Market research hiring advice: filling market research jobs

Market Research Recruiting Hiring Advice: Filling Market Research Jobs

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We wanted to share our market research recruiting advice that we hope you will find valuable.

Interview Regarding the State of MR Hiring and Staffing


Phil Reeve is interviewed by Bob Lederer of RFL Communications to discuss the current state of staffing and hiring in the market research industry. Phil shares his insights and suggestions for hiring companies and researchers searching for career opportunities.

Phil Reeve Interview with Bob Lederer

Recruiting by the Numbers


If you're wondering what it really takes to staff open positions, review the graphic below. With decades of experience it's not easy work, but it is rewarding when a qualified candidate finds a great company and job.

Recruiting Statistics

7 Steps to Earn What You're Really Worth


As the interview process winds down, an offer of employment may be extended. How you react to the offer can impact your future with your new employer or your reputation within the industry. Based upon decades of matching companies and candidates, we suggest the following to help you earn what you're worth.

Salary Negotiation for Employers and Candidates
Reeve Salary Information

  1. Know your real market value before beginning the job search process. Be objective and use current industry salary statistics from reputable sources. It's vital that your expectations are reasonable and based upon your experience, skills and geographic location. Your value is not what you want or what you need; it is based upon what other professionals with the same skillsets are currently earning.
  2. Only seek jobs that match your salary expectations. Even if you're the best candidate a company has ever seen, they rarely (never) extend offers beyond their stated salary range. In fact, you should expect companies will extend offers toward the lower end of their salary range.
  3. Allow your recruiter to pre-negotiate on your behalf. Share your salary requirements with them and allow this information to help shape the offer before it is written. Once an offer is written it is more difficult to change numbers.
  4. Express gratitude to whomever extends the offer; they are inviting you to join their team.
  5. Take a breath and review the offer in detail. Discuss the offer with your family and then contact your recruiter. Share any concerns or shortcomings -- and identify what you'll need to accept the offer. Your recruiter can help structure (including salary, bonus, benefits and vacation time) a deal that works for you -- preserving your relationship with your future boss. Then, they will "get to work" negotiating on your behalf with the hiring manager.
  6. Make a definitive decision. When the details of the final offer have been determined, decide if the job is for you. There is no harm in saying no -- but say so quickly. If accepting, do that even more quickly to build excitement with your new employer.
  7. Build skills and acquire experience. Working hard and looking toward the future is the best way to increase your value and your earning potential.

2018 Compensation Data
2018 Compensation Report

If you have questions about your next career step or any of our jobs, please contact me.


Streamlining the Interview Process


One of the largest barriers to hiring talent is the interview process: it's lengthy, duplicative and often unable to separate good candidates from bad. Here is a proven 3-part interviewing plan to hire the best professionals.

1. Faster is Essential
The interview process often drives away more quality candidates than it woos. An in-demand candidate simply can't afford multiple days out of the office to meet with your staff. So, the faster you move, the greater your chance of success. Based upon our experience, it's best if all on-site interviewing is conducted during a single day. And if a follow-up interview is essential then schedule it as a conveniently located breakfast or dinner meeting. The longer the interview process takes, the greater the chance your ideal candidate will accept a job with another company.

2. Ask the Right Questions -- Once
The interview process must be efficient. We recommend a coordinated divide-and-conquer approach among all interviewers. Identify, in writing, the questions each interviewer will ask to determine if the candidate has the skills and experience to be successful in the position. Ensure any repeated questions are strategically designed to triangulate on a candidate's abilities or career aspirations. And then "cut the fat" removing non-essential questions allowing added time for candidate responses and follow-up probing.

3. Focus on the Best
Every question should have a set of answers to indicate if the candidate should continue forward or exit the process. Immediately after each interview, the interviewer should provide a go/no-go indication to the interview coordinator. If two or more interviewers sense the fit doesn't exist, then save everyone's time by concluding the process and cancelling the afternoon interviews.

If, at the end of the day, the candidate received all "go" indications then convene as a team and make a hiring decision -- pending reference reviews. And if you share this decision with the candidate the following day, it will build excitement and help you land the best talent the market has to offer.


Calculate the Cost of Delayed Hiring


If you're trying to staff or re-staff your MR organization, time is money.

  • The sooner you hire a Sales Executive, the sooner your revenue and profits can grow.
  • And if you're looking to hire a Research Manager, the sooner you fill the position the sooner you can reallocate workloads and support additional business -- generating more profit.

Too often organizations focus upon the expenditures of hiring rather than the true cost of delayed hiring -- which is foregone profit or opportunity.

Example 1: Sales Executive - Growing the Topline

  • Consider an MR Account Executive with an annual quota of $1.2MM or $100K per month.
  • If the position remains unfilled for six months, the organization loses $330K in sales and $270K in profit given a traditional ramp-up period.
  • With a base salary of $120K and a 25% recruiting fee, the cost of hiring is $30K.

Conclusion: It's a wise business decision to spend $30K to earn $270K.


Example 2: Research Manager - Supporting Clients
The impact of speedy hires is even more dramatic when the candidate "hits the ground running" requiring little time to meet their target workload.

  • In the example below, each month the Research Manager position remains unfilled costs the organization $26.7K.
  • Over the course of one year the organization would miss the opportunity to support $320K in additional business.

Conclusion: Quickly locating and hiring the right person can relieve overworked professionals and support growth.

Interactive Calculator
We encourage you to enter your own numbers within our interactive calculator so you can see how delays impact your company.

Click to Try our Online Calculator
Interactive Calculator


Selecting the Right Salary for the Job


Hiring the right candidate not only requires matching skillsets and experience with your needs, it also means aligning salary with expectations and marketplace realities. Beyond selecting a competitive salary reflecting your job responsibilities and title, too often a broad salary range is used to attract candidates. This creates a disservice as:

  • The hiring manager eyes the low end of the salary range
  • The candidate eyes the high end of the salary range

This "ugly" gap often reveals itself as an unacceptable offer after many rounds of engaging, relationship-building and time-consuming interviews. And for many candidates, there is little desire to negotiate or even work for a company that "lowballs" their value.

In today's tightening labor market, qualified candidates simply will not accept lateral moves -- requiring a salary increase between 15% to 20% to make a move.

Please contact us if you would like our compensation tables that define job title, years of experience, role (supplier vs. corporate) and geography with mean salary and bonus levels. This can help you attract the best candidates. And we can show you how to create an effective salary range that pleases everyone.


The True Cost of Delayed Hiring


Just as money has a time value defined as interest, the impact of delayed hiring is your company’s opportunity cost. Whether it’s borrowing money or hiring, the least costly approach is to pay off the loan or staff the position as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, most companies focus upon the staffing expense (salary, sign-on bonuses, recruiting fee, etc.) rather than the benefit the candidate brings to the organization—which is why companies seek to hire in the first place.

Consider a company’s need to hire a Market Research Director:

  • Objective: Support additional or keep $480,000 worth of client activity—or $40,000 per month
  • Expense: Annual salary of $100,000—or $8,333 per month

Every month the position remains unfilled, the staff continues to be stretched—forgoing additional tasks.  So, the monthly opportunity cost is $40,000 minus the unpaid salary of $8,333 or $31,667 per month. The impact is compounded every month the job remains unfilled.

Even in just three months, the lost opportunity associated with an unfilled position dwarfs any additional salary, sign-on bonus or recruiting fee. As we typically fill jobs in two months, we save our clients tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on each hire.

True Cost of Hiring Delays


Recruiting Benchmarks: Where Should You Be?


If your organization is trying to hire, we wanted to share some key benchmarks to help you determine if your market research recruiting effort is on track.

With the tightening labor market, only 20% of the candidate pool for any position view ads or job postings. To locate the best candidates, we actively reach out to the 80% who are gainfully employed. While this takes more effort, it pays off with most jobs being filled within two months.

Below are current benchmarks based upon our experience recruiting in the market research space.


Recruiting Benchmarks


If you're not conducting your first telephone interview within three weeks and your first in-person interview by week five then the parameters of the job search must be re-examined. We suggest reevaluating the job description, location, compensation and required experience.

Based upon our experience, candidates elect not to pursue career opportunities due to:

  1. Job location
  2. Insufficient salary
  3. Lateral career moves

If your position remains unfilled for more than three months, then you need to also review the interview process and hiring objectives -- including target compensation. Be aware that most employed candidates will not make lateral moves, and they will require an increase of 15% to 18% to make a career change.

Gainfully employed candidates seek:

  1. Increased compensation
  2. Promotion with increased responsibilities
  3. New challenges

With more than two decades of experience, we actively reach out to quality candidates to staff open positions with skilled market research professionals. We deliver on-time and on-budget. And as a contingency recruiter, our services are entirely risk-free.