NEWS3 November 2016

Pay seen as the biggest barrier to RP interviewers’ career longevity

News Public Sector Trends UK

UK — An MRS study looking into the experiences of interviewers working on random probability (RP) studies has revealed high levels of job satisfaction, as well as a number of reasons for stopping working.

Telephone interview crop

The study, based on feedback from RP interviewers from Ipsos MORI, Kantar Public, NatCen and GfK, was intended to gather their thoughts on the current state of RP interviewing and the different ways in which interviewers work. RP studies are predominantly used for government and media research. 

It revealed that there were slightly more male than female RP interviewers ( 53% vs. 47%), and that 68% were aged over 55.

Two thirds ( 65%) of the sample had been interviewing for over five years – this included 40% who had been doing the job for over 10 years.

RP interviewers had mostly positive feedback about their role, particularly around how safe they feel while working, and their ability to work flexible hours. The areas that they felt least positive about were pay levels and the quality of questionnaires.

The vast majority ( 86%) of the sample wanted to still be interviewing a year from now, and 60% said they would recommend the job to a friend. But when asked why they thought some interviewers stopped working, the two most common reasons were: pay ( 58%) and it being hard to get people to say yes ( 45%). 

“Reports like this provide essential insight into the current state of random probability interviewing," said Jane Frost, CEO of MRS.

"Face-to-face market and social research remains central to government and media research studies so it is vital that the industry understands the hopes and concerns of those who know the field best: the interviewers themselves.

“We intend to use this research to discuss the future of the approach with commissioners and users of random probability interviewing to establish how RP can be best adapted to the changing needs of society, government and business.”