What is Human Resources Software?
Human resources software are digital solutions that help organizations perform any type of human resource (HR) management activities. For instance, software products in this category may assist in the task of advertising job postings, screening applicants, conducting job interviews, hiring and training new employees, managing payroll and administering employee-benefit programs.
With the right HR software on their side, organizations of all sizes can save money, increase productivity, monitor employee performance, measure ROI, make informed decisions, improve collaboration and foster a sense of team spirit.
This software category features a wide variety of tools, with different tools focused on different aspects of human resource management. As such, companies across industries with different HR goals should not have a problem finding a suitable software product for their HR department.
Most Popular Human Resources Categories
Key Considerations When Choosing Human Resources Software
Which HR software you should choose depends on a number of company-specific factors, including the size of your workforce, your HR strategy, work process, growth rate and reporting requirements. For instance, if your company is set to grow fast, you need a highly scalable product. Some other factors to consider include whether the software seamlessly integrates with other applications, its mobility and data protection features.
Typically, any human resources software features the ability to collect and analyze employee data, preserve personnel records, produce and organize company documents, generate payroll reports and keep track of attendance records. However, some products come with some additional features, which make them more suitable for certain HR activities, such as applicant tracking, workforce management, employee training, HR scheduling and performance & appraisal management.
Software products for workforce management, for instance, help HR managers set goals and priorities for employees, generate employee progress reports and also aid in leave management, time management and forecasting of staff requirements. On the other hand, software products for performance & appraisal management often feature the ability to automate employee performance data and appraisal form filling. Some products help train employees by allowing them to take notes and view slides online, while others allow for online onboarding with electronic signatures.
Subcategories of Human Resources Software
- Absence & Leave Management: Products in this category provide a self-service absence and leave management solution to both employees and supervisors in an organization. While employees can use the system to request leave for vacation, sickness or any other reasons; supervisors can view and either approve or reject a leave request based on company policies. Other common features include the ability to attach supporting documents with leave requests, the ability to automate shift management and the ability to generate reports on absence trends. The right software helps organizations reduce administrative burdens, enforce effective leave policies and make informed absence management decisions.
- Applicant Tracking (ATS): Applicant tracking software aims to make the recruitment process less hassling for employers. You can use ATS software to post new jobs online, screen applicants on the basis of educational qualification, skill levels, years of experience and other keywords, schedule interviews and send notifications to successful candidates. More advanced features include automated resume ranking, individual applicant tracking, social media integration and the ability to automatically set pre-screening questions.
- Attendance Tracking & Time Clock: Tracking workplace attendance is a crucial part of human resource management. Cloud-based attendance tracking systems make the job easy for organizations by helping them automate attendance tracking, shift management and employee scheduling. On the other hand, time clock software helps users record hours spent on a particular task. Time clock software products are also used by freelancers and professionals who bill on an hourly basis. Employers often use these products to keep track of employee schedules, generate reports on absence and check for any misuse of company time. Other features to consider include the ability to log time on multiple devices from multiple locations and the ability track tasks in real time.
- Benefits Management: In order to improve employee retention and comply with worker’s compensation rules, most employers offer different types of employee benefit plans, including, life insurance, health insurance, pension and paid vacations. Software products for benefits management give them the tools to set up and administer all types of employee benefit plans. The key features of benefits management software include billing and self service, the ability to manage auto enrollment, the ability to view and manage employee benefits data from a centralized platform, reporting capability and the ability to integrate with other applications. Most products offer a self-service solution that enables users to enroll in a plan, track benefits, update contact data and manage life events from a single dashboard.
- Employee Wellness: Employee wellness software assists organizations in running, managing and monitoring employee wellness programs. These aim to reduce stress, office-related injuries and sick days and promote the overall well-being of the workforce. This can mean offering financial incentives for employees to engage in sports activities or offering recreational services and health check-ups. With increasing staff numbers and complexity of these programs, software is needed to help HR staff to efficiently manage, monitor and promote activities aimed at achieving a healthy, motivated and active workforce. Key features of employee wellness software include tracking of KPIs and employee records, conducting risk assessments, assembling workforce dashboards and keeping track of expense records.
- HR Scheduling: This group of software assists in the task of creating and managing complex employee schedules. That way, HR scheduling software helps save time and money on scheduling, reduce paperwork and manual errors, increase productivity and handle last-minute absenteeism. These products work by automating schedule management, collecting and sharing scheduling data, allowing employees to set availability and communicate with each other through pings and the message wall. More advanced features include vacation tracking, leave management, the ability to identify and alert schedule conflicts, the ability to handle overtime and incentive pay, the ability to assign shifts to remote workers and the ability to find the right employee for the right task on the basis of experience, skills, labor cost and availability.
- Human Resources (HR): Human resources software combines a multitude of HR functions into a single application. These functions may include applicant tracking, attendance tracking, payroll management, leave management and benefits management. Basic-level HR software helps automate most of an HR manager’s data entry and data processing tasks, allowing them to spend more time with employees. More advanced products usually come with a range reporting and analytics features, such as, the ability to forecast hiring requirements, onboard and train employees online, conduct performance reviews and generate reports on absence trends. Key considerations when choosing HR software include scalability, mobility, accessibility and integration capability.
- Payroll Management: Products in this category helps simplify the process of paying an organization’s employees for the work they have completed. Typically, payroll management software assists in the task of tracking work hours, calculating salary, allowances and withholdings, generating pay slips and paying taxes to the concerned authority. Other important features to consider include security standards and reporting functionality. Both SMEs and large corporations can use these products to save time on payroll management, reduce costly manual errors, get easy access to payroll data and automate complex tax calculations. Most products are automatically updated to incorporate the latest tax rules and remind the user when to file taxes.
- Performance & Appraisal: Software in this category monitors and analyzes performance of an organization’s employees on an ongoing basis, with a goal to help improve employee efficiency and workplace productivity. Conducting performance reviews helps HR managers identify and reward the top performers and provide feedback to other employees. Some products even allow you to set performance goals, track progress on the goals and automatically tie compensation to good performance. The key features of performance & appraisal software include the ability to conduct surveys on employee satisfaction and employee engagement, to collect and share 360 degree feedback, to align employee and organizational goals and to create and implement an effective pay-for-performance compensation strategy.
- Recruiting & Applications: These products aim to provide an end-to-end solution to recruitment management, right from inviting, screening and assessing applications to interviewing and hiring new employees. Most of the products in the recruiting & applications category typically feature the ability to automatically advertise open positions to popular job boards, while some even allow you to post job listings to niche, industry-specific job sites. Other common features include collecting and organizing applicant data, creating pre-screening questions, evaluating and ranking applicants on the basis of skills, years of experience and educational qualification, scheduling interviews, sending automated notifications, reminders, alerts and follow-ups to candidates, creating a talent pool for future use and sharing applicant data with colleagues.
- Recruitment Testing: Employers often use this type of software to test an applicant’s skills, knowledge, ‘hidden’ personality traits and cognitive abilities, in an attempt to foresee whether the candidate is suitable for the role they are interviewing for. Psychometric testing software, for example, often features the ability to analyze company performance data and recommend what type of personality is the right fit for the organization. Key features include the ability to develop questionnaires and data checking, numerical reasoning, verbal and spatial reasoning tests and the ability to conduct tests and generate reports with graphs, charts and tables.
- Training and Onboarding: Corporate training plays a major role in helping employees adapt to today’s fast-moving business environment. Employee training software helps provide training online and makes training management easier and more cost effective for organizations. These products usually feature the ability to create a custom course for employees, conduct interactive training sessions and also allow attendees to take notes, ask questions, upload videos and access training materials online. More advanced features include the ability to assign a course to specific users and to deliver training across different geographies. On the other hand, onboarding software helps onboard new employees online. Key features include the ability to create and use onboarding forms and e-signatures and to automatically send greetings, assign tasks and send reminders to new employees.
- Video Interview: This group of software is designed to help recruiters conduct job interviews remotely with the use of video technology. Video interviews are mostly conducted in real time as an alternative to face-to-face interviews. However, some employers also use recorded interviews to pre-screen applicants. Software products in this category often come with more than just video recording features. For instance, some products allow you to announce open positions, collect and organize applicant data and rank candidates on the basis of skills and experience. The right video interview software helps organizations speed up hiring and allow multiple interviewers to interact with a candidate from different locations.
- Workforce Management: Products in this category help organizations maintain a productive workforce by assigning the right task to the right employee at the right time. You can use these products to handle overstaffing and understaffing issues, keep track of attendance and work hours, provide feedback and training to employees, manage employee scheduling and to predict extra workload, additional staff requirements, or any possible work schedule conflicts. Other aspects of workforce management software include benefits administration, talent management, time management, expense management, performance monitoring and the ability to comply with labor laws.
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