5 Ways Your Business Development Needs to Change in 2022

The recruitment industry changed a lot in 2021. From ‘the great resignation’ to the ongoing candidate shortage the last 12 months threw a lot of curveballs our way.

Everything from prospecting to candidate sourcing had to change to suit the market this year. So how exactly did BD change in 2021 and what can we do to get ahead in 2022? Let’s dive in…

1. The automation robots failed us!

automation-without-sounding-like-a-robotNo matter which industry your prospects work in, they’ve probably had their fair share of badly personalised sales pitches land in their LinkedIn inbox this year. I know I have!

Messages full of incorrect details or missing info like‘Hi [firstname]. I noticed work for [Company Name]’’ meant LinkedIn messages got an even worse reputation this year.

This is really bad news for any recruiter putting a lot of time and effort into their outreach, but getting no results. Prospects are now more likely to be flagging them as spam than responding – so what can you do about it?

How to adapt: Automation is a great tool for reaching prospects – but only if it’s done right! Ditch the robotic spray and pray technique and spend time researching a smaller number of promising prospects.

While your competitors are busy outsourcing their work to robots and getting no returns, you can reap the benefits that come from writing warm and personal messages sent from one human to another. Using personalised videos is a also great way to stand out from the crowd. Read this eBook for more on how to implement video into your sales strategy.

2. Recruiters dropped their BD Game

The number of job vacancies hit a record high this year which made recruiters busier than ever. As your competitors shifted their focus to finding candidates, they let their BD efforts take a back seat. With so many roles to fill, it’s an easy mistake to make but you can be sure top-billing recruiters didn’t drop their BD game this year.

How to adapt: Firstly, it’s important to keep up your BD even in a job-heavy market. It’s even more crucial when your contingency-focused competitors go quiet. While they’re out of the picture, you have the perfect opportunity to swoop in and win over the clients they aren’t finding candidates for. It might seem tricky, but if you’re the better recruiter for the job then it’s fair game.

To be successful at this you need to offer up a new angle or different solution for filling the role. Prove to the client that you can solve their unwanted hiring problems and they’ll jump at the chance to work together.

Pitch it right, and you could even land a retainer. There’s nothing worse than overpromising and under-delivering so only do this if you know you can find the right candidate.

Download: How to Recruit in a Candidate-Short Market

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3. Desk phones died

Do you remember the day you started working from home? In my opinion, this is the day that desk phones died. Unfortunately, with more companies formalising WFH and hybrid business models, this isn’t changing any time soon.

When it comes to BD, we’re now tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding our contact list. If you’ve spent any amount of time working around a gatekeeper – you’ll know how painful this can be!

How to adapt: Sure, your prospects’ new contact details will be somewhere online if you do some digging, but the thing to remember is that the recruiters who embrace change are the ones that always get ahead.

Recruiter climbing to successIf you want to up your billings and have a successful 2022, turn this challenge into an opportunity – think outside of the box and switch up your tactics. Instead of hunting out phone numbers so you can hammer the cold calls to no success, why not try engaging prospects through your recruitment blog or video content?

Showing them what you bring to the market and how you can help them overcome their hiring challenges in new and exciting ways will increase the quality of your leads and help you become a pro at warming up your prospects before you’ve even picked up the phone.

4. It paid to stop wasting time on the wrong clients

When the market is short of candidates, recruitment becomes a frustrating game. But one good thing about a candidate shortage is that clients really need your help and with so many roles to work, you can suddenly afford to be picky. 

Cutting ties is something we rarely talk about in BD, but ultimately, if you’re wasting time finding candidates for a client who isn’t committed, moves too slow and brings you little to no value, the relationship will always be counterproductive. When the market is like this, you’re in a position to say ‘no’ to prospects and clients that aren’t a good fit.

How to adapt: The less time you spend on counterproductive clients, the more you’ll be able to dedicate to working jobs that bring you good returns and if you’re lucky, more retained work.

Making sure your clients are well qualified and committed to working with you has been key to navigating the market this year. For any clients that don't bring you value and instead make the job of recruiting even more difficult, it’s better to cut the tie so you can focus on working high-value jobs.

To work out the value of your clients and which you should stop wasting time on, download our handy tool below.How to Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong Clients

David Connolly

David is a Senior Growth Outreach Specialist at Firefish. After working as a 360 recruiter, he loves innovating recruitment with Firefish Software.

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