Monday, June 23, 2008

Is internet research enough?

A question originally posted on ERE.

And this is what differentiates Research Firms. Everyone has their search methodologies and strategies. Moreover what may have worked in the past may not work for the next assignment.

I can try to explain to my client how we go about starting a research assignment but honestly they wouldn't "get it". If I have an hourly research client, we charge the same rate per hour for a Internet Name Generator or a Phone Name Generator or a Pre-Screener/Profiler. All I do is split up the 40 hour work week among the group of researchers.

When starting a project I might allocate 20 hrs a week towards internet research knowing there's a lot of low hanging fruit out there, 10 hours towards phone research to pick up the pieces and 10 hours for a profiler to screen the candidates. Another project I might allocate 1 hour of internet researcher time, realize it's a waste of time and stick 30 hours towards phone research and 9 towards profiling.

But 2 to 6 weeks into a project I'll end up flip flopping the strategy. 30 hours towards profiling and 10 hours towards phone or internet research. This is because hopefully the name generators have filled a pipeline of candidate up and it's now up to the profilers to resolve those candidates.

This is where experience comes into play and having a bench of researchers that can provide the depth needed to perform the task at hand. Whether that be Internt research or phone research doesn't matter. Bottom line is the client doesn't care where and how you found the top candidate, all they care about is that you did find them and in a timely and cost efficient manner.

Obviously, it behooves the client to understand how their research firm actually does the research. Are they a one stop shop, can they only do internet, can they only do phone or can they do internet, phone and profiling?

There's lots of different flavors of candidate research, I for one am glad that most research firms only try to sell chocolate or vanilla. Especially since I happen to love Mint Chocolate Chip.

Jeff Weidner
HTC Research Corp
925 313 9005 X 200

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