Human Resources (HR) Software

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.  Read the full software guide...


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What is Human Resources (HR) Software?

Human resources software is designed to facilitate the employee management process for managers and HR personnel. Human resource software can be used by businesses aiming to boost workforce productivity and overall satisfaction. The software integrates tasks such as time scheduling, workforce management and payroll mechanics into one intuitive platform.

Human resources (HR) software is equipped with the tools and functions to help management, as well as employees, perform at their full potential. It is used by small, medium and large businesses across multiple industries to boost workforce productivity, improve employee satisfaction and streamline various aspects of their HR processes.

The most comprehensive solutions available are capable of integrating a variety of core HR functions and responsibilities, including applicant tracking and recruiting, payroll management, workforce management, shift scheduling, time-off requests, employee onboarding and human capital management into one platform.

In addition to core features and functions, HR software solutions also help businesses and organizations manage vital employee data related to personnel contact information, pay and benefits, paid time off (PTO), attendance, contract details and training for new hires.

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Types of Human Resource Software

There are different types of human resources software, all of which are capable of performing a wide variety of HR-related tasks. Some HR management software platforms are quite comprehensive and can assist with all functions of human resources management. There are also HR software solutions that are more specialized which can provide the relevant features that a business can utilize the most.

This type of software can be used in two different ways; either locally hosted on existing infrastructure or deployed as a cloud-based service. Most providers of this software will offer a subscription-based service, often known as a SaaS solution, with different price tiers ranging in features and sizes available for businesses to choose from.

It allows employees to access their own personal information, submit time-off requests and make changes to their profiles and shift schedules through the self-service function. As the solution is hosted on the service provider’s cloud service, all you need is an internet-capable device and a stable connection to access the platform via a web browser or mobile device.

The best part about cloud-based DMS solutions is that you don’t need to download or install any software to use it. You also don’t have to worry about system updates or maintenance procedures since they are all handled by the service provider.

Client server-based or premise-based HR software is normally more robust and faster when compared to the other options available on this list. This is mainly because client server-based software is installed on-premise and the documents are stored locally in the client’s server.

On-premise HR software solutions are individually installed in company computers and operate within the organization’s local network and servers. While premise-based HR solutions are inherently more secure, many businesses find this deployment method difficult to manage and maintain due to ongoing maintenance and infrastructure.

There are three main types of HR software categorized by their functionality: core HR, workforce management and strategic HR. When comparing the different types of human resources software, it is crucial to identify and understand the functionality incorporated in each of them. This will help with future decisions as to which type of system or capacity is the best choice for your company’s HR management needs.

Core HR

Core HR consists of three basic HR management functions. These are personnel management/tracking, benefits administration and payroll.

Personnel management

Personnel management tracking collects and centralizes all employee data, including contact details, social security, job history, salary rates, banking information, benefits and insurance policies. With this feature, managers and HR may attach additional documents to personnel profiles, manage reports and access crucial information of their entire workforce via the top-down view function.

Benefits management

Benefits management refers to employee benefits administrations and processing. This feature enables HR departments to process and manage a variety of employee benefits, including paid time off requests, medical and life insurance policies, hazard pay, paid vacations, 401(k) participation and much more. It also provides information on ACA compliance and other necessary paperwork and reports related to risk management and regulatory compliance.

Payroll management

Payroll management helps you to track employee salaries, bonuses, overtime pay, 401(k) contributions, medical and/or life insurance deductions and cut paychecks. The feature also allows you to properly calculate withholding for taxes, set the appropriate pay schedule, input accurate worked hours, manage wage rates and automate HR payroll processing.

A lot of human resources software with payroll management solutions let you print paychecks or conduct direct deposits to individual employee accounts. They also enable you to generate vital tax forms, i.e. your W2s and your 1099s.

Workforce management

Workforce management is another category of HR software. As a human capital management (HCM) solution, this type of HR solution encompasses various applications designed to help you manage employees in a more convenient and effective way. This HR software category offers two main features, which are time and attendance tracking and employee scheduling, although these HR solutions do normally integrate with third-party payroll systems.

Time and attendance tracking is a feature that enables managers and HR to keep track of employee attendance and absences. It also lets employees clock in and out, allowing the system to keep accurate records of individual employees’ worked hours. Employee scheduling provides employers and managers the ability to schedule work hours, shifts and attendance for the entire workforce.

The tools normally included in this particular feature are capable of scheduling multiple employees across departments, projects and locations. They also send alerts and notifications to employees whenever their shift schedules are changed and if staffing levels are short or inadequate.

Strategic HR

The strategic HR category involves applications and solutions designed to support long-term business goals and succession planning. This includes attracting sought-after professionals, retaining talent and developing existing employees for future succession and promotion. The tools and features that come with this type of HR management software often provide important functions, such as applicant tracking and recruiting, employee performance evaluation and learning management.

Employee evaluation, also referred to as performance management or performance review software, provides a centralized solution for managers and HR, allowing them to properly conduct reviews on, and keep track of, individual staff performance. The module also allows for goal management, performance measuring and tracking.

Applicant tracking system

The applicant tracking system (ATS) is a function that provides you with a centralized database of prospects, essentially a repository for applicants with great potential. It allows recruiters to store applicant data and manage employment applications throughout the entire recruitment process. This module comes with features that enable you to monitor applicant status, track potential candidates and integrate with other HR management software solutions.

Employee development and learning management helps you effectively manage ongoing training and skills development of newly hired and existing employees. It facilitates online learning and employee skill programs for your organization. The module also automates the entire learning and development process, ensuring all employees will have easy access to and be able to complete all of the company’s skills development and learning programs.

Some of the core features of the learning and development module include content authoring and management, curriculum and certification definitions, as well as skills evaluation, testing and reporting.


How to Choose Human Resource Software

Human resources (HR) software systems are designed to make the management process of a diverse and growing workforce more efficient. This type of management software solution helps streamline and automate a number of key functions for HR departments, managers and businesses.

These solutions are ideal for businesses of all sizes, however, you need to consider the features that you require from the software, what business or industry specifics need to be considered, how it's being deployed and how scalable the software needs to be.

Consider your HR goals and objectives

When choosing a particular software for your business, you should consider what goals and objectives can be fulfilled by using HR software. You may need to use industry-specific software for your business needs or an all-in-one solution that covers every aspect of your HR needs.

When deciding on goals and objectives and how the HR software can help your business, factors such as current and potential growth, how the software can increase productivity and efficiency and what budget constraints are in place relative to the features that are required from the software.

Consider the deployment method

When choosing the product, you should choose software that incorporates the existing infrastructure and capabilities that you currently have in your business. As a small or medium-sized business, using a cloud-based solution can be more ideal as it will include all of the features that you need without going over budget using more advanced and unnecessary features.

A large business may need a best-in-breed solution, which can either be deployed via a cloud-based service or integrated on its existing infrastructure. These will include the advanced features needed to successfully manage a larger employee base and give greater control and flexibility over the platform.

If you operate in a specific or specialized industry, you may need to consider software with more specific features that are tailored to your niche and particular needs. This type of software includes benefits management, compensation and financial management, attendance and time administration and recruitment.

You may also need to find software designed for industries such as education, healthcare, construction or another industry where different, more relevant features are applicable.

Other specifications that should be included in your human resource software include security, mobile-friendly interfaces, user support, and maintenance. The software should secure sensitive information and data in the platform. Data should also be accessible on mobile platforms and should be backed by capable support teams for easier deployment within the company.

In addition, the software should have continuous support from its developers and be constantly maintained. Developers should have a constant stream of software updates. This ensures that the system will remain working and reliable. Also, keep in mind that top-tier software solutions typically have a dedicated tech support team.


Benefits of Using Human Resource Software

Modern human resource management systems have become more robust and are capable of providing a wide variety of tools and applications to help managers and HR personnel take on more tasks and responsibilities without sacrificing workflow efficiency.

Business owners, managers and HR departments can now effectively monitor and manage employees, while at the same time monitor the hiring process with applicant tracking tools. The following are some of the other benefits you can expect from your HR software solution:

Access to employee data

Business owners know that the more people you employ in your business, the harder it gets to keep track of all their personal information, i.e. shift schedules, salaries, job history, banking information, benefits, insurance and tax records. Human resources software allows users to easily store, manage and view a wide variety of information related to employees, performance evaluations, compliance status and more.

The software solution will serve as a central database for all relevant information related to HR. If you’ve opted for a cloud-based software system, you can easily access the data through a web browser or mobile device. Both employers and employees will have specific logins to gain access to the service.

Employee access to the platform gives them greater autonomy over their HR processes and ensures that your businesses HR practices remain transparent to everyone in your business.

Increased HR productivity

HR departments deal with multiple processes that involve a variety of administrative responsibilities, including the management of employee records, compliances and payroll. With conventional means, these HR processes can be tedious and time-consuming for everyone involved. Having an HR software solution can automate many of those processes without sacrificing the integrity of employee data and compliance information.

Additionally, HR software solutions can also help you manage payroll and other related processes from within the program itself, thus minimizing the risk of human error and discrepancies.

Enhanced data protection and compliance

Ensuring the security of sensitive employee data is one of the main concerns of HR management systems, especially with businesses having to be more vigilant with GDPR regulations.

For HR departments to be able to effectively manage employees, payroll and other core HR responsibilities, the HR software solution has to provide secure data access to users without sacrificing convenience and ease of use.

Best-in-class HR software solutions are able to provide secure data access and also allow you to monitor employee access and downloads of sensitive documents like bank statements, personnel profiles, contact information and social security details.

Most solutions offer reporting features that allow managers to report and analyze employee information from a huge pool of data and store company documents such as an employee handbook, guidelines and procedures in a centralized location.

Human resources software is designed to assist managers and HR personnel with automated functions and more effective management processes.

Human resources (HR) software is equipped with the tools and functions to help management, as well as employees, perform at their full potential. It can be used by businesses of all sizes across multiple industries to boost workforce productivity, improve employee satisfaction and streamline various aspects of their HR processes.


Common Features of Human Resources (HR)

2-Factor Authentication Adds an additional layer of security by requiring an extra step in the login process. Usually external devices are required for this or a text message with a verification code is sent to the user when trying to login.
360 Degree Feedback Gather and manage anonymous feedback for employees from co-workers and managers.
API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Attendance Tracking Track employee attendance and absence to keep on top of sick days and hours worked for payroll purposes.
Batch Permissions & Access Control user or group access and permission settings for software or other systems.
Budgeting Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Employee Database Manage and update employee records in a centralised database. Used to keep information about work entry, age, past roles and other employee details.
Employee Engagement Collect feedback from employees to recognize achievements, gather feedback and improve employee participation processes in the workplace.
Employee Incentive Management Manage and track incentive schemes for your employees to improve performance and loyalty / retention rate.
Employee Onboarding Streamlines the onboarding process for new employees in form of checklists, password and access management features, as well as other induction elements.
Expense Tracking Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Feedback Management Manage feedback through the use of surveys and similar elements issued to employees and/or customers to consolidate new ideas or track employee performance.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Payroll Manage employee payroll to keep track of taxes due to the government, pension schemes and payments to employees.
Project Management Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Timesheets Track employee attendance, sick days and hours worked for payroll purposes or billable hours for professional services.
Travel Management Manage travel plans and expenses for employees, prospects or potential recruits through a central environment.
Vacation Calendar Track employee holiday requests and absences for payroll, reporting or shift-planning purposes.

Latest User Reviews of Human Resources (HR) Products

HROne
Ashu Kashyap
05 Nov 2020
"Love it! Our company switched to this a fe..."

Submitting and managing attendance management requests is a breeze. It has made the entire hire to retire process flow very smooth.

ProProfs Training Maker
Yogita Mansukhani
09 Nov 2020
"by the far best too we've ever used"

proprofs is real saviour for us. it removed all the roadblock in corporate trAining by providing the bsdly needed support at every s...

BrightHR
Ryan Forde
13 Nov 2020
"Very user friendly interface and helpful s..."

Had a call with Hollie-High who ran me through the website and how the UI works, she was very friendly and helpful while showing me ...

ProProfs Training Maker
searchjournal engine
17 Nov 2020
"ProProfs accelerated student assessment"

I find it cool. As a teacher, it is very important for me to know my students’ comprehension of what I teach them. The quizzes help ...


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