29 HR Tools every HR Professional Should Know About
HR tools come in many different shapes and sizes. But since it can be hard to keep track of every human resource tool that pops up, we’ve decided to do the nitty-gritty stuff for you. In this article, we’ve listed 29 HR tools every HR professional should know about.
Talent and people management
When it comes to HR tools, the recruitment space is probably where you’ll find the vast majority of them. To get you started, we’ll discuss 5 different types of recruitment tools:
- Sourcing tools
- Tools to optimize your job adverts
- Pre-employment assessments
- Onboarding tools
Manual sourcing, i.e. searching, selecting and updating relevant job boards, platforms, and social channels is no longer needed. Programmatic job advertising, discussed in our recent article about recruiting strategies, has made this a thing of the past.
Programmatic tools for HR enable recruiters and hiring managers to send the right message to the right candidate, at the right time – and via the right sourcing channel.
A small selection of programmatic job advertising vendors:
Recruitment tools to get the most out of your job ads
We’ve said this before, but the way you phrase your job adverts and the words you use in them can appeal to – or turn off – certain types of candidates.
AI-powered writing tools analyze relevant language patterns to detect why some job ads are a big hit while others fail. The more text the technology analyzes, the more accurate its predictions will become.
A few vendors in the augmented writing space:
Gender Decoder for Job Ads
Preselecting candidates, especially when you’ve got (hundreds of) thousands of them, can be a time-consuming business.
The use of a candidate preselection tool can considerably improve recruitment metrics such as time to hire and quality of hire. There’s a wide variety of these pre-employment assessment tools available, some focussing on specific (tech) skills, others on culture fit and personality, and others on all of these elements combined.
The technology gathers candidate data and uses it to predict the likelihood of an applicant succeeding in the role they apply for. As such, recruiters and hiring managers can use this data to support them in their hiring decisions.
Some of the vendors in this space:
To get an idea about what a pre-employment assessment can look like, check out the below video.
To help you save time and make sure you create a well-structured onboarding program, you can use an onboarding tool. The technology can take care of everything from the moment a candidate signs their employment contract to their first day: the necessary paperwork, (virtual) office tours and introductions to future colleagues, you name it.
A few (self) onboarding software companies:
Trello (not an actual onboarding tool, but a good way to get structure in your onboarding program if you’ve got little budget)
Talent and People Management
Recruitment is one thing, but what about other key functions of HR such as performance management, learning and development, and administrative responsibilities for instance? Of course, there are solutions for each of these functions too. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Talent Management Systems
A talent management system is an integrated software solution that covers the full scope of talent management, namely: recruitment and employee onboarding, performance management, learning and development, compensation management and succession planning.
Talent management systems usually consist of various modules. Each module represents a particular area of HR. You’ll find for instance a recruitment module, a performance management module, a module devoted to learning management systems, a compensation and benefits module, and so on.
The number one reason to use a talent management system is to automate and optimize the entire package of talent management processes within your organization.
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Especially for mid-and large size organizations, it quickly becomes impossible to manually keep track of each employee and their respective status and situation. A talent management system enables HR to track and manage the recruitment, development, and performance of employees and candidates.
In the below video, we explain the Talent Management System in a nutshell.
Vendors in this space include:
The Human Resources Information System, or HRIS, is the most used software in HR. In most cases, an HRIS encompasses the basic functionalities needed for end-to-end Human Resources Management (HRM). It has a system for, among other things, time and attendance, payroll and benefits, recruitment, performance management, learning & development, and more.
‘Then what is the difference with a Talent Management System?’ we hear you ask. Talent management systems are about building an employee-centric solution to help companies and HR achieve their long-term business goals where traditional HRISs tend to focus more on transaction processing and administration.
Working with an HRIS has several benefits for the organization, HR, and the employee. Using an HRIS becomes interesting when you have between 30 to 50 employees. At this stage, managing basic information in Excel becomes cumbersome and simple procedures like approving employee holidays need to be standardized.
In this 4-minute Learning Bite we explain what an HRIS is
and what its main functionalities are.
Changing candidate and employee expectations, new ways of working, ever-changing employment laws… The landscape in which HR has to operate is constantly evolving. Not to mention the new HR tools and technology that keep popping up.
Continuous education has, therefore, become more important than ever. Especially if you’re an HR Generalist, there are quite a few (new) areas to keep an eye on. Luckily, there are also quite a few (new) ways to keep yourself informed, learn about the latest developments and become a smarter, more strategic HR professional. A few examples:
- Podcasts – HR podcasts are a great (and easy) way to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and industry news. Depending on the shows you listen to they can, for instance, be bite-sized, information-packed episodes of about 10 minutes or a longer format kind of interview with an industry expert talking about how they tackled a specific HR-related issue within their organization. Given the number of high-quality HR podcasts, anything in-between is possible too.
- Books – If you’re more of a reader than a listener, books are a fantastic option. We previously published a list of must-read HRM books that consist of both study books and more contemporary books. Whether you’re an experienced HR professional or just getting started in the HR field, each of these books will help you do your job better.
- Blogs – Of course, when you list podcasts and books as options to stay on top of the latest in the HR industry, you need to add HR blogs too. There is a wide variety of blogs, focusing on, among many other things, hiring and recruitment, employee wellbeing, legal issues, Digital HR, General HR or all of the above.
- Courses – Continuous education also means you’ll have to do an actual course every now and then. The good news is, there are some great online HR courses out there – both for beginners and seasoned professionals – you can do from the comfort of your home (or any other spot you prefer).
Not every organization has a dedicated Internal Communications (IC) person or team. As a result, it’s often HR who has to take care of this, on top of everything else. If you want to know more about implementing an internal communications strategy, you can read our article Internal Communications: 9 Best Practices for HR. If you’re simply looking for some handy tools you can use to keep your team connected and informed, then here goes:
- Slack – Slack initially started as a messenger tool for teams. Now, however, it has become a much-used application for teamwork, bringing messaging, tools, and files together in one place helping everyone in the company save time and collaborate.
- A weekly digest – In other words: a weekly email. Simple, yet effective; people announcements from HR, the latest deals that have been closed and fun, team-related news (like the marketing team that has run a semi-marathon for charity for instance).
- SnapComms – If you feel like a weekly email doesn’t cut it anymore (since no one seems to read it), there are solutions like SnapComms that make sure everyone gets the message HR wants to spread. Think for example of unmissable pop-up messages, full-screen emergency alerts across all devices, or interactive screensavers.
- Google Forms – Internal communications and feedback go hand in hand. If you want to create a quick survey, Google Forms can be a good option. It’s very user-friendly and free.
With so many topics on your HR plate, optimizing your personal productivity is key. In an article from our friend Tom Haak from the HR Trend Institute (10 Tech tools to use for HR Professionals), he lists several applications he uses to stay organized:
- Asana – You can use Asana simply to list your business and private to-do’s, but also for your agile project planning (if relevant) or as your core organizational system.
- Evernote – Interesting apps, interesting people to follow, recommended restaurants, ideas for blog posts, flight numbers… In Evernote, you can store all kinds of information you feel might be useful at some point. You can use it to make notes during meetings too. Evernote works both on mobile and on your desktop (capturing websites or screenshots) and has great search capabilities.
- Headspace – On a slightly different note, there are meditation apps like Headspace. It has been scientifically proven that regular meditation practice – for instance, every morning before you get to work – will increase your focus and tune out distractions which, in turn, leads to an increase in productivity.
Before you go
HR technology helps you work more efficiently, be more productive, and serve your employees and the organization better. Consider your needs when selecting HR tools, make a shortlist and start trialing your options. That way, you’re making sure that you’re choosing the tool that brings you the most value.
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