How To Find Clients For Your Recruiting Business (Part 1)

How To Find Clients For Your Recruiting Business (Part 1)


Do you own a contingency search firm? Do you develop business for a search firm? If so, this long blog post is meant for you. However, if you are tasked with finding new business leads in any industry, the advice herein may still be of use. So, no matter the industry or enterprise you serve, please continue on.

In a nutshell, this is my advice:

1. Look for what’s hot.
2. See if you got it.
3. If you don’t have it, go get it.
4. Once you have it, look for who wants it.
5. Pitch it to them and hope for the best.

Everything else I am saying from this point will point back to this point, just so you know. Still interested? Okay, let’s move forward.


I imagine that you already know what’s popular in your industry, or do you? Depending on the enterprise, a new niche could be trending on the horizon of which you are unaware. One way to be sure that you are not missing the boat, so to speak, is to track articles that purport to detail what is up and coming. Check out what happens when I search Google in the following way: trends in healthcare industry 2012..2013

These are some of the page one results I get back:

How to find leads for your recruiting business

Hmm… Just in case you don’t get my search, let me explain a bit. My search on “trends in healthcare industry” is pretty self-explanatory but what might not be, is the search for “2012..2013.”

When I added that to my search, I was using Google’s “numrange” command. Essentially, I asked Google to return only those results that have the number 2012 in them, on up to 2013. In this way, I hope to find articles that were published currently or last year. And honestly, I searched it that way out of habit. Google has a search option built into its search bar that does the same thing. Here is another way to search as I previously demonstrated.

How To Find Clients for your Recruiting Business

Take note that I clicked the “Search tools” button (A) beneath the Google Search bar, moused over “Any time” and then clicked the “Past year” option (B). I scan through a few of the links and discover this quote from MedCity News.

“Massive amounts of data is being generated but in healthcare what has changed is the availability of tools to translate that data into relevant information. What is also new in healthcare is how much demand there is from consumers to access that data. Big data is what will separate winners from losers in healthcare.” Source:

I find that quote very interesting. Armed with that bit of… umm… data, I do the next logical step.


As big data is a hot trend in healthcare, I do a search for candidates in my company database (ATS or CRM or EXCEL, whatever the case may be) to see I have anyone with a background in big data technologies related to the healthcare sector. In a perfect world, I find several that I have spoken to recently that are open to new possibilities. (Yay!) And just in case I do not have such candidates readily available, I look around for some, maybe build a pipeline for such. Why? For the sake of argument, let’s say that I am a business developer for a search firm that places tech professionals in the healthcare industry. Since there is a present and growing need for big data people in healthcare, I know that if I do not place said professionals today, I will in the near future. Make sense?


Okay, this is an easy one. Research the job boards. Why? They are full of opportunities that need to be filled. And while that may be old news to you in the staffing industry, keep reading as I might be able to put a new spin on this tactic that you can appreciate.

All job boards are easily searchable since they are designed for the general public to peruse their job listings with ease and not professional researchers. I do a search on for a data scientist job in the healthcare industry. (See below.)

How to find leads for your recruiting business

I click on one of the links and visit the careerpage where there is more info about the position. It points to an opening at Health Care Data Works. I scan the job description and see that whomever lands this gig, will (most likely) be reporting to someone in the Product Development department (as shown in the image below).

How to find leads for your recruiting business

I go to the company page to see if I am lucky enough to find a Product Developer featured on their homepage. No luck. Although, there were bios of other members of their executive team. Hmm… I wonder if there is a mention of product managers on their site? As luck would have it, there is a Product Director cited on their page. Cool beans! Or rather, good luck, as I might not be so lucky when researching other companies. Let me show you another way to find this information in case it is not easily found on its site. “product manager”

Not only do I find product managers that work for HCD, but also a product manager working elsewhere – Jon Hardenbrook.

How to find leads for your recruiting business

Just in case that last search is lost on you, what I was doing was asking Google to search only the Heath Care Data Work website ( for the phrase “product manager.”

Okay, so I have a name and a job title. Now, I need an email address. To figure out the email format for reaching out to Pat Bickley is How do I know that? I am basing it on the email of another employee who works there. Check out my search below. In it, I am looking for the term email and using Google’s wildcard command to fill in the blank on my search and complete the email address I am searching for. Check out one of the search results I found!

How to find leads for your recruiting business


Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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