On line recruitment is no longer a pipe dream. Adrian Langford gives his personal viewpoint on the way that recruitment is heading
"I've seen the future of Rock & Roll, and his name is Bruce Springsteen". Reviews don't come any more enthusiastic than that one from the mid-70s. Now I've seen the future of recruiting, and its name is the Internet. Forget that 'The Boss' sang of hard times, alienation and broken dreams this development promises to sweep away the acrimony and apparently insuperable difficulties surrounding the long-running recruitment debate.
My epiphany came as I checked the latest market news on the Financial Times' FT.com Internet site. The flashing 'banner' ad at the top of the page invited me to join a focus group discussing on line share trading, and carried a famous research agency logo. I was doubly interested as an amateur investor, and as a professional moderator seeking insights into the respondent experience.
One click took me to a self-completion screener of exemplary brevity; another despatched this and my contact details to the agency. An e-mail acknowledging my interest arrived almost immediately, adding that a fieldwork exec would phone me the next day.
The whole process was effortless, efficient and effective. Try asking flesh-and-blood recruiters for active share investors ("oh, and by the way, half of them should already trade on line"). This way you sit back while a normally fiendishly difficult sample selects itself and comes to you.
Before I'm drummed out of AQRP, I should add that I confessed all when the promised call came through. Besides learning from the fieldwork exec that the technique had worked like a charm, I was politely refused. Shame really, it was a notably generous fee. One mild flirtation with the other side of the recruitment process and I'm turning into a focus 'groupie'.
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, September 1999
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 1999