Why every agency owner should be thinking about BD now to future-proof their business

With SourceBreaker data showing a 22% reduction in jobs per company since the start of the year, here’s why recruitment and staffing agency owners should be championing business development to stay ahead of the curve. 

Recruitment markets worldwide have witnessed new levels of talent demand in recent years, with high-quality candidates driving hiring dynamics like never before. 

It’s been a boom time for many agencies who’ve been able to supply these sought-after profiles, barely needing to engage in traditional ‘sales’ activities when their candidates alone were enough to win them access to roles, interviews and placements.  

But recent market trends show a significant slowdown in new vacancies published by employers – an indication that placeable candidates may not be the golden ticket they once were to guarantee steady fee income. 

And, as the balance between client and candidate-led shifts, here are three key reasons why business owners should prioritise business development to secure the future of their recruitment agencies.

  • Not all opportunity is equal

Just because recruiters have ‘active jobs’ doesn’t mean they’ve got access to the best opportunities in the market. 

There may be new companies hiring for similar candidate profiles to their current searches with faster hiring timescales, a better candidate experience or with more attractive pay packages. 

Top recruiters know this – and they work tirelessly to find the best fit between their candidate pools and the employment market by continually expanding their client base. 

By always keeping their business development active, they put themselves in the right place and the right time more often than other recruiters, specifically because they don’t limit their activities to their existing network. 

In contrast, recruiters who settle for reactively serving their current client base have no visibility into what other opportunities are out in the market – who is hiring for their candidate specialism, in what volumes, and what types of requirements and timescales they may be working to.

A perfect client with 10x the hiring budget may be just around the corner – only BD-focused recruiters will find out. 

  • Rookie recruiters can’t rely on candidates forever

The recent recruitment market has introduced thousands of rookie recruiters to a candidate-focused workflow, built around in-demand CVs as the most valuable commodity in recruitment.

For many agencies, this has created a whole generation lacking the skills to win new clients and roles without a placeable candidate profile to market to talent-starved customers. 

But as the market dynamic shifts, so too will the ability of agencies to support junior consultants who rely exclusively on this tactic to create placement fees. 

Agencies who focus on and invest in business development, however, give their teams a rounder skillset with which to consistently replenish the sales pipeline with new opportunity – using a range of techniques and market intelligence technology to source leads, and ensuring that their recruiters are equipped with multiple tools in their toolbox to generate new client relationships. 

  • Business development puts agencies on the front foot

Agency owners who shy away from a BD-focused gameplan for H2 and beyond are effectively closing the shutters to the outside market and limiting the ability of their businesses to react and pivot in rapidly-changing conditions. 

Whether it’s staying on top of evolving in-demand skill sets or changing employment frameworks, recruiters who routinely survey and prospect their markets have a front-foot advantage versus those who don’t.

BD-savvy owners see trends early, spot new emerging markets and catch talent patterns appearing, and are able to shape their brand, marketing, resourcing and training to follow the currents of demand in their industries and adjacent sectors.

By making business development a strategic focus, recruitment leaders don’t just ensure the ongoing success of their agencies in the near-term, they also build in long-term protection and the ability to see market changes the moment they appear on the horizon. 

To learn more about preparing your agency for changing market conditions, join SourceBreaker’s CRO, Adam Dale, and The Recruitment Network’s Co-Founder, James Osborne, as they discuss key market predictions and top tips for implementing a strong BD strategy to ensure you’re keeping ahead of the curve. 

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