Riding the wave of Behavioural Recruitment

Emma Lawson

Emma Lawson


Global Recruitment Manager at Liveminds. You can usually find me reading a book (or three) or perfecting my recipe for salted caramel brownies. I’m a sucker for a good board game and am happiest socialising with friends, either around the dinner table or down at the pub.

If you’re in the research business, you’ve probably heard of the ‘leaky pipe’ analysis. With traditional recruitment methods, participants go through a funnel. Recruiters start with a large pool of potentially eligible candidates and lose some along the way. A percentage of people will decline to participate for any number of reasons. Drip. More will fail to meet the screening criteria and a further few will randomly drop out. Drip, drip. Then the funnel spits out whoever is left, hopefully a selection of qualified and willing participants.

While researchers might feel optimistic at the start of the recruitment process, they could be left with slim pickings at the end.

Here at Liveminds, we take a different approach. With Behavioural Recruitment, we turn the traditional model on its head. Behavioural Recruitment is a radically different method, powered by big data on people’s real behaviour. We don’t use databases - we search 2 billion profiles worldwide to recruit truly representative participants. We start recruitment slowly and then speed up. We’re less of an old funnel and more like a wave that builds momentum. This allows us to manage any leaks along the way and raise potential problems in time to avoid them.

For example, we know that when we get to a certain stage in the recruitment process, we usually expect to have X% of potential participants. If we haven’t reached that level yet, we can recommend changing the strategy to X, Y or Z so that we don’t arrive at the end of the funnel with, well, slim pickings.

It can feel a bit daunting for researchers who are used to starting off with a bang, particularly with consumer panels, but the end goal is better: fresh, truly representative participants. Because recruitment isn’t all about quantity, it’s about quality. Ultimately, if recruitment isn’t effective the credibility and integrity of the research can be called into question - research results can’t be right if you’re listening to the wrong people.

Here’s how it works

Our award-winning Behavioural Recruitment platform connects to social networks enabling us to target, screen and qualify the best participants for each individual project in 190 countries.

Unlike traditional recruitment methods (where most people are found in the early stages and attempts are made to fill the gaps towards the end of the recruit), Behavioural Recruitment speeds up as the project progresses.

We use a thorough 4-step process to recruit participants:

1. Incidence Rate test phase

When researchers ask for Behavioural Recruitment costings we carry out an Incidence Rate test. This allows us to provide data-driven costings and ensures we’re able to help researchers set realistic expectations for their clients on whether the people they’re trying to find are available.

2. Testing phase

We then place adverts in the news feed of the audience that closely matches your criteria. In the early stages, fewer participants are screened as we A/B test 50+ ad images, copy, targeting and creative variations to ensure we're reaching the right kind of people.

3. Optimised recruitment phase

Once we’ve optimised the combination that resonates most with your hyper-targeted audience, we boost ad expenditure, which accelerates screener completion rates, and therefore increases the rate at which the number of qualified participants come in.

4. Delivery phase

We deliver the cream of the crop. For qual projects, this typically takes 7 working days from sign-off (or 9 working days for international projects that require translation).

Behavioural Recruitment Phases

Our approach to recruitment allows us to find people who are typically fresh to research, meaning you’re getting the views of truly representative participants not conditioned repeat respondents.

While we’re busy honing in on the right participants for your research, you can sit back, knowing that we’re helping to get your project off to the right start and the participants you get at the end will be better quality. Participants found using the Behavioural Recruitment method are more engaged and enthusiastic about discussing subjects they’re genuinely interested in - giving 47% more data than traditional recruits. It’s a wave that’s worth the wait.

Download Behavioural Recruitment case studies to explore the advantages of using social networks to find fresh research participants, discover how it works step-by-step and learn how top agencies are using the method.

Download Behavioural Recruitment case studies

See how top agencies are using Behavioural Recruitment in practical qual and quant case studies and learn how it works step-by-step.

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