Observation Baltimore’s recruiting team is the core strength of our market research services and one of the main reasons we are the premier focus group facility in Maryland. Our rigid recruiting practices begin with comprehensive, didactic market research fundamentals training, followed by interviewer shadowing, and external industry practicum. Once the foundation is provided, novice recruiters/interviewers are observed to ensure their skill set meets Observation Baltimore’s standard recruitment protocols.
As members of AMA, MRA, PMRG, PBIRG, and QRCA we abide by the organizations’ Codes of Ethics. Further, we utilize our professional associations’ training collateral, meetings, and publications to keep abreast of best practices in market research. We hold our staff accountable to the industry’s ethical compliance and privacy standards.
Observation Baltimore’s recruiting and interviewing team is managed by Molly McNerney and Karen Hernandez. Together, they review project requirements, oversee all recruiting projects, and keep staff accountable to segmentation and quota specifications. Molly, Karen and the recruiting team all hold NIH Human Research Protection Certification. Karen is also certified by University of Maryland’s Mini-Medical School in Informed Consent and Research Respondent Privacy.
Recruiter/Interviewer Hiring Process
Skilled professionals to recruit for research projects and interviewers who are entrusted with qualitative discovery are found through various resources. We have impressive recruiter/interviewer tenure, ranging from 11 years to summer interns.
- Background Checks: Prior to hire, human resources carefully validates work history and references. A background check using Maryland Case History is required.
- NDA & Confidentiality: All employees of Observation Baltimore, including recruiters/ interviewers, are required to review and sign Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements. These agreements encompass the confidential nature of project materials, recruitment criteria, non-disclosure of proprietary information, and respondent data privacy protection and anonymity. Agreements are reviewed thoroughly with each employee, and key confidentiality and respondent privacy elements are incorporated in written evaluation exams. This process shows our commitment to providing the most secure and confidential market research recruitment.
Recruiter/Interviewer Training Process
Training begins with general market research industry instruction, including industry DVD’s and research instruments’ review. Education of project cycles, segmentation and quotas, algorithms, and participation in a mock focus group are included in fundamental recruiter/ interviewer training. Formal review of all materials is conducted prior to a proctored Recruitment Fundamentals Exam.
Each new recruiter/interviewer is assigned a senior recruiter/interviewer mentor. The shadowing period varies dependent upon experience and exam results. Each shadowing day ends with a brief meeting with the mentor to discuss questions and valuable lessons learned. All new hires are required to observe at least 3 focus group projects and 5 seasoned recruiter/interviewers before their practicum.
Practicum begins with MRA’s, “The Professional Interviewer,” followed by a quiz. A series of mock focus group DVD’s are viewed. A final exam is conducted.
All recruiters/interviewers are certified in NIH Human Research Protection. Participation in industry professional association webinars and local chapter meetings is encouraged to adhere to best practices policies.
Data Protection and Collection Practices
A significant number of our recruiting efforts are completed using our extensive proprietary databases of opt-in respondents. These include general consumers, healthcare clinicians and administrators, and business-to-business candidates.
Protection processes are in place for client-provided lists, including: Limited access to electronic lists by senior-level managers only, printed copies are limited to one, and overnight printed list storage is locked within a filing cabinet within a secured human resources office. The day after the project is conducted, printed lists are placed in a privacy compliant shred vendor bin (Shred- It) and all electronic copies are deleted.
All client materials including screeners not taken by the client will be deleted and shredded, subsequent to a 60-day archive period unless otherwise instructed.
All databases and client-provided lists are password protected.
Observation Baltimore’s recruitment and data collection practices are conducted utilizing traditional telephone procedures. As some projects require creativity, our capabilities extend beyond traditional qualitative research methods including electronic recruitment via web postings, e-blasts, blogs, and social networks, posting flyers at central meeting places, faxing flyers to offices or places of business, and field visits. Traditional telephone procedures will be utilized, unless alternate recruiting methods are approved by the client.
Observation Baltimore’s staff strives not only to recruit qualified and vetted respondents, we pride ourselves on integrity and a level of protection for both clients and respondents. Our goal is to provide a recruit that is accurate, thorough, and complete while maintaining an unmatched level of professionalism, best practices, and compliance to the highest standards in the market research industry. It reflects our commitment to be the best company for market research in Maryland.