The best tools for HR professionals in 2021

The job of an HR professional is one that scarcely gets easier with time. The focus by definition is on people, the most valuable resource of an organization, and from economic challenges to the pandemic, much has happened to bring HR into the limelight.

The war for talent continues to rage in the modern economy, with a premium on quality services and data-driven insights. From a purely administrative function ticking away at the backend, talent management systems are now a frontend strategic initiative. HR leaders must not just attract the right people but retain them for the long term if the business is to remain successful in 2021 and further.

In this scenario, best practices and sound judgment play critical roles. And what help HR professionals to cover more responsibilities in less time are a variety of HR tools. Here are the chief HR domains and some of the best tools for the purpose:

1. Recruitment and onboarding

· GoldenBees: Manually sourcing candidate profiles is a thing of the past, with the GoldenBees programmatic recruitment platform HR helping to reach the right candidate at the right time with the best message through the most suitable channel. It intelligently targets the right candidates on the web with the particular job offers, automatically distributes HR ads across the web and connected media, and brings up the best-match CVs and profiles. It conveniently integrates with existing applicant tracking systems (ATSs).

· Sage HR: From initially offering just leave management, this has now grown to become a fully-featured talent management system, with its coverage extending across attendance, expenses, and work performance. New modules and features are constantly being developed, and HR leaders can integrate the package with services including Payroll and Accounting as well as with Sages Business Cloud portfolio. It is mobile ready and suitable for engaging with, managing, and tracking remote workforces.

2. People management

· Staff Squared HR: This is a cloud-based HR software package well suited to manage business HR requirements, including saving time and complying with legalities. Its features include holiday management, centralized employee information, document management, reporting, and easy integration with other systems. It allows setting goals to boost company output and bottom line. It offers a great user experience with a simple-to-use, well-designed interface. There is a fully-featured free trial period available for prospective customers.

· Talentsoft Hub: This is an adaptable and unified talent management system with embedded intelligent features. It stores data at a central location in one unified record system, allowing for adaptation and customization as per local exceptions as well as particular administrative needs for different organizations and roles. It is flexible and scalable, and brings in data analytics and automated controls to ensure data quality. It allows simplified reporting of sustainability KPIs, workforce analysis, and contract document generation, among its many functionalities.

3. Employee engagement

· Glint: This is a useful tool using ‘Pulses’, which are mobile-enabled micro surveys. These surveys capture real-time engagement data, for which the questions can be created on the basis of 18 proven engagement drivers. Employee feedback is available on demand, and it gives guidance on how to strengthen engagement and drive results. It has a well-designed mobile app and an intuitive, interactive, and simple dashboard with real-time, powerful engagement analytics, which help to extract actionable insights.

· Culture Amp: Aimed at strengthening company culture, this offers deep dive, diagnostic, and pulse surveys as well as powerful analytics and action plans. It is designed by data scientists and psychologists for creating a purposeful feedback program, and it has actionable personalized dashboards for individuals, managers, and leaders. It has a library of surveys covering change readiness, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing, among others. Results can be compared with more than 62 benchmarks based on real-world corporate data.

4. Communication and feedback

· 15Five: Founded with the aim of taking just 15 minutes to write a report that a manager could read in no more than five minutes, this seeks to boost engagement and transparency, and nip problems in the bud. Visibility into managerial practices allows positive organizational changes and helps change managers into coaches. It creates a feedback loop between managers, executives, and their direct reports, and allows for improved accountability, clarity, consistent expectations, transparency, and access to insights on personnel thoughts and culture.

· SnapComms: This is a multi-channel communications platform that helps to connect and engage with employees through different sources such as desktops, mobile devices, and digital signage. It is a visual internal communication tool bypassing email to avoid message fatigue, and delivering the right results. It facilitates high engagement and readership through unique formats and targeting. Its features include desktop alerts and tickers, digital newsletters, panic buttons, questionnaires, and more. It has templates for employee wellness, system outages, cybersecurity compliance, and many other communications requirements.

5. Education

· HBR Ideacast: A podcast from the Harvard Business Review (HBR), one of the most prestigious brands in business management, this gives deeper insights into leading HR issues covered in the print edition of HBR. It looks at matters such as the dynamic HR landscape and changes in how work is done, connecting these with macro trends in culture, economy, and society. Along with detailed knowledge for HR professionals and HR leaders, it also gives broader business information.

· Courses: For staying up to pace with evolving HR requirements, it is always advised to look for the right HR courses as well as online HR and talent management certifications. Several courses are available, and it is important to pick a recognized, prestigious institution and the right course as per the qualifications and experience of the person.

6. Productivity

· This is a great tool that combines multiple tools commonly used by HR teams to organize, plan, and track complicated projects. It offers a unified task list from multiple services such as Basecamp, Evernote, Gmail, and Trello. It gives an accurate picture of ongoing tasks and projects, with insights into completion status and pain points or roadblocks encountered. It allows prioritization of tasks, setting due dates, and communicating in real time.

· asana: A convenient way to manage team tasks and projects, asana allows mapping out each step and centrally organizing all work details. It gives a view of current work status, helps to identify next steps, and offers timelines for planning how different parts of a project come together. Forms allow streamlining of work intake processes, making it easy for others to request work.

As the world heads further into 2021, HR professionals face a challenging task. The right combination of innovative and useful HR tools with excellent knowledge and the best online HR and talent management certifications will ensure they take the organization successfully toward its strategic goals.

Human Resource Professional. Passionate about Human Resources. Writing has always been a passion with strong interest in talent management & HR Industry.