The secret to winning new business for sustainable growth

Business Development panel at Engage Sydney 2024

At Engage 2024, professionals from the recruitment industry gathered to learn about winning new business and achieving long-term success. Josh McCole from Bullhorn moderated a panel featuring Nikki Grech from Healthcare Australia, Jody Fazldeen from Talentpath, and Ez Khan from Hume Scope as they shared advice on tackling the current market’s challenges. They discussed innovative approaches to business development (BD), the significance of building authentic relationships, and how to stand out in a competitive environment.

Embracing the shift to business development

The panel shared how businesses think about growth. It’s all about getting new clients and making sales, which is a big move away from finding people jobs. Josh pointed out, “This year, the focus on getting new business has jumped up, making BD the main thing we’re all looking at.”

Ez commented that there’s a huge call for learning more about BD, “The need for BD training has really taken off, showing that everyone sees how important it is for keeping our agencies doing well.”

Jody talked about how things have shifted since COVID shook things up, saying, “For a lot of our team, BD was kind of a new idea, showing how much the whole industry has had to adapt to a world that’s pretty different now.”

Case study: Healthcare recruitment

The conversation then turned to the specific challenges within the healthcare sector.

Nikki shared insights highlighting the unique situation, “In healthcare recruitment, we’ve seen a drastic shift towards more aggressive BD strategies, propelled by increased competition and a saturated market.” Her comments shed light on the changing landscape and the necessity for agencies to evolve their BD tactics to stay competitive.

Ez elaborated on this point, noting the influx of new competition, “The entrance of agencies new to healthcare into the market has intensified the need for traditional agencies to elevate their BD game, highlighting the vital role of innovation in staying ahead.” His observation underscores established agencies’ need to innovate and adapt to emerging challenges.

The discussion highlighted innovative business development strategies’ critical role in overcoming market saturation in the competitive healthcare sector. As agencies face new competitors, exploring emerging markets such as allied health, nursing, and aged care becomes essential. Success in these areas involves identifying new customer segments, forming strategic partnerships with established providers, and potentially pursuing mergers and acquisitions to broaden service offerings. This approach allows healthcare companies, for example, to navigate the crowded market effectively and sets a foundation for sustainable growth and success.

The power of consistency and quality

Josh emphasised the key to maintaining and growing business ties: consistency in BD tasks. “Agencies that do well are those that consistently engage well with their audience,” he said. This steady approach ensures clients and candidates feel important and seen, strengthening the agency’s standing in the market.

Ez agreed, reminding us that the basics of recruitment haven’t changed. “We’re in the business of people. Meeting with people, listening carefully, and asking the right questions are still essential,” he pointed out. This method is crucial for getting to the heart of what each client and candidate needs.

Tech and personal interaction in business development

The discussion highlighted the transformative impact of technology on business development strategies, emphasising the value of data analytics and CRM systems in personalising interactions with clients and candidates.

Ez offered an example of how technology enables a tailored BD approach. “With automation tools, we’re notified about the best time to contact a prospect based on their engagement with our content or site,” he explained.

This personal touch distinguishes top performers in a crowded market. Josh pointed out, “The ones who excel are those who maintain genuine interactions, making them stand out.”

Looking to the future, the panellists concurred that continuous innovation, leveraging cutting-edge technology, and maintaining authentic connections are fundamental for sustainable growth in BD.

Fostering authentic engagement

One major point from Engage 2024 was the real need to make true connections. Nikki mentioned how BD strategies within recruitment are changing. They’re moving towards creating lasting relationships rather than just quick deals. “It’s about more than just filling positions. We aim to really get what our clients and candidates need,” she said.

This method shows how being real and genuine helps you stand out in a crowded field. Ez added to this, highlighting the importance of conversations that bring real value. “Offering something special, like new insights or solutions, shifts the conversation from just another sales call to something much more impactful,” he noted. This approach makes an agency stand out and builds trust and reliability with clients and candidates.


The main takeaways from this session — being innovative, personal, and connecting with people — are essential for agencies. The panellists showed the importance of using new tech, keeping real relationships, and adjusting to changes in the market.

If you’re looking for more insights from Engage Sydney, check out the Content Hub to find the highlights from the conference

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