The functions of HCM software are generally organized into the following categories:
- Core HR, including payroll, benefits administration, onboarding, compliance management and maintenance of employee data.
- Talent management, the collective term for the process of recruiting, developing and retaining employees. Talent management suites consist of distinct yet integrated modules for recruitment, performance management, compensation management, learning and succession planning.
- Workforce management, the set of functions for deploying employees with the necessary skills to particular regions, departments or projects. It includes time and attendance management, workforce planning, labor scheduling and budgeting.
- Service delivery, including HR help desks, intranet portals, employee self-service and manager self-service.
HCM suites also typically have technologies that cut across functional areas, notably analytics, social media, collaboration and employee engagement. Many also allow mobile access to HR data and applications, especially the self-service features.
Analytics is usually the critical element in strategic human capital management, which seeks to more closely align HCM with the financial success of the company. Sometimes the analytics tools are localized to a particular HCM function. For example, workforce analytics can help optimize decisions made in the workforce planning module, while social media and collaboration tools can facilitate the frequent feedback and communication required for continuous performance management.