8 Smart Ways to Maximize Your Leftover HR Budget

As we settle into Q4, you may find you have some leftover budget that can be used to strengthen your HR team for the coming year. While having extra funds is a nice surprise, deciding where to spend it can be a challenge.

Living in the HR software space, our team knows HR tooling. This includes what we currently use, what we’ve used in previous roles, and the software we work with directly for integrations or services our clients use.

Leveraging our expertise, we've crafted a selection of top-tier HR tools and why they are so good. These tools vary in size, scope, and cost, spanning from recruitment to compensation management. There is a solution for you no matter your budget or where you need HR assistance the most.


If you don’t have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), get one. It simplifies candidate sourcing, speeds up hiring, and improves collaboration. It makes it easier to find qualified candidates, improves team collaboration, speeds up hiring, and helps track where the best candidates are coming from.

Our picks:

Greenhouse-Greenhouse is intuitive and has many key features, including the ability to easily track referrals and the ability to create internal and external dashboards. 

Ashby-Ashby provides robust analytics capabilities and customizable dashboards that make it easier to make data-driven decisions. It is also easier to reach out to previous applicants that may not have been the perfect fit for a previous role but would be qualified for a newly available position with helpful tools like applicant re-engagement.


If you work in HR, you probably know how important a HRIS is. The problem is deciding on one. There are countless options on the market, which makes it difficult to narrow down options.

Based on our extensive experience working with various HRIS', we have two preferred choices for their overall performance and features.

Our Picks:

Rippling-Easy set up and the ability to easily customize and scale as your team grows. Their system works well with companies sized 2-2,000 employees.

Workday-Best for teams that hire internationally. They are one of the better known systems and pair well with companies that are 1,000 employees and up.

Payroll & Benefits

Payroll and benefit software can relieve a lot of the stress on management and HR teams by catching and reducing errors, which makes both employees and managers happy. If you don’t have a payroll or benefits system within your HRIS, you can always opt for a separate solution.

Our Pick:

Gusto-Gusto is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a one-stop shop for payroll and benefit solutions including tax settings, employee reimbursement, and time tracking. This software works best for smaller businesses and organizations who do not have an HRIS yet.

ADP-Ideal for larger companies and enterprises, ADP is the top choice for payroll systems in manufacturing and retail.

Talent Assessment

Depending on the industry and role, talent assessment could be a need or a nice to have. These tools can be valuable for spotting candidates you may have looked over based on resume alone, or an easy way to weed out folks that may be exaggerating their experience.

Our Picks:

Eightfold-Eightfold is a talent management system that uses AI to help speed up recruitment, increase diversity, and also assess skill sets and talent from current employees.

HackerRank- In jobs like coding and development, having certain skills right from the start is crucial. HackerRank makes it simple to check if developers have the needed experience.

Background Checks

Background checks may be essential or icing on the cake, depending on your industry. Using background check software saves time and money by verifying various details like education, employment history, licenses, criminal records, and financial background. Doing this manually is tough, time-consuming, and costly when using separate sources of information.

Our Pick:

Checkr-This background check software is speedy, comprehensive, and simplifies tracking progress. It also guides candidates on what information they need to provide and how to submit it for a smooth process.

Performance Reviews

 Love ‘em or hate ‘em, performance reviews are one of those things that you begin prepping for as soon as the last one is over. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool that helped you track performance and employee satisfaction, so those cyclical reviews offered more valuable information with less work from both management and employees? 

There’s a software for that! A lot of them, actually, so definitely do your homework here.

Our picks:

Lattice-Lattice is best for larger teams, providing more robust analytics about people and performance over time than most of its competitors.

15Five-For smaller teams and single direct support, 15Five is a great tool to open communication, set goals, and align expectations.

Employee Engagement 

Employee engagement software is designed to help employees and managers set goals, offer recognition, and make the onboarding process smooth to kick off a relationship built on culture and mutual respect.

Our Picks:

Culture Amp-Best for small to mid-sized companies. Culture Amp allows employees to offer anonymous feedback and ready-made surveys that are easy for managers to use.

Glint-Best for large to enterprise companies. Glint offers feedback and surveys from every point of the employee experience, including goals, conflict resolution, and team collaboration. The reporting and analytics features make it a breeze for managers to keep a pulse on the vibe of their department and ensure the company is being a supportive partner.

Compensation Management

Compensation management is a mammoth piece of running a company. It includes planning, examining, and reevaluating all the ways a company pays an employee from monetary benefits including base pay, bonuses, equity, and raises, to non-monetary incentives and benefit packages. And while every business that has employees who work for them manages and plans compensation, many companies haven't taken advantage of some great tools available to make a critical, hard, and complicated job easier, faster, and more accurate.

Here are our top suggestions for wisely investing your HR budget in compensation management tools. These services streamline the process, from handling small yet impactful tasks to running compensation cycles, making it easier and quicker to create a fair and competitive compensation plan.

Be willing to spend more on better compensation market data

You buy those cute new shoes from Temu for $13, and they break before you are 2 hours into Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour. You cringe as your friends say the words, “you get what you pay for”. 

Sometimes you can score a deal and you get surprisingly good quality. Compensation market data is rarely something you get that lucky with. Compensation market data is the cornerstone of accuracy for building ranges, running comp cycles, and making sure you are offering enough to keep your best people and also attract new talent. Why would you want to risk data that is outdated, not accurate, or doesn’t make sense for your industry when so much of your compensation plan is built around it?

Hire a consultant to redesign your offer letters and templates

This may not be at the top of your list of tools to spend money on, but presentation matters. Think about it, offer letters are the invitation to accept a career with your company. A polished, celebratory design could make a big impact, especially if your candidate is getting stale scanned documents you can still see the whiteout swipe from that look like they are from yesteryear. 

A well-designed, branded, and informative offer letter can tell the candidate your team pays attention to detail, cares about how they present themselves, and also takes the hiring process importantly.

Licenses to software to help non-Excel whizzes write formulas

Watching someone who knows how to use Excel is well almost a magical experience. Seeing them place letters and numbers that seem to make no sense into tiny little bars, then click of a mouse and see the right answer autopopulate out of thin air is incredible. 

But not all of us have those special Excel skills, and now it’s ok to admit that.

Now that there are so many Excel tools available, even the most novice users can set up their spreadsheet to get the information they need with less of that red error message that makes you feel like a total failure.

Compensation Management Tools

PequityOf course, we wouldn't forget to mention Pequity when talking about compensation management tools!

We're not just enthusiastic about it (yes, we can be fans of our creation), but we're also confident and proud of its exceptional performance.

Pequity stands out as the most secure and flexible compensation planning and management software available. It was developed by compensation experts for compensation experts, addressing the most significant pain points they encounter. This includes streamlining complex tasks like running compensation cycles, or merit cycles, for large teams. The best part? It's entirely customizable and takes half the time to run.

With Pequity, you can:

— Manage compensation cycles effortlessly.

— Keep a close eye on your compensation program's health and spot potential issues before they escalate.

— Easily build, manage, and share salary range information securely.

— Generate automated reports and dashboards, simplifying explanations of total compensation, including salary, benefits, bonuses, and equity.

— Provide employees with an accessible portal to view their total compensation, including equity details.

— Seamlessly integrate with your ATS and HRIS systems.

— Create branded offers

Investing your HR budget in these essential tools can enhance your HR team's efficiency and contribute to your organization's success. 

If you would like to learn more about Pequity or discuss compensation-related concerns, please reach out. We're here to help you make informed decisions to empower your compensation team. Fill out the form below to schedule a conversation and discover how Pequity can benefit your organization.

Let's Chat




Cherish Grimm

Cherish is a marketing pro with a passion for the finer things in life, such as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and big dogs.


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