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Anatomy of an Excellent Recruitment Survey

Written by Alida

Published June 07, 2018

Your recruitment survey is one of the most important steps to building your insight community, in just one activity you’ll be enticing people to join, potentially pre-screening them, and building a partial demographic profile based on their responses. You only have one chance at a great first impression with a potential community member, so make sure your recruitment survey is the best it can be by following these best practices:

Hello Recruitment Survey

An Introduction Page That Converts

The introduction page is the first screen a participant will see after clicking on a link to join – either from the email invitation or website link. This page should be built with the intention of convincing your prospects to become community members and to take the time to complete the survey. By customizing the content and layout based on your recruitment sources you will improve respondent experience and click-through rates. Make sure to add how long it will take to complete the survey, and including the first question on this page can engage respondents more quickly.

Engagement Questions

Start off with one or two fun, industry or company-specific questions to get the participants attention and entice them to continue. Questions should relate to the community and be as visual as possible. We strongly recommend not starting with open-ended questions.

Disqualifying Questions

Disqualifying questions ensure that only participants that meet certain criteria are included in the community. Once you reject an engaged respondent, they can’t come back later. Consider accepting nearly all engaged respondents, and targeting your activities to different subgroups to maintain your insight flexibility in the future. When you do disqualify respondents:

  • Always place disqualifying questions as close to the start of the survey as possible.
  • If possible, prescreen your list to ensure that you are not inviting customers that do not qualify for the community.
  • Be sensitive to the disqualifying language (remember these are all potential customers!).
  • If you need to mask the exact reason why someone was disqualified, don’t notify them until after all of your disqualifying questions have been asked.

Profiling Questions

Start by getting the bare minimum amount of data you need. Long and intrusive surveys will turn people away! It’s better to start with a basic profile and get deeper over time with follow-up surveys. The length of the recruitment survey shouldn’t be more than 5-8 questions, including all demographic questions. Include only the bare minimum behavioral and attitudinal questions you need to ask for screening, future sampling, or analysis. You could also include an open-ended question to let people share a little more about their relationship, a great brand experience, or something else related to the community.

Legalities: Terms of Use and NDA Acceptance

Members likely need to accept and adhere to a Terms of Use or NDA policy before joining the community. These policies outline your rights as the administrator of research (ex., purging inappropriately behaving members) and the rules members must follow in order to participate (ex., keeping information shared with them confidential, if asked). Anyone who does not accept will not qualify for the community.

Validation Page (Optional)

Recruitment into a new Insight Community can occasionally lead to concerns from your more technically-savvy customers that the recruitment invitation may not be legitimate – some organizations suffer online fraud attempts regularly, and their customers become more cautious about providing information online. This is most common with Business-to-Business (B2B) communities.

This caution is a great thing – we want our community members to be careful with their information and to trust you with their feedback! You can calm this concern easily with a Validation Page on your main organization website. This page shows that you’re aware of the Insight Community, and can in fact be another recruitment path to bring trusting members in. The page should explain the purpose of the community, and reiterate how seriously you treat customer information.

Here are two example Validation Pages which you may find helpful:

  1. Amazon
  2. Facebook

Completion Page

  • Thank people for their time and congratulate them on qualifying for the community
  • Remind them to add the insight community email address to their safe sender lists
  • Let them know they will be receiving a confirmation email that they need to open to confirm their membership


Confirmation Email & Confirmation Page

An automated email will be sent to all members who complete the recruitment survey, providing them with instruction on how to confirm their membership. Once they click the confirmation link, they will be “activated” in Sparq as an active member of the community who is available to sample and send activities to.

Looking for some technical information on recruitment? We've got you covered here.

Like any survey, ensure your recruitment survey is mobile optimized!