Business Development, For the Modern Recruiter of 2021

The old way of doing things is rapidly disappearing, covid has created a shift in the sands as we all have to start becoming more digitally native. For most this is a blessing in disguise, the prospect of spending large chunks of your day cold calling someone and the first thing you hear each time is a big fat disappointed sigh, is definitely not a plus to being a recruiter. 

However, this does beg the questions how can we BD differently? What is the best way to BD now, post-covid? And what does BD look like in a digital world? 

Recruitment is still and will always be about networking, developing those strategic relationships with people whether they are job givers or fillers. They are still at the end of the day, people, and people will always buy from people, until robots take over the world, then people will buy from robots.  

So, if we focus on this simple concept of networking, the digital world has given us a plethora of options. So, if you get a little creative you could develop new relationships without ever even needing to pick up the phone? 

Here’s a few ideas, we’ve had: 

Become an Influencer

Ok so this one might sound a little farfetched, especially if you’re a bit like us and have a face for radio and the digital skills of a potato but hear us out.  

We don’t mean becoming the next Kardashian, fighting a bear in a boxing ring for views.

But pick up your phone take a 2-minute video of you talking about something interesting that matters to you, preferably industry related as we are looking to drum up new business here as opposed to starting a revolution over office fridge space. Upload it to LinkedIn, Facebook or even Instagram and do this twice a day, for the next 3 months. 

Before you ask yourself, reading out job descriptions with some 1980’s style flashy video effect you found on your phone’s video editor does not constitute something interesting, nobody wants to see that…. Unless you do it while fighting a bear, then yeah, we’d all pay to see that. 

If video really isn’t your thing, why not just write weekly articles directly on LinkedIn, jump in on conversations happening on the platform, and just do regular updates, social media is essentially the world’s biggest networking event that happens 24/7, and you can literally eavesdrop any conversation and butt in whenever you like, and it not be considered rude. 

Just remember people use social media for 3 main things, to be entertained, informed and/or connected. So, although hitting all 3 would be great try to focus on just one at a time, for example twice a day you could update your network on your views on the hottest industry topics.  

Stories, and reels are all designed for you to do exactly this, and nobody expects or even wants you to produce Hollywood blockbusters, they want raw and real recruitment, and no that should not be the title of your newfound page, unless you plan to start networking on Onlyfans. 

Start a Group

We don’t mean like a running group or football team – although a national industry 5-a-side league would probably open a lot of doors for you but would also take an immense amount of planning. What we actually mean is a private group on social media again, that you can invite industry specific people to join and discuss hot topics within the industry, tie this in with you regular updates or videos you publish, and you have a great way to get you and/or your agency recognised as a place to be linked with. 

Host a webinar

This has proven a very successful tactic for many different people across a huge variety of industries. It does take a lot more thought than just simply picking up the phone, but in terms of your ability to gain multiple new contacts in one hit and build a serious amount of credibility within your chosen area, this must be the number 1 way to BD for us. 

The simplest way to start, is take a topic that is hot within your industry, don’t just choose a topic that is relative to other recruiters, unless you want to attract recruiters, but instead find a topic that you both will have a degree of knowledge in and that your target market will have a huge amount of interest in. 

Once you have this, a fast way to boost the likely uptake of people joining your webinar, is to find some guest speakers, and for this we would suggest reaching out to a mix of your current high calibre candidates, that are looking for a new role (as it would be great PR for them) and those that you may have recently filled. Also try and get some of your clients involved, provided the content is professional and aligned with their interests in some way, they will probably be more receptive than you realise.  

Then lastly, once you have a great topic, and a few industry names on board, get everyone to promote it via their own channels, and remember as this is for BD and not just a vanity project, use a platform that allows you collect those emails and contact detail, and send all those that people a thankyou email and a short intro to the great services you provide, you will be surprised at how effective this tactic can be.