Organizational Wellness

Your Complete Guide to HR Tools: 20 Tool Categories

Apr 26, 2023
Last Updated Jun 14, 2024

What's the #1 tool your HR team uses most each day? If your answer was "spreadsheets," it's OK—we’ve all been there. But we promise there’s a better world out there!

Now, we can't promise you'll never have to look at another spreadsheet again. But there are so many great options these days that are more interactive and useful than simply staring at endless rows and columns.

Here are some of the great HR softwares you can choose from, categorized by use.


Recruitment and Onboarding Tools

These tools help with all the different stages of the hiring process, from candidate outreach toemployee onboarding.

Sourcing Tools

Sourcing tools help HR teams find and engage potential candidates for open positions at their company. They help you keep a pool of good-fit candidates for futuretalent acquisition, like previous applicants or people you find through social media outreach.

Example tools include Covey and LinkedIn Recruiter.

Applicant Tracking Systems

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is recruiting software that manages and stores hiring data. It helps you manage the recruitment process, from application to job offer.

Some examples include BambooHR and Greenhouse.

Background Check Software

Background check softwares are used to verify the identity and background of potential hires. They commonly carry out reviews of an applicants’ employment, education, and credit history, as well as criminal background checks.

Some well-regarded background check software solutions include Checkr and Certn.

Recruiting Automation Platforms

Recruiting automation platforms are digital tools designed to streamline the recruitment process, helping companies hire more efficiently. They help you automate some of the more time-consuming tasks, such as listing open roles on job boards, resume sifting, and booking screening calls.

Examples of recruiting automation tools include Zoho Recruit and Lever.

Candidate Screening Tools

Candidate screening tools help recruiters and hiring managers to identify the best candidates for a given job. These tools use various methods, such as skills-based assessments, culture evaluations, personality tests, and psychometrics tests, to determine the skills and qualities of applicants.

Some example candidate screening platforms include TestGorilla and Testlify

Candidate Relationship Management Solutions

Candidate Relationship Management Solutions (CRMs) help recruiters and hiring managers better manage and nurture their relationships with potential candidates. They enable employers to track interactions with job candidates across the hiring lifecycle. They also provide a central place to store candidate information for easy access.

Examples CRMs include Gem and Zoho Recruit.

Onboarding Tools

Onboarding tools help HR departments streamline and automate the process of bringing a new employee into the fold, reducing paperwork and providing a smooth transition for new hires.

Examples of onboarding software include Gusto and Enboarder.

People Management Tools

For HR leaders, a lot of your day-to-day work will focus on talent management — monitoring team performance and ensuring you have the right people in the right roles. These tools can help.

Employee Management System

An Employee Management System (EMS) that helps employers streamline and automate the oversight of their workforce. It’s a comprehensive platform for tracking and managing employee data, from time tracking to payroll and employee performance evaluations.

Example EMSs include Zenefits and BambooHR.

Performance Management Software

Performance management software will be used by company leaders in addition to HR. Managers can set goals for their teams and measure progress against key performance metrics. This helps HR professionals identify the top performers in the organization to streamline the succession planning process.

Some examples of performance management tools include Lattice and 15Five.

Learning and Development Tools

L&D often falls within the HR function, so you’ll probably use tools like those listed below to create, share, and measure the effectiveness of different education materials.

Learning Management System

A learning management system (LMS) is used to manage and deliver e-learning content. Companies use them to provide online training modules to employees and track people’s progress.

Examples of learning management systems include 360Learning and Docebo.

Course Authoring Platforms

Course authoring platforms are used to create interactive digital learning experiences. This could include sales training using real-life call recordings or modules to improve specific skills like workload planning or team management.

Some course authoring platforms include Eduflow and iSpring Suite.

Microlearning Platforms

Microlearning platforms help companies deliver short, hyper-focused employee training sessions. This form of self-directed learning has been proven to be highly effective because it helps employees learn new skills and knowledge quickly.

Some microlearning platforms include EdApp and 7taps.

Employee Engagement Tools

Retention is easier when employees are engaged in their work than if they’re disengaged and dissatisfied. To support this vital work, HR departments often use dedicated tools to track and improve employee engagement levels.

Survey Tools

Survey tools help companies measure and track employee engagement, satisfaction, and overall wellbeing. They enable employers to collect feedback from employees on various topics and track responses over time.

Some employee survey tools include Culture Amp and Qualtrics.

Recognition and Rewards Platforms

Recognition and rewards platforms help organizations show appreciation by recognizing employees for their hard work. These platforms enable employers to create custom rewards programs tailored to their company culture and values.

Examples of employee recognition platforms include Bonusly and Kudos.

Peer Recognition Tools

Peer recognition tools enable employees to highlight each other's accomplishments and contributions. These platforms help organizations cultivate a culture of appreciation and collaboration.

Some peer recognition tools include 15Five and Nectar.

Employee Benefits Platform

Employee benefits platforms help organizations manage their additional compensations and perks. Such programs can make the benefit administration process easier for HR teams — you can configure, customize, and track the usage of different programs in one dedicated platform.

Some popular employee benefits platforms include Perkbox and Zenefits.

Corporate Wellbeing Platform

Corporate wellbeing platforms help employers promote the health and wellness of their employees. They enable organizations to monitor and measureemployee wellbeing. They often give team members access to fitness classes, gym memberships, and other perks to improve their physical and mental health.

Examples of corporate wellbeing platforms include Wellhub and Betterspace.

Administration & Finances Tools

Many of thecore HR processes involve a lot of time-consuming admin, so dedicated tools for some of those tasks can help teams work more efficiently.

Payroll Software

Payroll software is used to manage the process of paying employees' wages, including making deductions for things like taxes, retirement savings, and health insurance. It helps employers accurately calculate salary, deductions, and other payroll-related tasks.

Examples of payroll software include Inova Payroll and ADP RUN.


An HRIS, or Human Resources Information System, helps companies manage and streamline their employee data. It enables employers to store and access employee information such as payroll, healthcare benefits, performance reviews, and more.

Some HRISs include Bob and Personio.

Time Tracking Software

Time tracking software is used to track and manage employee time and attendance, often in real-time. You can use them to track employee timesheets, hours worked, vacation days taken, and overtime hours logged.

Examples of time tracking tools include Toggl and Hubstaff.

What to Consider When Choosing HR Tools

As you can see, there are many different HR tools you might want to add to your tech stack. But before you jump in and start looking for different options, let's run through what you should consider when comparing tools.

  1. Ease of Use

The last thing you want is to choose a tool that’s too difficult to learn so no one uses it. Look for tools with a user-friendly interface, as these will be easier to implement and adopt across the team. This will help the team get up and running quickly, with minimal disruption to their workflow.

  1. Cost

Cost is also an important factor. Different tools use various pricing models, so consider how many people will need access. You should also double-check what features are available at which price points. You may opt for what initially appears to be a cheaper tool but ultimately end up upgrading to get all the functionality you need.

  1. Data Privacy and Security

HR tools store lots of sensitive employee information like payroll data and contact details. Look for tools that meet high security standards to reduce the risk of data breaches and take the best care of your team's data.

  1. Compatibility With Your Existing Tools

No HR tool is an island. Think about how a new program will connect with the rest of your tech stack. If it integrates smoothly with your existing systems, this will make it easier to use. However, if you need to set up custom integrations, that will be more time-consuming and may make the tool less valuable to your team.

  1. Scalability as Business Needs Change

The best HR solutions will work for your company today and in five years’ time, especially considering the advancement in AI for HR. Consider how well the tool will scale up as your organization grows. Will it handle increased user numbers and data volume — and how will that affect what you pay?

Looking for A New Addition to Your HR Tool Stack?

If you’re reviewing your HR technology stack, chances are you’ve got most of the basics covered. You’ve probably already got a payroll solution, HRIS, applicant tracking system, and employee management solution.

So if you’re looking for something new to add to your toolkit, you probably want something different. Something that’ll benefit your existing employees and also help you attract new hires. 

Sixty-three percent of employees say wellbeing support programs will be a top priority when applying for their next job, according to Paychex research. That makes a corporate wellbeing platform a great addition to your tools. Talk to one of our specialists today to find out more about Wellhub’ platform, and how we can help you launch your wellness program!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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