If you were to ask two people what the purpose of a business development representative is, you would likely get two similar, yet different answers. You see, business development professionals wear multiple hats, which can often make the process of hiring ‘the right’ person incredibly tricky.

BD professionals are hired to develop your business, whether this means bringing in new clients or working with existing clients. It is most common that BD professionals will focus on hunting for new and untouched opportunities while fostering new business from existing clients.

How do you hire someone who can wear so many hats?

The most critical step, and the first step you should take when hiring a BD professional is to determine the role’s focus. Aim to identify the top 4-5 responsibilities of this hire and lay out a clear job description based on the strategic goals of the organization. Your next step would be to work towards creating clear and concise key performance indicators (KPIs) that can define their success.

How do you know what skills are required?

Once you have put together a clear focus, you can then identify the skills you require by asking yourself what would be essential to execute all the responsibilities. Aim to pinpoint the top skills (hard and soft) that would be necessary to achieve the focus of the role.

Once you have the framework for the role, how do you know who is the right fit for the role?

Finding the right person can be incredibly difficult. You will want to find those not only with the skills needed, but also someone whose personality is going to be an accurate representation of your business. Your BD professional is the face of the company; how they interact with potential clients and existing clients can shape the expectations these clients have from start to finish. Finding the right personality in this role is crucial; not only should they be sales driven, but they should also be in alignment with the company’s vision, mission, and core values.

Now that I know who and what I am looking for, when should I hire?

Finding the right time to hire in business development is a lot easier than you might think. With that said, there is rarely a wrong time to bring on a BD professional. When business is slow, business development can help to pick things up. When business is booming, you can ride that momentum to new levels.

So, you’re saying now is a good time as any to hire?

Yes. The conditions are favourable for businesses. There is a huge pool of candidates to choose from due to high unemployment.  We caution you, however, as the hiring process will overwhelm you. An inbox of over 500 applicants will be a drain on your time and energy. You may want to leave it to the experts as we like to say!

Masters at Matching Culture: the human algorithm that screens for what matters most to you!