Web Survey Bibliography

Title Retaining Good Interviewers: Characteristics that Affect Interviewer Turnover and Retention in a CAPI Survey
Author Williams, A. E., Cook, T., Apodaca, R., Hall, K.
Year 1999
Access date 24.03.2004
Full text pdf (327k)
Abstract Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) studies often incur higher training costs due to the additional training required to master study hardware and software. As training costs increase, so does attention to interviewer retention rates. In order to better manage project resources, organizations must understand the factors that influence interviewer turnover. The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) is a national, longitudinal study of the Medicare population. MCBS interviews over 50,000 beneficiaries per year, with a field staff of 225 interviewers. Over 500 interviewers have attended the project's 14-day training sessions. When the study began in 1991, MCBS experienced high interviewer retention rates. However, since 1998 less than one-half of the interviewers hired stayed with the survey for 1 year. Decreasing retention rates of trained interviewers led to an examination of which interviewer attributes can predict tenure. Since its inception, MCBS has maintained an interviewer database of demographic, experiential, and attitudinal information on each person hired. Each interviewer who begins the study is asked to complete a questionnaire that measures interviewing and computer experience. When an interviewer leaves the project, the database is updated with the reason for departure. To better understand the relationship between interviewer characteristics and retention, analyses of data on those who left the project and those who remain were conducted. The results indicate that retention does not increase with interviewer education, however it does increase with interviewer age. Interviewers residing in rural areas tend to stay with the project longer. And surprisingly, interviewers with the least amount of computer experience remain on this CAPI study the longest.
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Year of publication1999
Bibliographic typeConference proceedings

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