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Q & A: Fieldwork Atlanta President Kate Krohn on Respondent Recruitment Excellence

By Fieldwork on September 30, 2019

At Fieldwork, our world-class facilities are run by local presidents who are proactive in the day-to-day operations and play a major role in fostering company-wide success. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with Kate Krohn, President of Fieldwork Atlanta about Fieldwork's recruiting teams and what skills allow them to continually find and deliver high-quality respondents.

Fieldwork Atlanta President Kate Krohn
Q: What does it take for successful recruiting?

A: Successful recruiting requires dedication, hard work, and patience. Recruiting for a research project is not a streamlined process. The client comes with an initial idea of who they want to recruit, but a positive outcome for the project requires a deeper commitment to the success of the project. It’s not as simple as getting a screener and checking yes and no boxes to either terminate, accept, or hold to fulfill a research project. A day in the life of an effective recruiter involves a more dynamic process rather than following a simple standard operating procedure checklist.

Q: What does this dynamic process look like for Fieldwork recruiters?

A: At Fieldwork, recruiting is our lifeblood so there is a lot of value, thought, and care that goes into our process. It all begins with clear communication. Once a project is confirmed and the screener finalized, our team thoroughly reviews the screener and begins implementing a variety of recruiting methods to ensure the right respondents are found for the study. This includes a mixture of calling, networking, online prescreens results, social media, and sampling from our local and national databases. By using a mixture of these methods, our recruiters not only improve efficiency, but respondent quality.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. Our recruiters are at the heart of finding hard-to-find candidates and are the first to give constructive feedback from the field. Situations often arise where the daily recruiting feedback provided helps raise important questions about the screener and gives clients the insights they need to approach their study from a different angle if necessary.

At the end of the day, we implement a dynamic recruiting process, but what truly drives our success is how dynamic our team is when it comes to critical thinking and working with both clients and respondents.

Q: Can you provide an example of a situation where recruiting feedback helped

A: Yes, one comes to mind. There was a client requesting recruits of low-income mothers to evaluate a new baby food product on the market. In field, we found that women in that income range were overwhelmingly rejecting trying the product. On further probing, we learned the reason was because it wouldn’t qualify through the WIC food benefits program. A standard recruiting scenario could have simply ended in too many terminations without further consideration. But our recruiting team provided this feedback and it turned out to be invaluable to the client, resulting in a reconfiguration of the project to successfully obtain objectives.  

Q: What special skills do you believe recruiting teams must have to truly excel? 

A: It all begins with care. I love how Fieldwork's recruiting teams bring tremendous value to each job. When talking to our recruiters, you are immediately able to recognize the amount of dedication they have for the job they're doing. 

More specifically, what truly allows our recruiters to excel is the tremendous range of soft skills they have honed to stay flexible and overcome challenges in the field. Since recruiters are at the front line of the respondent experience, they must possess tremendous listening skills, natural curiosity, and an overall collaborative nature. To some degree recruiting is a numbers game, but for recruiters who excel time after time I've noticed they have all have these characteristics in common. 

At Fieldwork, our recruiters are ultimately experts in building and deepening relationships. They are not just crossing people off lists when they don’t qualify for studies. They are listening for the unexpected in order to give them better odds at making the right matches quicker. They are digging deep into the project details to gain a more holistic understanding. Not only do they collaborate with support staff, project managers, and clients, but they are able to network and build relationships with a variety of people in order to find the right respondents. These skills all contribute to Fieldwork's success in fulfilling recruiting quotas with qualified candidates and underscore our commitment to providing our clients with the best service possible.

Q: What are some of the challenges recruiters face and how are they overcome?

A: All around, this job can be tough. As a recruiter you are on the front line searching for extremely specific qualifications and often face rejection. Consider for one minute what it is like to talk with potential candidate after candidate in search of not just one perfect fit for a project, but enough to fill a quota. It can be taxing, especially if you're searching for low-incidence respondents.

As the Atlanta President, my goal is to ensure our recruiting team knows they have everyone's support. I don't want them to leave for the day without helping them realize a win. Giving praise and constructive feedback about the quality of their respondent holds provides a small, but important win and helps keep them engaged in the project. In addition, making sure everyone at the facility is doing all they can to support them in their search is a big help. Whether it's having great support staff manage the database or project managers provide guidance, our entire process relies on working together and supporting one another. Overall, the challenges for recruiters can be tough, but we have an extraordinary team that is committed to making sure we all succeed together.

Q: What is something you would like potential clients to know about Fieldwork Atlanta?

A: Many people think we only work with large clients, but we have a lot of small clients and they are given the same stellar service people have come to expect from Fieldwork.. Whether you need business, medical, or consumer respondents, we have the recruiting expertise and facilities to deliver whatever your project may need. At Fieldwork Atlanta, no matter the size of a project, our entire team is committed to working together to ensure our clients receive only the best respondents, care, and service possible.


This blog is part of the Fieldwork President interview series. Click here to read what President of  Fieldwork Dallas Jessica Josset had to say about Fieldwork's role in creating mock legal trials and jury simulations.

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Topics: Market Research Services

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