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Focus Group Recruitment

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Focus Group Recruitment

Focus group recruitment is a specialised element within the market research fieldwork process and is centred around gathering respondents to take part in focus groups and group discussions. Different organisations often utilise different methods for carrying out this task, and there are specialist focus group recruitment agencies in existence who charge a fee for this service.

Key elements of the recruitment process include both understanding the best means of finding potential respondents and also establishing a rapport with potential attendees at an early stage of the conversation – in order to build trust and reassure individuals that the research is something they would be interested in and is relevant.

Some companies maintain lists of potential respondents for focus group recruitment from certain difficult to find groups – such as nurses, doctors, architects, teachers and similar individuals. However, this brings with it issues of over-utilising repeat respondents if a company is not careful about the management of its respondents, and so potential clients should be aware that these so-called ‘professional respondents’ can sometimes understand the focus group process and can give answers that they suspect the researcher is looking for, and thus answers that are not a true reflection of their actual views. Many of the best qualitative researchers are able to spot respondents who appear to have attended numerous focus groups.

DJS Research utilises a specialist focus group recruitment team within our wider fieldwork department – this team, managed by Janice Beard, specifically carries out recruitment for focus groups, group discussions and depth interviews on a daily basis. This means that Janice and her team are hugely experienced in recruiting a wide range of respondents, including several hard to reach groups such as people currently tiling their floor using a specific brand of tile adhesive, drivers of electronic cars (not hybrids) and Bangladeshi men living in a specific area of the Midlands who smoke and chew tobacco. We have also recruited focus groups internationally with groups including members of the Iranian diaspora living in Turkey.

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