The human resources department is the backbone of any company, but the department is only as strong as the HR technology that it uses. The job involves processing requests from employees, keeping track of payroll, issuing paychecks, and hiring new employees. With the right software and technologies at your disposal, you can do your job more effectively.

According to Cindy Waxer, choosing HR software begins with identifying what you need and looking at the capabilities of your HR department. While some software products are popular among smaller companies, you might find that your staff can perform effectively without those tools. Waxer also recommends discussing product features with the IT department to identify the products that will work best with your existing computers and equipment. You can also choose to implement HR technology on a trial basis; use the new software for a few weeks or months to see if it’s a good fit.

HR technology typically falls into one of several categories. Attendance software helps you keep track of your employees and when they work. You’ll know exactly how many sick days and how much paid time off your employees accumulate, the days that they work, and the paid and unpaid days that they take off. Other HR software focuses on how long those employees work. Your business might use time cards, use time sheets, or rely on an honor system to help human resources monitor the hours worked. No matter which method you employ, you’ll have the data you need you calculate the total number of hours worked.

Payroll programs are popular with small and large companies. With HR technology, the program automatically figures out the number of hours that each person works and calculates the pay for that period. Calculating these figures can be difficult, and one miscalculation can damage employee morale. You also risk overpaying employees, which can harm the financial standing of the company. New HR technology products may also focus on productivity. These tools can calculate how much time employees spend working versus chatting with coworkers, playing games, or doing other things outside of their work obligations.

Popularity is a relative term in the world of human resources. A widely used software program may become obsolete when a new tool is introduced. Instead of looking at the popular forms of HR technology, you should focus on finding software that your company can best utilize. Productivity, attendance, and time worked are just a few things that you can monitor with the top products, and the best software also helps you keep track of the payroll for your company.

Guest Author: Nancy Anderson is the communities and article Editor for Beyond.com.  Nancy has 10 years experience in the online job search business with Beyond.  Nancy’s team produces dozens of articles every month for top internet sites.  Follow Nancy and the Beyond team on https://twitter.com/BeyondJobs.