hr software guide

What High-Quality HR Software Can Do for Your Team

Businesses are turning to HR software for their cutting-edge automation. The right human resource management systems can streamline processes, fight inefficiency, and boost productivity, making them a valuable investment for your company.

The HR software market is predicted to grow from $62.6 billion to $91.8 billion by 2026 — a nearly 32% increase. For consumers, that means lots and lots more options.

With the right tool, you can revolutionize your HR strategies. No more time wasted on developing DIY digital solutions for benefits administration, recruitment, or finances.

So, how do you pick the right software to meet your needs? This article will outline everything you need to know about HR software, including its benefits, features, and costs.

What is HR software?

HR software streamlines many human resources management tasks — from onboarding to payroll to benefits administration. With HR software and people ops tools, you can:

  • Develop recruitment strategies

  • Maintain performance management

  • Track work time

  • Manage employee data and finances

These tools also save your company time, money, and resources by automating several manual tasks. What used to require hours of paperwork for an HR team can now be finished in minutes.

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5 Best HR Software Solutions of 2024

1. Hubstaff

We’ll admit it, we’re biased here, but we’ve worked hard to build the best HR tool out there. Hubstaff is workforce management software that helps remote, field, and distributed teams track work time and time off, pay teams, schedule shifts, and more.

At its core, Hubstaff helps teams track time in easy, automated ways that produce more accurate, detailed timesheets. Payroll administrators can then use tracked hours to pay teams and invoice clients.

What makes Hubstaff stand out is its productivity measurement tools. You can monitor successes and time by tracking activity, tasks, and time wasters. Then, create strategies to optimize project costs and employee time.

Key features

  • Automated time tracking

  • Productivity insights

  • Scheduling and attendance

  • Time off and work breaks

  • Project budgeting

  • Detailed reporting

  • Payroll integrations


Hubstaff offers a free plan for a single user. It includes time tracking, timesheets, and limited payment features. If you need more users and features, you can opt for one of the paid plans — all of which support unlimited users:

  • Starter ($7 per user/month)

  • Grow ($9 per user/month)

  • Team ($12 per user/month)

  • Enterprise (Custom pricing available upon request)

If that’s still not enough for you, check out the additional add-ons.

  • Insights ($2 per user/month)

  • Tasks ($3 per user/month)

  • Data retention ($2 per user/month)

  • More screenshots ($3 per user/month)

There’s also a free 14-day trial you can use to check out the software and see if it’s the right fit for your needs.

Workday HR software

2. Workday

Workday is an HR management software that offers organizations a powerful solution for managing human resources. Workday enables core HR functions like payroll, benefits, and workforce planning.

The talent management features facilitate HR teams' recruitment, onboarding, and performance management. Workday's user-friendly interface and cloud-based architecture enhance accessibility and collaboration, making it a versatile and powerful tool for HR professionals.

Key features

  • Human capital management (HCM)

  • Talent management

  • Financial management

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Integration and cloud platform

  • Time tracking

  • Employee self-service

  • Pricing

Contact the Workday sales team for pricing.

Bamboo HR software

3. Bamboo HR

BambooHR is a user-friendly HR software solution known for its simplicity and effectiveness. It streamlines HR processes with features like applicant tracking, facilitating efficient recruitment.

The employee onboarding module ensures a smooth transition for new hires, while the performance management system allows organizations to track and assess employee performance. With its intuitive interface and customizable workflows, BambooHR is a popular choice for businesses seeking an accessible and comprehensive HR solution.

Key features

  • Applicant tracking system (ATS)

  • Employee onboarding

  • Performance management

  • Time-off tracking

  • HR reporting and analytics

  • Employee self-service

  • Document management

  • Benefits tracking


Contact BambooHR for pricing information.

Deel HR software

4. Deel

Deel HR is a cutting-edge platform that simplifies and streamlines workforce management. With a focus on international payroll software, compliance, and remote team collaboration, Deel HR offers a comprehensive solution for businesses with a worldwide presence.

The platform facilitates seamless onboarding processes, ensuring compliance with local regulations and simplifying payroll management across different countries. Deel HR's emphasis on remote work support and features like contract management and payment automation make it a strategic choice for companies navigating the complexities of managing a distributed workforce.

Key features

  • Global payroll

  • Compliance management

  • Onboarding automation

  • Remote team collaboration

  • Contract management

  • Payment automation


  • Deel HR: Free

  • Contractors: starting at $49/month

  • EOR: starting at $599

  • Payroll and Immigration: Contact Deel for a custom quote

ADP Workforce Now HR software

5. ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now is a versatile HR solution offering many functionalities. ADP Workforce Now simplifies complex HR tasks from payroll and benefits management to time and attendance tracking. Its talent management features enable organizations to manage the entire employee lifecycle effectively.

The platform's scalability and integration capabilities suit businesses of various sizes, ensuring a seamless and efficient HR management experience.

Key features

  • Payroll processing

  • Benefits administration

  • Time and attendance tracking

  • Talent management

  • Recruitment and applicant tracking

  • Compliance management

  • Employee self-service

  • HR analytics and reporting


Contact ADP Workforce Now for pricing information.

How much does HR software cost?

The cost of HR software will depend on several factors, including its features, type, and capabilities. Human resources software can cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands a month, depending on these factors.

To give you a rough idea of how much you can expect, the average cost of an HR system is about $210 per user per month.

How to budget for HR software

How can you budget for HR software and determine a reasonable price for your team?

First, and perhaps most obviously, examine your company budget. Then, find a ballpark figure you are willing to spend on software. You should also factor in the cost-saving abilities of each HR tool.

Once you have your approximate budget, start shopping around. Consider these crucial factors while looking:

  • Installation fees

  • Employee training and onboarding

  • Updates and maintenance

  • Technology support

  • Cost per employee as you grow

  • Customizations

Remember, HR or people ops software can save thousands by allowing your HR reps to focus on big-picture tasks. Even better, staff can make more data-driven (and cost-focused) human resources decisions.

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The benefits of HR software

It’s easy to see how HR software can give companies a competitive advantage. But what exactly can one do for you?

1. Reduce time spent on administrative tasks

A Career Builder report found that HR managers lose 14 hours a week performing tasks without automation. Such duties include updating employee skills, posting job openings, revising company policies, and implementing performance management tools.

2. Eliminate human error

Human error is a part of every company’s operations. This could mean inputting the wrong employee data, hourly rates, or benefits plans in the HR department. These errors can lead to even more significant issues, both financial and legal.

Incorrect data entry alone costs businesses in the U.S. $3.1 trillion per year.

Automation eliminates these errors, saving you from headaches and corrections later on. It’s especially significant when handling repetitive tasks like data entry or sending reminders to complete a training course.

3. Improve employee data organization

Let’s admit it: employee data organization is complex. HR professionals must organize details throughout the employee lifecycle, including benefits, onboarding, and time tracking.

With automated solutions, human resources employees don’t need to manage an overload of paperwork. All necessary information is stored in one place for everyone to view. This also helps non-HR employees, who can access the cloud-based HR software, find their answers.

4. Streamline processes

When you choose HR software that helps with multiple functions of an HR team, you gain efficiency and save time. You can simplify everything from hiring to assisting employees with retirement planning, especially when these are all part of a system that works together.

When using scheduling software, for example, you can streamline the process by setting up recurring shifts or adding time off requests directly through the same app. Some apps even inform you of late or missed shifts, streamlining attendance tracking.

5. Comply with laws and regulations

HR compliance software simplifies keeping up with laws and regulations. These tools can provide payroll and tax compliance, help ensure compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and offer resources for HR pros to stay up-to-date.

The average cost to maintain compliance can total up to $10,000.

HR software enables you to track compliance-related information such as hours worked, breaks taken, or overtime. This benefit is invaluable for businesses of any size or industry.

6. Put employees first with people ops

People operations is a business strategy focused on providing the best employee experience. With HR tools, you can optimize your HR processes and focus on essential things like employee engagement and development.

Companies in the top quartile of employee experience have 66% more digital capacity for work than those in the bottom quartile.

Proof that HR software works

As you’re researching and pitching HR tools to your team, it’s important to have statistics to pull from to prove the tool’s worth. But how do you know this software is effective?

Let’s look at some cold, hard facts.

HR software isn’t just for your HR team. It touches every department within an organization.

Managers can use HR tools to help track employee progress, employees can use scheduling and onboarding features, and finance teams can use the tax compliance and payroll elements.

Types of HR software

Before committing to an HR platform, knowing the available options is essential. Let’s talk about the different kinds of HR software.

Human resources information systems

Human resources information systems (HRIS) software handles core HR functions, focusing on data and record-keeping. More advanced options can help with tracking applicants and managing payroll. You can use HRIS software in conjunction with other software or independently.

Average monthly price per employee: $145 per month based on this report.

Human resources management systems

Human resources management systems (HRMS) are considered the most comprehensive software. It includes all the features of other HR systems, plus payroll solutions and time and labor management. You can see it as the “main player” in HR software.

Average monthly price per employee: $6 to $495 for highly advanced options.

Human capital management software

Human capital management (HCM) software is a suite of products that handle everything under the people ops and performance management umbrella. Using HCM, you can manage talent acquisition, administration, and optimization.

For your current staff, HCM offers employee performance reviews, employee sentiment, and employee engagement for the entire employee lifecycle.‌

Average monthly price per employee: Since HCM can combine multiple products, you can look toward the higher end of the HRMS range: $6 to $495 for highly advanced options.

Talent management systems

Talent management system (TMS) software allows you to keep track of the many pillars of talent recruiting. Think of learning management systems, compensation, and performance management.

A TMS helps HR professionals find and retain the best talent to avoid bad hires — one of the most considerable losses in costs for HR departments.

Average monthly price per employee: $10 to $20, with enterprise options up to $5,000/month.

Applicant tracking systems

An applicant tracking system (ATS) streamlines the entire hiring process for your company. This includes posting job openings and gathering and filtering applications by educational institutions or work history. The ATS will cover the rest once you’ve narrowed down your dream candidates.

Average monthly price per employee: $4 to $7 on average.

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Time tracking software

Time tracking software eliminates headaches by tracking all time spent throughout the workday. Employees can start and stop the timer while the app runs in the background. It even gives insight into which tasks were most productive and which were time wasters.

Average monthly price per employee: $5 to $20.

Top HR software features

Features vary among software tools, but these essential features can save your HR department the most time and cost.

  • Applicant tracking: Applicant tracking systems help speed up hiring. The best ATS will help you with interview scheduling, feedback, and hiring success.

  • Performance management: This feature helps clarify, track, and measure employee performance. Think of this as your performance review sidekick. With performance management systems, you can detail priorities, outline job expectations, and hold better performance reviews.

  • Benefits administration: Manage employee benefits such as health insurance, vacation days, retirement planning, or family leave with benefits administration. Employees can easily view balances and benefits details.

  • Time off management: The time off management feature gives HR teams and employees a convenient place to handle time off requests. Employees can send requests, and HR staff can communicate their approval or denial.

  • Employee scheduling: Scheduling features do much more than just help plan employee shifts. You can also schedule holidays, office closings, first days, and interviews.

  • Time and attendance tracking: The best HR systems offer automated notifications for shifts and attendance. The reporting from these features helps assess labor costs and create budgets.

  • Payroll management: Payroll features automate payments and help you calculate taxes and salaries.

  • People operations: People ops use employee data to yield actionable business insights while enhancing the employee experience.

Use case examples for HR software

Let’s look at real-life examples of how HR software can improve your HR processes.

You’re spending a lot of time on manual processes

An excellent example of manual process overload is the process of applicant tracking systems. HR wastes many hours on manual tasks during applicant tracking and recruitment, from sending out individual emails to following up with candidates.

An ATS can automate tasks like finding job boards with suitable candidates. Here are some of the things that an ATS can do:

  • Gather and post job details for you

  • Sort out candidates based on the best fit

  • Streamline interview setups and communicate your expectations with candidates

The only time an HR member has to get involved is during the interview. Not only does this speed up the process, but it also helps you choose only the best candidates.

You’re struggling with the recruiting process

If you’re having trouble with recruitment, you could lose out on the best candidates by trying to keep up with applications, sending emails, and scheduling interviews.

Recruiting becomes more straightforward when you have a tool to help you do the heavy lifting. HR software can streamline recruitment to ensure you respond quickly and efficiently to candidates.‌

You need to scale your HR processes because your team is growing

Choosing software with scalability allows you to adapt your HR process as your business changes and grows.

For example, perhaps your company is growing, and your current HR system is overloaded with onboarding tasks. HR software can automate most onboarding duties to reduce the time spent on small tasks that can slow down your growth.

How to choose the right HR software for your business

While one type of human resources software may look good, it may not meet your company goals. Or, you might be better off integrating two tools instead of an all-in-one enterprise solution.

Before settling on specific software, take the following steps.

  • Determine your needs: Consider how the right software can elevate your HR experience as you grow. Is there software that can change how HR approaches a singular pain point, or will it be more useful after you’ve gathered data from hiring the following five candidates?

  • Evaluate vendors: After determining your needs, it's time to identify possible HR software vendors. Research the top options, read reviews, check credentials, and review customer feedback. Narrow your search with the following criteria:

    • Features

    • Scalability

    • Support options

    • Pricing

  • Book demos and trials: The best way to see if a software option works for you is to book a demo or try it out for free. Completing a trial will give HR staff a solid idea of how user-friendly, customizable, and adaptable the software is to their needs.

How to make a business case for HR software

At this point, you know about the benefits of HR software. The next challenge is presenting a case to get leadership buy-in so you can use the ideal HR tool.

Research is critical in an excellent HR software presentation. Prepare your presentation through the following steps:

1. Identify benefits

Get as specific as possible. Yes, HR software increases productivity and saves time, but for whom? When? How? Examine the benefits not only through the frame of HR but also for other departments.

Are there specific pain points that software will solve for any of these departments? It helps to focus on the disadvantages of having no HR software. Explain how performing HR tasks manually is hurting your company as well.

2. Prepare use case examples

Use case examples as a form of proof that is directly applicable to the daily functions of your organization. Instead of examining how software helps with every stage of the HR process, pick one or two cases. This will allow you to go into deeper detail and show how HR teams will implement the software.

In the next section, we’ll include a few examples to help you get started.

3. Create an implementation timeline

An implementation timeline breaks the process into actionable steps. Focus on showing why the HR software will be a success through a detailed timeline. Divide the implementation by the number of employees required, time, and cost estimated to avoid surprises.

Try to get as specific as possible and stick with the example you used in the previous step for consistency. The most important things to include in your timeline are how long onboarding might take and when you might start seeing the benefits.

4. Demonstrate ROI

Demonstrating the projected return on investment is a surefire way to garner support. Crunch the numbers to see how much time your current HR system costs the company.

Do the same for how much time it would take and how much it would cost for the same tasks if you automated them. Compare costs and find the most impressive numbers. A high ROI will pique everyone’s interest, especially stakeholders.

5. Get stakeholder buy-in

Getting stakeholder buy-in can make all the difference. Before presenting your case, think about what stakeholders may ask. Contemplate their pain points and what your software can do to fix them.

If you aren't sure what questions could come up, think about questions you could ask them instead. This initiates interest and discussion. If stakeholders are invested, chances are that others will also be as well.

Get started with the best HR software today

hr time tracking software
Now you know the ins and outs of HR software, you’re probably wondering where to start. We’ve outlined a few simple steps to get you started:

  • Meet with your team and create an HR software requirements spreadsheet. Pinpoint what your team needs now while considering potential changes in the future.

  • Select what software best meets your needs by listing your desired functionality.

  • Decide on a reasonable budget.

  • Explore vendors.

  • Book demos, undergo trials, and speak with sales reps — everything you need to help you choose.

  • Present your business case to all the relevant stakeholders.

Powerful HR tools with cost-friendly strategies and advanced automation can be the difference between successful businesses and those left behind. Investing in your HR software can improve your employee experience and workflows across your organization.

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