28 November 2014 Joanna Byerley

Recruiting a Qual Research Star (Research Manager, Associate Director or Qualitative Research Director) seems to be a challenging task for the majority of London’s top qualitative and strategic brand insight agencies.

There is a war out there for the best qualitative research talent, and good candidates are quickly snapped up by research, strategy and innovation, and global insight businesses.

What makes a Qualitative Research candidate stand out from the crowd?
Quallies are in the ideas business. They help clients to identify, explore, evolve and realise concepts that allow them to grow their businesses and brands. Qualitative researchers often deliver strategy and innovation projects for a wide range of clients.

Boutique and larger qualitative agencies always seek to hire entrepreneurial, intelligent and clear-thinking candidates.

A cultural fit between an agency and a candidate is the key to a successful hire. Qualitative brand consultancies are eager to recruit researchers who share their philosophy, passion and who are culturally attuned and fascinated by people.

Clients look for certain abilities in Qual candidates regardless of how senior a new hire is:

Relevant Qualitative Research Skills
You are able to use a mixture of qual methodologies, including moderation, online qual, ethnography, semiotics, co-creation, workshops, mobile and film (group moderation is always a MUST).

Commercial Focus
You have ability to focus on the business relevance of what the agency’s clients do. The top performing quallies are confident thinking about their clients’ business issues and have keen strategic and commercial skills.

Client Focus
True qualitative stars are able to deliver winning proposals and are skilled in clear & engaging debrief writing. Often, the agency might ask to see examples of your written work before you join.

Passion & Creativity
You relate to others with enthusiasm, fun and humour. Naturally, you have to be passionate about qualitative research, and the brands and industries your potential employer work with. You are always on the lookout for new and better ways to do things.

You are interested in the wider world of research i.e. writing papers, attending conferences, presenting at conferences etc. With passion for big ideas, you are culturally attuned and fascinated by people.

Creative Outputs
You are passionate about producing output that is beautiful and moving and that “doesn’t feel like research”.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how to outshine other candidates to a top qual role.