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Test Launch

10 Reasons Why Your Recruitment Failed…and Why It Didn’t Have To

July 2, 2015

Let’s be honest, recruiting the right testers for your beta test isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially if it’s your first time. Being able to know what makes a good tester and how to properly structure your recruitment strategy takes some practice. So it’s entirely possible that you’ve reached the end of your recruitment and started your test, only to discover that you don’t have the testers you need or want in your test. To help you avoid this, we’ve identified ten common recruitment mistakes beta managers make so you can avoid them.

1. You Didn’t Clearly Identify Your Objectives

More than anything, determining your beta testing objectives will lay the foundation for the overall success of your tester recruitment. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with your beta test, you aren’t going to be able to recruit the right testers to achieve those goals. Although beta objectives can vary depending on the test, the best recruitment plans begin with clear objectives that focus on things like product quality and the user experience.

2. Your Target Market Was Not Defined

Every product has a unique audience. When recruiting for your test, you need to target testers that fit the demographics of your product’s ideal customer. Paying attention to tester characteristics like age, income, interests, and technology ownership will help you focus on and attract the people that’ll be most interested in testing your product.

3. You Didn’t Build Effective Tester Profiles

It’s important to define your target market as well as the specific breakdowns you need within your target market. For example, your market may be 75% iOS users and 25% Android users. We call these breakdowns tester profiles, and they’re key to getting the right balance of testers in your project. To read more about how to define your tester profiles, check out our blog post on personas and vectors.

4. You Didn’t Have a Recruitment System

While it’s tempting to let everyone that shows interest into your beta test, that could result in you receiving feedback from a bunch of people who aren’t members of your target market. You need a way to qualify interested candidates. This could be as simple as a SurveyMonkey survey, or you could look for a more robust beta management platform (like Centercode) that’s designed to help you narrow down your options when choosing the best applicants.

5. Your Pitch Wasn’t Developed

Every rewarding testing experience starts with a pitch that attracts testers to your beta opportunity. The most effective pitches are clear, succinct, and not too specific, while stressing confidentiality and communicating your expectations. Without this balance you could attract the wrong kinds of testers, or possibly no testers at all.

6. You Asked the Wrong Questions

A good qualification survey will gather enough information about each of your beta candidates to help you determine which applicants are the best fit for your test. This will make it easy to pull out the right testers from your pool of applicants. If you don’t plan your survey carefully, however, you could end up with insufficient information to select your testers, which means you’re shooting in the dark.

7. You Recruited Ineffective Testers

Maybe you and your beta team recruited from a pool of friends, family, and employees because you thought they would be the easiest people to get to join your test. The problem with these groups is that they’re biased and aren’t members of your target market, so they can’t give you the necessary feedback your beta needs.

8. You Didn’t Select From a Pool

If you’re anxious to get going you may want to just accept the first batch of people who apply for your test. It’s important, however, to build a pool of candidates (usually 3-5 times the number of testers you need) and then filter them so you end up with the very best ones. Effective selection is a three step process. First, filter out candidates that don’t fit your test’s basic requirements (i.e. demographics, technical, etc.). Second, manually review applications to look for traits that make the best beta testers. Lastly, finalize your tester team based on your tester profiles. This should give you the very best testers instead of just the first ones.

9. You Couldn’t Spot the Best Testers

Not everything is about demographics. You also need to look for beta testers that show the qualities of top testers. When reviewing your recruits, look for testers that fill out their application with detail, are consistent, and come across as enthusiastic about your product and testing. You’ll also want to avoid common red flags, like poor writing skills and not showing an interest in your specific product.

10. You Didn’t Move Quickly Enough

If potential testers fill out an application survey and then don’t hear from you, they’re going to move on to something else. Every day that you delay selecting and onboarding your testers is a day that you’re losing their attention. As a result, you need to make sure your selection and notification process is as quick and frictionless as possible. If you do run into an unexpected delay, communicate that with your testers so they know the test is still happening.

A well-thought-out recruitment process will attract enthusiastic testers who are qualified to provide you and your beta team the valuable feedback you need to improve (and hopefully launch) your product. For more great tips on avoiding beta tester recruitment snafoos, download our free Beta Tester Recruitment Kit.

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