Major demographic changes have caused organizations to find new ways to manage their most important resource—their employees—through technologies like human capital management (HCM).

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent most organizations into remote-work mode from January 2020 to January 2022, many businesses were already in the midst of a major transformation. And, with that shift, more and more employees from differing generations and backgrounds began having drastically different expectations about their own day-to-day work environments.

With the help of human capital management systems, like those offered in Workday, Kronos, or JD Edwards ecosystems, these companies have changed the way they manage their HR software and their workforce as a whole. HCM software makes it easier than ever to maximize the employee experience and keep everyone on the same page to achieve business goals more efficiently.

Are you still asking yourself, “What is HCM software”? Read on to learn more.

What Is Human Capital Management?

Human Capital Management is the term used in the human resources (HR) practice of recruiting, managing, and developing your workforce. It can refer to a company’s complete business strategy and/or the set of applications or tools that are used to implement that strategy throughout the whole organization.

HCM is based on the principle that building a successful company starts with an engaged workforce. (After all, a company without employees isn’t much of a company at all, right?)

But, HCM goes beyond simple core HR functions. It also involves workforce planning, learning management, inclusivity and diversity, and much more. A successful workforce management strategy requires HR managers and leaders to act proactively. To do so, modern companies rely on HCM software to support all the functions of HR in one place.  

Human Capital Management Software Features

In addition to streamlining and supporting your human resource management processes, HCM software also enables leaders to make smarter decisions when it comes to hiring, managing, and employee development.

New technological capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud-based systems are leading to significant advancements in the HCM landscape. 

Specific features of an organization’s HCM solution can have subtle distinctions, but most systems provide these core features: 


HCM software plays an important role in finding, engaging, and selecting the best candidate for your company. The right solution will streamline the process by enabling a transparent and collaborative experience for the hiring managers. 

Applicant Tracking

Applicant tracking can help you find a needle in a haystack. By setting up your specific criteria (or even using AI), you can sift through mounds of resumes to find the perfect candidates for your open position.

Applicant tracking handles tasks like posting job openings, storing applicant data, and screening. In some cases, it allows recruiters to rate applicants in a single database so that the hiring team can easily collaborate. 


Onboarding features allow you to enhance the new-hire experience while also automating many operational tasks. You can create steps for new hires that need to be completed before, on Day One, within their first few months of the job. These steps can include documents, videos, auto-assign tasks, compliance requirements, and more.

Workforce Management

A workforce management feature helps your organization plan ahead by taking into account work and productivity of employees, including time and attendance, workforce planning and scheduling, leave management, and workforce analytics. 

Payroll Management

Payroll management is a core function of HCM and includes integration for payroll, benefits administration, compliance management, and employee data management.

These functionalities can remove many administrative tasks from HR to free them up for more strategic projects, all while keeping your employees paid and the company compliant with evolving payroll rules and regulations. 

Performance Management

Employees prefer to receive feedback as they complete projects, and performance management can help you deliver that recognition. The feature allows employees and managers to set and track goals, create a feedback channel, and receive notifications of new comments, goal status, and completion. 

Analytics and Reporting

With your HR data in one place, you can easily generate detailed reports on almost any data within the software. The analytics and reporting functionality gives you the information to make informed decisions, turning your HR department into a strategic resource. 

Workflows and Approval Management 

By automating and delegating your approval workflows, you’ll save time and gather what you need more quickly. Features like this one allow you to assign people to fill in their own information to keep up with data entry while reducing mistakes. 

Benefits of Human Capital Management Software

HR tasks can be labor-intensive and ripe for error. But HCM software can change all that.

The technology can help companies cut costs and reduce mistakes by automating tasks. It can also help to manage even massive amounts of documents and information in the quest to improve an organization’s data analytics and reporting.

  • Talent Management: With a comprehensive HCM system that keeps all your potential and present employee records and information in one place, finding and recruiting the right talent, increasing employee engagement, and retaining that talent through learning and growth opportunities is easier.
  • Improved Change Response: HCM software aligns your people and your technology, making it simpler to anticipate change in the workforce and respond to that change quickly and efficiently.
  • Streamlined HR Operations: As is the case for outdated legacy systems, disparate HRMS systems slow down workforce processes and cause a lack of efficiency within your systems. HCM software solves these issues by consolidated your HR systems, increasing employee productivity through self-service options, and automating manual processes.
  • Maximized Workforce Operations: HCM software is an essential piece of the workforce optimization puzzle. It allows companies to track expenses, manage employee scheduling and absence management, build compensation plans, and outline a workforce centered around a “pay-for-performance” model.

While there are quite a few benefits, the biggest impact of HCM software is on employees. A happy and engaged workforce is one that will be more productive, leading to greater success for any company in any industry.

When you think about it that way, it’s clear that HCM isn’t just a business tool to save time and enhance other technologies—it’s a strategic investment.

The Future of Cloud-Based HCM Software

As the world of HCM technology has grown at a rapid pace, delivery models have had to adapt to keep up and stay competitive. In this day and age, cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) models are gaining major traction and becoming the “new normal” in the industry.

Cloud-based approaches to HCM strategy have proven quite beneficial for companies with varying size in many different industries. This approach gives users increased functionality and allows them to lower IT costs, accelerate the deployment process, and simplify company expenses.

The cloud-based nature of these solutions also increases engagement through mobile devices, giving users access to system information whenever and wherever they need it and improving collaboration between all members of an organization.

Getting Started with Human Capital Management Software 

Organizations are implementing HCM software to improve planning, efficiency of HR processes, and overall experience throughout the full employee lifecycle. If you’re ready to start investing in your people, Surety Systems can help.

 Our senior-level HCM software consulting team is experienced with all the major solutions, from Workday to JD Edwards, Infor Lawson, Kronos, and SAP SuccessFactors. We’ll partner with your team to determine what software is best for your organization and even help you implement it. 

How Can We Help?

Need help outlining a business strategy that will allow your organization to optimize its HCM processes? Our consultants have you covered. Need additional support integrating your new HCM software with your human resource information system (HRIS) or human resource management system (HRMS)? We have the right people to help with that too.

Wherever your HCM needs lie and whatever solution you choose, our consultants have the right skills and experience to help you through every step.

Contact us today to take the first step in increasing your business value .