Recruiting Participants for Ongoing User Research

Marketade builds and runs ongoing user research programs for enterprise and mid-size companies. A critical part of our programs is regularly recruiting qualified participants for usability testing, interviews, or other research studies. We have deep experience in the strategic recruitment of hard-to-find audiences.

Recurring Research Starts with Recurring Recruitment

As part of our user research programs, we lead ongoing recruitment of high-quality research participants

Marketade’s strategic recruitment approach offers a more holistic, consultative, and collaborative alternative to traditional recruitment. It helps your team quickly get on the same page about the audience you want to recruit, and leverages an innovative set of steps and tools to recruit high-quality participants — even among the hardest-to-find audiences.

What type of audience are you seeking for user research?

Our Recruiting Process

Our research consultants work with you to define your target audience. We then source, screen, select and schedule representative users. It’s a rigorous recruiting process that we customize based on your audience and your research goals.

Align & Plan

We lead a project kickoff and discovery review. When appropriate, we also facilitate a half-day, remote audience alignment workshop with your team. This session lays a critical foundation for our recruitment efforts. We translate the outputs into a recruitment plan.


We invite selected participants to our online scheduling tool where they book their session and then receive automated emails with a calendar invite and reminders.


We pick the best candidates based on fit with recruitment criteria and ability to voice pain points and reactions.


We select the best combination of channels and sources (e.g. customer lists, LinkedIn, panels) based on your audience. We then write ads and messages that invite them to apply for the study.


Candidates complete a web-based written screener with a series of multiple choice and open-ended questions. We narrow the pool and then call the most promising candidates for phone screen interviews.

“The research participants were awesome!”

Raechel Mackenzie

UX Designer, Herman Miller

Consumer Research Recruiting

We recruit many types of consumers within 2 broad areas: 1) buyers and decision-makers for sales-focused websites and consumer products, and 2) users of software, applications, products, and services.

Within these areas, we have experience recruiting across a wide range of criteria, including: mass market to niche, students to seniors, lower literacy to highly-educated, discount shoppers to luxury buyers, and techies to newbies.

Where do we find consumer participants? We use a variety of sources depending on the project and audience, such as: customer lists, website intercepts, research panels, social media outreach and ads, and Craigslist.

For most projects, we select participants after 2 rigorous screening rounds: 1) candidates first fill out a web-based questionnaire; 2) we narrow the pool and then call candidates for 1:1 phone screens.

Buyer Groups We’ve Recruited: Consumers

Furniture Shoppers

  • For: Herman Miller
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Persona Research

Home Buyers

  • For: PenFed Credit Union
  • Source: Research panel
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Journey Research

Financial Consumers

  • For: Union Bank
  • Source: Research panel
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Usability Testing

User Groups We’ve Recruited: Consumers

Patients & Caregivers

  • For: UVA Health System
  • Source: Craigslist ads; research panels
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Usability Testing

Seniors & Older Adults

Utility Customers

  • For: American Water
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Prototype Testing

“I really valued the consumers who came in.”

Tim Treger

Director of Learning & Development, Reynolds

Enterprise B2B Research Recruiting

Need to conduct research with buyers and decision-makers for enterprise products and services?  Looking to interview or observe users of enterprise B2B software or systems?

We recruit professionals from large organizations across many industries: financial, health, government, IT/software, non-profit, travel, education and more. From front-line staff to C-suite executives, from product newbies to daily users.

How do we recruit enterprise pros? We leverage a variety of sources, including: emails to corporate customer lists, website surveys, newsletter ads, research panels, and social media outreach.  When it’s a hard-to-reach enterprise pro, we often use our secret weapon: hyper-targeted ads and messages on LinkedIn

For most B2B projects, we use 2 rounds of customized screening to select participants: a web-based written screener and, later, a 10-minute phone interview.

Buyer Groups We’ve Recruited: Enterprise

NGO Directors

  • For: Humentum
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web
  • Project Type: Persona Research

Cybersecurity VPs

  • For: Thales
  • Source: LinkedIn ads; research panel
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Market Validation

Corporate Travel Managers

  • For: Travel Leaders Group
  • Source: LinkedIn ads; social media posts
  • Screening: Web
  • Project Type: IA & Navigation Research

User Groups We’ve Recruited: Enterprise

Sustainability Directors

  • For: Accountability Framework
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Usability Testing

Government Case Managers

  • For: BI Incorporated
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: N/A
  • Project Type: Custom User Research

Call Center Reps

  • For: LogMeIn
  • Source: LinkedIn ads
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Audience Research

“I was very happy with your recruiting and appreciate how you understood our needs.”

User Researcher, LogMeIn

B2B Mid/Small Business Research Recruiting

We are experts at recruiting a wide range of roles from SMBs and mid-market companies for user research. These include owners, managers and specialists in a buyer or decision influencer role — as well as users of business software and systems.

From doctors to IT administrators to front-desk staff. From local businesses to national franchises.

To ensure we find high-quality research participants, we draw from a diverse set of sources: business customer lists, website popups, social media promotion and LinkedIn ads. We narrow candidates through customized web and phone screeners. 

Buyer Groups We’ve Recruited: Mid/Small Business

Industrial Machinery Buyers

  • For: Baileigh
  • Source: Website intercept
  • Screening: Web
  • Project Type: Market Validation

Doctors & Nurse Practitioners

  • For: Global Pharma Company
  • Source: LinkedIn ads
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Usabiilty Testing

Marketing Managers

  • For: Cision
  • Source: Cold calls to customer list
  • Screening: Phone
  • Project Type: Product Strategy Research

User Groups We’ve Recruited: Mid/Small Business

Building Engineers

  • For: NFPA
  • Source: LinkedIn outreach
  • Screening: Web and phone
  • Project Type: Prototype Testing

Small Business Owners

  • For: Thryv
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web; Phone
  • Project Type: Usability Testing

Study Coordinators

  • For: Banner Health
  • Source: Email to customer list
  • Screening: Web
  • Project Type: Audience Research

“Your team clearly did your research on NFPA, its products/solutions. This isn’t easy stuff and can be confusing. You instilled confidence.”

Susan McArdle

Sr. Project Manager, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Employee Research Recruiting

Want to conduct research with your organization’s employees? We can recruit users for technology-related research — such as an intranet and internal software — as well as non-digital company processes, workflows and systems.

We’ve recruited small batches of employees for qualitative interviews all the way up to 1,000+ staff members for a companywide UX research panel for enterprise tools.

To attract and select your employees for research, we collaborate with you and consider tools like email campaigns, intranet ads, and — for large-scale efforts — recruitment marketing websites.



Employee Groups We’ve Recruited

New Hires

  • For: Fortune 500 HR Department
  • Source: Email to employee list
  • Screening: Web
  • Project Type: Journey Mapping

Agency Staff

Service Reps

“I saw a lot of behaviors in our users I never would have predicted.”

Megan Rowe

Social Media Editor, UVA Health System