How to recruit users for your interview like a growth?

User interviews are invaluable for UX research, but recruiting participants can be tough. Network, specialized platforms, and LinkedIn can help.

User interviews are invaluable for UX research, but recruiting participants can be tough. Network, specialized platforms, and LinkedIn can help.

User Engagement

Jonathan Scanzi

May 17, 2023

According to the latest research report, user interviews remain the most popular research method. Even in the era of AI and automation tools, it's excellent that product teams still value talking to real people. One-to-one sessions are precious because they allow you to connect with your users personally and understand their emotions. In addition, this is the best way to detect low signals and uncover hidden insights that may not be apparent through other research methods.

Despite the value of one-to-one interviews, there are many things to prepare before conducting them. Above all, recruiting participants can be challenging and time-consuming, especially in industries or markets with low maturity. However, several new and innovative ways exist to recruit interviewees for your next UX research sessions. This article will explore these methods, providing valuable insights to help you conduct successful and fruitful one-to-one interviews.

Before we start exploring "growth hackers" methods to recruit people during your user research process, we want to remind you of the steps you have to do to organize one-to-one sessions.

Define your research goals

To begin with, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of defining your ambitions when it comes to conducting user research. One way to approach this is to consider what you hope to achieve through your research. For example, are you looking to test a new value proposition? Are you addressing a specific pain point users have experienced with your product? Alternatively, you may need to evaluate the effectiveness of your current business model.

The goals you set for your research will impact the types of users you need to target. Sometimes, specific personas may be more comfortable discussing particular topics or issues related to your product or service. Therefore, while it may seem obvious, clarifying your ambitions and goals can help ensure your research efforts are focused and effective.

Define your personas

When it comes to developing a product, defining your target audience is crucial. A critical tool for doing so is creating personas. A persona is a fictional representation of a group of users. It involves detailing their characteristics, such as their background, skills, routines, environmental constraints, pain points, and more.

When starting your project, it's essential to begin building user personas based on your assumptions. It will give you a preliminary idea of your potential users, which can be helpful when recruiting people for interviews. Feel free to make mistakes during this process; it's natural and expected. The important thing is to evolve your personas based on the insights you gain from your initial interviews and feedback. Doing so can create a more refined and accurate representation of your target audience. In addition, this work will help you to define whom you want to talk to.

Build your interview guide

Once you set your goals and personas, you can design your interview. Your interview guide aims to focus on a particular topic you define in your goals, and you need to create questions that fit your persona. This article does not seek to give you advice on how to build a great interview, but don't focus too much on creating the perfect guide; consider improving it bit by bit after your first interviews.

Choose your way to recruit

Recruiting is more challenging than it seems. When you speak with UX researchers and designers, it is a real pain point. As we do user research at Told, we couldn't agree more. As I said in the introduction, the difficulty of recruiting people depends on different parameters: your industry, level of maturity, and personas. But don't be afraid; you have a lot of solutions to recruit users for your interviews.

  • Start with your network. The first thing to do is to look around you. Try to find in your network who could match your personas. Be careful; we don't say to pick anybody in your network but someone that fits your needs. Then, it's time to call friends, send messages on your LinkedIn, and ask for colleagues' networks. You will be surprised by the power of your community.

  • Buy users on specialized platforms. Yes, you can "buy" users on specialized platforms like user interviews, Tandemz (a French startup), and many others. That kind of platform helps you to identify users based on specific criteria.

  • Use your user base with an in-app survey. You can easily install an in-app survey like Told to recruit users for your interview. Trigger specific people with our custom event triggers and invite them for a call with a call and engaging forms during their visit to your app. The best way to recruit targeted people is to catch them while visiting your service.

Linkedin, the new way to recruit people for your test

Another way that we use at Told is to recruit on Linkedin. We use growth hacking techniques to recruit people for our interviews. We use tools like SkalyLa growthmachineWalaxy, or Lemlist to launch automated campaigns and find targeted users on LinkedIn.

Now you have chosen your tool, it’s time to write your message sequence. I’m talking about series because one message is generally not enough. For example, you send your first message on day one, and if you don’t get an answer until day 3, you can send another version to stimulate your contact. You can repeat this one or two times. Like in sales, you have to stimulate many of your contacts to upgrade your reach.

Keep your message simple and go straight to the point. People receive more and more promotions on Linkedin, so try to be fast and consistent.

If you want to speed up your recruitment process, put a link to your calendar in your message. You have a lot of tools today that help you to set up a meeting in minutes. You can try Hubspot, Calendy, Cron, and more.

It’s now time to launch your sequence. Please takes time to analyze your different KPIs: how many people open your message? How many convert? At which stage do you have the best open rate and conversion? Review your emails if you are unsatisfied, and iterate until you do.


Recruiting users for your test or 1:1 can be challenging because it’s not easy as it seems. People are more and more solicited for many occasions, and it becomes harder to reach them. But it’s also more and more strategic in the user-centered approach. UX designers are also becoming sales? In a certain way, yes, so don’t hesitate to steal their techniques ;-)

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