The following observations have emerged from the author’s research experience involving the recruitment of focus group participants for a qualitative study on job search behaviors using technology. It is argued that Internet forums and message boards provide researchers with a robust approach to recruiting participants for qualitative study purposes. Advantages and characteristics of online communities are outlined to inform future practices based on the experience of engaging job-seekers who frequent a career advice board on the Internet. Challenges and limitations inherent to this methodology are also explored with techniques offered for maximizing the effectiveness of future recruitment. Use of Internet forums and message boards as objects of research versus as research tools is distinguished throughout. The paper contributes to a growing body of knowledge about harnessing the Internet to inform and support qualitative research.


Online research methods, Internet recruitment, Qualitative research, Online Communities, E-recruitment


Declaration of conflicting interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Funding: This research has not received any funding, monetary or otherwise, from any public, commercial, or non-profit source.

Conflict of Interest Declaration: No relationship exists between any of the authors and any commercial entity or product mentioned in this article that might represent a conflict of interest. No inducements have been made by any commercial entity to submit the manuscript for publication.

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