5 Ways Your Business Development Strategy Needs to Change in 2023


The recruitment industry changed a lot in 2022 (again!). From mass redundancies to massive inflation, the market has thrown a few curveballs our way. Whilst some niches might have been thriving, others could experience problems in the upcoming year – and the growth based solely on the market situation will not last long.

To be able to stay ahead of the competition – and meet your goals – your BD strategy will have to change in 2023. So how do you re-strategize and prepare for it? Let’s dive in…

You’ll need a BD schedule

Whilst it might have been easier to go about getting clients in a candidate-driven market, the predictions for the next few quarters are that this growth wave will slow down – and if you don’t adapt, you might start going backward. It’s crucial that you implement a consistent BD plan into your weekly schedule – this way, you won’t be panicking when clients stop knocking on your doors. Start scheduling an hour or two every day to make contact with the clients and companies that you want to be doing business with. It is important that this is built into your day and that you stick to it. Repeat after me - no answering calls and e-mails will take me away from my BD in 2023! Another thing is having goals that you set so that you can measure your success. There is no point in doing 2 hours of BD and not being able to determine what level of progress you made.

Get back to building relationships

It might be obvious, but a recruiter’s job is all about building relationships – whether it’s to help a candidate get a new role or sell your product (and your agency) to a new client, you need to be a great relationship builder. One of the most important parts is developing your sales skillset – learning how to pitch in the tougher market or overturn objections during a downturn (because it will be different from what you’ve known from the ever-green times!).

All of those include building genuine relationships – you need to be able to listen, dig deep, and respond accordingly. If your client or candidate feels like you’re repeating the same mantra to everyone, they will run for the hills!

2 men on a winning plinth new clients

Get out in the world

Now that the horrors of the pandemic seem to be behind us, it’s time to get back out there and network. Attending recruitment events might not be so appealing anymore, especially with over 87% of recruitment agencies continuing to work remotely (or hybrid-working). If you do most of your job from the comfort of your own home, making connections is more important than ever. Getting out to industry-specific networking events is a really efficient way to meet a lot of relevant contacts in a very short period of time. It allows you to get your face and personality out there so that when you are following it up with a call it is a warm call rather than a cold one.

Focus on the low-hanging fruit in your database

Now is also the time to dive into your recruitment database and have a look at all those clients you might not have been working with for a while. Whom do you have a relationship with that could be rekindled? With BD taking more of a precedence moving into 2023, a good place to start is with customers that have used your services previously and for whatever reason, haven’t done so in a while. You should start getting in touch and finding out why they chose to not work with you - and what could you do to change that. It might be simply that a previous consultant has not managed the account properly, which will give you a chance to make amends and show why you are different.

Learn to work with automation

If you want to have a smooth BD strategy, you need to automate some of your processes. It’s time to say goodbye to Excel Spreadsheets (although we do hope you’re not using those anymore) and keep all the data within your CRM. Allowing the technology to do some of the grunt work for you is important – it can make your processes not only more efficient but also more personalised. But don’t rely on it entirely! Combining automation with traditional ways is the way to go – at the end of the day, people buy from people, so getting prospects on the phone or meeting them in person is key to keeping them warm.

And after you snatch all those new clients, here are some tips on how to turn them into your biggest success:

2 men on a winning plinth new clients

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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