In the market research world, we throw around the term “best efforts” a lot. What does it mean?
I Googled the term and Investopedia says: Best efforts is a service agreement to make the best effort possible to fulfill the requirements of the contract, without promising a specific outcome.
That isn’t bad, the “without promising a specific outcome” is key.
When a client comes to us and wants, say, 10 Sickle Cell patients for interviews, and based on the specs we think we can only get, say 5, we will say it is a “best efforts” recruit. That means we will do our best to meet the need, but we don’t necessarily expect to be able to do so! We bid based on the patients and caregivers we have in our panel, using expected response and incidence rates. If you need more than what we have, we’ll also reach out for referrals from other patients, advocacy groups, and support groups. But we won’t assume that will work. That is part of our “best efforts” approach. We don’t want to over-promise.
So, when we say, “best efforts,” please realize that there is a good likelihood that we won’t be able to meet your entire request. From the start, you may want to bring on an additional recruiter to help. We are happy to work with other recruiters to dedupe and help you meet your goal. This is often necessary in hard-to-reach patient recruiting.