Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Complete Guide To Buying HR Software

With literally hundreds of HR software out there, buying can become pretty overwhelming.

I want to try and provide a one-stop shop for all of your HR software needs. There are lots of different steps in the HR process, and HR touches a lot of points.

I’ve written previously about what to look for when trying to either build or compare vendors, but here I want to break down all the different tools in the different categories, and hopefully this will be a good starting point for HR managers.

I will say that I haven’t used all of these tools, although I’ve taken a demo and used many of them. For the ones I haven’t used, I tried to do as much research as I could.

I will try and be as unbiased as possible, except when it comes to employee recognition software, because obviously Officevibe is the best ;)

It will benefit your team to purchase an employee engagement software

It’s important for me to say that all of these tools should be able to link into your existing tools. The technical way that this happens is through what’s called an API.

I won’t explain the technical part of it, but just think of it like a connector. API’s can push data from one system to another, or they can pull data from one system to another.

For example, you could have data from your payroll software get pushed to your benefits administration software, to make your life easier.

No need to be checking and logging into 20 different tools.

One final note before I start listing vendors, is that I’m going to limit it to 10 per category at most, some will have less.

As much as I want to make this a lengthy post, the point of this is to narrow down the list to make your job as an HR manager easier.

Alright, let’s get started…

Recruiting Software

This is usually the first stage in the HR manager’s process, so we’ll start with this one.

There is obviously a big shift in mobile usage, so look out for that, as well as web-based software (SaaS).

1. Linkedin Recruiter

You can’t deny the power that Linkedin has now in the recruiting space. They’ve recently surpassed, and continue to grow exponentially.

If your needs aren’t that big, and you only post a few new jobs a year, you can use their regular job posting service, which costs just under $400.

2. Work4Labs

These guys are leaders in social recruiting. You can create job pages on your Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin pages through their platform.

With Facebook Graph Search, searching for a potential candidate is easier and more accurate.

3. RecruiterBox

The thing I like most about RecruiterBox is their software is simple. Here is a video demo that you can watch to learn more.

They also have a pretty impressive list of customers and testimonials, so you know it’s good.

4. Workable

If you’re a smaller business, I’d definitely recommend checking this product out. Their pricing is very flexible, which is great for businesses that are about to scale.

Even their enterprise plan is pretty cheap, at $399/month. The interface is also very clean and nice, which is always helpful, and they have tons of integrations to make your life easier.

5. Indeed

Everyone knows about Indeed, it’s the most popular job search engine, and has been growing massively in the last few years.

I really like how their pricing works, because it’s the same way that most online advertising works.

The way it works is you set your own budget, and your own cost-per-click, meaning you only pay if someone actually clicks on the job posting. Their Resume search is also amazing, and very accurate.

6. SkillMeter

This is a much smarter way of recruiting in my opinion, because you want to see what skills the candidate has, not where they went to school or whatever.

This is especially important for software developers. Instead of asking candidates to submit projects that you have to go through, you can create tests for them to complete.

7. Seelio

If you’re interested in recruiting students, this is the platform to use.

The way Seelio works is students build a profile where they can showcase projects, and build their professional brand.

As a company, you can tap into their network, and build your own company profile page.

They’re still relatively new, I remember when they first launched (I was working on a startup for students), and it’s nice to see how much they’ve grown.

8. Entelo

Entelo is an awesome platform, with a whole host of products to help you with your recruiting.

We even had an opportunity to catch up with them in our CultureTalks series:

My personal favorite is their mobile app, which has been called Tinder for recruiting.

Another cool one is their Google Chrome extension that lets you get extra information on a candidate, and directly add notes or message them.


I was sold right away when I saw their website. I know it’s a weird way to judge a company, but I put a lot of emphasis on how nice and modern their website is.

They have a really impressive list of customers, and their software is powerful.

I think their best feature is the reporting and analytics, to allow you to start optimizing your hiring process, and get better at finding the right candidate.

10. oDesk

I have to have oDesk on the list here, because 40% of the workforce will be freelancers very soon.

Companies should start getting used to this, and understand how to use a tool like oDesk. It’s a very powerful tool, and it’s important for quick jobs that could easily become long term. I’m a big fan of oDesk, and have been using them for years.

Video Interviewing

Expect video interviewing to get much more popular, so recruiters and HR managers should probably practice being on camera.

Video interviewing is much more efficient, it saves people time, and is much more appropriate since everything is moving to technology these days.

1. HireVue

HireVue’s high definition video interviewing platform is a great way to optimize your interview process.

Instead of making candidates travel to your office, allow them to video chat with you instead.

All the videos are recorded, so that you can share them with your team, and re watch later. They also have mobile apps to make it even more convenient for you.

2. Vidcruiter

What I like about Vidcruiter is that it takes you through the entire process, from hiring to onboarding, through videos.

There are a bunch of video interviewing platforms, but not many video onboarding, or at least not many companies that make it a seamless experience.

You can also have candidates record their interview for you to watch later, in case you’re recruiting someone in another timezone.

3. Spark Hire

Spark hire is another video recruiting platform, and probably one of the least expensive options, starting at $49/month.

They also have mobile apps, to make it possible to do mobile video recruiting. They’re growing incredibly fast, and have a huge list of customers.


Recruitby is based out of Helsinki, Finland, so they’re more popular in Europe, but they still have a very nice product.

I like how they have an estimation tool to see how much time you could potentially save by using videos instead of phone interviews. They also have some really nice case studies on their website.

5. Kira

I like this Kira because the interface is clean, and they have some really nice features like analytics, and a question creator.

They have a free plan, and then an interesting pricing model, at $15/interview. They also have an API to allow you to integrate into your ATS system.

Applicant Tracking

Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) is really more for mid-large sized businesses, but it’s still an important part of the recruiting process.

Expect social recruiting to keep rising, and for mobile to really explode. Most of the vendors I’m about to list are either currently developing a mobile strategy, or have just recently put one in place.

1. The Resumator

The Resumator is probably the fastest growing software company in the applicant tracking process, although I have no data to back that up.

They have a pretty impressive list of customers, lots of powerful features and integration with lots of popular tools like Salesforce.

2. Jobvite

On their site it says “Applicant Tracking For The Social Web”, and that’s a very good way of describing it.

Jobvite really is an all-in-one recruiting platform, and if your company is serious about recruiting, they’re definitely worth looking into.

They even have a video recruiting feature, which will become more and more popular.

3. Bullhorn

Bullhorn is a leader in the ATS space, and has been around for over a decade. They recently released a new version of their software, and it looks pretty good.

I’m a big fan of security, so I thought it was pretty cool that Bullhorn was the first ATS to be SSAE 16 compliant.

4. Hiring Thing

More and more of these tools are becoming all-in-one solutions. I was never really a fan of that, because I think it makes sense to focus on one thing, but these guys do a good job at it.

They also have probably the best pricing I’ve ever seen for a comparable tool.

5. JobScore

Probably the coolest feature of JobScore is their shared resumes.

What this means, is that you have potential candidates available the second you’re finished posting your job.

Payroll Software

Obviously companies need to pay their employees, and as a company grows this becomes harder and harder to manage. You can keep doing this manually for a while, but if you want to be efficient and save time, a payroll software will make sense.

1. Intuit Payroll

Intuit is well known for its accounting software, so it would make sense that they’re good at handling payroll.

The beauty of this is that most small businesses use Quickbooks, and they integrate seamlessly.

2. ADP

ADP is probably the most well known provider of payroll services, and have a pretty large share of the market.

Their mobile solution is nice, and lets employees check in on their pay history.

3. Paychex

Paychex seems like a great option for small businesses looking to outsource their payroll.

They have over 100 locations around the US, and provide a more consultative approach to payroll management.

4. Ceridian

Ceridian is also very well known, and has a really impressive list of clients, and different solutions for many different business sizes.

They’ve been around for over 80 years, so they obviously know that they’re doing.

5. Zen Payroll

Zen Payroll is delightful, modern payroll. Most of these other vendors are “old school”, whereas Zen Payroll is relatively new.

Amazing features, and very smart pricing, I really think everyone should check these guys out. If I was looking for a payroll tool, realistically this would be the one I would go for.

Employee Benefits

1. Zenefits

Zenefits is one of the cleanest, simplest tools I’ve ever seen, even outside of HR. They have a very intuitive dashboard that lets employees manage benefits themselves.

This is a real trend that HR managers should look out for. The same way that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) took over, employee powered software is the future.

2. AnyPerk

AnyPerk is arguably the most popular employee perks program, and one of the biggest.

I really like the way AnyPerk works, you sign up and have access to hundreds of discounts. This is a great way to offer employees benefits, and to boost employee engagement.

3. Select

Select is another similar product like AnyPerk, offering your employees discounts at select (see what I just did) vendors.

They seem to be more high end vendors, and have a pretty impressive list of customers (like Facebook), and some high quality partners.

Employee Recognition

1. Officevibe

Officevibe is an employee engagement software that improves company culture. The way it works, is you and your coworkers do different team building activities at work and earn points and badges.

The activities were designed to build good behaviours over time.

If you and your coworkers are building these good habits, you’ll organically create a good company culture.

2. Wooboard

Wooboard is an employee recognition platform based out of Australia.

The way this product works, is you “woo” someone (basically praise) for something they’ve done.

Their pricing is great, and works out to about $1/user/month. It’s a very clean interface, and a simple product.

3. Keas

Keas is an employee engagement software that focuses solely on employee wellness, which is a huge issue.

Unhealthy workers cost companies a lot of money, and lower overall productivity by a lot. Keas is more of an enterprise platform, with a pretty impressive list of clients.

Their resources section is also great, with tons of content about employee wellness.

4. Kudos

Kudos is very similar to Wooboard above, in the sense that it’s about praise, and giving “kudos” to a coworker.

Their system is also gamified, with the use of points, badges, and leaderboards.

Learning Management Systems

1. Axonify

Axonify is a tool that I’m really excited about. It’s a learning management system, but gamified.

They have a really impressive list of enterprise customers, it’s like Lumosity but for work. This tool will increase employee retention, and make your employees smarter.

2. Udemy

Udemy is one of my favourite websites, and I’ve personally spent a lot of time on their platform.

They have corporate solutions, that are meant for companies. They have 2 options, you can either get volume discounts to all of their courses (there are hundreds), or you can use their platform to create your own courses for your team.

The platform is very intuitive and user friendly, and if I was making a course, this would probably be the tool I would use.

3. Upside Learning

Probably the leader in employee training solutions, they have a really impressive product, and a really impressive list of clients.

They offer custom solution, and also have a mobile solution, to allow your employees to learn on the go.

4. Moodle

What’s cool about Moodle is that it’s completely open source, which means you can really customize it to your unique needs.

5. LearnUpon

What I like about LearnUpon is that it’s really more meant for training companies.

So consultants or trainers can use their platform, and completely white-label it to provide custom training solutions for their clients.

6. Cogentys

Cogentys is a very cool product, and I would be happy to recommend them. Their platform is really configurable, and there is a lot of flexibility.

They have API’s to enable you to integrate with other products, and a massive library of pre-made courses.

Employee Reporting

There are tools to help monitor what employees are working on, without micromanaging them.

Using these tools will not only save you time, but it will make the process much more acceptable.

1. 15Five

The concept behind 15Five is simple, spend 15 minutes writing a report, once a week on what you did in the last week, and managers should be able to read the report in 5 minutes.

This is much smarter than a weekly meeting that usually ends up veering off into a discussion about nothing.

2. iDoneThis

Another way to save time is by using iDoneThis.

Most teams do what are called stand up meetings, where they take 15 minutes to talk about what they did yesterday, what they plan on doing today, and if they’ve facing any issues.

Instead of meeting for 15 minutes a day, write an email in 30 seconds.

If there are any vendors in any category that I left out, please don’t be offended, I still love you.

I wanted to be as unbiased as possible, and as selective as possible. I would be happy recommending these products, and there are probably a bunch that I was unable to find.

Do you have any tools that make your office better?

We love being a unique employee engagement software, and we’re really influenced by the people within the HR tech industry. Let us know what you use to make your organization run smoothly in the comments below!

Source: B2C_Business

The Complete Guide To Buying HR Software

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