"Since we installed the system 6 years ago,
we have increased sales by over 400%."
Tom Geolat, NextGen Information Services

Analysis of ATS and CRM systems and comparing it to Force One Staffing
The ideal system should be able to give you an advantage over your competitors. Today, because of the tight market condition, strong competition and fast moving/changing environments, you need a system that have "built-in" processes that will enable you to faster find, contact, place candidates and maintain relationships with both clients and candidates, yet be flexible to the different ways your offices conduct business.

In order to do that, it is not enough to have a "tracking" system that collects data and allow for searches of the collected data. You need to have a system that can be (in no particular order):

Very easy to use (intuitive),
Easy to maintain (IS/IT production), self maintained/updated,
Build on robust, common tools, standards and technology,
Able to securely communicate with the data base via the internet,
Supports large number of concurrent users,
Support for large data base,
Interface to Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook) Mail Merge, e-mail
Real time interface to scheduling and task management (Microsoft Outlook)
Tight yet flexible security,
Extensive activity logging capabilities,
Ability to react quickly to market changes (customizing the system),
Company and personal setting,
Provide management and operational reports,
Reduce and possible totally remove paper work from the process,
Multiple views of the same data,
Be a "hub" and a resource for recruiting and selling activities,
Interface with Internet Job Boards utilizing standards such as HR-XML,
Data protection "from within" and outside.

A short discussion of each of the above bullets is following:

Fast: a large staffing organization may have over hundreds of thousands of candidates in its data base. However, for many local markets you need to have very fast access to the 10-30 thousands candidates that are local to that market. In addition, you need the system to be very fast in querying such a large data base and be able to deliver the results to the user's desktop via the Intranet or Internet very quickly.
Very easy to use (intuitive): many users on the selling and recruiting staff are not technical and need to have a simple easy to use system. They need to have the ability to navigate the system very quickly when they have a client or a candidate on the phone. The system should be able to be mastered by staff person within one day.
Easy to maintain (IS/IT production), self maintained/updated: Today's technologies allow for software to be self updated when revisions take place. That reduce and often eliminate the time the IT/IS department spends in maintaining the software and reduce the distribution cost.
Build on robust and common tools & standard: The software should be built with tools that will be available and maintained for the long run as oppose to tools made by companies that their market place is not secure. This will also allow the software to be upgrades as new operating systems and other tools appear on the market. Your data base will grow over time and the software must be able to scale up to even larger data base.
Able to securely communicate with the data base via the internet: This requirement will allow employees to access the software from where ever they are, including work from home and while on travel.
Supports large number of concurrent users: The ability for the software to support large number of concurrent users with a timely response time and have the ability to grow with the company.
Support for large data base: You need to have a flexible data base that will allow you to add thousand of new candidates every year, yet performance should not deteriorate as you add records to the data base.
Interface to Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word and Outlook Mail), Mail Merge: a must have in order to maintain our relationships with our clients and our candidates.
Interface to scheduling and task management (Microsoft Outlook): The system should have the ability to create the tasks for the users. At the same time, it should have the ability to interface these tasks into Outlook for those users who may synchronize their activities with a smart phone, a Blackberry or a PDA.
Tight security: Since the information in the data base is a tremendous asset to the organization, we must make sure that only authorize personal can get to it and more important, to minimize the risk of the data leaving the organization. At the same time, the system security should be flexible in granting users the appropriate rights to maximize their use of the system.
Extensive logging capabilities: Activities within the system must be logged and reported. It will also provide us with a great management tools as to how the system is being used, where it should be optimized and how we can improve on our processes.
Ability to react quickly to market changes (customizing the system): just a few years ago, the internet was not used as it is today for recruiting. In 5 years from now, what will be next tool/platform? We must have the ability to react quickly to the ever changing market conditions. This also includes the ability to add new skills and categories to the system as these needs are constantly changing.
Company and personal setting: you should be able to have the system personalized for each user yet; we must maintain certain corporate standardization that is unique for each company.
Provide management and operational reports: As managers, you track and evaluate the activities and performance of your selling and recruiting staff. You must have an automated way that as activities are created in the system, they will be reported in a meaningful way so management can be pro-active in fine tuning their staff.
Reduce and possible totally remove paper work from the process: Paper slows you down. Every time you print a paper you end up referring back to it electronically. The system should provide us with the ability to link and move between all the areas of the system without the need to reference a piece of paper that was printed from the system.
Multiple views of the same data: this is a key feature of the system that will make you much more productive. Examples are for the sales person to see all his open job order with all the candidates submitted to it in order of submitted date. Or for a recruiter to see all the candidates they have in progress and to which requirements they were submitted and their status on the job order. It is also important to have the ability to filter and customize these views to increase our productivity.
Be a "hub" and a resource for recruiting and selling activities: the system should have links to everything the recruiter or sales staff need to complete their job. Example, company policies, benefits, employment contracts, engagement contracts, etc.
Interface with Internet Job Boards: The system should have the ability to post jobs on corporate internet and job boards such as Monster and Dice. Most systems utilize the HR-XML format.
Data protection "from within": this feature will protect us from an employee who is leaving the organization and want to wipe off the data base, destroy/modify valuable information or still the data or take the data with them.