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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Cochrane

Recruiting Respondents for Research

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

Recruiting qualified respondents for research can be a challenge. Many research firms report finding and recruiting financial advisors to be a significant barrier to completing projects. While it is more difficult, we’ve been able to identify and recruit advisors both for our own projects as well as for others'. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Target Audience Availability: Finding individuals who precisely fit the criteria of your project can be tough. Depending on the specificity of your project, the pool of suitable respondents might be limited, making it difficult to locate them. Finding the right people is often a roll up the sleeves and work the phones, email and social networks. It's not easy, but it can be done.

  • Time and Effort: Participating requires an investment of time and effort from respondents. If the interview or survey is lengthy, redundant, or complicated, potential respondents might be hesitant to participate or simply drop out. Keep it simple, to the point and use their language.

  • Incentives: Without proper incentives, respondents might not see a compelling reason to take part in a project. Monetary rewards, gift cards, or other incentives can motivate people. But, bear in mind, participants are sharing information valuable to your client. In exchange, give them valuable information to benefit their practice. Often this can be a greater value and less expensive.

  • Project Fatigue: Many people receive frequent requests to participate in projects. This can lead to project fatigue, where individuals become less willing to engage with projects due to the sheer volume of requests. It is important to demonstrate it’s worth their time to participate. Show them your project is better and how it will benefit them.

  • Cultural and Language Differences: Projects might need to be tailored to different cultural and linguistic contexts. Ensuring the questions are relevant and understandable to the target audience is essential. Also, ask questions in their nomenclature not yours.


To mitigate these challenges, it's important to carefully design your project, offer appropriate incentives, choose the right respondent screening, ensure data privacy, and communicate the value of participating. Balancing the effort required from respondents with the benefits is key to successfully recruiting qualified respondents for your project.

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