Daria Friedman on The Importance of Research
You've Got Questions, Hodes Research Has Answers
The world is changing rapidly. The U.S. population is becoming more and more diverse; concerns, such as corporate responsibility and environmentally conscious policies, which barely existed a few decades ago, are now some of the most important issues to job seekers; technology is providing new ways for people to do their jobs and search for new ones.
When someone at Hodes needs to find out what their client’s employees are thinking, or what new markets to explore for recruiting specific professions, they go to the Hodes Research team, led by Daria Friedman, Vice President, Director of Research. Hodes Research provides answers for the wide variety of questions facing today’s recruiters.
We sat down with Daria at Hodes Corporate Headquarters in New York to discuss the value of research.
Q: Why is research so important to issues in recruitment today?
A: No business strategy can be successful without first being grounded in hard facts. If you want to recruit in a specific market, you need to know its demographics, media, labor force composition, and more. If you need to increase retention, you first have to find out why your employees are leaving. If you’re developing a strong employer brand, you must start by examining what your talent already thinks of your company. By providing a solid starting point, research is the essential first step in any process, and by allowing for measurement of results, it is a vital conclusion.
Q: What are some common research methodologies you recommend?
A: Research falls into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary research, such as surveys and focus groups, gathers previously non-existent data straight from the source. Secondary research, on the other hand, collects previously existing information, such as statistics from government agencies, and compiles into a more useful format. Market analysis depends on this kind of research to evaluate large geographic populations. Both these methodologies can be used to assess employee attitudes as well as external trends among a target recruiting demographic.
Q: What advice would you give to Human Resources professionals looking to do research of their own?
A: I think people often don’t realize the importance of confidentiality and careful study design when it comes to research, especially in sensitive issues, such as perceptions about diversity. You have to ask the right questions in the right way, because a sample is only as good as the answers they give. It’s also important to realize the differences, and complementary values, of quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research, such as surveys, can project from a random, representative sample to a whole population, while qualitative research, like focus groups or telephone interviews, can provide a more detailed understanding of respondents’ attitudes and behaviors.
Q: What does the future hold for the field of research?
A: The need for research will continue to grow in the future, especially in the area of global research and diversity. The world is flat and diverse, and talent searches are no longer limited to local or regional areas. Organizations, government agencies, and industry sectors are looking for ways to meet their talent needs globally and through diverse communities. Research can help in identifying where to find talent, how to reach out to diverse communities, and how to make the work environment conducive to diverse populations. Research can also assist in identifying issues impacting an organization’s productivity in areas such as diversity and retention.
Daria Friedman is the Vice President, Director of Research at Bernard Hodes Group. Daria’s responsibilities include management and direction of all primary and secondary research conducted for clients. Daria provides strategic direction for study design, survey instrument design, analysis, report writing, research implications, and recommendations.
With more than 17 years experience in the Market Research field, Daria’s expertise spans consumer, business, recruitment, and communications research, utilizing all traditional and Internet research methodologies. Prior to joining the Bernard Hodes Group, she worked as Vice President of Sales and Operations for ARC Research, a full-service Market Research firm. She has also worked as a Senior Research Manager for Opinion Research Corporation and a Research Manager for Burrelle’s.
Daria has a Bachelor of Arts from Montclair State University, a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the Diplôme Supérieure d’Etudes Françaises from the Université de Nice.