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Best HR software to manage employees in 2021

Best HR software
(Image credit: Pixabay)

The best HR software will help you better manage your employees, without having to resort to third-party outsource services.

The best out there will cover all aspects for you, from tracking applicants to following through the hiring process, as well as being able to organize and schedule training, payroll, taxes, and benefits. Even better is if you are also able to monitor employee performance, to ensure that supervision and further training can be recommended as required.

However, not all HR software is as fully featured as this, and if you already have payroll software integrated with your accounting software, and training provision already covered, you may only require a HR solution that tracks applicants for new vacancies and the hiring process itself rather than general time and attendance admin as well as wages and benefits.

Alternatively, you could simply use HR outsourcing services or even a full Professional Employee Organization (PEO) service for HR in which all HR tasks are taken over by a third-party. A more recent innovation is cloud human capital management (HCM) software to manage your HR.

Ultimately, which HR software you use will depend upon your business needs, and how much of the HR process is not yet properly covered by any mechanisms, applications, or software platforms already in place. Here then we'll look at the best HR software currently available. 

(Image credit: Gusto)

1. Gusto

Reasons to buy
+All aspects of HR covered+Small business benefits+Clear pricing structure

Gusto provides a cloud-based all-in-one HR platform, to make it easier to manage onboarding, wages, and insurance, as well as providing general support. Features include full-service payroll, time tracking, and compliance help. 

The aim of the platform is to be able to cater for every aspect of employee HR, not simply in terms of pay and benefits, but also in terms of retention of the best employees.

Insurance benefits covered include medical, dental, and vision, as well as HSAs, FSAs, 401(k) and 529 college savings, with life and disability coverage also provided. Gusto aims to provide benefits for small businesses that would normally only be available to large businesses. Pricing depends on the number of features and employees to be covered.

Gusto boasts over 100,000 teams as its customer base, with the software catering for both businesses directly as well as for accountants.


(Image credit: BambooHR)

2. BambooHR

An all-in-one HR solution for businesses

Reasons to buy
+Mobile support+Most facets are covered
Reasons to avoid
-Opaque pricing

BamboHR is a web-based system for managing your human resource operations. Used by tens of thousands of HR professionals around the world, including SoundCloud and ZipRecruiter, it aims to automate mundane processes so you can focus your time on more important work.

This cloud-based solution offers applicant and training tracking, e-signatures to replace paper-based systems, time-off management, performance tools and easy reporting. There’s also a mobile app, meaning you can keep on top of everything while you’re away from the office.

Bamboo can also process automated requests and approvals, and you’re sent reminders when things need to be brought to your attention. All data is protected with bank-level security, so you don’t need to worry about employee data being leaked.

The firm offers a choice of two plans: Essentials and Advantage. Unfortunately there is no pricing on the website, so you’ll need to contact the company for a free quote.


(Image credit: Bullhorn)

3. Bullhorn

Software which is laser-focused on hiring the best applicant for the job

Reasons to buy
+Search engine approach to candidate selection+Generate actionable data reports
Reasons to avoid
-No free trial

Bullhorn is HR software that focuses on the hiring process, and more specifically applicant tracking. It is purpose-built and designed to streamline recruiter tasks, improve the job applicant’s experience, and also to leverage data in order to generate “staffing-specific actionable reports.”

Bullhorn seamlessly integrates with other platforms including Gmail, Outlook and LinkedIn. Additional features include snagging candidate information from job boards, the Bullhorn parsing engines which can capture data from a resume, and a “fast find” search bar that uses keywords and Boolean logic searches that can sift through candidates, displaying them based on relevance (or other stipulations such as the most recent applications).

The entire interview process is streamlined in Bullhorn, from scheduling to organizing notes and feedback as everything progresses.

Bullhorn offers four levels of plans, including the most popular Enterprise tier. A notable shortcoming is that there is no free trial, and the pricing is opaque, requiring you to get in touch for a quote, which is “determined by the number of people that want access to the system – including recruiters, salespeople, and managers.”


(Image credit: Workable)

4. Workable

A simple way to manage the hiring process

Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Limited customization

Workable is a cross-platform solution that allows companies to keep track of future candidates in a simple and efficient way. With Workable users can set up a careers page offering the latest jobs in a matter of minutes.

This subscription-based software offers an easy way to manage the hiring process. From the visually clean dashboard you can organize potential hires, share their files readily with your team and have all candidates saved in a single database.

Workable offers a 15-day trial (no credit card required) which will allow you plenty of time to decide if it works for your organization. The 'Pay as you Go' tier allows users to subscribe and entitles the subscriber to online support, mobile applications, a branded careers page, interview scheduling and much more. There are two other tiers available (Starter and Pro), but you will need to contact Workable directly in order to receive a quote.


(Image credit: People )

5. People

A mobile-ready HR system

Reasons to buy
+Google Drive and Dropbox support+Mobile-ready design
Reasons to avoid
-Limited free trial

People is a web-based solution which has been designed to increase the efficiency of the full spectrum of HR processes. 

It sports an applicant tracking system to keep tabs on those applying for jobs, an authorization logbook, a full-time and part-time holiday leave calculator, 24-hour timesheets and an expenses logger. Custom workflows can be created to automate the drudgery of repeated manual processes, such as the sending of welcome emails to new hires, and scheduling their on-boarding training.

The software has been optimized to work on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. There are some handy integrations too. For managing payroll, you can use services such as Star, Ceridian, Moorepay and Sage. And you can use People with common cloud storage providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox.


(Image credit: Lanteria )

6. Lanteria

HR management for enterprises

Reasons to buy
+Office 365 support+Training capabilities
Reasons to avoid
-Only for mid-size or larger businesses

Lanteria has developed a HR management platform tailored for medium and large-scale businesses. It offers modules and dashboards for different areas of human resources, such as attendance, recruitment and application tracking, employee performance and internal learning. 

The focus here is on getting the most out of employees, and nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than with the education-related capabilities. You’re able to deliver targeted training programs and track the performance of your staff members. Lanteria HR is cloud-based which means that it can be accessed on a diverse range of devices.

Pricing requires contacting Lanteria for a custom quote. The cost is determined by the number of modules chosen, the number of employees, and whether the software is hosted in the cloud, or on a company server.


Also consider these HR solutions

There are a wide range of HR software solutions available, some of which aim to cover a comprehensive range of services, while others focus on one main area while integrating with other software packages. Here we'll look at other contenders worth considering when you look for a HR platform for your business.

Namely is full-service HR software platform that deals with all issues from onboarding to training, to payments and benefits. There is also the ability to monitor and review employee training, using customizable templates in the dashboard. Time and attendance is also covered, with a self-service option available so that employees can manage their own time, as well as monitor their own progress and development, as well as access their own financial statements.

Paycor covers all the major aspects needed in HR software, such as recruiting and onboarding, benefits and ACA, payroll and compliance, learning management, time and attendance, as well as reporting to provide critical business insights. Paycor emphasises that their support is as important and integral as the software itself, to provide ongoing support and expertise. 

JobDiva offers software that focuses more on the applicant recruitment and training process. This means its features primarily offer candidate searching and matching, carerr development, as well as reporting, CRM, and reporting. There are also a number of Vendor Management System (VMS) integrations available, such as Beeline, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, Vizient, and Medica, along with dozens of other VMS systems.  

Ciphr provides a simple and easy to use platform to manage most aspects of HR. Key features include onboarding, timekeeping, payroll, compliance, and self-service options for employees. Configurable dashboards are also available to provide analytics from the data you collect in order to set up automated and intelligent workflows that reduce the needs for manual intervention, creating a more efficient backoffice system for employers.