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HR SaaS software: Features, types, and benefits

6 min read

The ongoing pandemic has forced companies around the world to adapt and evolve to changing working models. One of the biggest changes has been a mass shift towards hybrid and remote workforces. As more businesses struggle to keep up with the new way of working, increasing numbers are moving towards cloud-based HR SaaS applications to manage their employees.

In this post, we will look at what HR SaaS software is and why you should be using it. We will also break down some of the tools you can find in SaaS applications to help you understand how they can help you manage a range of HR activities more effectively and


What is HR SaaS software?

HR Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), also known as cloud HR software, is a subscription-based service used for human capital management that users can access online from any location. Most modern human resources management systems (HRMS) these days are SaaS solutions. Typically, you pay a subscription rate depending on the number of users instead of a large up-front cost as you would in the case of traditional on-premise HR software.

HR SaaS software usually includes features for managing employee timekeeping, recruitment and applicant tracking, payroll, performance management, and learning and development. It can be a highly effective system for managing a range of HR functions, and it is growing in popularity in companies across a range of industries. This is primarily because HR SaaS software can be an easily adaptable and cost-effective system for managing a great number of HR functions from any location.

Benefits of HR SaaS also include extreme flexibility, high-speed implementation, and low maintenance requirements. Plus, cloud storage means that data is both secure and protected against crashes and malfunctions as all data is encrypted and automatically backed up.

Types of HR SaaS

When it comes to HR SaaS, there are a number of options on the market. These HR solutions consist of two types of HR SaaS software: all-in-one solutions and pure-play specialized solutions. Whether you are a large established company or a small startup, investing in HRMS software can be a game-changer.

Here’s a bit of information about both types to help you decide which HR SaaS solution is the best fit for your business.

All-in-one HR SaaS solution

An all-in-one HR SaaS solution is a generalist HR platform that you can use to manage all your human resources functions. For example, you can process tasks such as recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training, and payroll through one single platform. All data is centralized, and processes are streamlined and automated from one location.

By using one interface for all your processes, it makes it much easier to move data through each stage of the employee lifecycle. This removes the potential for information siloes.

Managing all your processes from a centralized all-in-one HR SaaS solution also makes things easier in terms of invoicing and budgeting as you only have to deal with one supplier. This makes it much easier to control costs. Plus, dealing with one supplier is usually much cheaper than purchasing dedicated tools for each HR process. This can be particularly beneficial if you are a small to medium-sized company with limited resources.

Pure-play specialized HR SaaS tools

The other option is using a variety of dedicated HR SaaS tools. For example, you can use an applicant tracking system (ATS) for recruitment, performance management tools to monitor productivity, payroll software to process wages and salaries, and a learning management system (LMS) to manage training and development, amongst other tools.

This can be a good option if you are a large multinational company with dedicated HR professionals for each function. However, there are a number of disadvantages to using dedicated platforms for each area of HR.

For one thing, if you buy specialized tools from multiple providers it can be complicated and expensive. Not just in terms of outright cost, but also because you will need to train your HR staff so that they are able to navigate multiple platforms efficiently. Plus, the more systems you use, the more chance there is that siloes will spring up. In contrast, you can use an all-in-one solution to keep all your data centralized. This makes it much easier to seamlessly transfer information from one tool to another.

HR SaaS tools

Now that we’ve seen what HR SaaS is, let’s take a look at some of the tools you should be looking for. The best software for HRIS offers all these features. Other common tools which we haven’t listed here include employee database software, employee record management software and expense management software tools.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a platform that helps you collect candidate information during the recruitment process. This makes it easier for you to organize and hone in on the applicant pool. A good ATS should boost productivity and make the recruitment process work seamlessly. They usually include email templates for contacting candidates, interview scheduling features, automated job board posting, and processes for resume submission, and pre-screening, making the job much easier for your hiring manager.

Payroll and Benefits

The main advantage of using payroll software is that it streamlines your payroll management processes, saving you time and money. It also reduces the chances of human error so you can be sure there are no mistakes on your employee payslips. You can also integrate your payroll data with time tracking, PTO and your EDMS (electronic document management system) so that information is automatically updated in real-time.

What’s more, if you use a payroll tool with an employee self service portal then it is much easier for your employees to submit and amend payroll information when needed, again saving you time.

Learning and Development

Another useful tool included in most HR SaaS applications is a feature for employee learning and development. Integrated training management software makes it easier to track training so that you can make informed development decisions.

The right tool should help you plan, manage and track all your training activities. You can coordinate and track all your employee learning and development programs through your HR SaaS software solution. Plus, you can also align the system with any existing Learning Management System.

Time Tracking & Absence Management

Another great feature of a good HR SaaS platform is the ability to track time and attendance. This can be especially useful for absence management and calculating payroll. Employees just clock in and out each time they start and finish work or take a break. Plus, real-time reporting helps you stay in the loop and compliant. It also helps you identify potential trends as they develop, helping you stay in control.

Absence management is a core function of the Human Resources department. If handled correctly, a good employee clock in system can help companies reduce absenteeism, boost productivity, and lower associated costs.

Performance Management

Performance management is a key component of managing people. And a good people management platform or HR SaaS application can help you manage every aspect of the process. This includes tracking goals and KPIs, conducting staff appraisals, and collecting valuable 360 feedback. All this helps you nurture a motivated and productive workforce.

You can use performance management tools to set individual, group, team, and company goals. And you can use management tools to create and check milestones. This helps you keep your employee on track so that they can perform to the best of their abilities.


Why Use HR SaaS Software?

Digital transformation is inevitable, and to get ahead, you need the right software for HR transformation.

Consider the following benefits of using HR Software as a Service:

  • HR SaaS software helps you streamline and automate your processes. This allows your team to spend more time working on strategic initiatives rather than manual administrative tasks.
  • Traditional centrally installed software needs to be regularly maintained and upgraded. This can be expensive and complicated. In contrast, SaaS HR Management Systems are automatic and managed by the provider. And if you have any issues, you can contact the provider’s helpdesk.
  • Because HR SaaS is cloud-based, you and your employees can access it from anywhere, not just your office’s premises. Plus, you can also access software from a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. This makes HR SaaS perfect for remote working.
  • HR Software as a Service SaaS makes it easier to access important data and analyze employee performance. This helps you retain top talent and create an engaged workforce.
  • Thanks to its reporting features, HR SaaS helps you avoid potential errors and stay compliant. This is especially important for employee time tracking and payroll.
  • HR SaaS solutions, such as Factorial’s all-in-one HR software, include a wide variety of features to help you stay on top of every aspect of HR management in your company. For example, our software includes features for managing applicant tracking, recruitment and onboarding, performance management, timekeeping and absence management, payroll, and learning and development, amongst other tools. Plus, SaaS HR applications are also scalable. This means you can easily implement new features as your business grows.
Cat Symonds is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. Originally from Wales, she studied Spanish and French at the University of Swansea before moving to Barcelona where she lived and worked for 12 years. She has since relocated back to Wales where she continues to build her business, working with clients in Spain and the UK.  Cat is the founder of The Content CAT: Content And Translation, providing content development and translation services to her clients. She specializes in corporate blogs, articles of interest, ghostwriting, and translation (SP/FR/CA into EN), collaborating with a range of companies from a variety of business sectors. She also offers services to a number of NGOs including Oxfam Intermón, UNICEF, and Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership.  For more information or to contact Cat visit her website ( or send her a message through LinkedIn.

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