What are HR Tools?
Juggling tasks from talent acquisition to performance management is probably not your favorite circus trick to pull off. And while people are undoubtedly at the heart of HR, there’s an often underappreciated aspect of successful people managers—the HR tools they utilize to get the job done. HR professionals today are turning to a diverse array of software and technologies to simplify their workload, ensuring they not only survive but thrive in the dynamic world of HR.
These tools can offer the keys to mastering multitasking, managing data, ensuring compliance, and unleashing a more strategic, data-driven approach. As the role of Human Resources evolves, so does the arsenal of tools at its disposal—tools savvy HR professionals are more frequently leveraging. They not only tackle routine tasks but also free up valuable time for you and your team to dive into the strategic initiatives that truly move the organizational needle.
HR Tools in 2024
Gone are the days when HR tools were synonymous with Excel sheets and manual payslip templates. While these tried and true tools still have their place (especially in smaller teams or budget-conscious HR departments) the landscape of HR tools has undergone a remarkable transformation.
In the contemporary HR sphere, tools are no longer mere digital paperwork assistants. They’ve evolved into intelligent companions, leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated workflows. The modern HR toolkit is a bit like having a highly efficient and tirelessly diligent team member who not only manages routine administrative tasks but also analyzes data, predicts trends, and streamlines complex HR processes.
From applicant tracking systems (ATS) that streamline recruitment to performance management tools that provide real-time insights, the arsenal of HR tools in 2024 is more diverse and sophisticated than ever. These tools aren’t just about managing HR tasks—they’re about transforming your HR strategy into a strategic powerhouse, unlocking new possibilities for efficiency, compliance, and employee engagement.
Why Growing Teams Need HR Tools
The term “growth” means a lot more than just a larger headcount. It’s about adapting, connecting, and engaging in a way that keeps both the organization and its people thriving. For growing teams, the need for effective HR tools goes beyond just convenience—it’s a strategic imperative.
Agility alongside expansion
As teams grow, so do the administrative tasks that HR professionals need to manage. This includes processing more timesheets, assessing a larger influx of performance data, and managing a growing number of employee records. Manual methods that might have been “good enough” for a smaller team become cumbersome and prone to errors.
The right suite of HR tools solves for this—by automating recruitment workflows, streamlining onboarding processes, and managing employee records, these tools ensure that the HR department keeps pace with the ever-changing needs of a growing organization. Tech speeds up processes, makes managing a large amount of admin and data easier, and reduces errors, freeing up HR staff to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Fostering connections within your team
With growth comes the challenge of maintaining a sense of connection among team members. HR tools, especially those facilitating internal communication and collaboration, play a crucial role in maintaining and building culture across organizations. From employee engagement platforms that foster a sense of community to tools that enable seamless communication and feedback among teammates and managers, these HR solutions contribute to a cohesive and connected team culture.
Elevating employee engagement
Engaged employees are the backbone of a thriving organization. HR tools provide a platform that measures and actively improves employee engagement. From recognition platforms that celebrate achievements to performance management tools that promote continuous feedback, these tools are designed to keep your workforce motivated, aligned with company goals, and invested in their professional growth.
Actionable insights from real-time data
When working with people, it’s not always easy to make calculated decisions that are backed by numbers. Yet decision making in HR, whether it’s performance assessments or team structures, need to happen in a way that is strategically aligned with a business’s core initiatives. In order for these decisions to be well-informed, HR professionals need to be informed by real-time, actionable data. HR tools equipped with analytics and reporting functionalities provide key insights that allow HR teams to quantify critical functions such as employee engagement, time to productivity, and cost per hire. Real-time data further powers HR allowing for quick pivots and agile decision making that keeps organizations productive and proactive in their People management efforts. Whether it’s understanding workforce trends, identifying areas for improvement, or predicting future talent needs, these tools empower your HR team to make strategic decisions without second guessing.
Ensuring compliance with regulations
As organizations expand their teams, compliance efforts require closer management. With more employees to manage comes multiple expiration dates, working visas, training requirements and more, making tracking and adhering to changing regulations a challenge. HR tools reduce the burden on People teams by securely housing employee data and flagging expiration dates, tracking and following up on training schedules and requirements, and ensuring compliance across tax and payroll functions,
With growth comes increased scrutiny on compliance with labor laws and regulations, helping your HR team stay ahead of compliance challenges.
Now that we’ve taken a look at how HR tools can help you in a high growth environment, let’s dive into specific examples you should consider adding to your tech stack:
6 HR Tools Growing Teams Need in 2024
When you’re dealing with the fast pace changes of a growing team, an applicant tracking tool, also referred to as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be a game-changer. Streamlined recruitment workflows ensure that HR teams can efficiently manage the entire hiring process. Customizable application processes cater to specific organizational needs, while collaborative hiring tools facilitate effective communication among hiring teams.
- Job Board Integration – allows you to post across various job boards and manage your listings in one centralized place.
- Customized Application Forms – post unique application forms to get the information you’re most interested in from your candidates rather than relying on often irrelevant standard application forms.
- Resume/CV Filtering – a resume database that is fully searchable with keywords, tags, and filters, and automated filtering to highlight top talent based on criteria set by your HR team.
- Anonymous Screening – helps eliminate unconscious bias from the early stages of the recruitment process.
- Centralized Candidate Management – a secure database to store applications and manage candidate communication, equipped with automated screening interview questions, interview scheduling, and email correspondence.
- Automated Workflows – customized workflows that simplify repetitive tasks during recruitment such as pre-boarding forms, onboarding emails, reference and background checks, interview scheduling and application processing.
- Interview Management – calendar integrations that sync up schedules across your interviewing team.
- Dashboards and Reporting – track vital metrics like time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.
The benefits of an applicant tracking HR tool are substantial:
- Reduced recruitment cycle and time-to-hire
- Data-driven decision-making
- Minimized administrative tasks and costs
- Scaled hiring pipeline
- Strengthened employer branding
- Reduced bias
- Access to valuable metrics to refine the hiring process
Leave management tools are a must-have for growing teams that want to efficiently handle employee time-off requests. These tools automate the leave request process, providing real-time visibility into team availability and ensuring compliance with leave policies.
- Automated Leave Requests – streamlined process for employees to request time off, reducing administrative burden on your team.
- Real-time Visibility – instant access to team members’ leave schedules to facilitate better project and workload management.
- Compliance Tracking – monitoring and ensuring adherence to your company’s leave policies and legal regulations.
- Customizable Leave Policies – allows you to create and customize leave policies that align with your company’s values and culture. You can set up different policies for different employee groups, such as full-time, part-time, or contract workers.
- Employee Self-Service – your employees can easily request time off, view their leave balances, and track their leave history. This reduces the administrative burden on HR resources and empowers employees to manage their own time off.
- Analytics and Reporting – leave management systems provide valuable insights into employee leave patterns, such as the most popular time-off requests and the busiest periods of the year. This data can help you plan for future staffing needs and ensure that you have adequate coverage during peak periods.
HR departments leveraging a leave management tool can look forward to:
- Reduced administrative burden
- Improved transparency and clarity
- Better compliance with leave policies
- The convenience of employee self-service
- Detailed data tracking to help make strategic decisions
Considering all functions of an HR team, performance management has to be among the most impactful. That means the performance management tool you pick should be up to the task, and offer the wide range of features needed for effective performance management.
- Goal Setting and Tracking – facilitates the establishment and monitoring of individual and team goals, allowing teams clear insight into how well they’re progressing towards their goals and addressing performance gaps.
- Continuous Feedback Mechanisms – enables regular feedback and coaching sessions to improve employee performance.
- Performance Analytics: utilizes data analytics to assess and understand employee performance trends.
- 360-Degree Feedback: collects feedback from peers, subordinates, and managers for a comprehensive performance assessment.
- Skill Matrix: Maps employees’ skills, through built-in tools like the 9-box grid, allowing for targeted development plans.
- Customizable Performance Reviews: allows you to create and customize performance reviews that align with your company’s values and culture. These reviews can be tailored to the type of employee and the nature of their contribution.
- Employee Self-Service: with employee self-service, your employees can easily view their performance metrics, feedback, and goals. This feature reduces the administrative burden on HR resources and empowers employees to manage their own performance.
Performance management tools bring with them a slew of benefits which include:
- Enhanced employee development
- Data-driven performance evaluations with clear metrics
- Alignment with higher-level organizational objectives
- Improved employee engagement through continuous feedback
- Higher retention of employees who recognize their growth opportunities
- Better talent management and team effectiveness
As anyone who’s worked in HR knows, there’s a lot of moving parts to employee management. Staying on top of everything is made far easier and more efficient by leveraging a dedicated employee management tool.
Centralized Employee Profiles – maintains a comprehensive database of your employee information in a centralized system.
Document Management – facilitates the secure storage and management of essential HR documents, without fear of paperwork getting lost or accidentally changed.
Employee Self-Service – empowers employees to access and manage their own HR-related information.
Task Management – assigns and tracks tasks related to HR processes and employee responsibilities.
Training and Development Tracking – monitors employee training and development initiatives, ensuring your team’s career growth stays on track.
Customizable Employee Reports – allows you to create and customize employee reports that align with your company’s values and culture. You can set up different reports for different employee groups, such as full-time, part-time, or contract workers.
Employee management tools will help with:
- Streamlined HR processes with centralized process
- Improved data accuracy
- Increased efficiency while reducing human error
- Consistent compliance with labor regulations and company policies
- Improved communication between HR and employees
- Increased productivity with employees leveraging self-serve capabilities
OKR & Goal Setting
An OKR (Objectives and Key Results) and goal-setting tool is precisely what teams who want to align their organizational objectives and drive strategic initiatives need to succeed.
- OKR Framework Implementation – enables the deployment and tracking of Objectives and Key Results throughout the organization.
- Goal Alignment – ensures that individual and team goals are aligned with broader organizational objectives.
- Progress Tracking – provides a real-time view of goal progress and achievements, making it easy for your team to stay on track.
- Collaborative Goal Setting – facilitates team collaboration in setting and refining goals, allowing individuals to see how their personal contribution ladders up to larger goals—a big part of fostering employee engagement.
- Feedback Mechanisms – allows for continuous feedback on goal progress, and real-time tweaks to be made to help your team members reach their objectives.
- Customizable Goal Templates – helps you to create and customize goal templates that align with your company’s values and culture. You can set up different templates for different employee groups, such as full-time, part-time, or contract workers.
Make the most out of your OKRs with a tool that will help with:
- Improved goal visibility
- Increased accountability and ownership
- Streamlined goal setting processes
- Consistent strategic alignment across different teams
- Better talent management and employee development
- Few administrative tasks
Comprehensive HR Software
Whatever name you call it, HRIS, HRMS, or simply HR software, this comprehensive HR tool is the backbone of People operations for growing teams. Encompassing a wide range of HR functionalities, this tool provides centralized data storage, reporting, and analytics. In effect, this is the one HR tool to rule them all—its features encompass all of the other tools mentioned, centralized in one place.
- Comprehensive HR Functionalities – encompasses a wide array of HR functions, including payroll, benefits administration, attendance tracking, and performance management.
- Centralized Data Storage – provides a secure and centralized repository for all employee-related information.
- Reporting and Analytics – enables the generation of insightful reports and analytics for informed decision-making.
- Employee Self-Service Portal – empowers employees to access and manage their own HR-related information.
- Customizability to Fit Unique Needs – adaptable to the specific needs and requirements of the organization—there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and good HRIS solutions can be tailored to the unique needs of your organization.
- Scalability to Accommodate Business Growth – grows alongside your organization, accommodating an expanding workforce.
The benefits of HR Software are like all the other tools rolled into one. They include:
- Centralized information in one accessible location
- Reduced manual effort across all HR functions
- Enhanced data accuracy and minimized human error
- Improved compliance
- Increased productivity with self-service capabilities
- Better decision-making with in-depth reporting and analytics
- Cost-effective—reduces paperwork and streamlines processes holistically
- Streamlined HR management, one central system that syncs information and doesn’t require multiple log-ins or individual updates
Key Features to Look for in HR Tools
Not all HR tools are built equally, and with so many options available, it’s important to know what features to look out for to ensure you’re utilizing the right tool for your team. Let’s examine the key features you should consider when choosing your next HR tool.
Ease of use. Choosing HR tools with an intuitive interface ensures that both HR professionals and employees can easily navigate and utilize the system, reducing the learning curve and promoting widespread adoption.
Quick implementation. Rapid deployment is crucial for growing teams. Opting for HR tools with quick implementation processes allows organizations to swiftly integrate these solutions into their existing workflows, minimizing disruption.
Multi-channel access. Modern work environments are diverse, and HR tools should reflect that. Opt for solutions that offer multi-channel access, allowing users to interact with the system seamlessly through various devices and platforms.
Collection of ready-to-use reports. A comprehensive suite of pre-built reports simplifies data analysis for HR professionals. Look for HR tools that provide a rich collection of ready-to-use reports, aiding in informed decision-making and strategic planning.
Seamless integration with third-party tools. Integration capabilities are necessary for an interconnected workplace. HR tools that seamlessly integrate with other essential business applications such as email and other existing tools enhance overall efficiency and data consistency across your organization.
Employee self-service portal. Empowering employees with self-service functionalities (like accessing payslips or updating personal information) reduces HR’s administrative burden and empowers employees to access their benefits. Opt for tools that offer a user-friendly employee self-service portal.
Customizability to fit unique needs. Every organization has its own set of unique HR requirements. Choosing HR tools that are customizable allows businesses to tailor the system to their specific needs, ensuring a more personalized and efficient HR management experience.
Scalability to accommodate business growth. As businesses expand, HR needs evolve. Selecting scalable HR tools ensures that the chosen system can grow with your organization, adapting to changing requirements and accommodating increased data volume seamlessly.
Future Proof Your People Management with Omni’s All-in-One HR Tool
By embracing technologies such as applicant tracking systems, HRIS, and employee management HR tools, Human Resource professionals can enhance their processes, improve outcomes, and create a competitive advantage for their organizations, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and employee experience within their organizations.
Modern HR automation tools like Omni free HR teams from administrative cycles by automating the entire end-to-end employee lifecycle—from recruitment and onboarding to employee engagement and payroll—allowing HR to redirect their time to strategic work that drives business growth.
With Omni, you gain access to data-driven insights that empower informed decision-making, as well as seamless integrations that effortlessly connect with your existing employee favored systems, making your entire engagement process more efficient and modern.
Omni scales alongside your team so you can customize and leverage the system to meet your business exactly where you are—as well as where you’re going.
With a full suite of modules to support every aspect of your business, Omni’s platform offers an intuitive and fully customizable platform that integrates with your team’s favorite tools for a seamless and timely adoption.
If you’d like to learn more about how Omni’s all-in-one HR software automates the entire end-to-end employee lifecycle, saving People leaders from administrative tasks and increasing organizational innovation, book a demo with our team!