Do It Yourself: The HR Pro’s Guide to No-Code Tools

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If you chose a career in human resources, it’s a safe bet you enjoy working with people more than working behind a screen. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of tech-savvy HR folks who are thriving remotely during the pandemic, but by nature, the business lends itself to interaction.

When it comes to designing processes that work for your department, having to wade through pages of code won’t be appealing to most of your team. That’s where a no-code tool comes in handy. Let’s look at the basics of using a no-code tool and some examples of how to efficiently use one in your HR department.

What Is No-Code?

“No-code” in the tech world refers to a development platform that allows virtually anyone to create their own applications. You can customize these applications based on your team’s unique needs without your IT department lifting a finger.

When your company puts app development in the hands of those who will actually be using the tool, you not only save on costs for technical help, but you empower teams to solve their own problems. Coding is a skill that takes years to master, but with a no-code tool, you won’t need a degree in computer science to create a system that works.

No-code platforms typically follow a simple drag-and-drop format. You might also hear no-code tools referred to as “GUI-based,” which stands for “graphical user interface.” This means that to create your application, you’ll use images and icons rather than code.

Why Should HR Departments Use a No-Code Tool?

There are several use cases for HR. For starters, no-code tools are popular for organizing the job application process. But many people may wonder why you should use no-code software instead of buying prebuilt software or just hiring more developers.

• Cost: Investing in a no-code platform can be cheaper than buying software, and it saves costs on hiring developers to build or manage unique systems.

• Customization: HR software can often be bloated with features you don’t really need while lacking the functionality you need most. With a no-code tool, you decide what to include in your workflows.

• Usage: Prebuilt HR and recruiting software can be expensive and fit for only one department. With no-code software, you can use the tools throughout the company for a variety of different needs.

• Scalability: Many HR departments in smaller companies will choose software that works for them right now. But once the company starts to grow, they realize the platform either doesn’t accommodate them or becomes far more expensive than they imagined. A no-code tool is flexible enough to scale along with your headcount.

Use Cases for No-Code Tools in HR

Let’s dive into some of the instances in which a no-code tool would be a great choice for HR.

Recruitment Management

A company job board or careers page is the main hub of the recruiting team, but the actual recruiters usually aren’t involved in building it. With a no-code platform, it’s easy to restructure the page or make additions on the fly without having to get the dev team’s attention. Plus, the entire application process can be designed by the ones who know it best: your HR team.


Up to 20 percent of new hires will quit within 45 days. The best way to ensure your new employees are getting all they can in their first few weeks is to optimize your onboarding process.

To do this, you can put the design work into the hands of your HR department. With no-code software, you can set up automated emails, determine who should receive each submitted form and where it should be stored, and even set up an employee hub for your new hires to get all the info they need about the company.

Time-Off and Expense Requests

Tracking time-off requests can be a logistical nightmare unless you have the right tool. You can set up the approval process with just a few clicks if you have a GUI-based drag-and-drop platform. With a calendar and approval system, you can ensure work doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Expense reports don’t have to be complicated, either. Just use the same approval process format and add a built-in calculator and a form where staff can input bank account information.

Performance Reviews

One of the most important processes you’ll set up for your company is a system for giving feedback. After all, the best employees will use feedback from their performance reviews to improve in their roles and work toward raises, promotions, and bonuses.

A no-code tool can set up a review process that collects feedback from multiple managers and coworkers to get a full picture of an employee’s performance. You can create a process that requires multiple people to weigh in and compare self- and manager evaluations side by side.

Policy Implementation

When a policy change takes effect, it’s up to the HR department to disseminate the info to the masses. If it’s a change that requires legal compliance, you’ll want an automated system to make sure you’re collecting, tracking, and storing the proper documents.

Due to their flexibility and customization capabilities, no-code tools are great at complying with legal changes in the industry. Setting up a proper system for company policies will pay off significantly in the future.

A no-code tool can help automate HR tasks, create a more seamless workflow, and reduce stress for your team overall. Several tools offer free trials or consultations so you can determine if this type of software could benefit your HR department. Start by doing some research, and you’ll more than likely find that the flexibility of these tools opens up possibilities you may not have even imagined.

Annabel Maw is the director of communications at JotForm.

By Annabel Maw