There's no question about it - people are an organization's most important asset. Whether your company has 50 employees or 5,000, managing them can be a challenge. From hiring the right people to onboarding them effectively to storing their information securely, the right technology can go a long way.

The AppExchange offers a variety of apps that can extend Salesforce to your back office and help transform human resources. Read on to learn how you can leverage apps to take your HR department to the next level.

1. Recruit and hire smarter

The first step to creating a great employee base? Hiring great people. Recruiting and hiring apps like Jobscience make that easier, connecting companies with qualified, interested prospects. HR departments use Jobscience's tools for mobile job search, social integration, candidate scoring and more. But the app really shines as a tool for recruitment and staffing agencies, providing recruiters with powerful reports, dashboards and workflows that can track candidate placements, as well as the value of those placements. These tools make the hiring process smarter and more data-driven, resulting in more successful candidates.

Talent Objects by Lumesse takes the high-tech tools many HR apps have — including job distribution, application creation, and interview management and scheduling — and makes them more user-friendly, introducing a swipe-based candidate feed and simple workflows that are available on any device.

2. Learn more effectively

Employee retention is one of the biggest issues facing companies today, and effective training is one of the best ways to keep employees around. Apps like Litmos LMS allow users to create materials and train employees for new jobs, certifications or compliance with customized e-learning courses, accessible on Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android. Litmos also offers dashboards and reports for monitoring progress, allowing managers to track progress and engagement.

Additionally, Class Enrollment is an attendance-tracking app used to monitor employee enrollment at both internal and external training courses. Managers can view lists of courses completed by individual employees, as well as monitor class availability and schedules.

3. Streamline employee management

Managing and storing employee information may seem deceptively simple, but in reality, keeping track of personal data, compensation and benefits, time off, benefits and more, can be a daunting task. Human Resource Management Systems apps like Fairsail Global streamline the process, allowing HR managers to update and keep track of an employee's relevant data, as well as manage talent development and succession planning. The result? HR departments have total visibility, both on a large scale and an individual level.

Beyond that, intranet app The WaterCooler connects employees to company-wide calendars, directories, notifications, documents and more, for better communication. The app also provides a collaboration engine and widget library, as well as Salesforce Chatter integration.

Technology can never replace the "human" element of human resources, but it can make HR processes – from hiring to training and beyond – faster, smarter and more efficient. With these apps and more from the AppExchange, you can streamline processes so you can focus on the face-to-face interactions with your employees.

Want to learn the 5 essential ingredients for your HR transformation? Download the free Salesforce e-book.