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The 8 Essential Types of HR Software

The rapid advancements happening on the tech front have given HR professionals access to a variety of state-of-the-art solutions that can expedite HR processes, boost productivity, and offer insightful data about the modern workplace.

Research estimates that the global market for human resource (HR) technology would grow at a compound annual growth rate of7.5% from $23.98 billion in 2022 to $39.90 billion in 2029. This remarkable expansion underlines the growing significance of HR technology and the rising demand for cutting-edge PeopleOps solutions.

In this piece, we will explore some of the most cutting-edge software solutions that need to be on every HR leader’s radar in 2023.

You can improve your human resources, talent acquisition, and recruitment efforts with cutting-edge support software, tailor-made to each step of the employee lifecycle. Here are the different types of HR software available to achieve this.

1. A Core Human Resources System (HRIS or HRMS)

A core HR software tool, such as a human resources information system (HRIS) or human resources management system (HRMS) provides a single source of truth concerning employee data.

These tools are primarily used by HR teams to gain workforce insight, run talent management, and various other tasks, depending on the native functionality. In addition, each employee has their own profile which they can access via a self-service portal to perform basic administrative tasks. For example, the employee can access their payroll details, timesheets, and benefits information. By allowing employees the autonomy to access and manage their own data, HR teams are relieved from a lot of ongoing tasks.

Broadly speaking the software types that we list below can all form part of a larger HR software solution, or be a standalone HR software tool that integrates with a core HRMS.

Key Features of a Human Resources Information System (HRIS)

HR information software has some baseline capabilities which include

Employee data management
Employee self-service portals
Absence and PTO management
Benefits administration
Performance management
Recruiting and applicant tracking

In addition, the best HRIS systems may include learning management, onboarding, and payroll capabilities.

Additional Features Provided by a Human Resources Management System (HRMS)

A HRMS provides some advanced functionality over and above the data management of an HRIS. Generally speaking, a HRMS has more analytical capabilities and workflow data which can give critical HCM insight. These features include:

Hiring process automation including AI sourcing from within the database
Employee development and employee engagement tracking
Talent management tools
Employee scheduling software
Reporting and workforce analytics

For more clarification on the difference between an HRIS and an HRMS, we recommend reading our guide on HRIS, HCM, and HRMS differences. You can also read more about these tools in our feature on HRIS benefits.

2. HR Software to Streamline Recruitment and Hiring

Specialized recruiting software helps business source job applicants. These tools automate posting job advertisements for vacancies to multiple job boards (both third-party job boards and your own career page) and track the response you receive to those postings.

Recruitment software can feed into an applicant tracking system (ATS) which is native to the tool, or linked via software integration. Collecting candidate data in an ATS not only means you build a pool of engaged talent that is familiar with your employer brand, it also means you can offer an improved candidate experience. We’ll talk more about the benefits of an ATS soon.

Key Benefits of Using Recruiting Software

Using a recruiting software with a candidate sourcing component allows you to gain access to talent pools that, if you were only doing inward recruiting, would not be available to you.

Recruiting software creates an automated workflow, this makes your recruiting team more efficient in outreach, candidate screening, and vetting than they would have been using a manual process. Because an initial round of resume parsing and screening is done by the software, recruiters can focus on a narrower, optimized pool of candidates, which makes the hiring process a lot more efficient.

More Recruiting Software Features

Depending on the vendor, other features recruiting software may offer include:

Interview scheduling and process management
Templates for recruitment outreach
Recruitment marketing and outreach via social media or direct messaging

Consult our buyer guide for a comprehensive list of thebest recruiting software solutions on the market.

3. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

A common problem that HR leaders face is the time-consuming and manual process of tracking and managing job applications. ATS systems provide a solution by automating this process, allowing HR leaders to focus on other important tasks.

Companies spend more than $140 billion on hiring-related operations, according to aForbes report. Staff turnover makes it practically hard to meet the desired return on this investment. For this reason, an automated hiring process, that requires less time and human input to fill vacancies, makes business sense.

Key Benefits of Using an Applicant Tracking System

According to a Gartner poll,56% of businesses are attempting to automate manual or repetitive procedures in the hiring process. HR managers can effortlessly manage job applications with ATS systems, from posting job advertising to analyzing resumes, setting up interviews, and updating candidates within the hiring funnel. The system tracks each application’s progress automatically and provides a summary of the hiring process, including the number of applications received, the volume of interviews conducted, and the volume of offers extended.

This enables HR executives toswiftly find and monitor top candidates for available positions in the future. Furthermore, ATS systems offer reporting and analytics features, giving HR directors access to insights into recruitment data to help them make informed talent management decisions.

Because job applicants are kept continuously in the loop with automatically triggered comms, the candidate experience offered, and the employer brand by extension, also benefits from using an ATS.

More Applicant Tracking System Features

Other features that leading applicant tracking systems may offer include:

Candidate screening, including ranking and sorting for qualified candidates
Resume database storage
Candidate assessment
Functionality for in-person or on-way video interviews

4. Onboarding and Offboarding Software

Only 12% of employees,according to Gallup, strongly feel that their company does a fantastic job of onboarding new employees. This leaves a lot of opportunity for improvement and sets a low bar for offering an employee experience that is better than the median.

The trouble is that onboarding new hires can be a tedious process— one that HR professionals deal with continuously. Automation can help provide a more consistent and better solution than an in-person process. As a result of this, strong onboarding software can result inhigher employee retention and a higher level of productivity in newly hired talent.

Key Benefits of Using an Onboarding and Offboarding Tools

According to recentresearch by the Brandon Hall Group, companies with effective onboarding processes increase productivity by over 70% and new hire retention by 82%.

Investing in onboarding software is a key component of this success since it automates compliance and administrative HR tasks while providing new hires with the information they need to get started. The same goes for employees who leave the company and must relinquish data access, benefits, and so forth.

The management and automation of paperwork, including new hire forms and compliance duties (like background checks and drug tests), is made simple for HR professionals by onboarding software. Using the software, new hires may also electronically sign contracts and do other onboarding activities. For example, setting up direct deposit information for remuneration, and signing up for benefits.

To give new hires the information they need to begin their new position, onboarding software contains an onboarding checklist that they can complete. The program also has a learning management system (LMS) that HR managers can utilize to show new hires the ropes, and provide any upskilling they need.

More Onboarding Software Features

Other features onboarding and offboarding tools may offer include:

Onboarding document storage
Knowledge management
A self-service app which can be particularly useful inpreboarding
Onboarding and offboarding checklists
Benefits selection

5. HR Software for Employee Training and Development

In order to attract top talent, it is important to create a learning environment where employees may improve in their existing positions while learning new skills. For technical professions like data scientists, machine learning engineers, data architects, IT specialists, and related positions, this works incredibly well. One of the most cutting-edge strategies for luring top talent is to create a work environment that encourages learning and offers employees a variety of learning opportunities.

To aid employee training as part of their career plan, your workforce can benefit from access to a learning management system (LMS). These platforms offer access to pre-existing training resources, upskilling opportunities, and courses. In addition, customization allows companies to create their own courses and learning journeys. For example, to train new hires on internal procedures and tools.

Key Benefits of Using a Learning Management System

According to Linkedin,23% of employees leave their present employers because there aren’t enough prospects for growth and training. The value of training and development for current employees is illustrated in the infographic below. (Source:SHRM)

The best learning management software keeps track of learner progress, making it easy to see where employees are in their development, and where they get stuck. With pre-set learning journeys, companies are also assured of more consistent information reaching employees compared to training presented in person.

Key Features of a Learning Management System

Online learning portals
Ability to build custom user experiences
Employee data and progress tracking, with auto-generated reporting
Automated notifications for learners
Compliance tracking
Assessment tools
Course creation

6. HR Software for Payroll Administration

One aspect of human resources management where accuracy and promptness are critical is remuneration. By using payroll software tools that integrate with time and attendance tracking, PTO approvals, and benefits administration, HR teams can provide accurate wage calculations quickly and easily compared to a manual accounting system.

Benefits of Using HR Software for Payroll Administration

When it comes to employee earnings, miscalculations are simply not acceptable. The accuracy and compliance that are inherently attainable when companies use payroll administration tools take a lot of the pressure off HR teams, and accounting.

These tools take into account the legal allocation of overtime, paid and unpaid leave, and deductions for tax.

Feature of Payroll Administration Software

Wage calculation and employee payment processing
Integration with time and attendance apps
Management of employee contributions to benefits
Tax and labor law compliance support
Tax filing tools and support as well as tax document storage

7. Performance Management Software

A common problem that HR leaders face is the lack of a consistent and effective process for tracking employee performance and providing feedback. Effective performance management software provides a solution by automating the process of tracking employee performance and providing feedback.

The rapid growth of the performance management system software market is a testament to the increasing adoption of these tools by companies. The market size was valued at USD 2.29 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reachUSD 5.82 Billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 12.29% from 2020 to 2027.

This growth is driven by several factors, including the need for organizations to improve their performance management processes and support employee development.

Key Benefits of Using Performance Management Software

With a performance management tool, HR managers can accurately track employee performance, establish goals and targets, and give feedback and recognition. Employees can use the software to set goals and give feedback on their success, which in turn gives HR useful information on employee performance and engagement.

Additionally, reporting and analytics features offered by performance management software give HR professionals insight into employee performance for data-driven decision-making. These platforms allow managers to monitor how well staff are doing in terms of achieving their goals and objectives while also giving them insights into potential areas for further training or development. Monitoring employee output vs. the organization’s needs is also a key consideration in effective workforce planning.

Common Features of a Performance Management Software

Performance review and feedback processing
Improvement plan creation and management
Reporting and workforce analytics per employee and per team

8. HR Software for Employee Benefits Administration

Employee Benefits Administration tools assist with payroll administration, wellness programs, retirement accounts, and other forms of employee benefits like bonus allocations.

While it is common to have benefits administration as a module within a core HR software, it can be a standalone solution that is integrated with a company’s payroll and HRMS solution.

Common Features of Employee Benefits Administration Software

Benefits management via an employee dashboard
Management of employee contribution
Native data security and compliance
Knowledge and support services
Analytics to track employee enrollment and use

What Types of HR Software Do You Need?

More often than not, it can be challenging to choose and install the right types of HR software.

Long-term company performance depends critically on the capacity to adjust to continuing changes and the adoption of new technologies. But a lot of this is dependent on choosing the right tools for your business.

According to recent surveys,25% of new technology initiatives completely fail, 20% to 50% show no quantitative ROI, and up to50% require considerable reorganization when completed. Across sectors, successfully implementing HR tools and other new technical initiatives frequently proves more difficult than anticipated; around 50% of significant technical changes to organizational structure or operations fail to achieve their goals, and just 34% clearly show success.

Before deciding what type(s) of HR software you need, you need to know what you intend to gain from using the tool, and how a new software will “fit” with the tech stack you already have in place.

Consider the Benefit for the HR Team

A robust human resource management system is one of the most crucial software options for HR leaders. Modules for payroll, benefits administration, talent management, and compliance are frequently included in these systems. The more native solutions an HRMS or HRIS has, the less there is to worry about in terms of integration and setup.

Be clear from the start on how the software you purchase will benefit the organization through adding value, or reducing human work. For example, most good HRMS platforms let employees access their personal information, request time off, and examine their pay stubs on a self-service portal, so there is also the benefit of less administration directly falling on HR teams.

Think About Integration Capabilities

Many businesses have multiple systems and processes in place that already address some HR functions, or hold information that affects HR (such as an accounting system that runs payroll administration).

It is critical to consider how a new software will integrate with these existing systems. If it doesn’t integrate well, running two parallel databases can result in errors, duplicated data, and increased manual effort. HR leaders can ensure that the software will work seamlessly with the organization’s current processes and that data will be accurately transferred between systems by considering how the software will integrate with existing systems.

For smooth connection with current HR systems and procedures, API integration is a crucial solution. Organizations can reduce the risk of data duplication, inaccuracies, and inefficiencies by linking various systems and applications and ensuring that data flows freely across them.

An HR software solution’s open API enables businesses to quickly integrate the software with their current systems and procedures, streamlining HR procedures and boosting productivity. Real-time data updates provided byHRIS integration ensure that HR teams have access to the most recent data, facilitating decision-making and streamlining procedures.

Some Key Considerations for Choosing an HR Software

When selecting thebest HR software solutions for their organization, HR leaders should take the below key considerations into account.

Data Security and Privacy

Only 10% of organizations,according to a McKinsey survey from 2021, were found to be approaching advanced cybersecurity functions, while 20% had already reached mature cybersecurity, leaving 70% of them still lacking in this area.

HR departments must give data security and privacy top priority in today’s highly connected digital world to safeguard sensitive employee information. HR software solutions that are cloud-based offer a scalable and secure means to access HR data while lowering the risk of data breaches.

Organizations may make sure that employee data is safeguarded and continue to comply with pertinent data privacy rules by choosing a reliable and secure HR software provider that places a high priority on data security. Beyond security, the advantages of cloud-based HR systems include features like encryption, firewalls, and regular upgrades to maintain compliance with privacy laws. One of the key benefits of these solutions is that they can be securely accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it easy for HR professionals to manage their employees from any location.

Organizations may streamline their HR procedures and concentrate on what they do best—taking care of their employees—by deploying cloud-based HR software solutions.


As a company grows, so do its requirements. It is critical to select a software solution that can accommodate this expansion while also meeting the organization’s changing needs.

The software you have in mind may not be able to handle the increasing number of employees or the complexity of the organization’s HR processes, which could be a problem. Choosing a scalable human capital management software solution ensures that the organization can continue to use the software as it grows and adapts to changing needs.


The software should be simple to use for employees and HR personnel. Employees may find the software difficult to navigate or understand, which can lead to frustration and decreased productivity. Choosing a user-friendly HR software solution ensures that employees can quickly and easily access the information they require and complete tasks, which can improve the overall employee experience.

Implementation and Running Costs

Choosing an HR software that is right for your company is as much about meeting your HR and workforce management needs as it is about fitting your pocket. The pricing of HR software varies greatly according to the solutions offered, the size of your team, the access you need, and the vendor. Besides the cost of a subscription, also bear in mind any expense you would incur for set-up, implementation, and training your staff to use the tool.

Don’t assume that more expensive software is the superior choice. If you run a small business with few employees, somefree HR software solutions may even tick all the boxes you need for now.


Technology has always been a critical strategic enabler, but it is now more important than ever in the market. Because there will almost certainly be more money spent on talent solutions, CHROs will remain involved in determining how that money is distributed.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, HR leaders must stay current on the latest software solutions available. From core HR software to recruitment support tools, there are numerous options available to streamline HR processes and improve the overall employee experience.

HR leaders can ensure that they are making the most of the latest human resources software technology to support their organization’s growth and success by selecting scalable solutions that integrate well with existing systems and are user-friendly in 2023 and beyond.