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Business Development for a Recruiting Firm

Business development is a crucial component of building a successful recruiting firm or staffing agency. Becoming involved in commercial associations and developing strategic relationships with other organizations can make or break agencies, and business development must be front-of-mind for partners and owners.

Before we discuss the specific business development pipelines for recruitment firms, let’s first take a more general look at what business development is, and dispel some common misconceptions about its practice.

What is Business Development?

If you were to ask 10 different executives to define what business development is or to describe their company’s business development pipeline stages, you very well may end up with 10 different answers.

The reason for this variability isn’t that the executives don’t know what they’re doing. Business development is simply a very broad reaching term that covers a multitude of strategies and goals, and so rendering a precise definition can be difficult.

[Learn More: Executive Recruiting Software]

Let’s start by laying out some general points to define business development:


– Business development is the practice of creating long-term value for a company.

– A business development project manager is responsible for sourcing opportunities for company growth through customers, markets, and relationships.

– Anything that helps an organization grow, without the delivery of a product to market, can be considered business development.

Business Development vs Marketing

Marketing and Business Development, in certain circles, have become almost interchangeable terms. However, those who choose to regard them as the same revenue driving function are missing out on an element of nuance that can drastically improve their business development.

Here are the major differences between business development and marketing:


– Developing campaigns that communicate the benefits of services and products that are currently being offered or rolled out.
– Establishing cohesive brand voice, story and assets that elevates the perception of your company.
– Managing brand strength through public relations and consumer-facing communications.
– Utilizing social media and other strategies to expand brand reach into emerging and established markets.  

Business Development

– Entering into formalized agreements to expand in existing and emerging markets, to provide services to an established competitor, etc.
– Developing relationships with leaders and companies that have potential to yield business development opportunities.
– Analyzing internal/external data to identify opportunities for expanding business activities with existing clients/customers.

While the sales and public stature developed through effective marketing are definitely helpful in business development, these strategies are not one and the same. Business development can be leveraged internally, in b2b settings, and consumer facing markets with the goal of strengthening infrastructure and market positions.

While closely related, business development and marketing play separate roles. In an ideal environment, these two components work together to strengthen each other and the company at-large.

[Learn More: Recruitment Marketing Software]

Business Development For Recruitment Firms

To establish a business development pipeline template for your recruitment firm, keep in mind that your best business development opportunities will be concurrent with ongoing relationships and recruitment activities.

Here are some of the most effective tactics for business development in recruitment agencies.

Keep A Full Pipeline

It’s easy to neglect your business development initiatives if you have a full schedule and lucrative client contracts. But it is essential to have prospects lined up to ensure revenue is always coming in. Developing your business should entail a consistent practice of generating leads, and then pursuing those leads with the help of your senior partners and sales team.

Analyze Existing Customer Base

Turnover is high in the staffing business, and clients, even the reliable ones, can drop at any time. You can prepare for this by taking a look at your success rates with existing clients. Try to figure out what specialized fields and industries give you the best return on investment. Which clients have stayed with you the longest or contracted you the most? You can use this data when searching for new clients in the future, improving your success rate and efficiency in the process.

Publish In Industry Media

Write guest posts in industry blogs or magazines and accept public speaking opportunities. This will lend you visibility within your industry, and lead to more networking opportunities. It also comes with the added benefit of displaying your expertise within your field, which will play well with both candidates and clients.

Share Success Stories

Nothing is better than a good review. Ask for testimonials from satisfied clients that you can publish online. These stories will help when sourcing new business because potential clients will always search for positive reviews to see that past clients were satisfied with your services.

In conclusion, business development is a broad and indispensable undertaking. The recruiting industry relies more than most on networking and personal relationships. Learning effective methods and techniques of business development, will help to give you a leg up in this competitive field.

Loxo is an all-in-one recruitment platform powered by AI that combines your ATS and CRM. With Loxo Connect, you can automatically source the best candidates in your industry, freeing you up to pursue more business development initiatives. To see Loxo in action, you can schedule a demo here or try Loxo’s free version here.

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