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As an HR pro, it’s no secret that your job is harder than ever.
HR Tools That’ll Make Life Easier in 2020:
With the premium on talent in today’s service and information heavy economy, HR has moved from a backend administration role to a frontline strategic function. Enterprise leaders are realizing that people are their most valuable assets, and that attracting – and just as importantly, hanging on to – the right employees is essential to the success of their businesses.
So what’s an HR pro to do? Why is HR important?
While there are no shortcuts for things like sound judgment or proven best practices… there are a plethora of new tools to help you master more areas with less time and energy.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled an arsenal of the best of the best hr management tools available to the modern HR champion – things that will make you a better practitioner, a smarter leader, and a more valuable partner for your business.
To make things simple, we’ve broken them into categories, and told you why we think each tool is so great.
Let’s dig in:
Recruiting, Hiring, & Onboarding
This HR platform connects companies with dedicated HR managers. The managers do what any in-house HR manager might do, including: recruiting, hiring, onboarding, creating policies, compliance with relevant laws and labor codes, maintaining records, and more.
Why we love it: It gives companies of all sizes (and with all budgets) access to the HR help they need to grow. They offer a great free trial and don’t lock you into any contracts. Needing an extra pair of qualified HR hands has never been easier!
Intrigued? Take a look at Bambee’s overview video:
Companies who document organizational knowledge and understand how to leverage it have more growth potential than those that start processes from scratch in the midst of turnover.
Trainual provides a platform for organizing and sharing knowledge, making it easy for companies to compound the shared expertise they need for optimal growth.
Why we love it: Have you ever started a job and felt like you needed to create a plethora of processes from scratch even though you knew your mysterious predecesor must have established some things?
Trainual makes it easy for companies to document processes so you never have to feel that way again.
Check out Trainual’s overview video:
Process Street makes it easy to turn processes into actionable, interactive checklists. Instead of just recording a process, you can use Process Street to bring it to life with an interface that lets you collaborate with teammates and check on project status.
Why we love it: Some companies already document their processes with the best intentions, but too often, people ignore static documents or just say they’ll “read everything later.”
Want to learn more? Check out Process Street’s overview video:
Workbright brings essential HR paperwork to mobile devices. Using Workbright, employees can fill out forms—such as the I-9—and even sign papers using their fingertips.
Why we love it: Workbright hasn’t just moved files to a mobile environment. This company actually designed the forms specifically for mobile devices, so the user experience can’t be beat.
See Workbright in action:
The CakeHR software helps companies take on HR challenges.
It makes HR tasks that used to seem impossibly complex feel impossibly easy. You can use the system to onboard employees, track time, create reports, and so much more.
Why we love it: With this user-friendly tool, you don’t need years of HR training or experience to streamline HR processes.
Check out CakeHR’s software overview:
The VivaHR tool wants to make the hiring process as good as it can possibly be. Post job openings to a vast range of boards, share vacancies on social media channels, and easily collaborate with your teammates throughout the hiring process.
Why we love it: Posting your job openings to a range of boards helps ensure you get applications from a range of quality candidates. VivaHR eliminates some of the busy work of posting your jobs, so you can get the word out on as many platforms as possible without spending hours creating postings.
Check out how one small business owner used VivaHR to publicize jobs to quality candidates.
This talent acquisition platform offers an exhaustive list of features that promise to give you the hiring process of your dreams. Save time by using advanced filters to search your talent pool, create and share standardized applicant evaluation templates, and even parse resumes that come through via email.
Why we love it: This tool goes the extra mile by offering predictive capabilities to improve your overall hiring strategy. Find out how long it takes to hire for each of your positions, determine which sources yield the highest number of qualified candidates, and receive strategic recommendations driven by artificial intelligence.
Here’s what some happy Recruitee users have to say about the tool:
8. Breezy HR
Consider Breezy HR an employee-to-employer matchmaker. This recruiting solution offers all the features you need to find your perfect new team member—not just a pool of qualified candidates.
Why we love it: This tool includes features to make soliciting employee referrals easy. Employees don’t have to fear their recommendation will get lost in long email chains.
Find out why a team at Nando’s Peri-Peri calls Breezy HR “The most user friendly tool I have used thus far in my recruiting career!” Here’s a look at the Breezy HR interface:
So you’ve got a handle on the nuanced stuff … what about the day-to-day HR functions like onboarding, payroll, benefits administration or employee timesheet tracking? Here are tools that make people management a breeze.
Staff Squared is your cloud-based, one-stop shop for all things people management. Features include absence management, calendaring, time tracking, performance reviews, and a lot more. It also features a goal setting system to boost your company’s output and bottom line.
Why we love it: The problem with most HR software is that it skimps on arguably the most important feature – user experience. Staff Squared takes the opposite approach, wrapping powerful human resources tools in a beautifully designed, dead simple interface. Their tagline says it all: HR software that doesn’t suck.
Watch this overview video of Staff Squared’s software:
People is another cloud based HR management tool with a focus on scaling your business. In addition to features like performance evaluations, People throws in an interactive recruitment pipeline.
Why we love it: Robust reporting sets People apart. Data and analytics gathered from your people processes will unlock hidden insights and help grow your business.
Here’s a pretty awesome and hilarious video that explains People:
TriNet provides core HR services like payroll and benefits for SMBs, and can scale with you as your company grows.
Why we love it: TriNet’s team of HR pros can serve as your strategic HR partners as your company grows and you navigate uncharted waters. They’re a perfect solution for businesses seeing an explosion in headcount. They were also named a top-rated core HR software provider by TrustRadius – to see where TriNet other providers fall, check out their TrustMap.
Bamboo HR has a slogan on a demo page that will make any HR professional smile:
This tool takes care of all the boring, tedious busy work involved in people management so HR professionals can focus on the people. Bamboo HR has features to streamline fundamental business processes, including hiring, analytics, onboarding, and culture.
Why we love it: We’ll let this glowing customer review speak for us:
“BambooHR has completely changed the way that I do HR. I’m totally set free to focus on development, to focus on team dynamics, to focus on diversity and inclusion—the things that actually matter. It really allows me to get to the heart of the matter which is the people.”
Disengaged employees cost our economy millions every year. As an HR pro, it’s your job to help employees feel a personal connection to the success of the business. It’s a tall order, but these tools can help.
Know Your Company is geared towards mid-size businesses experiencing growing pains. These are companies that may have started as 5-10 person teams, but explosive growth has made maintaining the transparency and engagement they’re used to a challenge.
Why we love it: Know Your Company creates a channel for critical insights that will help improve all aspects of your business, including people-focused issues like engagement. Best of all, this tool provides a way to create the culture of openness and transparency your business needs to crush its goals.
This is how Know Your Customers’ customers are using their software:
Glint captures real time engagement data through mobile-enabled micro surveys called “Pulses.” Don’t know what to ask? Glint has the answers, and helps you create surveys based on 18 proven drivers of engagement.
Why we love it: Glint’s simple, intuitive dashboard and beautifully designed mobile app house powerful, real-time engagement analytics. Use them to check the “pulse” of your organization and identify actionable insights.
15. Culture Amp
Culture Amp does the background work to measure and attach hard numbers to formerly abstract terms such as engagement, involvement, alignment, company confidence, innovation, and more. The tool also incorporates machine learning algorithms to provide insights to help companies interpret all their new metrics.
Why we love it: Culture Amp specializes in making connections between factors that would be challenging to link without the platform’s help. This helps companies put together big-picture outlooks and build long-term plans and strategies.
With the ever changing nature of federal and state employment laws, continuing education has always come with the territory for HR practitioners. But new responsibilities mean you have to be an expert in more areas than ever before. These tools will provide you with information you can actually use, and help you become a smarter, more strategic HR pro.
Hosted by SnackNation’s own Sean Kelly, The Awesome Office show is a weekly podcast that’s all about leading people, creating culture, and inspiring Awesome at work. They talk to CEOs and people-focused executives at some of the hottest, most-engaged companies in the country – leaders like the Honest Company’s Christopher Gaivgan and Trendera/ABC’s Jane Buckingham – and dig deep into questions of hiring and retention, growth and development, employee engagement, and more.
Best of all, the show focuses on actionable tips that you can deploy at your company today, making it a must-listen for HR leaders looking to improve culture and engagement.
You can get show notes here and subscribe below.
Brought to you by one of the most prestigious brands in the business world, Ideacast provides a deeper look at the topics covered in the print and Web versions of the Harvard Business Review, including leading edge HR issues.
If you want to be a strategic partner for your business, you need to understand more than just the HR niche. Ideacast helps expand your knowledge base and view HR holistically.
This mobile app puts all the latest HR news at your fingertips. Browse over 30 feeds from all the best HR and recruiting blogs.
Why we love it: Recruiting News will help you stay up to speed on all the latest trends in hiring and recruiting at a glance, as well as keep you abreast of the important conferences and events in your area – no matter where you are.
Here’s how the app looks on an iPhone:
This blog specializes in candid HR advice and stories to inform and entertain readers. Some of the recent juicy questions this HR professional has tackled include:
- Do You Have to Give a Wedding Present to a Co-Worker You Don’t Like?
- It’s Okay to Cry at Work–Everyone Else Does It
- It’s August and All of Europe is on Vacation. How Do You Run Your Global Business?
Why we love it: If you have burning questions and you can’t find answers anywhere else, then this is the place to go. This blog doesn’t just cover under-the-table questions either. It also dissects critical topics in the business world.
Communication & Feedback
Frequent communication is essential to your company’s culture. As such, internal communications is increasingly falling under the purview of HR. Here are some essential tools to keep your team informed and connected.
Despise email? If so, you’re not alone. Luckily, the good folks at Slack have created a solution that will help you and your organization dig out of your inbox.
Slack is a beloved enterprise-level internal communications app that combines chat and private messaging with a robust search function. The app syncs across desktop and mobile operating systems, keeping your team connected over multiple platforms no matter where you are.
Why we love it: Slack helps liberate employees from their inbox, while increasing transparency and eliminating information silos. According to the company, organizations using slack report a 48.6% reduction in internal email traffic, a 25% reduction in meetings, and a 32% increase in productivity across the board.
The video below shows how the Sandwich video team have found success with Slack:
Three decades ago, ESPRIT founder Doug Tompkin had an epiphany: if he asked all of his employees to spend just 15 minutes writing a report that took their managers no more than 5 minutes to read, he could increase transparency and engagement, and solve minor problems before they became full blown disasters.
15five CEO David Hassell found this concept so inspiring, he developed software to systematize and scale the practice. The result is 15five, a framework that facilitates a conversation between executives, managers, and their direct reports, and helps surface problems so that team members can develop solutions and increase productivity.
Why we love it: 15five creates a feedback loop that most likely wouldn’t happen any other way, and certainly not as efficiently. The benefits are improved transparency, clearer, more consistent expectations, increased accountability, and access to critical personnel insights you can use to improve your culture and take your organization to the next level.
Take a look at how 15Five’s software has helped landing page builder Unbounce:
Do you ever feel like no one knows what’s going on, even though you regularly send out easy-to-read emails? Employees at your company may be suffering from email blindness or information fatigue. SnapComms offers a solution.
The platform helps HR professionals reach employees directly on their devices. Set up a desktop-alert, create a full-screen takeover, or add messages to internally controlled desktop wallpaper.
Why we love it: It allows HR professionals to make sure employees see their critical communications when all the “high priority” alert flags on emails stop working.
In the world of rampant app proliferation, there is now an app for all your apps. That app’s name?
monday.com (of course)!
monday.com’s here to save us from app overload by providing a way to easily manages all the multiple tools we all use each day. The app is a unified task list with a single view into all of your existing tasks from more than 40 services, including Gmail, Basecamp, Trello, Evernote and many, many more.
Why we love it: One app to rule them all. monday.com is the meta-app you didn’t know you needed – but definitely do. They also have one of the best free trials in the business right now.
And it has the best name on the entire list.
Take a look at some of the things you can do on monday.com:
If you’ve ever scheduled a meeting with one or (gasp) multiple busy executives, you know what a struggle it can be.
A simple request for a 15 minute HR strategy touchbase can suddenly turn into an email exchange that’s 30 messages deep.
Here comes Calendly to the rescue.
Calendly eliminates all the back and forth by creating a simple, beautiful interface that makes choosing times easy, and flawlessly syncs with your calendar.
Why we love it: You shouldn’t dread scheduling a 15 minute conversation. Calendly makes it so you don’t have to.
Plus our team uses this tool and it’s been extremely useful.
Calendly video review:
Evernote is simply the ultimate note taking app.
Set reminders, share your notes with colleagues and friends, or clip text from anywhere on the web with this simple, elegant tool. There’s a fantastic free version, as well as an enterprise level that helps you turn notes into presentations and annotate PDFs.
Why we love it: Evernote is still the gold standard when it comes to productivity apps. It’s search function means you’ll never lose track of important details, and it syncs across multiple devices so your notes are always at hand.
The app is so popular, it has a cult following of users who have developed creative hacks to make Evernote even more useful. Check out speaker Michael Hyatt’s favorite Evernote hacks.
Check out how Evernote has helped these people:
Noisli is an ambient noise machine with a mix of sounds specifically designed to improve focus and increases productivity. Use it to block out distractions or just to buckle down and sprint to get things done. Download it as a mobile app or chrome extension, or simply use the web version.
Why we love it: One click gives you a random mix of productivity enhancing ambient sounds, including rain, rolling thunder, lakeshore waves, or a babbling brook. You can even mix in a fan’s whirr, coffee shop sounds, or white, pink, or brown noise. Sounds can be tweaked using tiny faders to dial in the perfect productivity mix.
Noisli is definitely helping me focus with a mix of campfire, rustling leaves, and chirping crickets sounds as I write this article.
Here’s a review of the app from Mac Square:
It’s a cliche that hates meetings. And it’s not just they take too long, they’re easily sidetracked, and often they end without specific takeaways or next steps. But the battle often starts well before that. Just booking the conference room can be a major time-suck.
Joan is here to change that. Joan is an easy-to-use device that helps companies organize and reserve meeting spaces and huddle rooms better. It combines real-time event views with a dead simple online portal so there’s never any confusion about where to book.
Why we love it: There are loads of great calendaring apps, but Joan is the best solution specifically for booking rooms. Plus it integrates with your existing calendar!
Most HR professionals are drowning in emails. Sanebox helps busy workers notice and respond to priority communications and save everything else for later. They can stay in the loop without feeling overwhelmed.
Why we love it: This tool works like a fairy godmother for your inbox. It makes all your email wishes come true, eliminating distractions while setting you up for success.
You’ve probably heard that hiring is like picking a mate. And indeed, compatibility (aka, “cultural fit”) is a top concern, as most of us spend more time with our coworkers than our spouses. So why not create a hiring app that feels like a dating app?
The geniuses over at Jobr have done just that, replicating the swipe-right behavior of the dating app giant Tinder. Candidates port their information from Facebook, and apply to jobs with the flick of the thumb.
Why we love it: Volume and simplicity. This app created the world’s easiest way to apply for a job, which, for recruiters, means a steady stream of candidates in your pipeline.
Here’s a quick demo of the Jobr app:
Plum.io is a pre-employment assessment tool that makes it easier for companies to find the best possible fit for each job. Plum starts by analyzing the role, then developing a test for candidates to accompany job posts. The company then sends a short list of suitable candidates. Recruiters who use Plum report spending up to 80% less time reading resumes, and experience 67% less turnover.
Why we love it: We all know that every bad hire ends up costing us thousands, and yet most companies still hire the same way. Plum.io improves the process by providing a deeper, more thorough assessment before the interview stage.
Best of all, Plum integrates skills and intelligence test results with data about things like mindset and emotional intelligence, to ensure that the candidate is also a personality fit.
Check out this quick explainer video of Plum.io:
The use of an employee time clock app is the most effective method for managing time and attendance records, enforcing company policies and adhering to labor laws. Learn how managers and staff can gain visibility that they never had before when implementing a time clock app into your business.
The employee experience would not be complete without mentioned perks. Compt helps companies design, manage, and measure perk stipend programs to support the individual needs of every employee.
The only recruitment software in the market with an inbuilt “fully-featured assessment software” like Hackerrank, Codility or Amcat. While other ATS integrates with external tools, Xobin builds its own tools so that its customers can achieve maximum integration and efficiency.
So there you have it, the 28 HR tools that will help you master the HR landscape.
Which of these tools do you use? Let us know how they’ve helped you in the comments below.