Recruiters cannot be competitive without a good email system. Outlook is a good email system but forget it if you think it is good enough for you to compete as a recruiter for candidates and job orders. Recruiters demand a lot from an email system. Gopher pay’s pretty good attention to notes on applicants and clients and that was really important 5 years ago. However, email and the internet has made email activity more important than the manually entered note of a single recruiter. When a recruiter searches the database for applicants or clients they are reviewing the activity of each individual or company. The content of incoming and out going emails may be more important than the notes entered by an individual recruiter. So, a recruiting system has a problem. How can it capture all the content between recruiters and their clients and applicants so that all the recruiters and management can see the total activity? Solving this problem can be a disaster for the recruiting database if we as developers are not careful. The most troublesome solution would be to attach or embed the email system directly into the recruiting database. Can you imagine the power and resources it would take to keep a 10 person recruiting database going when it also included all their emails, regardless of how good the spam filters were! Oh yes, some might see it works, but as an old recruiter actually using something like this I would say forget it! Give me a roll of quarters and a phone book. J Another impractical solution would be to embed a custom email solution into the recruiting database and not allow any other email methods except through the recruiting database. I say impractical because the system would breed discontent among the recruiters on a daily basis, comparing it to MS Outlook and all that it is capable of. Let’s face it, a recruiting database developer could put 10 of they very best programmers working for 5 years on an email system and still could not come close to the functionality of MS Outlook. More importantly, they could never achieve the acceptance of their system over the common mindset of the PC user that MS Outlook has achieved. If it does not work like MS Outlook then something must be wrong or “it’s not intuitive”. A third solution would be to provide keys in the recruiting database to the email system of each recruiter. Under this method when a recruiter brings up information on an applicant or client there would be an email control that would either retrieve all the “IN” and “OUT” boxes of all of the recruiters’ email applications. As you could guess, this would be very slow, especially with MS Outlook. MS Outlook is by far the most common email system in use today by recruiters. The recruiting database would have to keep track of each recruiter’s own personal email system for email addresses to the database. Even with Microsoft Exchange this would be almost impossible to keep the database responsive enough for recruiters who are always up against the desire for a very fast response time to their needs. A fourth solution getting closer to success would be to bring in all the “IN” and “OUT” emails for applicants and clients to the recruiting database and leave the individual recruiter email systems intact. This method requires a conversation between the independent email system and the recruiting system that tells each what the other is doing. It would be tricky but doable. This method still needs to solve three issues that would bring down any recruiting system if they were ignored. The first issue is all the back and forth replies you see in MS Outlook. Each reply gets longer and more redundant from previous replies. The recruiting database does not need to see the redundancy. It needs only the whole conversation once. If it did carry the conversation like MS Outlook the recruiting database would get very big and slow very fast. The second issue is the question of the email marketing of the recruiting database. Can you imagine the size of the recruiting database if it kept a copy of each email blast to 5,000 people? Not to mention the danger of getting blacklisted. This is a whole other area when working with email within a recruiting system. The third issue is how to handle all the attachments to those emails! In summary, I think the fourth solution is best but the recruiting software must solve the three issues. I think Gopher has a pretty good solution to those three issues.