Clean Recruiting Step 3: Eliminate Paper Sample

How are the screener responses handled?

We learned in step 2 that most companies sort through the survey results looking for the respondents that answered the right way and then distribute papers for recruiters to call from. But what happens when the recruiters call?

9 out of 10 times they leave a message and wait for a return call. When the respondent calls back, hours or even days later where is that piece of paper? 

Consider that a typical study involves speaking with hundreds if not thousands of respondents. When these respondents are listed on paper its virtually impossible to find them and it is certainly impossible to find it while the respondent waits on the phone. So when the final questions are asked to see if they qualify, there is no way to record the result.

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WAIT, why are there more questions you might be asking, they took the web survey? Certain question like open end responses, articulation and creativity questions, as well as segmentation questions are not well suited for web surveys. So these are asked over the phone. 

Back to the story of the missing paper. So if you don't have the paper listing this respondent you have no way to record that they did not qualify and they were not scheduled. That leaves the door open for another recruiter to call that same respondent back again or for the respondent to call in for a second shot at getting qualified and scheduled.  

If you are asking, do respondents really do this? You bet they do. They often try to guess their way in, and many times they are even helped along by the recruiter.

What is the right way?  When a respondent completes our web survey, their record in our database is updated in real time with a Pass or Fail.  All our recruiters work from computers that only present  those who pass.  When respondents call in the first step is to look them up.  If they were marked "pass" we move on to screening. If they're marked failed or were never even selected for the project, the recruiter knows immediately and also knows how to politely end the call and move on to the next caller.  

You can see the communication history for a typical research project where the respondent was sent an email survey (ES) which they took but did not qualify. This Respondent disqualified - (WTR) web terminated.  Had they passed the call result (CR) would say WPQ for web prequalify and our recruiter would know they can complete the qualification process and invite the respondent.

QUESTION FOR YOUR RECRUITER:  Does your web survey update your respondent database in real time?  Answer should be YES

QUESTION FOR YOUR RECRUITER:  Is your respondent sample printed out? Answer should be NO


Scott Adleman

Precision Research, Inc., 999 Touhy Avenue Suite 100, Des Plaines, IL, 60018