The Importance of Being Online

  By Todd Bossler  |    Sunday February 18, 2013

Category: Productivity


The last time you needed a telephone number, how did you find it?

Did you use the Yellow Pages (the actual book) . . . or Google?

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, “Multiple studies confirm that consumers report using the Internet first (80% of the time) when they need a new product or service and the printed Yellow Pages only second or third (50% of the time).”

Now envision this scenario.

You make a “Most Place-able Candidate” (MPC) marketing call to a prospective client, and you leave a message that makes the hiring authority want to know more about the candidate . . . and about you.  So what’s the next thing they do?  Do they call you back immediately?  No, they do not.

They “Google” you.

This is what people do in this day and age to validate and verify everything . . . including your recruiting or staffing firm.  In their mind, if they don’t find you when they conduct a Google search, then you don’t really exist.  And even if you do exist, you must not be that important.  After all, they couldn’t find you on Google!

So what would happen if a hiring authority “Googled” your firm?  What would they find?  Nothing?  Something?  What basically amounts to an online brochure?  Or an engaging, interactive website that actively helps you to grow your business, is available 24/7, and never sleeps or goes on vacation?

While it’s important for your firm to have an Internet presence, that’s just not enough in today’s world.  You need to not only be online, but be online in earnest!


Step #1—Engage your audience 

You don’t want job seekers and hiring managers to just visit your site, find out about you, and then leave.  You want them to do something!  You want them to take an action, which is the benefit of successful engagement.  The overriding goal is to convert the visitors into a candidate, a client, or someone who can refer people to you—or all three.

With that in mind, think of your site in terms of a “3-2-1 layout.”  That means you need to have three things on your site determined by visitors in two seconds that will prompt them to take one action.  Those three things are as follows:


  1. Who you are (your recruiting firm’s name and logo)
  2. What you do (the industry in which your firm works), but more importantly, what you can do for your website visitors
  3. A “call to action” (or CTA), the action you want your visitors to take next, such as search jobs, submit a resume, or call your firm

Does your firm’s current site have these three elements?  Will they accomplish what you want them to accomplish in the time allotted?  Remember, web visitors have short attention spans.  The rule of thumb is this: “Don’t make me think!”  Your site has to be clean, simple, and intuitive.  If it’s confusing in any way, you won’t engage your visitors and they’ll leave.

Remember, your goal is to convert your website visitors into either 1. a candidate, 2. a client, or 3. a source for the first two.


Step #2—Social media integration

Here’s a statistic to digest: according to a recent survey conducted by recruiting tech firm Jobvite, 52% of job seekers use Facebook to find work.  That percentage is up from 48% in last year’s Jobvite survey.  (Both surveys used a sample of more than 2,000 adults in the U.S., either unemployed or currently employed and looking for another job.)

Also as part of that survey, LinkedIn is used by 38% of job seekers, up from 30%, while Twitter usage rose from 26% to 34%.  In addition, 25% of job seekers added professional information to their Facebook account in the last year, and 26% did so with their LinkedIn profile. 

What does all of this mean?  It means that your firm’s website must be integrated with social media.  Specifically, your firm’s site should have the ability to post your open jobs to social media in a way that will drive active job seekers and passive candidates back to your site to check out (and apply for) your opportunities.

Why is this important?  Once again, according to the Jobvite survey, 88% of job seekers maintain at least one online profile with a social media site.

However, it makes sense that if somebody has an account with one social media site, they have an account with multiple sites.  If your website is integrated with social media, then it will increase its “reach” on the Internet, since you’ll be connected to an engaged audience that loves to share information.

Step #3—Be “mobile ready” with “responsive design”

According to, an independent online news site for technology, 77% of job seekers use mobile job search apps.  That percentage breaks down as follows:

  • 36.3% use them to quickly react to new job postings
  • 23.8% like to job search anytime, anywhere
  • 17.7% feel that it’s a discreet way to search for a job


It’s no longer just a “website world” . . . it’s a “mobile world” for recruiting and staffing firms, and it’s not going to change anytime soon.  Once again, what does all of this mean?

It means that it’s imperative that your firm’s website is easily viewable and searchable on a mobile phone or tablet device.  This is referred to as “responsive design.”

When a website is built with responsive design, it means the site will “respond” to whatever device is viewing it—PC, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet device—and present the site and its elements in the appropriate fashion.

According to a case study conducted by Kelton Research and published by open technology platform Jibe, 86% of job seekers who have a smartphone would use it to search for a job.  Smartphones and tablets have become essential tools for the job-seeking Millennial Generation.  People always carry their phones with them, which means they can search for jobs on the fly and respond more quickly than they would with their not-as-portable laptop computers.

If your recruiting firm’s website doesn’t have responsive design, it won’t provide the best experience for those job seekers who visit it on a mobile device . . . even if you DO post your jobs to it.

As you can see, while it’s important for your firm to be online and have an Internet presence, it’s even more important to be online in earnest!

The three steps I’ve outlined in this article can help you achieve that and also help ensure that you engage your website visitors, convince them to take action, and compel them to visit your site again in the future!

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