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Top 10 benefits of Behavioural Recruitment

Tom Woodnutt

Tom Woodnutt

Feeling Mutual

Tom Woodnutt is Founder of Feeling Mutual, the agile online and mobile qualitative research specialists. He helps clients and agencies run global studies and offers training in the space. Tom has been a Digital Skills trainer for the Association of Qualitative Researchers (AQR) and is a regular speaker at industry conferences, including the MRS, MRMW and IleX.

When I first heard of Behavioural Recruitment (using social networks to target participants based on their real rather than claimed behaviour), I instantly wanted to try it. Several years (and many projects) later and I’m glad I did.

Before I tried it, I was getting frustrated seeing the same people attending face-to-face group discussions. A moderator can always tell if someone is a professional participant (i.e. doing multiple groups for the money). It creates that nagging feeling that they’re over-sensitised to research and therefore probably less representative. Or worse, that they’ve lied to take part. My concerns were confirmed by this ‘Research on Recruitment’ study, which highlights the issues.

Since I started using Behavioural Recruitment over five years ago, I’ve discovered that it brings more benefits than just fresh participants. Here are 10 things I’ve most appreciated in my online and mobile qual projects recruited by Liveminds.

1. Centralised global recruitment

Managing global projects requires liaising with different recruiters, across multiple markets. They sometimes vary in terms of how they charge, what their payment terms are and it means repeating your updates to multiple managers, which is time consuming.

Liveminds gives you a single point of contact across all markets. So it’s easier to cost and keep on top of any changes.

2. Highly engaged participants

I’ve noticed that participants are less jaded when sourced via Behavioural Recruitment. And Liveminds have found that participants give 47% more data than those recruited through traditional methods. I believe this is because after taking part in lots of research, participants become more motivated by the financial incentive rather than the desire to share their views.

Behavioural Recruitment finds people who are new to research, and therefore less likely to respond in a habitual way than professional participants.

3. Lower cash incentives

Liveminds generally tend to pay lower incentives than traditional recruiters. Again, if people have done lots of research, their expectations for incentives are higher. And traditional recruiters will understandably recommend higher incentives to reduce the risk of no-shows.

Behavioural Recruitment finds fresh people who are willing to give you more for less incentive.

4. Niche consumers

I’ve recently done a few projects requiring hard-to-reach people that went well. For example, people who own electric cars across the US.

Behavioural Recruitment can hypertarget people who like specific content or topics on social networks, such as environmentalism. This meant we found electric car owners easily.

5. Niche experiences

I’ve also had to reach young people who had purchased tickets for cultural events (such as Cricket matches, festivals and concerts) and get them to do a pre-during-post event mobile diary.

Behavioural Recruitment can target the right people based on their daily online activities and cultural interests.

6. Niche passions

Over the years, I’ve done several sport projects (including tennis, American football and studies for various football clubs) that required finding people in different markets, such as China, Germany, Indonesia, Spain, the UK and the US.

Behavioural Recruitment can find people based on their hobbies, passions and the sports they like.

7. Brand fans

One of the first studies I did with Liveminds was for a relatively niche music TV channel. We needed to find millennials who were fans of music channels like Kerrang! and 4Music to understand their motivations and the subconscious needs driving their behaviour.

With Behavioural Recruitment Liveminds can target followers of brands or indeed their competitors.

8. Location

A few years back, I ran a project for a low cost airline. We needed people who were about to travel and who had recently bought airline tickets. Plus they had to live within 30 minutes of the relevant airports (in France, Italy and the UK).

Behavioural Recruitment can target people based on their location. So we knew participants were genuinely living close enough to the relevant airports across these three countries.

9. Progressive behaviours

A financial services client was looking for people who were using progressive brands and technologies. We were able to find Metro and Starling bank users for the study (when they were still relatively niche).

Behavioural Recruitment can home in on the type of people who are likely to use particular brands.

10. Reassuring backups

Sometimes people get ill or decide not to take part. So it’s good to know that Liveminds automatically have backups waiting in the wings; people who already qualified and are keen.

Behavioural Recruitment means you can easily replace any no-shows if you need to.

The key benefits of using Behavioural Recruitment are:

  • Ease (single point of contact, easy replacements)
  • Quality (fresh, highly engaged participants)
  • Value (lower incentives)
  • Finding hard-to-reach people (based on demonstrated behaviour, interests, demographics and brand usage)

To find out more about how Behavioural Recruitment works, get in touch.

If you want to learn how to do better online and mobile qualitative research, please check out the training course I’m running here.

Full disclosure: I've provided consultancy for Liveminds on multi-market online and mobile research projects and we've jointly run online qual training sessions for the industry. I use Behavioural Recruitment out of choice on many of my own projects too. I’m happy to recommend them for global online qual projects to others.


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