Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

A Recruiter’s guide to new business - Part 2

By Stuart Thomas, Recruitment Industry Specialist

Last week we discussed all things business development and how you can actually do BD effectively in today’s market. Naturally, because a recruiter’s life is jam packed with BD on a regularly basis, it’s safe to say one article is never going to be enough, so we pulled together some more of the best ways to engage with new clients when BD isn’t your favourite task.

Social listening

Imagine you could eavesdrop on conversations businesses were having to find out when and why they wanted to hire? What a useful tool that would be for us all, and while it may sound a little creepy initially, you actually can do this via social media. You can use scheduling sites like Hootsuite to set up streams of conversations with clients you want to work with in future. You can set it up to monitor their Twitter for example, and it will show you when keywords pop up like ‘jobs’ or ‘vacancies’. You can also set Google alerts any time specific organisations mention hiring. The internet can quite literally tell you when your would-be clients are talking about talent, which leaves you in the know and makes a cold call less daunting when you already know they’re looking.

Public speaking

Instead of just listening, be the one to start the conversation. The recruitment world is overrun with events and conferences regarding talent and hiring, so there’s a plethora of places you could speak at. It might not be the main stage at Talent Connect, but even roundtable speeches or hosting discussions at smaller events will get you out there. If you’re having conversations about hiring strategies, it’s safe to say people will then talk to you first when having problems with their own talent pipelines. Just because you’re looking for business doesn’t mean the clients can’t come to you.

Look for like-minded clients

Try not to just target any old business because of their headcount etc. Many businesses are built on core values and they live by it. In fact, they like to live and breathe it. So find the companies who have a similar ethos and value to your agency and use that as an opener with them. Discuss your similarities and how you both have a related approach to business. Build the foundations of your relationship on common ground.


You might not like it but take the time to research the people you actually want to have conversations with. Create lists of your golden clients that you’re desperate to work with, and then find out everything you know about them. Find out who’s already in your database. With Access Recruitment CRM and its intelligent search function, you can create list of ideal prospects. The research period will enable you to learn if they’re hiring, what’s going on in their wider organisations and give you the right information to approach them. Randomly running through the yellow pages might have worked in Wolf of Wall Street, but it’s just not going to cut it today.


If we’re going to appear in a play or give a speech, we will generally practice it until we have it perfect. Yet other things in life are left utterly to chance and winging it when actually, some practice would help out a whole lot. Take the time to sit with a colleague or a few, and run through your presentation to new clients, run through your call script or how you would introduce yourself at a networking event. Practice until your sales pitch is right and you feel confident delivering your message effectively. This is a conversation that could land you your next big client, which is more placements and a spot on the leaderboard, and why would you leave that to chance?  

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