Research is only as good as the data on which it is based. And to make sure you have great data that drives the design process, you need to recruit the right people for usability tests and user interviews.

A recruitment screener lets you do just this.

It defines the type of people you are looking for and puts you in the best possible position to easily find them. You can then be confident that you are using the right data to design the right product for your users.

Creating a recruitment screener is simple. It’s no more than a two-page document and can be used time and time again with some slight modification to suit the project you are working on. With it, you have no problem finding the right participants.

A good recruitment screener should have the following six sections.

1. General Criteria

Every recruitment screener kicks off by stating how many users you need, when you want them and where you want them.


  • 5x participants
  • 27th June 2020
  • Central London

2. Demographics

It’s common to think you need to get real specific here, but this isn’t necessarily always going to be the case.

If your target market is broad, you can be more lax in your requirements. With most software, the behaviors and goals of a male student in his 20s or a married female who is a professional with 2 kids in her 40s are largely going to be the same.

However, there’s certainly no harm in getting a mix of age and genders. And if your software targets a tighter demographic then you need to get more specific.


  • 2x male
  • 2x female
  • 1x 25-34 years old
  • 1x 35-44 years old

3. Product History

This is the most important part of the screener. As you are designing a certain type of product for a certain group of people, you want to make sure that they have some history in either using your own or a similar product.

If your product is targeted at the mass market, like booking a hotel online, for example, this is easy. If your software is designed for more specific use cases like accountants or interior designers, then you need to recruit accountants and interior designers who use the type of software you are designing.


  • Mass-market: 5x booked a hotel online within the past 12 months
  • Specific market: 5x interior designers who regularly use CAD software

4. Comfortable With Using Technology

You may think this section is unnecessary. In this day and age, surely everyone is at least somewhat tech savvy and competent with using technology. However, you might be surprised at just how many people out there who aren’t. Recruiting these users will ruin a usability test.


  • 5x go online every day
  • 5x own a smartphone and use apps
  • 5x purchased goods or services online within the past month

5. Session Details

Every screener needs to state how long a sessions will last and the compensation each participant will receive.

  • Sessions will last a maximum of 60 minutes
  • Participants will receive $100

6. Location and Contact

The last part of a recruitment screener is providing the location where the usability test is going to take place, as well as contact details in case the person gets lost along the way.

  • All tests take place at 123 Fake Street
  • Contact: John Smith
  • Phone: 077123123123
  • Upon arrival, the user should state that they are there for the usability test and ask for John Smith