What If I'm Having Difficulty Recruiting Test Contributors?

At a Glance

This article goes over what you can do should you have problems recruiting contributors for your test. These steps include restricting the number of screener questions you ask and expanding the demographic criteria you use to find contributors.


Here at UserTesting, we've worked hard to build a diverse and responsive international network of potential test contributors. In fact, we find that most tests fill in just an hour or two, enabling you to get results quickly. So feel encouraged to set up your demographic filters and screener questions to land the people you really want in your tests.

Note, however, that when using more focused and exclusive demographic criteria or screeners, it could take longer for your test to populate, especially when testing in countries that have a smaller UT Panel presence

What can I do when my tests are slow to fill?


Give it a day or so

We suggest waiting 24 hours for your study to fill. After that amount of time, you might have to make some tweaks to get your remaining test sessions filled. Below are steps below for ideas on how to achieve do this.

Remove screener questions

Can you delete any of the screener questions? The more screeners you include, the fewer the number of contributors who will provide acceptable answers to ALL the screeners. It might come down to deciding which screener questions are necessary—keeping those that are indispensable to meeting your test objectives—and removing those that are "nice to have."

In countries with a limited UT panel footprint, you may find that removing ALL screener questions is necessary to get your test to fill. 

Note: If you remove or update the screener questions, you'll want to create and launch a new test because respondents who failed the screeners won't be able to take that original test again.

Relax screener settings

If you set your screener questions to allow for only one answer (either Accept or Reject), consider changing as many response options as possible to Accept

When using multi-select screener questions and you have two or more answers set to Must Select, then all of those answers must be selected for the respondent to be included in the test. (Make sure your Reject settings are accurate for multi-select screener questions: If a user chooses the appropriate May Select or Must Select options, but also selects a single Reject response, they won't be able to take the test.)

A couple of possibilities for opening up your answers in this situation are to:

  • Change some acceptable response selections from Must Select to May Select so that only a single Must Select response remains. But if you're set on having two Must Select responses...
  • Run a test that has one of the two responses set at Must select and then set the other Must Select response to Reject. Then run a second test with these settings reversed. For an example of how this would work, view the University's What to Do When No One Is Taking Your Test training course. 

Open up your demographic criteria

A rule of thumb: the more open you keep your demographics, the faster your test will populate. This guideline can be especially useful when testing with smaller-panel countries. Ask yourself whether you open up the demographics (e.g., age, gender, income, location) so as to allow for more potential contributors.

To open things up, create a new test and adjust your demographics. Then launch the new test, which should now reach a greater number of potential test contributors. Note that when launching the new study, you’ll want to cancel any unfilled sessions from the previous study.

Consider reducing the number of contributors

Choose the right number of contributors to get the information you need. For most tests we typically recommend 5–8 contributors, but if you need only a handful of perspectives, you could test with as few as three contributors.

Allow contributors to test more frequently

Running more than one test a month in some of our smaller-panel countries will result in not having any more contributors before the end of the year. However, you can allow contributors to take more than one test from you each year. 

The UserTesting Platform's Fresh Eyes feature is a default account setting that limits how often an individual contributor can take your tests within a particular time frame. It ensures a larger number of contributors which, in turn, should generate a greater variety of contributor feedback.

For that reason, overriding the feature is generally not ideal, but when recruiting contributors becomes a struggle—and it can be when testing in smaller-panel countries—you do have the ability when building your test audience to manually override this feature and allow the same people to contribute more frequently.

For step-by-step instructions on overriding the Fresh Eyes feature, see our "Fresh Eyes and Test Filters" article. 

Relaunch your test to more potential test contributors

After you've made changes to your demographics or screeners, you'll want to relaunch your test to capture as many potential respondents as possible. Here's how:


Selecting the Create similar test option will create an identical draft that you can launch. Once you've relaunched the test, you can cancel any unfilled sessions from the first test. 

If you need additional help, contact the Support team via this form.


Learn More

Need more information? Read these related articles.

Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our University courses.

Was this article helpful?
3 out of 5 found this helpful