Recruiting Without Fear

Recruiting Without Fear

How to Find First-Rate Participants for Design Studies

By Will Schroeder, David Brittan, and Jared M. Spool

Single Report: $49.99

Group License: $139.99 (Share with your group, including right to reproduce the report and store on your intranet)

43 pages, March 2005

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Looking for a Few Good Men and Women?

Eighty percent of solving problems is just getting the right people to show up. Whether you’re conducting usability tests, field studies, or focus groups, the quality of the participants you recruit can make or break your design study.

Since your resources are limited, you can’t mess around with participants who don’t resemble your target users, who lack communication skills to tell you what you need to learn, or who just don’t show up. The only participants you can afford are the ones who help you uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your design. In other words, you need quality recruiting.

Fortunately, quality recruiting is easier to learn than you think. All you need is a knowledgeable guide to help you stay on top of all the details. That’s why we wrote Recruiting Without Fear: How to Find First-Rate Participants for Design Studies. Once you’ve mastered its recommendations, you’ll get the right recruits every time. That means you not only save money—you produce better designs.

A Process Refined Over Hundreds of Studies

“A great study starts with great participants. Recruiting first-rate participants translates directly into better designs.”
Jared M. Spool, co-author of Recruiting Without Fear

Since 1988, UIE has recruited every type of study participant imaginable, from high-ranking government officials to emergency-room doctors to employees rebelling against their company’s intranet. We made mistakes at first. But because we’re perfectionists, we gradually developed a recruitment process that works just about perfectly. Our last no-show was in 1999 (the guy crashed his car on the way to meet with us), and we’ve never had to throw out the results of a user session.

We learned that the recruitment process is a chance to develop real relationships with candidates. We build on those relationships to draw honest feedback and genuine enthusiasm from all participants. We also learned interview techniques that help us tell ideal candidates from people who could derail our study.

We’ve filled Recruiting without Fear with detailed explanations of our methods, along with useful checklists and sample interviews, so you too can find first-rate participants.

What You’ll Learn

We’ll take you through the recruitment process step by step. Whether you intend to do your own recruiting or use an outside recruiter, you’ll know exactly how to proceed—and how to succeed.

  • Planning your recruiting campaign. How many calls should you make? When should you send contact emails? We give you a schedule, complete with checkpoints to ensure that you stay on track and round up enough participants.
  • The outsourcing decision. It’s tempting to let an agency recruit for you, but you may be giving up important control. We present your options and help you decide for yourself.
  • Choosing the recruiter. If your team is doing its own recruiting, who is the best person for the job? We’ll talk about the desirable skills and personality traits.
  • The recruiting profile. The profile is the recruiter’s spec sheet for selecting participants. You’ll learn how to choose the requirements that are best for your study.
  • Building your contact list. You’ll learn 7 techniques for garnering enough contacts to give you a ready-made army of willing and qualified prospects.
  • Making contact. We’ll share our secrets for getting the best candidates to contact you, eager to participate in your study.
  • Effective interviewing. The interview is the most critical stage of recruiting. You’ll learn how to ask probing questions without giving away the answers—and how to interpret the responses.
  • The 11-step checklist for interviews. You’ll want to keep this handy sheet next to your phone.
  • Preparing forms. You’ll see samples of instruction letters, consent forms, release forms, and pre-test questionnaires, all designed to make the recruiting process foolproof.
  • Dealing with cancellations. You’ll learn our proven tricks for filling a slot at the last minute.

Did you know…

  • You can simplify recruiting dramatically by applying fewer screening criteria. Screening on demographic information, such as income level and age, rarely produces better results, yet makes the recruiter’s job much more difficult.
  • Realtors, college professors, and associations are great resources for building your contact list.
  • Money isn’t the only incentive for people to participate in your study. If your remuneration budget is small, gifts such as hats, mugs, or software can do the trick. The biggest incentive of all: a chance to make a difference.
  • Open-ended interviews are the best way to screen potential candidates. Traditional "flow-chart screeners" are inflexible and give away the answers. They can allow unsuitable candidates in, while excluding qualified people who didn’t understand the questions.
  • You can eliminate most no-shows by making 2 brief reminder calls. It’s amazing how a 2-minute phone call can prevent hours of wasted time.

100% Money-Back Guarantee—Get Yours Today!

We guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied. Buy your copy of Recruiting without Fear and try it on for size. If it’s not right for you, email us within 30 days for a full refund.

Get your copy today—it’s risk free.

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