People think of interviewing and moderating when they think of qualitative careers. But there are many more roles involved in this industry!
Fieldwork companies support qualitative research by recruiting qualified participants for focus groups, interviews, and many other types of research.
- Recruiters are skilled at finding qualified people to participate in research events. Sometimes the research requires very specific qualifications (like physicians experienced in treating a specific disease, or consumers who had an insurance claim, or many other specific criteria unique to each project.)
- Focus group facilities have staff involved in everything from planning catering to welcoming participants and ensuring everyone has what they need to be successful on the day of the group.
- Online fieldwork companies have some of these same roles, as well as programming staff who build and maintain the online qualitative research platform.
- Transcriptionists and note-takers support qualitative research by providing written records of group discussions and interviews. Sometimes a note-taker is present at the live event, and sometimes working from a recording.
Many research events now involve videography. Researchers use videographers and camera people to help capture and edit the visual record.
Qualitative Research Consultants work with clients to plan and design the research, and then personally conduct the research. During the course of a project they also oversee the recruiting of participants and manage other aspects of the project, coordinating the other people involved.
Although it is usually the QRC that takes responsibility for the findings and recommendations, they may be assisted by a professional report writer or research analyst. Analysts support qualitative research projects by turning the transcripts or recordings into useful reports that answer the research objectives for the project. Increasingly these reports need to be visually engaging, and are often produced in Powerpoint.
Larger qualitative organizations will also have staff that specialize in client liaison and account development or sales work.