By Fernando Berrocal
The success or failure of a beta test is strongly influenced by the beta testers. If you've ever performed a Beta Test with unqualified or disinterested testers, you're well aware of how their contribution (or lack thereof) costs resources and skews your results. Similarly, enthusiastic testers that correctly represent your target market offer valuable Customer Validation input that leads to substantial product changes. Creating an efficient recruitment plan is the first step in regularly hiring talented and qualified individuals while avoiding the rest
We'll go through what your recruiting strategy should contain, how to customize it to your Beta Test, and how to create the proper recruitment time frame in your test schedule in this post.
What Should You Include in Your Recruitment Strategy?
A good recruitment process takes the guesswork out of finding the right people for your project and gives you a clear route to follow to ensure successful recruitment. The process begins during the Beta Testing project's Planning Phase when your team collaborates closely with stakeholders to analyze organizational needs, define test objectives, and agree on a detailed execution plan.
You can get the right people into your Beta Test if you have a clear recruitment plan in place. By "right persons," we mean members of your target market who will fully interact with your product and provide consistent, high-quality feedback. It's a comprehensive overview of your project recruiting goals and methods that act as a guide for contributors and stakeholders throughout the process. The following items should be included in your recruitment strategy:
- The goals of your test.
- Your target audience.
- The essential characteristics (or "must-haves") for testing.
- How many testers will you need to hire?
- Messages (including any drafts).
- Your qualification surveys.
Identifying your target market, core requirements, the number of testers, messaging, and the qualification survey will all be covered in greater depth later in this series, but for now, let's focus on the first step: establishing your test goals and tying them to your recruiting strategy.
Identifying the Goals and Topics of Your Project
The first step is to determine what you want to achieve with your test. Set the tone for each step of your project by outlining clearly defined goals. The themes and objectives you define during this stage of the planning process will have a major impact on who you hire for your project.
Overall, the goal of Beta Testing is to determine how satisfied your consumers are with your product. It also assesses how well they absorb its characteristics. Other components of the test, such as product stability or feature uptake, are typically determined during the Alpha or Field Testing phases of Customer Validation.
Your Beta Test will have defined goals that are dedicated to verifying important parts of your product – termed themes – and gathering insights that guide critical stakeholder choices on a more granular level. Topics are a method to narrow down the broad goals of Beta Testing to specific aspects of your product. Topics can be used in conjunction with test objectives to describe particular project objectives. For example, you can establish a goal of "collecting client attitudes" when evaluating your product's "setup process," which is the topic.
Defining Your Ideal Testers Using Topics
The technical and demographic makeup of your testing team is determined by your major objectives and particular targeted subjects during recruiting. You'll want to find testers with personal and technical characteristics and requirements that the product or feature you're testing can fulfill.
If you're testing a smart speaker with multi-room playback, for example, you'll need to find testers that live in a home with more than one room (no studio apartments) and require the functionality. Testers who have needs linked to the advantages provided by the targeted feature or topic can provide more relevant, market-aligned feedback than those who don't need or wouldn't utilize the functionality if not asked first.
In some situations, your target market's behaviors, rather than characteristics like their kind of home or the gadgets they own, may impact how you evaluate topics. Let's assume you're looking at the content streaming feature of your product over a long period of time.
In certain situations, your target market's behaviors, rather than characteristics like their kind of home or the gadgets they own, may impact how you evaluate subjects. Let's assume you're looking at the content streaming function of your product over a long period of time. Testers who would normally use a streaming feature regularly will give you more detailed feedback than those who were persuaded to test a use case that isn't typical of them. For the most accurate review of that product sector, you would seek qualified testers with certain behaviors, such as people that binge-watch TV series.
Recruiting candidates might take anything from hours to weeks, depending on your tools, resources, subjects, and objectives. The amount of time you'll need relies on the number of testers you'll need and how complicated your target audience is.
If you already have a pool of qualified candidates, the time frame will most likely be cut in half. A two to four-week recruiting time is advised for startups and products that do not have an established pool of candidates. When designing your overall test schedule, keep in mind how much time you'll need to ramp up for recruiting testers.
- The primary objectives and characteristics of your test will determine your recruitment approach.
- Make sure your recruiting plan describes the types of testers you'll need to correctly analyze those product areas once you've identified the themes you'll be testing.
- During the planning stage, keep in mind tester characteristics that are important to your objectives.
- When establishing a timeline for your project recruitment, keep in mind your available resources.
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