Why every recruiter needs to become business development focused

5 min readMay 31, 2023


The UK market continues to be a challenging environment for many businesses. Job vacancies have fallen for the eighth month in a row, with fewer job vacancies available at one end, other businesses are buoyant but need help finding skilled candidates for jobs at the other end of the scale.

With widespread redundancies in manufacturing and retail, people increasingly want to set up their businesses or command more flexible working. With the continuation of the cost-of-living crisis, appealing to candidates with attractive roles and competitive salaries is a tricky objective to meet for many industries.

With all challenges, however, we must adapt and be flexible. We must try to change our attitude for survival, let alone growth. If we are open to flexibility and adaptability, we can learn more and become better business leaders as part of the solution for the future.

How can we move with the times?

As recruiters, we need to get with the programme. If we’re going to be able to understand and be part of the bigger picture, we need to grasp what having a business development strategy means.

When considering business development strategy, you might think of it as an individual role, a responsibility for one business. But with so many recruiters having to think out of the box and do more with less, having a specific person at the helm of business development is becoming a less likely option.

For the most resourceful way of ensuring recruiters have a full view of the bigger picture, every team member needs a solid grasp of what business looks like in the UK in 2023, post-pandemic. So how can they influence its growth for their prosperity?

What is the definition of business development?

Business development is the process of gaining more clients and looking at different ways of growth for a business or organisation. By examining its successes and failures, business development is the product of business leaders and their teams (if relevant) identifying areas for improvement and growth.

It could be defined as ideas, initiatives, and actions to improve a business.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Within the world of recruitment and throughout the entire process between the business client and candidate, individuals can be encouraged to contribute to cultivating a meaningful and productive relationship. Securing work from a particular client seldom hinges on the efforts of a lone recruiter. Instead, it is the cumulative effect of a harmonious team.

Everyone has business development skills, so they can help their team and organisation as recruiters, helping the businesses and individuals they work with to thrive in a competitive market. It’s a cyclical process. If there is a mutual understanding about each person’s role — and that of the external organisations they work with — there is every reason it will succeed if approached in a planned and organised way.

What are some of the ways this can be achieved and built upon?

· Be aware of increased competition — the UK job market is highly competitive. Recruiters must ensure they stand out, be inclusive and diverse and add value to their services by actively engaging in business development.

· Understand business goals — get familiar with your organisation’s strategic goals as a priority. This will enable you to work with your clients in a more aligned way. It’s mutually beneficial.

· Examine the recruitment landscape — it is constantly evolving. With the increase of online platforms, automation and artificial intelligence, recruiters must adapt and stay ahead of the game.

· Stay informed — regularly update your knowledge bank about your industry and the wider business world. Attend webinars, participate in conferences and forums, and keep up to date with the latest business news and trends. What market trends are there? How can technology and tools enhance the recruitment process to provide a consistently better service to your clients?

· Forge relationships — networking is crucial to business development and builds relationships with industry professionals, colleagues, and other potential talent sources.

· Client demands and expectations are high — they want strategic partners who understand their business goals, industry trends, and the challenges they face. If you can better understand clients’ needs, you can tailor services accordingly. In return, you will build better relationships, provide much better candidate matches and ultimately secure more business for you and your clients.

· Enhance communication skills — effective communication is critical in business, honing these skills can help you convey your organisation’s core value propositions to potential candidates.

· Diversification and scalability — by actively pursuing opportunities, you can diversify your client base, expand your reach into different industries or sectors, and attract talent seeking your service and support. Being more diverse in your approach eases the risk of relying on one industry or area, making you much more resilient to economic fluctuations.

· Drive strategic decision-making — by bringing valuable insights about the talent market to the decision-makers, we recruiters can influence decisions around growth and development.

· Improve employer branding — effective business development involves establishing solid relationships and a positive brand image. Recruiters embracing this approach can enhance employer branding and build, leading to excellent relationships with businesses and attracting high-quality candidates.

· Value-added services — going beyond the more traditional recruitment role. By focusing on value-added services to clients, you could offer talent mapping, workforce analytics, employer branding and succession planning as part of your service. This would make you a trusted advisor and partner to your clients — those businesses looking for talent and candidates.

· Promote innovation — with an eye on the business’s growth, recruiters can identify individuals to bring fresh ideas and drive innovation, contributing to the company’s competitive edge.

Building business and relationships from the inside out

Building business and relationships from the inside out

Business development works in many ways and guises. As experts in the world of recruitment, you can offer your clients solutions to challenges in ways that will set you up as one of the go-to leading recruiters in your market for your industry.

We’re in a rapidly changing recruitment landscape in 2023, so being business development focused is crucial for recruiters and their clients to thrive in return. It enables you to stand out from the competition, meets client expectations, diversify your client base, and provide value-added services, ultimately leading to long-term success and growth in the industry.

Originally published at https://www.proactive.it on May 31, 2023.




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