Launching your recruit campaign: Timing is everything

When launching a recruit, it’s critical to send it at the right time, whether it’s a post to the general public or an email to your database.

Try promoting your recruiting campaign at the beginning of the week. This is when people are fresh from the weekend, so they’re more apt to pay attention to your ad or email. As the week goes on we get caught up in work email and plans with friends or family. Research opportunities will get lost in shuffle.

Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday tend to be the most effective days for getting a response. So if you haven’t launched your campaign early in the week, you’re better off waiting until the following week. But if you do launch on Thursday or Friday, consider resending or re-posting first thing Monday morning.


And with the holidays upon us, recruiting can become even more challenging. Less people apply for research, and getting them to engage can be nearly impossible the week of the actual day of the holiday (also increase in no-shows during this time).  You may even notice things slowing down the week before.

If you’re planning research around the holidays, be sure to add an extra week to your efforts. You will have little to no traction getting people on the phone while they’re shopping and going to parties.

For maximum results, launch the week before the holiday (to get people applying or get it on their radar), take the holiday week off, and then follow up the week after with applicants. Finally, plan on being in field the fourth week from the launch of the recruit.


I suggest two weeks of actual recruit time (from the time you launch) to allow a recruiter time to find the best possible participants. Some recruits are possible in one week, but you tend to sacrifice quality in the scramble to get the right people.

During the holidays or for medical recruits, I advise adding one week for your recruiter to allow for the increasing challenges around these times/profiles. Also add more time for B2B, elderly or wealthy profiles, as these sectors can be challenging to engage. Just like a hosting a holiday party, the planning will pay off.