In the old pre-Internet days staffing firm marketing meant running classified ads in the newspaper. A lot has changed since then obviously. Today, with nearly three-fourths of today’s active job candidates using mobile devices to search for new opportunities, and half using a mobile device to actually apply, if you don’t have a strong online presence, your brand is behind.

Here are some basic, but key, elements every staffing firm should consider when it comes to Internet marketing.

Your Company Website

Everything, and I do mean everything, revolves around your website. More than even a brick-and-mortar location, it’s the place anyone in the world can immediately go to connect with your agency.

Your site should be easy on the eyes, easy to navigate, sleek, fast and mobile-optimized (see stats above).

A candidate should be able to go to your website, look at your job listings, and easily apply online, anywhere they are, at any time that is convenient for them.

If this doesn’t describe your website, you need to drop everything you’re doing right now, and make an all-new site, or a makeover, a priority.

Your basic marketing strategy should be pointing people to your site and getting them to register.

Once they are “in” the system, your staffers can vet them from there and go further in the process, if desired.

Job Boards

Job Boards are the classified ads of the Internet. However, there are a gazillion of them and sometimes it's hard to know which ones to use and which ones to skip.

If you do a lot of industrial, it’s hard to pass up Snagajob. They fly under the radar of the big advertisers (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.), and you will certainly pay well for their service, but it’s hard to beat the applicant flow they bring, especially considering the industrial demographic isn’t quite as ‘net friendly as the professional sector.

ZipRecruiter is a good, relatively inexpensive service to use to recruit almost any skill you’re looking for.

For professional, clerical, and upper-level positions, particularly direct-hire, take your pick of the big boys – Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder,
SimplyHired, etc. It probably won’t be cost-effective to use them all, but you should definitely have an account with one or two with resume-search privileges to boot.

Finally, Craigslist is an awesome and inexpensive resource to post jobs. Learn how to use basic HTML to maximize your posting on Craigslist and you’ll be amazed at how many people a basic ad can bring in.

Search Engines

OK, search ENGINE – minus the S. Let’s face it, Google is all we’re really talking about here.

Bing and Yahoo are out there of course, and a comprehensive marketing strategy will eventually include those, but if you’re coming up high on Google searches you’re the real deal.

There’s a lot going on when it comes to improving your ranking on Google, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty there are two primary things to consider: SEO (search engine optimization) and AdWords.

SEO is like trying to find oil with a dousing rod or a turkey wishbone – lots of people will tell you how to do it (or accept loads of your money in exchange for said knowledge), but nobody really seems to know.

Plus, Google is always changing the rules. In a nutshell, SEO is the process of ensuring your site will be found when people search the words and phrases relevant to what you do.

When they type, “staffing agencies in MyTown MYSTATE,” I want to be on the first page of that search, because the likelihood of anyone clicking to page two or beyond and finding me is slim to none.

Regardless of the gray areas and frustrations, a solid SEO website strategy is certainly worth researching, investing in, and implementing.

One can still have a great SEO strategy and not be on the front pages of certain searches though.

The reason for this is because the more a phrase is searched, the stronger the competition is for that phrase.

I can use SEO to be on the front page of “staffing agencies in MyTown MYSTATE,” yet not be anywhere near it with the much more desired phrase, “jobs in MyTown MYSTATE.”

Go ahead, type that phrase in Google and see what pops up. (When you do, incidentally, you'll understand why you you need to be on the major job boards too!)

This is where AdWords come in. Basically, companies pay Google a certain amount to appear in the "paid advertising" section of certain searches. This may not be for everybody, but you can put as much or as little money as you like in these campaigns and they will generally bring in job seekers.

These, by the way, are people who probably knew nothing about your agency beyond needing a job in your town. Capturing them via a modest AdWords campaign can be well worth the investment.

Social Media

You can also go as deep as you want into social media. A basic strategy will encompass the Big Four; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. You should have at least a minimum presence and post at least semi-regularly on all four.

Be judicious and deliberate about what you post. Except for Twitter, where you can post much more frequently, overloading your Facebook followers with endless job posts will likely result in “un-likes,” “un-follows,” and people clicking the “hide all news from…” button.

Try to keep your posts varied, relevant, interesting, and no closer in frequency than three hours.

Gone are the days when you could post something and count on it appearing on the walls of at least a third of your followers.

Nowadays, the only way you can accomplish this is to pay Facebook for the privilege. You didn’t expect them to stay in business forever by offering their platform for free, did you?

The truth is, once you have a solid follower base, paid Facebook targeted advertising, if done well, can deliver a solid ROI.

While you may have a broad company-page covering multiple locations on the first three, each brand should have its own Google+ page. This will overlap and also be an integral part of your SEO strategy. Google, after all, loves Google!

There’s much more to marketing your staffing firm on the Internet, of course, but this at least provides the framework for a good start.