WEGO Health Tips: 6 Steps for Recruiting Other Patients

The rise of social media and online connectivity is making co-collaboration across the healthcare industry easier than ever. Whether it’s recruiting patients in a specific condition area for insights work or completing a mass survey, healthcare companies are looking to Patient Leaders for help in gaining deeper engagement and insights of patients and consumers. 

What’s In It For You

As a Patient Leader, you have a powerful position within healthcare. You have the power to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare companies and these companies are starting to catch on.

Through your health journey, you’ve managed to build a network of fellow patients and caregivers and this network provides tremendous value when it comes to recruitment projects. A value that companies are ready to pay for.

So you have the network, but now what? We’re giving you our top 6 tips for nailing your next recruitment engagement.

6 Steps for A Successful Recruitment

STEP 1: Discuss Target Participants

Before you jump into action, it’s vital to comprehend the entirety of the engagement. Make sure that you and the client both have agreed to the recruitment criteria. You want to have a clear plan of who you should be targeting, as it will impact how you reach out to individuals.

Determine any specific deliverables or recruitment criteria, such as condition area(s), current treatment(s), past treatment(s), age, sex etc. Ask for detailed information on exactly what they’re looking for.

One common mistake is not clearly spelling out these qualifications up front. If a client comes back and changes criteria once you start recruiting, this could impact your time, cost and ability to complete the project. Set yourself up for success by establishing clear recruitment criteria up front.


STEP 2: Get Organized With Your Deliverables and Timeline

As you’re speaking about your recruitment criteria, talk to your client about deliverables and the time frame they will require them in.

Discuss with your client whether they have a preference how you collect responses. Some clients may want all of the individuals you screen, as others may only want qualified participants.  Certain agencies have screener surveys already put together, whereas other companies may need you to complete this from scratch. This is definitely a consideration to bring up to ensure that you deliver quality work to your client. (And don’t forget to make sure you add this to your proposal price for the project as well!)

Sometimes it’s helpful to make a screener survey yourself to send out to potential participants. Using a tool like SurveyMonkey or GoogleSheets, you can easily collect data and help screen responses.

Ensure that both you and your client agree on the timeline and your deliverables before starting your work.


STEP 3: Find an Incentive

It’s important to determine if an incentive is necessary for individuals to complete your survey or project. To find an appropriate incentive, you should first review what the project requires from the participant.

For instance, a survey that takes 1 minute to complete may not require any incentive to complete. Participants may be willing to complete this survey simply because they genuinely care about the topic or cause and most importantly- it’s quick.

However, longer more intense surveys may require a bit more motivation in order for participants to complete the project. It’s important to work with your client to determine an appropriate compensation when needed, whether it’s a gift card, cash or non-monetary.

Make sure that your client has this in their budget as it will definitely impact your success in recruiting participants.


STEP 4: Determine Communication Channels

Now that you have your recruitment criteria, deliverables, incentive, and timeline laid out, it’s time to get to work!

Depending on your audience and topic, you’ll want to adjust your communication channels to gain the greatest traction.

Social Media

You’ll first want to think what channels make sense to post to- perhaps it’s all of them. Unfortunately, as a media-savvy Patient Leader, you know how quickly posts and status’ get lost.

Start first and foremost with the part of your network that you believe will resonate most with the messaging of the recruitment project. Schedule out posts to ping your network and make them as personal as you can.

And although you’ve heard it a million times, you’ll want to post the recruitment inquiry during the best times for each platform in hopes of getting the most views and interest.

Another strong tactic is to reach out to online health groups, Facebook groups or foundations you’re part of. Make sure to ask admins if it’s ok to post in their groups or to ping their network. Utilizing these networks is a great way to get eyes on your opportunity.

Looking to beef up your tweet or instagram post? Make sure to add hashtags! Utilize influential and popular hashtags to get in front of the right audience. Using a mix of broad (example: #arthritis) and targeted (example: #rhematoidArthritis) can help your message be seen. Need help finding hashtags to use? Check out this article of 14 powerful hashtag tools to use.

When it comes to Facebook, boosting posts is an effective and inexpensive way to get more exposure for your content. Even putting a few dollars behind your post can ensure that your followers see your content. Looking to crack the code of boosting? Check out this post for tips.

It’s also important to remember that you follow FTC Guidelines when advertising to your network on your social channels. Make sure that you’re upfront and honest with your network that you’re helping recruit for this project. Let them know any stipulations that you may have with your client. If you’re getting paid, this is definitely something you should disclose. To learn more about FTC Guidelines, click here to download our tip sheet and watch a short webinar. 

Personal Outreach

Try sending personal emails, private direct messages and even phone calls to people in your network who you believe would be interested in this opportunity.

By reaching out one on one, you are able to build a more personal relationship and bring more attention to your inquiry. This also will help you get high quality of your respondents. Whenever you talk to your network, let them know to send any qualified participants over your way as well.


As a Patient Leader, you’re bound to know a few other spectacular Patient Leaders and patients. Don’t be afraid to reach out to and ask them to share your inquiry with their social circles or health communities.

Keep in mind: one on one outreach seems to be the most successful in recruitment projects.


Step 5: Create Your Content

Before you create your content, think about who you are trying to recruit. Will images, video or text be more engaging to your target audience?

Also, think about the length of your post. Everyone is short on time these days, so try to hit upon the important elements your audience will want to know.

You’ll want to include:

  • Brief Background – High level tell your audience what you’re asking for
  • Incentives – Try highlighting participant incentives right away to draw them in
  • Deliverables – Make it clear what the participant needs to complete
  • Estimated Time – Provide an honest estimate of how long the task will take
  • Be open about your affiliation – If you’re helping to field this survey for a client, make sure that you disclose this information up front.

Make sure to vary up your posts. If you’ll be posting a lot on your channels, try different images, wording, and tactics to draw people in. Also, make sure to draw on the tips from step 3 –  boost a post, try different hashtags and tag other leaders.


Step 6: Keep Communication Open

The most important part of a recruitment project is having an open communication channel with your client. Just like with your own boss, it’s important to be upfront and transparent throughout the whole project.

Keep the client updated on where you are in your recruitment. Whether it’s weekly updates or quick daily recaps, ask the client what their preference is.  Remember back to step 2? This should be clearly defined before you start the process to ensure you’re on the same page.

If you’re finding the recruitment to be difficult, reach out to the client to discuss your challenges. Is the criteria too specific? Is the condition area super rare? Being open and up front only allows more time for a new game plan.

Are you recruiting for a WEGO Health Expert’s engagement? We’re committed to making sure our WEGO Health Experts Clients and Experts have successful projects. If you’re stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for ideas at support@wegohealth.com

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be sure to nail your next recruitment. Let us know how it goes!

Interested in getting hired for a recruiting or crowdsourcing gig? Check out WEGO Health Experts. Each week more and more companies are signing up and posting engagements for our Experts.

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