The way the human resources (HR) department works has changed over time. Especially since the pandemic, companies had to adopt a remote/hybrid work model and HR professionals had to find ways to recruit, hire, engage, and manage employees virtually.
In the pre-pandemic world, HR professionals had to manage issues related to attracting top talent, retaining high-performing staff, and boosting employee engagement. With the new remote/hybrid work model, they now have additional responsibilities of supporting employees’ mental and physical health along with ensuring a seamless remote work experience.
HR software tools can ease these pain points by helping the HR team onboard new hires virtually, manage remote teams, and track the performance of remote employees. These tools also provide self-service portals that employees can use to access or update relevant information without assistance from an HR professional.
In addition, the capability to automate administrative tasks and integrate with applications such as learning management, expense report, and time and attendance management systems has made core HR management software a must-have for organizations—big or small.
HR software trends that will impact employers in 2022
As much as 80% of employees want to continue working in the hybrid model, per Gartner research (full content available to Gartner clients). Therefore, improving employee experience is one of the key differentiators for organizations.
Moreover, due to remote work setups, employees are prone to privacy-related risks, such as unauthorized third-party access to company information or inappropriate use of confidential information by third parties.
This makes HR leaders responsible for creating a more secure remote work environment by enhancing employee experience and strengthening data privacy. Here are some trends that could impact the day-to-day work of employees:
- Employee engagement: To create a positive work culture—even in a remote setup—engaging employees is crucial. Employee engagement can include recognition programs, a seamless onboarding experience, performance management, and self-service capabilities. Organizations focused on providing employee engagement will ensure greater employee loyalty, increased productivity, and an overall superior employee experience.
- Security: The need for securing employees and their devices has increased due to remote work. Employees can log in from any location, such as restaurants or their homes, which increases the risk of cyber threats. Accessing an unsecured network can lead to security breaches or leakage of sensitive information. Therefore, human capital management teams must employ a means to secure employee identity and devices. They can use multifactor authentication, role-based access, and antivirus, among other methods.
- Automation: Whether it’s hiring, training, or ensuring compliance with labor laws, nearly all human capital management processes can be automated to a large extent. With ever-increasing employee data, tasks such as resume screening, timekeeping, payroll management, and benefits management can become time-consuming and hinder productivity. Automating such repetitive tasks and workflows can free up the HR department to focus on more strategic decision-making.
Top 5 HR tools with features that keep pace with industry trends
Here at Software Advice, we want to help you find the right HR software solution for your business. We took a look at our FrontRunners report to find the top five HR software options (based on usability and customer satisfaction scores) with features that will make your business ready for the above trends in 2022 and beyond.
What is the FrontRunners report?
FrontRunners is SoftwareAdvice’s annual ranking of top software tools leveraging ratings from over 1 million user reviews on the following parameters: ease of use, value for money, functionality, customer support, and likelihood to recommend. Products are scored on two primary dimensions:
- Usability: Includes user ratings for functionality and ease of use
- Customer satisfaction: Includes user ratings for customer support, likelihood to recommend, and value for money
Note: Products are listed in descending order of their total usability and customer satisfaction scores; click here to read how we selected these products.
- Notable features: Payroll management, talent management, time and attendance, learning management, benefits management, workflow automation, app and device management
- Mobile app: Available
Rippling is a cloud-based employee management software platform offering a single database to manage onboarding, payroll, offboarding, IT, and other HR operations.
Rippling’s employee engagement module provides a centralized platform to communicate company information and keep employees up to date on events such as staff promotions, work anniversaries, and birthdays.
Rippling protects employee and business data from being lost or stolen. Its IT management capability helps manage employee passwords and user provisioning such as single sign-on and role-based access to apps. It also helps remotely manage the entire lifecycle of business devices, including device onboarding, configuration and software installation, and shipping to employees. It even automates device offboarding when an employee leaves.
Rippling’s Workflow Automator tool automates all HR operations—from employee onboarding to offboarding. It allows users to build custom trigger workflows without any coding skills. HR teams can automatically send onboarding emails to new hires, add new hires to orientation sessions, initiate a discussion on messaging platforms when a security risk is detected, and much more.
Single sign-on in Rippling (Source)
- Notable features: Employee management, onboarding, reporting, goals setting, compliance management, benefits management
- Mobile app: Available
Flock is a cloud-based HR management solution that helps streamline and digitize HR processes such as scheduling interviews, performing background checks, and onboarding to payroll and benefits.
Flock’s collaboration and broadcast messaging capabilities help HR teams boost employee engagement. They can broadcast business news, updates, or other important messages to groups or subgroups of employees based on the employment type, location, job role, etc. The software also provides polling options to collect employee feedback on any existing HR process or policy.
The software offers password management and two-step authentication to verify the identity of users trying to access company data. It encrypts employee passwords and confidential business information to prevent unauthorized internal or third-party access to company data or apps.
Flock automates communication for processes such as new hire introductions, staff work anniversaries, and employee promotions. Its time-off module automates calculations for the accrual of leaves, banked hours, and carryovers. The software also automates the generation of HR reports, such as payroll and benefits reports, that automatically reflect any changes made to company or employee-level data. These reports can be scheduled at any frequency.
Reporting in Flock (Source)
- Notable features: Payroll management, benefits management, HR management, employee self-onboarding, PTO management, detailed employee profiles, custom personnel checklists
- Mobile app: Available
OnPay is a cloud-based payroll and HR solution that automates onboarding and payroll workflows to help HR departments manage new hires as well as current employees.
The software offers a self-service employee portal and in-app messaging to boost employee engagement. Employees or contractors can self-update and manage their personal information, time-offs, documents, and paystubs. With in-app messaging, HR teams can send reminders, performance reviews, and other notes to employees to keep them updated with the latest information.
Company menu on the OnPay dashboard lets HR professionals add users and adjust settings to protect sensitive information. They can adjust the user access settings to provide controlled access to information and features available on the OnPay dashboard. This way, companies have full control over how internal and external parties are accessing their accounts and can restrict access to data based on the user role.
OnPay automates tax calculations, team management, and HR administrative tasks such as updating org charts and tracking accruals. It also provides automated onboarding workflows and e-signing capabilities to support remote hiring. All employee data—from onboarding to time-offs—is automatically synced to payroll.
Automated onboarding in OnPay (Source)
- Notable features: Onboarding, time and attendance tracking, recruitment management, payroll, expense claims, employee portal, performance management
- Mobile App: Available
HR Partner is an online HR system that helps manage recruitment and HR processes such as applicant tracking, employee records management, leaves tracking, and training management.
The tool’s employee portal assists with employee engagement. The self-service portal offers employees control over their personal information. Employees can submit leave requests, access the staff directory to update their contact details, and more. The software also helps keep track of employee birthdays and work anniversaries. It even allows HR teams to create custom forms to collect feedback or any kind of information from employees.
HR Partner offers role-based access for sensitive employee information, such as contracts, performance reviews, and internal employee notes. It also salts, hashes, and encrypts all user passwords to protect against any kind of unauthorized access.
HR Partner automates applicant tracking and onboarding. Its applicant tracking feature automatically sends onboarding checklists to new hires once their data is added to the employee records. It also streamlines the document collection process from new hires using its embedded e-signature capability. Additionally, the software lets HR teams set up automated reminders to follow up on onboarding, training, documentation, or any other task employees need to complete. The progress on these tasks is automatically synced to the employees’ records.
Employee portal in HR Partner (Source)
- Notable features: Justworks PEO, payroll management, benefits management, compliance management, performance management, talent management
- Mobile app: Available
Justworks is a cloud-based HRIS software tool that helps streamline HR processes such as onboarding, time tracking, document management, reporting, and regulatory compliance.
The software provides a single centralized platform for employees to access benefits, perks, and payroll—whether they work from office or home. Its online onboarding functionality allows new hires to access tools, perks, and resources to stay updated with company information. Justworks lets employees invest in retirement plans, insurance funds, etc. Employees can also access the company directory to view the contact details of colleagues and learn more about their roles.
Companies can set permissions within the Justworks platform to provide access to different sets of features and employee information based on user roles. For example, the finance department can have access to expense claims, payroll data, and tax filing, while managers can access their team data, including employee information, time-off requests, and pay rate and salary details.
Justworks automates tasks such as payroll calculation, benefits administration, and employee time tracking by geo-location. Payroll automation helps manage payments for remote, part-time, and full-time employees. Benefits administration automates the rolling out of plans and coverage available to employees as well as ensures compliance with applicable HR regulations.
Stay on top of HR software trends with Software Advice’s FrontRunners reports
Human resource is the most important department for any business. How the HR team works impacts both employee productivity and retention. Therefore, it’s important to choose an HR tool that helps your HR department take care of employees—right from hiring to retention.
SoftwareAdvice’s annual FrontRunners rankings provide a strong starting point to find the right tool for your business.
This article highlights five HR tools with the features your business needs to stay on top of industry trends in 2022. If these tools don’t seem quite right for your needs, check out our HR FrontRunners report to check out more tools with top user ratings from businesses like yours.
Methodology and note
At Software Advice, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.
To be featured in this report, products had to be:
- Featured in SoftwareAdvice’s HR FrontRunners report, as accessed on Jan. 14, 2022. The five products with the highest scores in our FrontRunners report are featured in this article.
- Meet our market definition for human resource software: Human resource software (or HR software) is a type of software designed to help businesses with their workforce management needs. Whether it’s a core responsibility like payroll or a more strategic one like employee learning and development (L&D), HR software can make it easier to manage and more likely to produce desired results.
Click here to read the Frontrunners report methodology in detail.
Disclaimer: We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of Jan. 14, 2022. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards above show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings value in the product card may not reflect the ratings value at the time of analysis.