We frequently recruit participants for focus groups, and some of the recruitment can be challenging.

We are used to recruiting for a focus group lasting between 1 and 2 hours but a recent client added another layer of complexity by wanting to run whole day workshops. The programme of workshops was being organised in various major centers across the UK.

The recruiting challenge was increased by the quota that was specified. For focus groups we are used to meeting quota for age or gender or SEG and often a combination of all three. For these workshops we had to add to that:  home ownership, voting record at the 2015 General Election and type of energy used.

There is a real challenge finding participants who are willing to give up a whole day for a research project. Whilst a generous incentive helped, it was still a major task to persuade those who are in work to arrange a day off, or take a day’s holiday.

As ever, the topic of the focus group or workshop is crucial to the whole recruiting process. Participants will not attend a focus group or workshop which doesn’t interest them and part of our task is to present the topic in as interesting a light as possible. We worked closely with the client and our recruiters to develop a recruiting script and screener which, in the end, proved very successful.

The final challenge of this recruitment was the need to guarantee the exact number of participants actually turned up. A shortfall in numbers would have seriously affected the activities being run in the workshop.

We successfully recruited to quota, achieved a 100% attendance and had one very happy client