymore right? Particularly if it is a number you don't recognize.

This becomes a major problem for traditional recruitment call centers. With this type of recruit, it can often take weeks to recruit for focus groups or interviews.

Think about ways to recruit online or find a qualitative recruitment firm who can recruit online.

Consider using social media for qualitative recruitment purposes.

Does your targeted participant base spend a lot of time and remain active on social media? Don't we all?

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram might be options to recruit B2C participants.

Are you in the B2B space? That's okay. LinkedIn is a great resource as well.

You'll also want to consider B2B recruiting on Facebook as well. Many users share their place of employment and titles so it's easy to target audiences there.

Before turning to social media, watch this 60-second video for tips on how to use Facebook to recruit for focus groups.

Want to learn more about how our qualitative recruitment company can recruit participants for your market research study in as little as 24 to 48 hours? Contact us here.

Step 2: Determine Your Screening Criteria

After you have identified how you plan to contact your potential participants, the next step is designing a recruitment screener with screening criteria.

This document must identify who you want to recruit for your focus group or another type of qualitative market research.

For example, if you are completing an alcoholic beverage study there are several must-have screener questions.

Are you above the age of 21 to start? If not, you would disqualify the participant.

You also want to screen them to make sure they drink alcohol correct?

If you fill an alcoholic beverage focus group with all people who do not drink, that would be an issue, to say the least.

Other screener criteria may include a mix of alcoholic beverages drank, a mix of ethnicities, a mix of age groups, etc.

Your screening criteria helps guide the focus group recruitment company's efforts.

Step 3: Write and Program Your Recruitment Screener

After you have the screener document finalized, your next step is to program it.

The programmed version can be used for computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) if you are using a call center to make calls to recruit participants.

It can also be used for any online recruitment you do through email or social media.

The benefit of programming the screener online or through CATI is that it handles skip patterns and routing logic for your survey.

So the respondent is only asked pertinent questions. Going back to the example above, if they do not drink light beer, they will not be asked how many times per week they drink light beer.

Step 4: Plan Your Recruitment Invites

Now that your plan is finalized, your questions are structured, and your screener is programmed, the next step is to jump into qualitative recruitment.

Here you will work with your focus group recruitment company, like Drive Research, to begin qualifying and signing up participants for the market research.

Using a third-party market research panel.

This may involve invites to the qualitative recruitment firm's panel participants.

These participants were likely participants from past market research studies and have already indicated an interest in participating in future market research.

Our panel recruitment efforts at Drive Research are continual. Our market research company is always searching for new participants in the Upstate New York area and across the country to join our panel.

This helps us keep costs down for our clients by having a pool of participants to pull from.

Using social media.

The invites may also be posted on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. These invites can be both paid and organic ads.

Learn more about why Facebook may be better than a panel when recruiting for focus groups.


Step 5: Place Confirmation Calls, Emails, Texts

If you have your participants recruited and qualified, the work for the qualitative recruitment company is not done quite yet.

Each participant still needs to be followed-up on to confirm interest and obtain a commitment to participate in the focus group, interview, or other forms of market research.

Our standard process may seem like it's overload but it's absolutely necessary to make sure our clients get the highest possible participation rates.

This includes a confirmation phone call after the participant is chosen for the focus group or qualitative research.

This is followed by a confirmation email or confirmation letter mailed to their household.

Finally, we like to place a final reminder call 48 hours before the focus group or interview and a reminder text hours before it begins.

Need Help Recruiting for Focus Groups? Contact Our Team!

Drive Research is a qualitative recruitment firm in New York. We specialize in quality and timely focus group recruiting, research interview recruiting, website usability recruiting, and other forms of market research recruitment.

For a list of our full-service market research options, read more here.

Questions or need a quote on your qualitative recruitment project? Contact us through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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