I’ve recently noticed a number of Recruitment Consultant adverts with the line “Hot desk-no business development!” For me, this raises 2 big questions: 1) if the desk was so hot, why isn’t someone sat in the seat already? 2) A role that requires no BD can hardly be called a full Recruitment Consultant position. I certainly agree that the days of endless phone bashing with the sole purpose of picking up any old job are certainly well in the past, but business development can mean so much more if its sophisticated, relevant and targeted.
The feedback we have had from our clients is that they want to engage with us on multiple levels. They want to hear what the market is saying about them, they want to be kept updated on current affairs that might affect them and of course they want to be the first to hear about that next super-star candidate! Having conversations with your clients away from just transactional recruitment shows you desire to build a strong long lasting relationship.
Internally, business development is also a vital part of the role. Recruitment is basically a time management exercise with the understanding that the more you have on the go the more chances you have to make placements. If you get tunnel vision working on just one or two perfectly qualified roles and dedicate all your efforts into them, without any time dedicated to business development, there is significant danger of being left high and dry if those clients decide to put the role on hold, go with an internal or cancel the role altogether. managing your day into specific time-slots gives you the breadth of work to ensure success.
Regardless of your pipeline of jobs, dedicating some portion of your day to engagement with current and new clients is vital. It’s no surprise that out most successful recruiters split their day up into segments focused on reactive and proactive tasks.