The Dos and Don’ts of Business Development in Recruitment

In the ever-evolving landscape of recruitment, where the competition for top-tier talent is fierce, and client partnerships are the cornerstone of success, we all know that business development strategy reigns supreme. For recruiters, the art of building and nurturing client relationships can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving in the industry.

Picture this: over 50% of most recruiters’ time is spent on unproductive prospecting – which means half of your work goes to waste (and so do the resources put into it). The question is, how do you navigate the complex world of BD in the current recruitment realm?

Let's dive in and uncover the secrets to creating a lasting impact in the world of recruitment through effective business development strategies.


It’s no secret that preparation is key – especially when it comes to business development. Knowing all there is about your prospect and having a plan of action can make or break your meeting.

DO your homework

Really important step in the process – after all, the more information you can gather on the prospect the easier your outreach is going to be.

You want to be gathering information from their company website, social media i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, reading relevant industry journals, and networking with both clients and candidates. This will help in gaining as much insight as possible.

The information we gather will then help you to personalise your approach to the prospect and show your commitment to understanding their challenges and delivering the right solutions that address their specific issues – not some generic pain points you googled quickly before the meeting.

DON’T rely on one size fits all

This is not going to help you stand out from the crowd and makes your business development a box ticking exercise. Do not formulate one e-mail outreach or have one standard BD message that you copy and paste into direct LinkedIn messages – your prospects will sense it and simply click off, suspecting that you can’t help their business specifically, but are just another drop in the ocean of generalised promises.

how to create a great bd strategy for recruitment agency


Step 2 is the negotiation – and whilst knowing all the sales techniques and processes, there’s more that goes into it.

DO start with strong intro

Start the call with a friendly greeting, introducing yourself and your company. Clearly state the purpose of the call and how you can provide value.

DO listen

Listen carefully to the client's needs, challenges, and objectives. Show empathy and ask open-ended questions to get them to open up and share more details. It will also show them that you’re genuinely interested in providing solutions fit for their challenges, and not just generic statements.

DO demonstrate value

You want to be able to communicate the value that your agency brings to the table. Highlight how your services align with their needs. You need to be able to show what sets you and your agency apart so highlighting your unique selling points such as candidate quality, recruitment techniques, and industry expertise will help potential clients understand how you address their recruitment needs better than your competitors.

DO build rapport

Establish a personal connection by finding common ground or shared interests as you are trying to build a relationship. People are more likely to do business with those they like and trust.

DON’T make it all about you

While it is natural to want to highlight your agency’s strengths and also your strengths as a recruiter that is not always going to help you, as you are then always selling rather than letting the prospect feel like they are buying. Make sure your conversations also focus on their needs, challenges, and goals. Shift the focus from “us” to “you”.

DON’T push too hard

While enthusiasm is essential, pushing too aggressively can have the opposite effect. Avoid bombarding potential clients with excessive follow-ups or high-pressure tactics that might turn them off.


Last but not least, don’t give up. Business development is all about persistence – after all, your prospects might not need your services now - but who knows when they do?

DO maximise your opportunities

Whilst there may not always be an opportunity to do business straight away with potential clients. There may be opportunities to build relationships or learn and improve. Each opportunity pursued, whether successful or not, provides valuable insights – and widens your net of connections for the future.

DO overcome objections

Overcoming objections is crucial, as these are the barriers or concerns that potential clients have that prevent them from committing to a business relationship with you. Addressing these effectively can make the difference between success and missed opportunities. There is a quick an easy process that ensures you can handle any objection thrown your way - learn more here!

To learn how to create a successful BD strategy that brings 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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