5 Overrated Business Development Strategies That Are Making You Unproductive

Did you know that over 50% of most recruiters’ time is spent on unproductive prospecting? That’s more than half of your work destined to go to waste from the start! In the fast-paced world of recruitment, effective business development strategies are essential for success. However, it's crucial to recognise that certain approaches, despite good intentions, can inadvertently hinder productivity and impede progress.

As a team of ex-recruiters, we understand the pressures of meeting targets, fostering client relationships, and identifying new opportunities. But it's time to reassess your tactics and leave behind practices that consume time, drain resources, and yield minimal returns.

Cold calling – the wrong way

Endless cold calling without a plan and structure is an ineffective business development strategy – and whilst it sounds obvious, a lot of recruiters still do it without a second thought. While it may seem like a numbers game, simply dialling random numbers and hoping for a positive outcome can lead to wasted time and limited results. A scattergun approach may show that you have contacted a high volume of leads, but it will not help your ability to stand out from the crowd and help to build meaningful relationships. It is important to focus on quality over quantity and try to shift your focus from making high-volume calls or e-mails to making each interaction count. Try to engage in meaningful conversations that offer value, demonstrate expertise, and address specific pain points.

Contacting the wrong people

Contacting people who aren't interested in working with you can be counterproductive and inefficient – but how do you know which people are those? While it's important to cast a wide net and explore potential opportunities, pursuing individuals who have clearly expressed disinterest or are not a good fit for your services wastes valuable time and resources. Continuously reaching out to uninterested prospects can damage your reputation, as it may be perceived as intrusive or pushy.

how to create a great bd strategy for recruitment agency

Chasing leads without time for nurturing

Ha, we all want to hit those KPIs – and the pressure can be dreadful. But chasing new leads without dedicating time to nurture existing ones can have negative repercussions and come back to haunt you when you least expect it. While pursuing new opportunities is crucial for growth, neglecting current leads can result in missed connections, weakened relationships, and lost business. Building trust and maintaining engagement with existing leads is essential for long-term success. So, making sure that you are continuing to work on the relationship that you are looking to build with prospects is far more important than continuing to chase after new leads.

Aiming too high

Let me explain – ambition is never a bad thing, obviously. But aiming to have a higher number of new clients every single month shouldn’t be your top priority (even if it seems counterintuitive), as quite often it means the leads are low-quality and will stay with you only for a short period of time. It is far more productive to bring on a smaller number of new clients that allows you to foster a great new relationship rather than bringing on too many new clients that will not allow you the time to develop the relationship and do the job properly for them. A new client should hopefully not be a one-time transaction but a relationship that you develop over time that will yield continued success.

Not using your technology

Having a lot of modern recruitment technology within your business but not using this to help drive the right results with your BD is a surefire way to help make your BD activity less productive. Being able to utilise your CRM, ATS and any AI-powered candidate sourcing platform can help you manage contacts, track interactions, and identify potential new leads more efficiently. These tools can help save time, improve organisation, and enable you to focus on building the right relationships.

To build a BD plan that actually drives results, read our eBook below:

how to create a great bd strategy for recruitment agency

Paul Briman

Growth Specialist Paul was a Principle Consultant in the tech sector before joining Firefish. He loves changing the way agencies recruit with software.

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