1 December 2022

HR systems integration: top 10 systems to integrate with your HR software

6 minute read


Cathryn Newbery

Cathryn Newbery

Cathryn Newbery is head of content and community at Ciphr. She was previously deputy editor at People Management magazine. You can find her on Twitter @c_newbery. Her writing focuses on HR systems and solutions, as well as the employee experience at work.


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Any modern HR system worth its salt should be able to link up with other third-party applications. Here are 10 types of applications you integrate with your HR system, whether you establish HR system integration through an FTP or API 

A modern HR system should be open to integration with other, third-party HR, L&D and business applications, rather than restrict you to using only modules sold by that HR software vendor. One of the key advantages to taking this ‘best of breed’ approach to HR software is that you can pick and choose the right specialist software for you, adding it to your HR system right when you need it.

But all too often, HR teams don’t take this joined-up approach to HR software, and instead find that they’ve implemented multiple standalone systems – increasing the risk of data inaccuracies, creating a confusing digital employee experience, and creating unnecessary admin work.

Here are 10 of Ciphr’s favourite types of software that you should integrate with your HR system.


1. Payroll

Payroll software is, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular types of software to integrate with a core HR system; 44% of HR professionals surveyed by YouGov for Ciphr in 2018 said they use standalone payroll software alongside, but not integrated with, their HR system.

HR and finance teams often choose integrated HR and payroll software not only because of the potential time savings, but also because of the increased data accuracy and security that integration brings. Integrating these two systems means there’ll be less need to manually re-enter and check data, and you won’t need to transfer data between the two applications via potentially insecure methods such as spreadsheets or, worse, Post-It Notes. Having an integrated, cloud-based HR and payroll system is also essential for organisations that work remotely, helping you to pay people on time, every time, regardless of your working location.

Integrating HR and payroll systems is also a well-trodden path: other organisations will have been there before you, meaning any kinks in the integration process are likely to have been ironed out.

Ciphr loves: Ciphr Payroll


2. Recruitment and onboarding

You might already have integrated your applicant tracking system (ATS) with your central HR system, but have you considered other recruitment-focused systems that could make your hiring procedures even quicker and more effective?

Choosing to integrate your HR and recruitment software with specialist applications focused on aspects such as pre-hiring assessments and psychometric tests can really help to streamline the candidate experience – giving candidates a more positive impression of your organisation, which could be crucial when they are deciding which role they want to accept. Integrated HR and recruitment helps your teams too, by ensuring that all data related to each candidate is stored in a single place, giving you a comprehensive picture of their skills and experience.

If it’s time to hire and the level of recruitment-related admin that you need to reduce, you might want to integrate your ATS directly with popular job boards and social media channels – making it easy to share your vacancies at the click of a button.

If you’re focused on delivering a brilliant employee experience for your new starters, you’ll also want to invest in new hire onboarding software, and ensure it’s integrated with your HR system. Onboarding software helps you communicate with new starters before their first day, including sharing information about your organisation’s mission and values, important policies, and even training information. Its integration with your HR system will save your HR team vital admin time too, because you can use an onboarding portal such as Ciphr’s to collect important information such as bank account details, and transfer them directly into your integrated HR system.

Ciphr loves: Ciphr Onboarding, Broadbean, Vacancy Poster


3. Time, attendance and scheduling

Nearly a quarter (23%) of UK professionals we surveyed in 2018 said they used standalone time, attendance and rostering systems that aren’t integrated with their  HR system. Alarmingly, this proportion rose to more than a third (34%) among companies with more than 250 employees.

Operating standalone HR and time and attendance systems leaves your organisation open to the risk of duplicated or inaccurate data – which will have a negative knock-on effect on the accuracy of your payroll. It also means your busy HR team will be spending time on repetitive work that they could better spend on more pressing, strategic projects.

Disconnected systems also make for a poor user experience; workers will need to remember access details for multiple programs, and won’t be able to seamlessly switch from one system to another.

Establishing an HR system integration with your attendance system will also improve your HR team’s ability to report on staff working patterns and holiday, making it easier to plan rosters more intelligently.

Ciphr loves: HFX, FTS, Shopworks


4. Benefits

Integrating your HR system and benefits platform will create a seamless experience for employees, who’ll be able to move between applications without needing to remember multiple login details. It’ll also save time for your HR team, because details of any new starters, leavers, or relevant changes – such as pay or benefits entitlements – made in the HR system are automatically reflected in the benefits system. With more comprehensive integrations, relevant information about selections made in the benefits system – such as purchasing additional holiday – will be transmitted back into the HR system, reducing the likelihood of data errors or incorrect pay and tax calculations.

Ciphr loves: Amba


5. Expense management

Expenses are something of a ‘necessary evil’ of working life: employees have to submit them, and finance teams have to process them. Take some of the administrative pain out of expense management by opting for specialist software that’s integrated with your HR system, so users can access both systems with a single login, and details of new starters, leavers and any changes are automatically reflected in both applications.

Ciphr loves: webexpenses


6. Health and safety

When it comes to health and safety, it’s essential that your organisation’s records are accurate and up to date to make sure that you are satisfying legal requirements and supporting workers who might need additional assistance.

Running parallel, standalone health and safety and HR systems might mean that issues go unnoticed and compliance requirements, such as training and accident records, might not be met.

But integrate your HR system with your health and safety platform and you’ll have a complete picture of your employees’ personal and health and safety histories, giving you more comprehensive – and more accurate – data to analyse and base your interventions on.

Ciphr loves: Evotix


7. Employee engagement

There’s a growing movement within the HR profession for strategies, programmes and initiatives to be based on robust evidence, rather than gut instinct. But standalone HR and L&D applications make it difficult for HR teams to see the ‘big data’ picture all in one place, effectively forming a barrier to evidence-based decision-making.

This challenge is especially acute when it comes to employee engagement survey tools; while collecting data about your people’s thoughts, feelings and needs is all well and good, if you aren’t able to map this data against teams or individual records, the results will be of limited use.

Establishing an HR system integration with your employee engagement platform helps HR teams to analyse trends and plan initiatives more quickly and effectively.

Ciphr loves: Thymometrics, Totem, The People Experience Hub


8. Talent management

Talent management is another area where total visibility of your employee’s data is essential. How can you formulate robust succession plans, or understand a person’s skills gaps, without the right data at your fingertips?

Integrate your chosen talent management solution with your central online HR system and not only will the accuracy and visibility of your people data improve, you’ll also spend less time on administration as information about starters, leavers and changes made in one system will be automatically reflected in the other application.

Ciphr loves: Ciphr LMS


9. Learning and development

The power and benefits of integrating HR-related applications multiplies as you bring more systems into the same network. One of the most crucial elements to bring into your digital HR ecosystem is your learning management system. Although HR and L&D teams might work somewhat separately in some organisations, keeping workers’ HR and L&D records separate doesn’t make a huge amount of business sense, because it makes it difficult for HR teams to undertake crucial initiatives such as performance management, workforce planning and even recruitment.

Integrate the HR system and LMS and you’ll be able to see a clearer picture of each individual employee’s skills, experience, needs and wants, enabling your HR team – and their line manager – to support them in their pursuit of wider organisational goals.

If there is single sign-on between the HR and L&D system – enabling users to move freely between programs – you might even seen a higher uptake of your L&D tools and courses, improving your return on investment (ROI).

Ciphr loves: Ciphr LMS


10. Background checks and screening

Last but by no means least on our list are background checks and screening applications. With fines for organisations employing workers with fraudulent documents increasing, it’s vital that right-to-work checks are carried out consistently and thoroughly.

Opting to use specialist software instead of carrying out checks manually will speed up your compliance and improve the accuracy of your checks. There’ll also be less need to train your staff on how to carry out checks, saving you even more valuable time. Establishing an integration between your HR system and your chosen employee background checking software ensures your HR records will always be fully up to date, and that checks are carried out on time, every time.

Ciphr loves: Experian, TrustID


Want to find out more about how Ciphr’s HR system system integrates with payroll, LMS, recruitment, and other HR software? Call us on 01628 814242 or request a demonstration to find out how Ciphr’s solutions can support your organisation.


This article was first published in January 2019. It was updated in December 2022 for freshness, clarity, and accuracy.