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With the great fluctuations in the job market we saw in 2020 and 2021 came a high demand for talent and thus for recruiters. In 2022, as Jack Kelly writes for Forbes, businesses were struggling to find enough workers to meet the new demands at their companies, and as such, are constantly looking for solutions. Now, however, the need for recruiters seems to have dropped back down, demonstrating both the great waves this industry sees and the need for business development practices that you can carry out beyond temporary booms.

Just as Greg Savage states in “17 Selling Tips for Recruiters Now,” the reality of being a recruiter these days is “that you should be developing new business even when you don’t need it. […] Because booms always end.“

Let’s talk about some of the best business development practices you as a recruiter can enact to ensure you maintain a competitive edge in the market.

The Best Business Development Practices for Recruiters

As Recruiteze suggests in “Top 10 Business Development Tips for New Recruiters,” as a recruiter, your relationship with your client will define your business development. As such, “New recruiters,” they suggest, “should keep in mind that the core purpose of any business is to achieve the long-term relation, rather than the one time sale.”

By prioritizing business development, recruiters expand their network, enhance their reputation, and secure a steady flow of job orders. Ultimately, a proactive business development approach strengthens recruiters’ position in the market, fosters long-term partnerships, and bolsters their capacity to connect top-tier talent with organizations in need, driving mutual growth and success.

1. Be Proactive with Your Recruitment Tactics

Proactive recruiting practices play a crucial role in fostering the long-term success of any organization. Even during periods of low immediate hiring needs, recruiters who remain proactive demonstrate a forward-thinking approach that ensures a steady pipeline of top-tier talent.

By consistently seeking out and engaging with potential candidates, recruiters can build relationships, gain insights into industry trends, and identify exceptional individuals who might not be actively looking for new opportunities. This strategic approach not only minimizes the rush to fill positions when urgent needs arise but also contributes to a more diverse and skilled workforce.

This is where the first of Savage’s two key questions for business development—”what else?”—comes into play.

That is, firstly, ask yourself what, beyond a suitable position you’re looking to fill, you can offer your clients. What might they be struggling with that you can help resolve? Moreover, what vacancies do you have that they might be able to help you with? What else might you need to know from them?

This first question will help you remain proactive in your recruiting efforts and will demonstrate your dedication and commitment to your clients. And hopefully, they will demonstrate this back to you by returning for your services time and again.

2. Recruit with Bias-Free and Skills-Based Measures

Recruiters should embrace bias-free and soft skills-based recruiting practices to ensure equity and diversity in the workplace and to ensure their candidates align with the organization’s culture and values. This approach not only promotes equal opportunities but also fosters a diverse workforce that brings varied perspectives and innovative solutions to the table.

Moreover, prioritizing soft skills – such as communication, adaptability, and teamwork – in the recruitment process ensures that candidates possess qualities essential for success in any role. These skills transcend technical competencies and enable individuals to thrive in dynamic work environments.

In combination, bias-free and soft skills-based recruiting enables recruiters to build high-performing teams that collectively drive organizational growth, innovation, and sustained success.

Another great strategy Savage offers in a similar vein is using the “reverse market” method. That is, start with a candidate whose skills are promising and would be a great match for any number of job positions you might be able to find for them. Then, act as their agent in the marketplace to match them with a position.

3. Incentivize Referrals and Other Supports

Mustering the courage needed to put your plans into action, as Savage makes clear, can be a great challenge in your business development process.

As such, Savage suggests starting with just “ten seconds of courage”—that is, approaching difficult or uncomfortable asks for just ten seconds at a time. This way, you can approach daunting tasks one step at a time and know that only ten seconds later, the hard part will be over. And eventually, this hard task will become more approachable and less uncomfortable to do.

With that said, if you feel uncomfortable simply asking for support or referrals from others—as Savage suggests in his second of his two key questions recruiters ought to ask: “who else”—try offering them something in return.

This will incentivize others to actively help connect you with other businesses to further develop your business.

This doesn’t have to be monetary, too. Incentivizing can look like doing one favour for another in whichever way makes the most sense for each of your respective businesses. Make it a conversation and find a solution that makes you both eager to help each other out.

4. Expand Your Reach with Social Media

Recruiters can significantly broaden their outreach by leveraging social media platforms as valuable tools for networking and relationship-building. By engaging with potential candidates and clients on channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry-specific forums, recruiters can establish their expertise, share relevant content, and initiate meaningful conversations. As these online connections evolve and deepen, recruiters can take proactive steps to transition these relationships into real-world interactions.

This could involve attending industry events, seminars, or conferences where both parties might be present, allowing for face-to-face meetings and genuine interactions.

This seamless progression from online to in-person engagement not only solidifies the rapport established through digital channels but also reinforces the authenticity of the recruiter’s commitment to fostering meaningful connections. As a result, recruiters can effectively tap into a broader talent pool and establish stronger partnerships, creating a win-win scenario for all involved parties.



In today’s competitive job market, recruiters’ success hinges on their adoption of robust business development practices. The establishment and nurturing of strong client relationships are not only essential for short-term placements but also crucial for cultivating a sustainable and thriving recruitment business. As emphasized by Greg Savage in “17 Selling Tips for Recruiters Now,” maintaining a proactive approach to business development, even during periods of low demand, is imperative due to the cyclical nature of the industry.


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