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Understanding HR software modules

21 August 2017


One of the hardest parts of running a business is ensuring that all human resourcing operations run smoothly and are constantly serving to benefit the company. As well as the obvious areas of recruiting and training new employees, an HR department should also be addressing other key concerns such as attendance, performance appraisals and payroll.

Get the advice and tools you need to purchase a HR system in this ultimate HR software buyer’s guide

It is important that a degree of manual input is applied to these areas by the team. However, there is a wide selection of HR management software on the market specifically geared towards automating each individual aspect of employee management to allow executive teams to focus on day-to-day corporate operations. The different features available to businesses all specialise in a number of core areas.

Currently, the modules serviced by HR management software are:

  • Payroll
  • Performance appraisals
  • Benefits administration
  • Performance record
  • Scheduling
  • Time & attendance
  • Absence management
  • Analytics
  • HR Management Information System
  • Learning and development management
  • Employee self-service
  • Recruitment

Payroll module

The payroll element of any HR system gathers data on employee attendance, calculates standardised taxes and deductions and generates reports for tax and payment purposes. It is usually integrated with existing financial management systems.

Performance management and Learning and Development

The area of performance appraisals is closely linked with the learning and development module in that it allows HR departments to track education, qualifications and skills of employees. This enables users to link the achievement of set goals into appraisals and reviews. All information is tracked through one interface on the company HR management software and is usually accessible by employees as well as management. Similarly, a performance record module allows managers to record and track performance on a real-time basis.


The benefits administration module of the HR system allows companies to track employee participation in benefits programs including pension schemes, health insurance or profit share.

Scheduling and Time and Attendance

Scheduling and time and attendance modules both allow elements such as annual leave, sick days and other leave to be recorded. In turn this mean that resourcing/scheduling can be allocated appropriately.

Absence management

Absence management modules behave in a similar way, allowing managers to gather time and work related data into the HR system. Key metrics include employee cost analysis and efficiency.

Analytics module

What analytics modules do is essentially allow managers to extract data that they can use with other business intelligence platforms, allowing them to identify trends that could affect future business output.

Employee self-service module

There is a module included within most HR management software that is designed specifically for use by employees and this is the employee self-service module. This module increases the transparency of HR and lets employees query HR data such as attendance records and submit annual leave requests.

Recruitment module

The growing addition of recruitment modules create a rounded offering with many facilitating the application and interview processes. They also act as a historical database of applicants, storing their information for any future roles.

Top HR management systems and their modules

Triton HR is a renowned leader in payroll management and their HR system allows companies to select three payroll options depending on the nature of their business.

Kronos Workforce Ready specialises in time and attendance management with its HR system geared towards SMEs. And breatheHR’s performance management module allows employers to schedule appraisals and link them to employees objectives and company goals to improve employee performance across the company. Likewise, they have a comprehensive reporting function, providing all your HR data.

Scheduling is taken care of by RotaCloud which allows comprehensive rota building. EasyWeb Recruitment is a fully-fledged  recruitment system which streamlines the recruitment process for small businesses. Whilst MyHRToolKit has an effective absence management module that allows employers to upload supporting sickness documentation and using metrics to measure absence such as the Bradford Factor.

Many HR management systems are inclusive of a number of HR modules, some more than others, to provide an inclusive HR experience. It’s important to know the features and functionality of all of the modules and ensure that they meet your requirements when you’re looking to make a purchasing decision.

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