18 best HR tools to power your productivity

Life as an HR pro is busy…to say the least. Your plate is full and your priorities are constantly changing. Meanwhile, you and your team are trusted as a mission-critical hub that keeps the entire workforce functioning smoothly. You need HR tools that work as hard as you do.

To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve collated a list of the best HR tools and apps that help you tackle all of the challenges coming your way.

Whether you’re looking to organize employee data, streamline your talent management, or make engagement-worthy HR videos, these top tools will save you time, get you organized, and make your team happier and more productive.

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Internal comms tools

Internal comms tools make your organization go ‘round. Here are our top picks for software that helps you engage, activate, and align your people.

1. Biteable

Biteable is the best way to communicate messages that matter. In a rapidly changing work landscape, you need your mission-critical communications to be seen, digested, and acted upon. And emails and messages aren’t working.

That’s where the Biteable video maker comes in.

Biteable is an online video maker perfect for elevating your most important messages. The platform has an intuitive workflow with built-in collaboration, inclusive review options, instant publishing, and performance insights to seamlessly blend with the modern workplace.

Biteable makes the whole process easy with hundreds of studio-quality templates (including loads of HR-specific templates!) as well as video clips, images, and animation sets that can be branded to match your organization.

2. Loom

Biteable is the best way to elevate important messages, but sometimes you just need to send a quick face-to-face update. Loom is a video messenger for work, allowing you to record quick videos of your screen and camera at once.

It’s an essential program, especially if you’re in a remote-first organization. When stopping by a colleague’s desk for a quick chat isn’t feasible, Loom is the next best option. Use this tool to provide a quick update to your team and share a step-by-step process on your screen at the same time.

Loom is an efficient, expressive, and efficient way to communicate your everyday messages. A must-have tool for your HR toolbox.

3. Google Forms

Simple and effective, Google Forms is a tool many HR pros can’t live without. Small, medium, and large organizations worldwide use it to create HR surveys that assess employee needs and communicate more effectively with a distributed workforce.

By surveying employees using Google forms, HR pros can more easily understand the impact of current policies, keep tabs on employee satisfaction, and identify critical workplace challenges.

Google forms is a free, user-friendly, and incredibly versatile tool. There are few better options offering the polish and ease of premium services for the low, low price of free. All you need to get started is a Google account.

4. Slack

The undisputed leader in business communication, Slack empowers teams to communicate quickly and effectively. From instant messaging to video calls, public and private group channels, and a fully-customizable user interface, there’s little that Slack can’t do when it comes to organizational communication.

The closest competitor is Microsoft Teams, which may be the right choice if your organization already has a Microsoft subscription. That said, Slack is more colorful and whimsical and makes Teams look sterile and business-like in comparison.

Slack also has a slew of fantastic apps to enrich your HR experience. Check out our bonus list of five winning Slack apps at the end of this article.

Employee databases for HR

As an HR pro, you need all your essential employee data in one secure place. Payslips, leave requests, personal communications, and the rest. Here are the best tools for the job.

5. BambooHR

BambooHR is an all-in-one HR tool that takes care of all the tedious, boring busywork so you can focus on the most important thing — people.

Geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, BambooHR organizes employees into a single secure database, giving you all the essential information you need at the click of a button.

BambooHR isn’t just for HR management either. The employee-facing side of the app allows team members to check their payslips, apply for leave, and more. It also has robust hiring management tools, with applicant tracking that streamlines every stage of the hiring process.

6. Staff Squared

Staff Squared was built from the ground up for growing businesses. This powerful tool makes running HR easier, more efficient, and more secure. Staff Squared is built for everyone in your organization — from business owners to HR leaders and everyone in between.

Staff Squared offers onboarding management, secure storage of employee data, files, and time off within a web-based platform. The program also has a built-in diary allowing you to easily keep track of holidays, sick days, important meetings, and more.

Talent management tools

Organizations live and die by the effectiveness of their teams, and that means communication between your HR department and your company’s employees needs to be clear, consistent, and effective.

Here are a few tools to boost employee engagement and help you create happy employees through feedback, research, reviews, reflections, and more.

7. Culture Amp

Culture Amp is an employee experience tool designed to help you better understand the people who work for you. It offers deep, meaningful employee engagement with research-backed surveys, customizable reports, and ready-to-implement action plans.

This HR tool also offers performance management through a streamlined review process of peer feedback, management feedback, and self-reflection, as well as skill development with personalized plans and proven techniques grounded in behavioral science.

8. Clear Review

Clear Review’s aim is to improve productivity through employee engagement. How they do it: aligning and engaging workforces with clear goals and deliverables, structured discussions, and feedback and surveys. It’s designed for both remote and in-office work environments.

Clear Review sets the bar with intuitive and engaging software that becomes an integral part of how organizations operate. It keeps employees engaged, but it also supports their wellbeing, improving performance across the board.

The program amplifies employee voices and enables them to self-reflect. This is a vital part of gathering employee feedback and making your organization a happier, more productive place to work.

Tools to write and manage policies

Your organization’s policies are likely evolving and growing by the week. Having easy-to-use software that helps you keep up with ever-changing processes and methods is a must. Here are a couple of tools to make sure everyone in your organization — from long-time employees to new hires — is kept in the loop.

9. Trainual

Trainual is a playbook for every process and policy in your business. It’s a great way for small and growing companies to scale up their operations, and it helps HR leaders onboard employees with ease.

Get started with templates and plug in your processes and how-to’s in order to build your operations database fast. Trainual aims to make all your company knowledge available and searchable on their Android/iOS apps, Chrome plugins, and the web.

It comes as no surprise that the highlight of Trainual is their own user training program. Instructions are infinitely repeatable, and you can build tests that boost accountability and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

10. Enboarder

Unlike a lot of jack-of-all-trades HR software, Enboarder is a master of one — employee onboarding. Enboarder was built with the specific purpose of nailing virtual employee onboarding and welcoming new hires with all the essential info they need to know.

Most importantly, this tool is designed to do the job well whether employees are in-house or remote, a vital consideration post-2020.

Enboarder doesn’t just get new hires on your team — it makes them feel like they’re a part of it, too. The tool has plenty of ways to spark connections between new hires and current employees including virtual introductions, buddies, intro videos, coffee catch-up calls, and more.

Scheduling apps

Life moves pretty fast, especially in the world of HR. When you’re spinning plates on plates, it’s vital that you have a scheduling app that keeps up. Use these tools to track which members of your team are in and out, automatically find meeting times that work with everyone’s schedules, and more.

11. Calendly

Calendly bills itself as “the world’s #1 scheduling tool”, and it’s probably not far off. HR is a busy world, with seemingly endless meetings. Calendly helps you focus on the things that matter — the meetings themselves — rather than worrying about finding the right time.

Just send your availability on Calendly with the click of a button — even to people who don’t use the app.

Calendly is anything and everything scheduling. It does away with bothersome back-and-forth email and message threads trying to nail down the time. And timezone confusion for global teams? A thing of the past with Calendly.

12. Google Calendar

This one probably won’t come as a surprise to all of you firmly entrenched in the Google ecosystem, but there are very few calendar experiences that hold a candle to this one. It’s available on all platforms, you can access it on the web, and it smartly syncs up with Google Mail.

The best thing about Google Calendar is that it’s incredibly easy to use. If you have any experience with digital calendars, this one will only take minutes to work out.

Quickly schedule meetings and events, get reminders for upcoming activities, and share your schedule with members of your team by creating multiple calendars that everyone can use. It’s free to use, you can use it anywhere, and it seamlessly integrates with all the other Google apps.

Project management tools

There are lots of tools around to help you tackle your mountain of HR tasks, but not all are made equal. You need something that’s easy to use, integrates with other apps, and can be accessed anywhere with minimal fuss. Here are two tried and tested tools, approved by the HR pros at Biteable.

13. Notion

Notion is one of the best ways to organize everything in your business — workflows, essential organization information, to-do lists, collaborative documents, and more. (We use Notion here at Biteable and personally vouch for its effectiveness when it comes to organization, planning, and productivity.)

Notion is fully customizable, allowing you to make the perfect online workspace in this world of ever-increasing remote work. Create kanban boards with tasks and move them through to completion. Create an HR wiki page with all the essential resources for your team. And the list goes on. Notion does everything you want it to do and then some.

14. Trello

Since 2011, Trello has defined workflow for thousands of companies worldwide. This user-friendly tool is designed to do one thing — a kanban board — and it does it better than most.

Trello allows you to create task boards with various columns and move tasks between them, such as To Do, In Progress, and Done.

Trello also has excellent collaboration features for you to keep on top of HR tasks with your team. It’s an extreme to-do list, task management tool, and organizer for your day-to-day needs.

Professional development tools

Whether you’re a freshly-minted HR professional or a seasoned one, it never hurts to think outside the box and pick up a few new tricks to benefit your organization and your team.

15. HR Blogs

When it comes to learning new skills and developing your strategies, HR blogs are one of the best tools you have at your fingertips.

With human resources pros dishing out great advice and bringing in expert columnists all the time, it’s the closest thing you can get to going to an HR conference and being inspired by industry experts — all from the comfort of your desk.

Not sure where to start? We’ve hand-picked 23 of the best HR blogs for you to check out. Find your favorites and subscribe to their email alerts so you can enjoy a quality HR morning digest with your coffee.

16. Podcasts

Just like blogs, podcasts are another great way for you to up your human resources game. And the best part about podcasts? You can listen to them anywhere — during a supermarket run, at the gym, on public transportation. Stay in the loop while you keep up with your daily life.

If you’re new to the world of HR podcasts (or you’re on the lookout for a few more) here are a few of our favorites:

Or check out our full list of the best HR podcasts to fill your feed.

Self-care tools for the overworked HR pro

You spend a lot of time looking out for your team, but you need to check in with yourself every so often as well. After all, your effectiveness as an HR pro relies on a positive headspace. Here are some apps we like to use when we’re feeling overloaded, overwhelmed, and overworked.

17. Headspace

Company culture is only as good as the HR team behind it. Managing people is a labor of love, but it can be a stressful experience when you’re pulled in all different directions. Sometimes you need a minute to chill out and reset yourself.

Sometimes you need an app like Headspace.

Headspace is a simple meditation app designed to help you destress in all aspects of your life. Also be sure to check out Headspace for Work, a digital mental health program to support the health and happiness of your entire team.

18. MyNoise

MyNoise is a free website aimed to help you focus at work — whether you need to relax, block out a few loud colleagues, or simply help yourself knuckle down and get to that pile of work that needs to be done.

MyNoise has heaps of soundtracks to choose from, suited for just about any situation.

Hone in on your perfect soundscape by selecting one of the many available prompts (“I’m in a noisy office”, “I need to focus”, “I need to calm down”). Then let MyNoise’s sound generator take you away to a better, more focused place.

Bonus: 5 Slack apps to up your HR game

If you’re a Slack user, apps are a quick and easy way to help your team grow and strengthen their connectivity. Getting started with Slack apps is as easy as signing in on the Slack app website and downloading the ones you like.

1. Donut

Billed as a way to “connect around the watercooler, anywhere”, Donut is a great tool for building your team wherever they are. This app introduces teammates regularly and schedules getting-to-know-you meetings right in Slack.

Donut is a great way to introduce new team members, especially in this new world of remote work. It even offers the option of reading your calendar for a perfect time and sending an invite that works for both parties.

2. TimeBot

TimeBot is a vacation and leave tracker for your team. It’s entirely configurable and flexible, offering leave summaries for team members and easily syncing with Outlook and Google Calendars.

This app even allows team members to request time off in Slack and shows how many days off they have remaining. Managers and administrators can approve or reject time off requests, view a team member’s time off requests, and set annual limits on PTO days. All without leaving Slack.

3. Pingboard

Pingboard is designed to connect, celebrate, and empower employees by always keeping them in the loop with your organization’s day-to-day workings.

It posts daily summaries and real-time updates of who’s out of the office, shares news about new hires, birthdays, and work anniversaries, and lets employees recognize each other for a job well done. It can also pull employee data from HR management systems like BambooHR.

4. Polly

Polly wants a survey! Polly is a tool used by HR teams for everything feedback including standups, surveys, polls, and onboarding feedback. It’s full of customizable options like reminders, anonymity, scheduling, and more.

There are over thirty Polly templates for you to choose from, and a web-based analytics dashboard to peruse your data. As a little bonus, this tool also offers social games including trivia, hot takes, and employee awards.

5. HeyTaco

The simplest app on this list, but one of the most effective. HeyTaco is a fun peer recognition tool that inspires positive communication and builds happier teams. It uses tacos as a currency that teammates can share with others as rewards.

This fun tool cultivates a culture of appreciation, encourages people to show gratitude, and brings your company values to life.

With so many businesses switching to remote work, Taco helps teams connect — which is more important than ever. It also includes gamification mechanisms like leaderboards and achievement levels to drive higher employee engagement.

Make your messages matter with Biteable

In the world of HR, knowing how to effectively communicate with your employees is paramount. If you have an important announcement, update, or communication to share, video helps you say it better.

Get started with Biteable and make your messages matter. Gain access to a whole host of professionally designed HR video templates and utilize a massive library of stock footage, custom animated scenes, and catchy tunes.

Rise above the noise in your organization

Reach your people with Biteable for Teams. Personalized branded videos, easy collaboration, and dedicated training.