Before UX researchers can talk to real users and gain insights that will influence important decision-making, these representative users, or participants, need to be found.
Recruitment is an essential step before data collection can begin.
This project examines the recruitment process at Sentier, a UX research and design agency as they work with external vendors. Through internal interviews and assessment of current resource documents, I identified a need to revise the agency’s recruitment guide and create a vendors’ master list.
Assessing needs and resources
a. Examine prior process documentation and all supplementary resources
b. Construct interview questions to confirm recruitment guide's alignment with agency's current processes and needs
Conducting internal interviews
a. Conduct internal interviews with managing partner and two researchers involved in the recruitment process
b. Collect contextual information, i.e., types of recruitment, advantages, expectations, and challenges of using an external vendor
c. Organize and order data into standard process steps
Documenting external vendors
a. Gather list of past and present vendors, as well as vendors used by clients and professionals in agency’s network
b. Build spreadsheet database with background information on each vendor, i.e., do they recruit for qualitative and/or quantitative research studies, the size and scope of their participant database, their location, etc.
Revising recruitment guide
a. Restructure guide to reflect key sections and topics
b. Detail standard steps and considerations, highlight roles involved, and link resources, i.e., NDA forms, screener templates, participant grids, etc.
c. Integrate information from previous recruitment guide into relevant topics or “Archives” section to ensure that data isn’t lost
The updated guide will serve as a living document detailing the key steps and considerations learned from working with external vendors on recruitment. In addition, the vendors’ master list makes it easy to reference past, current, and potential future vendors.
These two documents are designed to help streamline the recruitment process and can be used as training materials for new hires.
Process documentation is continuous as changes to internal processes and new concerns arise (e.g., recent challenges in UX research around data security). The updated recruitment guide is focused on external vendors, but there are still steps for in-house recruitment that will need to be fully documented, as well as other processes that can be added to the agency’s body of resources.