What are the HR tools or HR software?
HR software is a software program or tool designed to automate, streamline and improve human resources operations and processes.
HR software is known as:
- HR tools
- HR platform
- HR software program
- HR information system
- HR management system
- Software application for human resources
The benefits of using HR software and HR tools
In order to function optimally, Human Resources departments must have the right tools. The time of managing human resources processes and operations with the help of spreadsheets, documents and post-its is long gone.
Today’s technology offers a great variety of different HR software which can automate, streamline and improve HR operations and processes.
There are vast benefits of implementing HR software in HR management, but here are the 6 main ones. HR software tools can help you:
HR software benefit #1: Improved productivity
If there’s one thing that most HR professionals hate, it’s paperwork. Most HR professionals are drowning in forms, papers and reports. HR software can digitalize all your paperwork, making it easy to search, update and available to every member of your HR team anytime, from anywhere.
HR software benefit #2: Saved time
HR software can streamline and automate a huge number of HR functions. Automating HR operations will drastically reduce the time required to complete them. With HR tools, tasks that previously required many hours of work can now be executed very quickly and easily – or sometimes even done automatically.
HR software benefit #3: Reduced errors
Since many HR tasks are highly regulated (just think GDPR!), even a minor error on the part of a human resources employee could result in considerable legal issues and even financial loss for the company. The use of HR software helps keep everything working properly and reduces the amount of human error and related risks to a bare minimum.
HR software benefit #4: Improved decision making
HR professionals need reliable data to make better and more informed decisions and improve their productivity and success. That means you have to store and analyze huge amounts of employee data, measure the most important metrics and generate informative reports. With HR software, you can quickly and easily create professional reports on metrics and perform complex analysis in order to improve your decision-making process.
HR software benefit #5: Improved communication
HR software can improve communication and collaboration between teammates of your HR team or department, between different HR teams (for example, between your HR department and HR management and seniors) and of your HR team with external associates (recruiters for example). When needed, HR software also allows direct two-way communication of the HR department with employees and candidates which improves the candidate experience.
HR software benefit #6: Saved money
The use of HR software can lead to substantial cost savings in many different ways - from saving numerous hours of manpower each week to improving your business decision making based on data analytics to reduce the chance of human, legal and accounting errors which can cost you money. Using the right HR tool can give you an enormous advantage compared to your competitors.
HR software benefit #7: Improved the quality of hire
Hiring HR software can significantly improve the quality of new hires. In addition, a better quality of new hire has a direct influence on employee satisfaction and retention.
Different types of HR software
Today, there are many different variations and types of HR software.
Some HR software is highly specialized in specific HR area of interest. There are also more integrated versions of HR software which offer solutions for a combination of a few different HR operations and processes.
HR software can be grouped into 3 main HR software types regarding the aspect of HR functions they manage:
- HR software Type #1: Recruiting HR software
- HR software Type #2: Administrative HR software
- HR software Type #3: Human capital management HR software.
HR software Type #1: Recruiting HR software
Recruiting HR software is an HR tool designed to improve and streamline the hiring process. Recruiting HR tools can help you with sourcing, attracting, testing and selecting candidates.
HR software Type #2: Administrative HR software
Administrative (or core) HR software is an HR tool designed to manage day to day HR administrative needs. Administrative HR tools help you manage basic employee information, attendance records, benefits and compensation, payroll etc.
HR software Type #3: Human capital management HR software
Human capital management HR software is an HR tool designed to ensure that a company is efficiently using, managing and developing its talent. This type of HR tools can help you manage onboarding, employee performance reviews and education.
Of course, different aspects of HR functions often overlap. Consequently, there are HR software for individual functions in each category, while there are also HR tools who combine a few related HR functions in or even between categories.
Buying an HR software: Which HR tool to choose?
Get our guide for buying a recruitment tool!
Since there are really numerous different HR software on the market, you might be overwhelmed by choice and stuck trying to figure out which one to choose.
Not every HR software is the same. Moreover, the same types of HR software differ in their features and capabilities.
Even though there are many different things to consider when buying HR software, there is a proven strategy that helps in making the best decision.
The crucial step is to clearly define your own HR goals and challenges. These can be things such as finding and hiring the best candidates, evaluating your employee's performance, automating your HR administrative processes (personnel tracking and payroll) or any other HR goal you may have.
To help you get started, we created a detailed list of best HR software by type and subtypes. Hopefully, this list will help you comprehend all the different aspects and solutions HR software can provide so you can identify the one that best suits your needs.
List of best HR software by type
This list of best HR software by type and subtype will help you comprehend solutions HR software can provide for most common HR challenges.
Every type of HR software refers to the certain aspect of HR functions (recruiting, administration and human capital management), and each HR software subtype offers a solution for a certain HR problem or a task. We also included a few examples of the best HR software in a certain category.
HR software type #1: Recruiting HR software
Recruiting HR software is an HR tool designed to improve and streamline hiring process. Recruiting tools can help you with sourcing, attracting, testing and selecting candidates.
Most common specialized recruiting software tools are:
1. Recruitment Marketing tools
Why use this HR software programs: Do you want to strengthen your employer brand? Are you struggling with social recruiting and reaching Millenials on Facebook? Wouldn’t it be nice to get more job applicants from your career site?
Best HR software: Since Recruitment Marketing is a relatively new discipline, there is still not a lot of RM software out there. Make sure to check out our very own TalentLyft Recruitment marketing platform and the detailed list of solutions Recruitment Marketing software can offer.
2. Candidate Sourcing tools
Why use this HR software programs: Are you struggling to find the right job candidates? Do you need a way to proactively find passive candidates?
3. Email Finders
Why use this HR software programs: You found your perfect candidate persona, but you can’t find this candidate’s contact? Their email address is nowhere to be found? Don’t worry - that’s why email finders tools are here!
4. Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
Why use this HR software programs: To automatically screen application forms and eliminate candidates who are not qualified. To find high-quality applicants from previous job openings with just one click. To post jobs to multiple job boards with one click.
To send automated emails with interview appointments and other personalized recruiting email templates...and many more! Check out the detailed list of solutions offered by applicant tracking systems.
Best HR software: TalentLyft Applicant Tracking System
5. Employee referrals tools
Why use this HR software programs: Are you struggling to find, hire and retain high-quality candidates? Do you want to improve time, cost and quality of hire? Do you have structured programs which enable you to maximize the use of your current employees in finding the best candidates?
6. Candidate Assessment and Testing tools
Why use this HR software programs: Would you like to check how well your top candidates will perform on the job before you hire them? Do you want to test and compare your top candidates’ skills and knowledge? Do you want to gamify your testing process to improve your candidate experience?
7. Video Interviewing platforms
Why use this HR software: To eliminate unnecessary travel costs. Because you can review the unrehearsed and unrevised responses from your candidates. To ensure objective, bias-free selection based on collaborative candidate assessment.
8. Background Checks tools
Why use this HR software programs: When it is necessary to assess candidates’ criminal records for making an effective employment decision. When you need a verification of candidates’ education credentials, prior employment and/or references.
Integrated Recruiting HR software
There are also all-in-one Recruiting HR software tools which combine most of the above mentioned specialized functions.
Our TalentLyft recruiting software is one of them. TalentLyft offers easy to use Recruitment Marketing and Applicant Tracking System tool to help you find, attract and hire best candidates.
TalentLyft Source helps you find and reach best candidates, TalentLyft Engage makes it easy to build relationships with them and TalentLyft Convert encourages them to apply. Finally, TalentLyft Track offers the possibility to monitor your whole recruiting process in one place and provides invaluable analysis, metrics and reports.
As you can see by listed examples above, solutions offered by recruiting software tools are numerous so choosing one is not an easy task. Remember, the very first, and most important step, is to identify your recruiting goals and challenges before buying a recruiting software.
HR software type #2: Administrative HR software
Administrative (or core) HR software are HR tools designed to manage day to day HR administrative needs. Administrative HR tools help you manage basic employee information, attendance records, benefits and compensation, payroll etc.
Most common specialized administrative software tools are:
1. Personnel (time and attendance) tracking software
Why use this HR software programs: To keep track of time card and office location information of employees. If you need GPS employee tracking options. To automatically track overtime, vacation, sick days and holidays, run detailed reports and store employee records.
2. Payroll software
Why use this HR software programs: To establish your own payroll schedules. To automatically calculate withholdings or deductions, process direct deposits, void payments and generate tax forms and other reports. To reduce cycle times and manual errors to the bare minimum.
3. Benefits software
Why use this HR software programs: Would you like to offer personalized benefits plans that fit your employees wants and needs? How about having a consolidated benefits platform for wellness programming, pre-tax benefits administration and employee rewards and recognition?
4. Employee scheduling software
Why use this HR software programs: To help you if you are struggling to put the right workers into the right shifts in the right locations so that employees are happy and labor costs don't overrun sales. To make it easy for your employees to swap shifts To automate sending notifications, texts and emails to your employees to let them know about shift changes.
Integrated Administrative HR software
There are also all-in-one Administrative HR software tools which combine most of the above mentioned specialized functions.
Type #3: Human capital management HR software
Human capital management software is an HR tool designed to ensure that a company is efficiently using, managing and developing its talent. These HR tools can help you manage onboarding, employee performance reviews and education of your employees.
Most common specialized human capital management software tools are:
1. Onboarding software
Why use this HR software programs: If you want to engage your new employees and aid retention with fully customizable welcome programs. To welcome new hires with a customized portal that includes messaging, videos, content, and documents specifically for them.
2. Employee performance software
Why use this HR software programs: To build a culture of feedback - in an easy, automatized and fun way! To make smart, data-driven decisions based on effective employee evaluations. To lift office morale and create a better work culture by easily giving your employees some well deserved praise.
3. Employee engagement software
Why use this HR software programs: To automatically collect employee feedback, analyze it and gain valuable insights you need to improve your business. To drive employee engagement through recognition. To get customized, actionable and easy-to-implement tips on how to create a better workplace.
4. Employee monitoring and productivity software
Why use this software programs: To track the performance and productivity of your employees and as a means of security.
Best HR software: ActivTrak
5. Learning management software
Why use this HR software programs: To automatize administering, regulating, tracking and delivering learning of your employees. To reduce training costs. To capture and share essential work knowledge that helps your team succeed. To deliver personalized, engaging education. To tie and trigger learning to actual performance by gamifying learning.
6. Offboarding software
Why use this HR software programs: To give your employees a fair, organized departure when it's time to say goodbye. To automatically generate final pay summaries, certificates of service and other required documents.
Best HR software: Offboarding by HR Onboard.
Integrated Human capital management HR software
There are also all-in-one Human capital management HR software tools which combine most of the above mentioned specialized functions.
For example, check out Cognology, a software tool which offers integrated Human capital management HR services: onboarding, performance and learning software.
Looking for more articles about the best HR software and HR tools?
Here are some more of our most popular blog posts about HR tools and HR software:
- Top 5 Employee Onboarding Tools
- Top 5 Tools Every HR Director Should Know About
- 60 Benefits of a Recruitment Software
- What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?
- What is the Recruitment Marketing Software?
- How to Find Someone’s Email Address: List of Best Email Finders
- Which Recruiting Tool Should I Buy? Recruitment Marketing or ATS?