March 19, 2021

When HR Tech is your HR Team: Software Guide for Startups

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As the owner of a startup company, an HR department probably isn’t your main priority. You’re likely more focused on sales, marketing, or production teams. However, you still need the functions of an HR department, even if you can’t hire specific employees. The right HR software can help you fill some of the gaps until you grow enough to add an HR team. We’ve put together this guide of HR software for startups for when HR tech is your HR team.

If you want to skip the guide and get recommendations tailored to your company, use our Product Selection Tool. After answering a short survey, you’ll get a customized list of software based on your business’s needs.

Which HR Software is right for your startup?


Table of contents

Payroll software

Payroll software is probably one of the first tools you’ll need to purchase as a startup. Employees don’t tend to stick around long if they’re not getting paid. You’ll want to choose payroll software with strong automation features to limit the amount of time you have to spend on payroll and reduce the chances of errors.

Many software tools either include or integrate with time clocks, allowing the software to pull employees’ hours directly and pay them according to the time they worked. Payroll software can not only save you time, but it can also keep you from making expensive payroll law violations.

Best payroll software for startups

Recruiting software

Recruiting software streamlines your hiring process by pushing job postings out to top job sites, so you only have to make them once. As a startup, your office space is probably limited, so you’ll need to choose cloud-based software.

You’ll also want recruiting software that includes artificial intelligence and automation features to reduce the amount of time you have to spend poring over resumes. With these tools, the system can parse resumes for you and automatically eliminate unqualified candidates. You also might want to look for tools that offer mobile accessibility, so you can review candidates on the go.

Also read: Best Practices for Writing the Perfect Job Descriptions

Best recruiting software for startups

Learning management systems

A learning management system (LMS) makes it easier for you to train new employees and ensure they understand your business. You can create custom curriculum and quizzes, host video and audio files, and use gamification to keep learners engaged and improve retention.

Even the most qualified candidates will need some training on your processes, and using an LMS ensures that all new hires get the same training upfront. An LMS reduces the amount of time you have to spend training your employees hands-on and allows them to learn at their own pace. Some programs even offer a free tier for small teams.

Also read: The Influence and Effectiveness of Gamification in eLearning

Best LMSs for startups

Performance management software

Performance management software allows you to set goals and expectations for your team and make sure they’re on the same page. Provide transparent evaluations and ensure you’re keeping the right employees.

Performance management software also helps you work with employees to map out their career trajectory, so they can see their growth opportunities within your company. As a startup, this will be helpful for you, too, because you can plan how you want your business to grow. Performance management tools also allow you to give bonuses based on performance rather than educated guesses, improving employee motivation.

Best performance management software for startups

Time tracking software

Time tracking software is a must for startups who employ contractors to get work done. With these tools, you can ensure you’re only paying for the time the contractor spends actually working. It’s also a good idea to use this software for any employees you’re paying hourly.

With time clock software, employees can track their time online. This time is stored in a database, and the timesheets can then be exported into your payroll system, which is much simpler than making employees physically punch time cards and trying to organize them come payday.

Best time tracking software for startups

Choosing the best HR software for your startup

Choosing the best HR software for your startup really depends on your starting budget and the features you need. Some of the tools we’ve listed fall into multiple categories, so you may be able to get more bang for your buck. You should choose tools that can easily scale as your business grows, so you won’t have to learn new systems when you outgrow your beginning tools.

To make your startup successful, you need the right HR tools. With our Product Selection Tool, you’ll get an unbiased list of HR software that’s customized to your needs.

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