Market Research Recruitment Screener Survey Template

Chris Martin

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    A market research recruitment screener is a questionnaire used to identify and select potential participants for a market research study, panel or community. A screener is typically a set of questions designed to filter out individuals who don't meet the specific criteria required, or to achieve a balanced quota. These criteria may include demographic information, purchasing behaviour, brand usage, interests, or other relevant characteristics that align with the research objectives.

    The purpose of the recruitment screener is to ensure that the participants chosen for the study, panel or community represent the intended target audience or user group. By using a screener, market researchers can save time and resources by focusing on recruiting only those participants who are likely to provide valuable insights and feedback.

    Here are some common elements that a market research recruitment screener may include:

    • Demographics: Age, gender, ethnicity, location, household income, education level, occupation, etc.
    • Usage behaviour: Questions about product or service usage, frequency of usage, and experiences with specific brands or products.
    • Attitudes and opinions: Questions to assess participants' attitudes, preferences, or opinions related to the research topic.
    • Purchase behaviour: Questions about past purchasing habits or intentions to purchase certain products or services.
    • Media consumption: Questions about where participants get their information or media preferences.
    • Exclusion criteria: Identifying factors that would disqualify a participant from the study.
    • Open-ended questions: Additional questions to gather more specific insights or information that may not fit into the predefined categories.

    The responses from the screener can help your team identify individuals who closely match the desired participant profile. Once the potential participants have been selected, they are usually contacted for further screening and, if they qualify, invited to take part in the actual study, which may involve focus groups, interviews, surveys, or other research methods.

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    Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are an easy way to measure how your products, services and touchpoints are performing against expectations. Get the free InsightHub template here.

    Recruitment Screener Survey Template

    The following panel recruitment screener is an example of an online survey built with InsightHub. Across multiple screens and questions, the survey collects basic data on individual demographics, plus additional behaviour and psychographic information to asses fit with the panel objectives.

    As with all surveys built on the platform, routing, piping and complex logic can be applied between screens depending on your specific requirements. For instance, you may wish to ask customers which of your products they have purchased before, then use the response data to ask about purchase frequency and location on the following screen. Depending on the quotas you have set, you may only be looking for participants who have purchased a particular product multiple times, or not at all. By splitting such questions across multiple pages, it’s easier to avoid bias and leading language.


    This simple survey includes template text that you can adapt to your recruitment screeners. It’s important not only to ask the questions you want to know the answers to, but also provide adequate information to potential participants about the project, panel or community that they are signing up to. Therefore, you should try to be clear about both expectations and incentives.

    You may also want to collect contact information (such as a valid email address) so that you able to send invitations to participate should a participate meet your criteria. Even if a participant doesn’t meet your current criteria, consider asking whether they would be willing to be contacted to take part in future opportunities. This tactic can help you expand your pool of potential research participants in a quick and cost-effective manner.

    Want to find out how InsightHub can help you deliver a complete, cost-effective research programme with integrated data collection, analysis and activation tools? Sign up for a free demo account here.

    Market Research Recruitment Best Practices

    Effective market research recruitment screeners can significantly impact the quality of your research by ensuring you recruit the right participants who meet your study's objectives. Here are some best practices to follow when designing market research recruitment screeners.

    First, be sure to clearly define research objectives. Before creating the screener, have a clear understanding of your research objectives. Identify the specific characteristics, behaviours, or attitudes you are looking for in your participants to ensure they align with your research goals.

    When writing your screener, try to keep it concise. A long and complex screener may discourage potential participants from completing it. Keep the screener as short and straightforward as possible, focusing on the most critical qualifying questions. Similarly, use closed questions. Including multiple-choice options makes it easier for participants to respond quickly and accurately. This helps streamline the screening process.

    Another best practice is to avoid leading questions. Ensure the questions are neutral and do not lead participants to a specific answer. Biased questions can influence responses and impact the representativeness of your sample.

    Tweet from FlexMR Tweet This
    Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys are an easy way to measure how your products, services and touchpoints are performing against expectations. Get the free InsightHub template here.

    While leading questions should be avoided, there are also certain questions you want to actively consider including – such as verification questions. These help to identify inconsistent responses or participants who may not be paying attention. This helps ensure the quality of the data. If certain questions are only relevant to specific subsets of participants, implement logical skipping in your screener to direct participants to the appropriate questions based on their previous responses.

    You can check the quality of your screener or uncover any unintended leading questions by test the screener before launch. Send the survey to a small group to identify any issues, ambiguities, or misunderstandings. Revise and refine the screener based on feedback to improve its effectiveness.

    Throughout the survey design, it’s important to respect participants' privacy. Request only necessary personal information and assure participants that their data will be treated confidentially and used solely for research purposes.

    Lastly, consider whether a screener survey alone is sufficient. While it is likely the most efficient option for recruiting into a panel or community, more complex studies (especially those in which the sample size is low, are longitudinal in nature or have high requirements) may require a screening call to verify participants' eligibility and willingness to participate.

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