Top 5 Human Resource Management Software in 2020

Every business, regardless of its size, needs a human resources software if it is employing personnel. Human resources management covers a wide scope of processes, from recruitment, hiring, orientation, and evaluation, to remuneration, benefits administration, performance management, and employee relations, among others. In the past, HR staff manually perform all these activities. Technology, like in other business processes, has lighten the workload of people, through automation and analytics, for example. Today, online HR software has enabled even small businesses with a few staff to have an efficient HR process. Thus, employers are able to be responsible for their employees’ well-being, and comply at the same time with workforce laws and regulations.

The Top 5

Human resources software becomes essential at a certain point in a company’s growth. An HR solution enables an organization to perform important function and activities related to the attraction, retention, and/or management of employees and related HR data. Some of the benefits of an HR software include improvement of the HR team’s efficiency and improvement of employee experience. It can save money in staffing costs, or allow the redeployment of staff to other projects. The top HR software, at the least, will help management and business owners make better decisions as they can easily find, analyze, and generate reports on employee data. HR software will also enable organizations to improve its regulatory requirements compliance. Here is our top 5 recommendations.

Human Resources Software Guide:

HR Software Past to Present – Human Resources software in the past were usually licensed software deployed on-premise. In the 1980’s, HR software is usually composed of payroll, time and attendance, and benefits management. However, advances in automation and cloud technology has transformed it to a modern online business system more responsive to how users want to interact with it. Thus, it now includes specialty or best-of-breed applications aside from the general HR functionality. Moreover, it is also characterized with more self-service modules that allow employees to use it on their own, to view and manage their own data with limitations. This enables HR staff to spend less time on admin tasks, and spend it more on other areas such as recruiting, employee performance, and company culture, among others.

Categories of HR Software Solutions:

Human Resources Information Systems – HRIS is an general term that encompass many distinct types of HR software. It can also be referred to as Human Resources Management System (HRMS), Human Capital Management System (HCMS) and other names depending on the HR software company. But basically, it is a multi-function system that stores individual employee data, manages payroll and benefits administration, and manages the company’s regulatory and legal employment requirements. HRIS software helps streamline and automate payroll, time and attendance, and benefits management. Features usually included are payroll, time tracking, employee scheduling, benefits management, and self-service employee portals.

Applicant Tracking System and Recruiting Software – These two types of specialty HR software are similar in function but different in scale. They both focus on attracting and hiring potentially stellar employees. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software are usually utilized by organizations with a need for employee lifecycle tracking. Features of this software include performance management and employee engagement on top of the usual job board, resume, interview and onboarding. Recruiting Software that are built to handle bulk and continuous recruiting efforts are usually employed by recruiting agencies and large companies.

Learning Management Systems – LMS or e-learning systems are utilized to track an employee’s education, certifications, qualifications and skills. It is also used to provide or connect an employee to materials and courses available to further develop their skills. Some LMS are part of an ATS. They can be self-hosted by the company or be available by subscription from ready-made learning content providers/platforms.

Performance Management Software – HR professionals, managers and employees use Performance Management Software to help assess employee skills, set goals for performance, and track improvements over time. It can also be used to coach employees, organize, and track performance appraisals on a specific period. This tool is usually integrated with an LMS and Employee Engagement software.

Employee Engagement – This software is utilized by companies to improve employee sentiment and increase individual or team engagement. It measures current engagement levels while also provide feedback and coaching to improve the employee’s level of involvement in their daily activities. It uses a combination of survey tools, followup workflows, gamification and analytics. The software can be a standalone system, a feature in an HRIS, or an integrated tool that works in tandem with other HR software systems.

Current HR Software Trends:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – As the HR market grows and as it tries to incorporate new technology, HR software shows a variety of trends that include AI and machine learning. AI companies are building tools to help HR professionals, especially in recruiting, onboarding, and creating more intelligent pulse surveys.

Team Management vs Talent Management – In terms of management, organizations are increasingly giving focus on managing teams of employees rather than individual talents. This focus is being associated with team-goal setting and business organization. Recruiting managers are also now looking at how well candidates can work with their team.

Cloud Technology Adoption – Although not really new, movement of HR systems to cloud happened slower than expected. SMBs were quicker to adopt to cloud-based systems, while larger companies with greater volumes and more complex format of employee data took more time to migrate from their legacy systems.

Specialty Systems vs Integrated Systems – Similar to the reasons for cloud adoption, smaller companies preferred specialized or separate HR platforms rather than full suite HRIS. The usual reason is due to finances, but other reasons include difficulty of implementing a larger HRIS, and more time needed to complete and onboard HR staff. On the other hand, it is easier to switch from one specialty or best-of-breed platform to another, or to add as needed when company growth requires such.

Company Branding and Culture -Companies are using HR systems to help promote positive company cultures. Through the software, it is easier to push for professional development, e-learning, wellness benefits, and other programs that tackle and address harmful workplace cultures.


Human resource is considered as the most important and valuable resource of a business. It is therefore important for a company to know its HR goals and needs, set up a detailed plan, and assess the available solutions before coming to a conclusion. Many of today’s HR software are modular in nature, and allows users to customize their implementation according to their unique requirements. Modern human resources software are capable of covering the entire hire-to-retire process, but it is for the organization to know how to best invest in which system.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

1 Response

  1. Super helpful post! I think Zoho people is a must in the industry!

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