As I was thinking about this month’s issue, I realized that HR and technology can go a lot of different directions, such as the risks associated with technology in the workplace, or how technology has made telecommuting a growing trend. Instead, I thought it would be interesting to find out how many “apps” are out there to assist human resources professionals in an efficient, cost-effective way.

I ran across the article “11 Great Apps That Will Give Your HR Department Superpowers” by Projections, an employee communications firm that set out to find the top human resources apps that were truly robust in functionality, but also targeted and easy to use. What they found—through enormous amounts of word-of-mouth research—was that the tools exist; you just have to know somebody who knows about them.

The first three apps on this list are not limited to human resources or labor relations pros, but they are the departmental foundation for many of the clients with whom they spoke. Time and again, the functionality of these tools had clients singing their praises.

  1. Wunderlist. One of many task management or “to-do list” applications out there, it’s completely free, syncs across devices and is universally lauded for managing big projects in real time (wunderlist.com).
  2. Evernote. A simple tool to manage notes, not only for work, but also for your personal life. Organize your thoughts into notebooks for each area of focus (wellness, compensation, benefits, etc.) and tag them with keywords (evernote.com).
  3. Dropbox. This file-sharing software isn’t new, but you may not be leveraging it fully. It offers file sharing and enables collaborative work, and it’s great for things that need approval (dropbox.com).
  4. Projections Insider. This app offers the latest news on labor activity in your area and around the nation, with daily NLRB petition information and other tools (projectionsinc.com).
  5. Labor Stats. This free application provides the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest published numbers, allowing you to monitor trends and track stats like the unemployment rate and consumer price index. (Available in iTunes).
  6. HR at Your Fingertips. The app offers an extensive glossary of HR terms, a reference guide to federal laws and robust guidance on creating an employee handbook. Its free sister app, HR Audit, offers a basic questionnaire designed to identify areas of potential risk for fines or lawsuits (hrsentry.com).
  7. Direct Report. Billed as an “employee feedback tracker,” this app allows managers to make notes, categorized by employee, on the fly. It will remind you to reward employees who excel and provide a record of negative feedback (Available in iTunes).
  8. Work.com. Formerly known as Rypple, this platform was recently acquired by Salesforce. It’s a social performance management app that lets everyone contribute employee feedback, share goals and more. Rypple offers feedback visible to the whole team, goal-sharing and more (work.com).
  9. Jobvite. Designed for online social recruiting, Jobvite leverages social networks to send job invitations and track jobs and referrals (jobvite.com).
  10. Trade Pub Readers. Human Resource Executive Magazine, Employee Benefit News and HR Management offer current and past issues of their respective magazines on both the iPhone and iPad (Available in iTunes).
  11. Exam Prep. If you’re preparing to get your PHR or SPHR certification, Upward Mobility’s Exam Prep apps contain hundreds of practice questions with explanatory answers (upwardpro.com).

If you want to be more productive and have a little cutting-edge fun as well, I encourage you to take a look at these apps, and give them a try—I am. If you know of other great apps for HR, let me know at [email protected] and I will add them to the list. iBi