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HR Management Software Buyer's Guide

Last updated on September 10th, 2020

HR Software is All About Improving and Streamlining the Employee Lifecycle

HR software is the heartbeat of a business. Whether you’re looking for your first human resource management system (HRMS) or replacing an existing solution, there’s no downplaying the importance of the process. After all, this is the software that’s going to track your most important assets: your employees.

It’s essential to have a grasp on the human resource needs of your business and the features required to fulfill those needs. Dave Foxall, writing for HRMS World, lists “unclear requirements gathering” as one of primary contributors to a failed HRIS system implementation. As you can see, there’s a strong link between requirements knowledge and HR system implementation success. Let’s get started on guiding you towards making a decision that will provide the base for your organization’s success.

Executive Summary

  • HRM software is often offered as a single, integrated suite. However, best of breed software can provide deeper capabilities and expertise for specific human resources management functions.
  • By implementing an HRIS, companies seek to gain a single system of record and tools for managing hiring, scheduling, skill development, payroll and other key areas.
  • Foundational human resources features include core HRM, payroll, recruiting and hiring, and time and attendance. Advanced human resource management features include talent management, workforce management and learning management.
  • When comparing HRIS solutions, it’s essential to have well-defined requirements and to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) — upfront costs, implementation, maintenance and so on.
  • Ask questions internally of key stakeholders and user groups to gain clarity on key features and needs. Ask vendors software-specific questions to uncover the true capabilities and limitations of a HRMS, and also ask about non-software topics like implementation and support.

What is HR Software?

HRM systems provide a set of tools that allow organizations to manage all the processes related to human resources. This functionality can range from basics like a self-service portal and payroll processing to more advanced features such as workforce planning and talent management.

Generally, HR software can be divided into two main categories: full suites that have native modules designed to be integrated and point solutions (also called best of breed) that deliver capabilities for a specific purpose (e.g., payroll). In some cases, companies end up using a customized approach where they stitch together an ecosystem of multiple platforms from different providers, each of which addresses a different HR management need.

We’ll examine both integrated and best of breed HR software to help you gain a better understanding of which is more suitable for your company.

Integrated Suites

There are some key terms you need to know as you navigate the landscape of human resource management software offered by vendors:

  • Human resource management system (HRMS)
  • Human resource information system (HRIS)
  • Human capital management (HCM)

These terms, while synonymous or overlapping in many cases, can also refer to different levels of functionality and the number of modules integrated into the suite. In this guide, we’ll use the terms interchangeably for the sake of simplicity. For a full discussion of these HR systems, see our article HCM vs. HRIS vs. HRMS: A Comprehensive Comparison of the Differences Between Them.

The goal of an integrated suite is to keep everything under one umbrella. This approach enhances data accuracy, ensures a smooth flow between modules and eliminates the need for setting up complex integrations between systems.

Typical Categories of Best of Breed Solutions

There are varying levels of functionality within this type of HR solution. Some software will be truly best of breed, meaning they were developed to address one HR management function, such as Cornerstone LMS, which offers features that specifically facilitate learning management. Other HR systems will include a few closely related capabilities, such as core HR and payroll.

While integrated suites tend to be the go-to choice for many organizations, point solutions still offer viable capabilities. Not every company, particularly smaller businesses, will need an all-in-one human resources management solution and find it more efficient and cost-effective to opt for point solutions that address their specific needs but nothing more. In addition, some companies prefer the deep expertise often found with best of breed solutions.

Point solutions fall into the following categories (we’ll cover associated features further down):

Technology advancements add a layer of complexity, as things like AI become more firmly rooted in HRIS systems. The industry has even reached the point where new categories are forming or emerging as the HR management tech stack evolves.

This constant transformation makes it all the more critical to conduct research and thoroughly vet vendors to understand what you’ll receive from their HR software.

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Deployment Methods

Whether you choose a cloud or on-premise solution is another factor to closely consider. More and more, companies are shifting to cloud-based models. The Sierra-Cedar 2019–2020 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 22nd Annual Edition found that more than seven in 10 respondents use at least one cloud application. Talent management, core HRMS, workforce management and payroll account for the highest SaaS/cloud deployments.

However, the survey also found that a large number (40%) of respondents still use one or more applications on-premise and that cloud adoption, while continuing, hasn’t advanced at the speed expected.

Cloud and on-premise solutions both have advantages and drawbacks. For example, cloud hosting is more cost-effective up front and is good for companies that lack an IT department to handle the complexities of implementing and maintaining the HRIS software.

However, on-premise solutions grant greater customization, which enterprises may find attractive to meet their complex organizational structure and processes.

Other factors to weigh include security, data governance, disaster recovery plans and integration with other business systems such as an ERP.

Given the many nuances, it’s critical to evaluate your unique circumstances and requirements to determine whether cloud, on-premise or hybrid deployment is best for your organization.

Our HRM requirements template can simplify and speed up the process of shortlisting vendors that are a good match for your preferred deployment strategy.

Benefits

Having an HRMS in place allows your company to complete basic functions that are essential to running a business. Recruitment, payroll, benefits administration, attendance and other HR software features are universal functions across industries.

However, the benefits extend far beyond that. Implementing an HRIS solution will allow your company to:

  • Save Time: HRMS software streamlines many manual tasks that human resources departments and employees face. This includes data entry, employee profile updates, payroll processing, employee self-service via chatbots, recruiting and onboarding. For example, technologies such as AI can save hours by scanning candidate resumes.
  • Ensure Data Accuracy: An HRIS provides a central database for employee records and other information, eliminating duplicates and ensuring data is up to date. Additionally, close integration between payroll and other modules like time and attendance and compensation management ensures pay is accurate and that it accounts for unique factors like overtime, commission and bonuses.
  • Develop the Skills of Your Workforce: A LMS allows new employees to learn critical job skills. These programs can also facilitate career development or promote reskilling so employees can switch job functions if the need arises.
  • Promote Employee Growth: Managers can schedule regular reviews and use tools that drive conversations and help employees grow within their positions. Metrics on employee performance help identify employees’ strengths and areas that need improvement.
  • Ensure Long-Term Success: Succession planning tools enable executives to plan for the future by identifying employees who qualify for C-Suite roles and purposefully developing the skills needed to succeed in such a role.
  • Make Data-Driven Decisions: With the ability to track and analyze all HR-related information via dashboards and reports, managers and executives can make decisions that are backed by data.
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Implementation Goals

Goal 1

Host All Employee Information in a Central Location

Employee personal information (name, position, time at the company), work-related data (PTO accrued, healthcare benefits) and corresponding documents are all stored in a central database, making the flow of data throughout your organization seamless. An employee self-service portal makes this information accessible to all members of your organization.

Goal 2

Manage New Hire Processes

New employee onboarding is a critical function of HR software. Some software offers standalone onboarding capabilities. More advanced HRIS software often also incorporates recruiting features.

Goal 3

Control Monetary Functions Such as Compensation, Taxes and Payroll

HRM systems provide a central location for managing a company’s people-related finances. Employees can view their payment information and choose their preferred method of payment (direct deposit or check). Managers can use the HRMS software to distribute funds, issue reimbursements and make payroll processing changes.

Goal 4

Keep Track of Employee Time

Adopting an HRMS simplifies the process of monitoring the time employees spend at work (and away from work). It tracks company holidays, paid time off, sick leave and other absences, often with a streamlined review and approval process that saves both employees and managers time. Employee scheduling tools enable managers to arrange shifts for hourly workers. The HRM software feeds this data into the payroll system to ensure accurate compensation management

Goal 5

Encourage Employee Development

Many HR software vendors offer learning management, performance management and career planning features.
Employees can receive instruction as part of their onboarding process, monitor their improvement and craft paths specific to their professional goals while receiving support from managers.
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Basic Features & Functionality

Core HR

Essential HRMS functionality includes a central database, employee information dashboard, document management and a self-service portal for employees and managers. Your HRMS should also have benefits administration and be able to lead your employees through the enrollment process, with all necessary information included in the HRMS.

Employee engagement lets you gather employee feedback from employees, recognize achievements and reward positive results. It’s usually implemented as an extra tool or full replacement for traditional performance reviews. Performance feedback is a key component to employee success, but companies can reap benefits as well. Research has shown that businesses with engaged employees are more likely to be high performers and see greater revenue growth.

Other core HRM features include calendar and email integrations, an organizational chart that shows role hierarchy and team distribution, and compliance management.

Recruitment and Hiring

This is the first step in the candidate-to-employee lifecycle and typically involves applicant tracking and recruiting software. Capabilities include integration with job boards and social media, an AI tool to process resumes, a candidate portal, document sharing, a talent pool and evaluation tools

A streamlined recruitment, evaluation and selection process promotes a positive experience for your business and your applicants, and it ensures you choose the right person for the job.

Onboarding

The time between an offer letter and the first day of employment has always been critical to an employee’s overall success. Layer on the extreme mobility of the modern workforce, remote workers and so many other risks of alienating your new hire, and the timeline becomes critical – even well beyond day one.

The tools that facilitate employee onboarding are like sandpaper in a workshop, making the employee transition as smooth as possible. Onboarding features can include digital documentation with e-signature, welcome packets, automatic reminders to set up deposit preferences and enroll in benefits, and checklists to monitor onboarding progress. Integration with a LMS facilitates the process of employees starting on the proper training right away. Workflows can ensure tasks happen in the appropriate order and some solutions also allow managers to create check-in milestones.

Performance

Think about where you are today and where you want to be post-implementation. Annual performance reviews are going by the wayside, partly due to the fact that a large chunk of the workforce — Millennial and Gen Z workers — prefer ongoing feedback. Look for performance management tools that are agile, supporting a more fluid management process. These can include 360-degree reviews, goal setting, peer feedback, engagement surveys, micro-learning, social recognition and check-ins.

According to the TinyPulse 2019 Employee Engagement Report, high performers receive better levels of support than low performers. Having robust HRIS software for feedback, recognition and employee improvement benefits managers looking to keep track of employee progress, as well as employees who are more motivated and equipped to excel in their roles.

Payroll

Payroll is often provided as a standalone solution, but many of the best HRM systems incorporate this capability. The fear of replacing your payroll tool can often be alleviated when weighed against the cost savings and efficiency gains of rolling it into your core HRIS system. It can automate relevant deductions, provide flexible pay schedules, ensure regulatory compliance and more.

Time and Attendance

Users can clock in and out, request time off, view company holidays, receive scheduling updates and perform other time-related tasks. Conversely, managers can approve employee requests, post attendance policies for viewing, view employee availability and update hourly shifts.

Compensation

Compensation management tools take all factors of employee payment into account: base salary, overtime, bonuses, stock incentives, retirement plans and more. They also include wellness programs. The workflows associated with rewarding your employees are critical to business, so a product’s ability to manage those processes is a key consideration.

Reporting and Dashboards

These analysis tools are critical, as they provide a window into KPIs and let you examine data at a granular level when needed. HRIS solutions offer pre-built reports based on common industry metrics. Many also let you customize reports to surface the data that’s most relevant to you.

Accounting

With accounting tools in place, you’ll be able to conduct basic business functions like bookkeeping, expense management, and billing and invoicing. Some HRMS software can handle foreign currency as well as provide budgeting and forecasting tools.Some software has these features natively included, while others offer integration with an accounting program like QuickBooks or SAP,

which automatically pulls human resources data like payroll.

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Advanced Features to Consider

Learning

Digital training courses and continued education resources are included in many robust HCM suites. Learning management ensures all of your employees are up to date on the latest technologies and have the requisite job skills. Some LMS include career development features as well, helping workers create plans and providing educational materials that are aligned with their goals.

An LMS offers blended learning, instructor-led training (ILT), course creation and management, game-based elements to stimulate learning, certifications, learning paths and reporting features. Larger products also incorporate e-commerce capabilities so companies can offer courses externally.

Workforce

Workforce software often encompasses individual human resource functions, such as time and attendance and scheduling. However, it also offers features to manage employee exits, analyze productivity, handle travel details (expenses, schedules) and report on the company’s labor cost distribution.

Talent A talent management suite provides features such as career and succession planning, management of employee performance, goals, and competency, and workforce planning. These capabilities enable companies to oversee all facets of their workforce.
Globalization

This feature is best for large companies that operate internationally and need functionality such as localized views and compliance, multi-language and multi-currency support, and location-specific workflows.

It also provides a standard UI and one system of record for a unified, seamless experience.

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Comparison Strategy

The above sections should have given you a clear idea of the types of HRM systems, what they offer and the main features to look for. Now it’s time to take that information and apply it to your situation.

The first step is to identify key stakeholders from across your organization. This team commonly includes human resources staff, IT personnel, finance and operations members, and payroll specialists. To ensure the best outcome, you should loop in managers, front-line employees, administrators and executives. HR software impacts everyone, so every tier at your company should have input.

Once you have a team assembled, you can build your requirements (our requirements software speeds up and simplifies this often complex and time-consuming process). When listing your requirements, be sure to differentiate between business-critical and optional features. For example, having a payroll tool and employee database is essential for any company. However, you may not need the ability to conduct succession planning.

It may help to use a weighted scale to assign importance to each requirement so you can decide which shortcomings are deal-breakers and eliminate vendors based on those parameters. Beyond standard feature requirements, it’s equally important during your HR software reviews to consider budget, time, infrastructure and additional non-feature factors like vendor support.

With your requirements in hand, begin exploring the market. If you already have an initial list of products you’re interested in, eliminate some based on your refined requirements. Old, new, broad, narrow — the HR management software market is a complex tapestry of products due to the different buyers it serves, acquisitions and the evolution of individual vendors.

That makes it vital to be clear on your company’s needs so you don’t get sucked into purchasing a HRIS that on one hand lacks features or on the other hand offers bloated functionality you won’t use.

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Costs

Cost is a major consideration in any software evaluation project. This is especially true if you’re looking at large HCM suites that come with feature-rich modules — and a higher price tag.

You can refer to our HR Software Price Guide for a detailed breakdown of what the top HRMS solutions cost. Here, we’ll take a broad look at pricing in the HR management industry so you know what to expect and look for.

Pricing depends on a number of factors:

SaaS vs. Software License

SaaS (software-as-a-service) products follow a subscription model, where payment is based on the number of users, monthly or annually. A license, which is most common with on-premise solutions, lets a company use the human resource management software after paying for a one-time purchase (some licenses require renewal).

One-time licenses are much more costly up front because you’re paying for the software in one lump sum. On top of that, your company will need an adequate number of IT professionals to maintain the HRIS software and ensure data security, which can be an additional expense.

Subscriptions, by contrast, are much less expensive in the short term. That said, it’s smart to consider long-term costs, since you’ll always have to pay for a SaaS product, but once you’ve licensed an on-premise system, it’s less likely you’ll have to worry about ongoing payments.

Number of Modules Needed

If you’re looking at an HR software rather than point solutions, you’ll have to factor in required modules to your cost equation. Much like a food buffet, many vendors let you choose which modules you want to plug into the ecosystem. For example, if you’re looking for core HR management, learning management, payroll and workforce management capabilities, each of those functionalities may carry an individual sticker price.

Number of Users

The number of users who will need access to the software is one of the biggest considerations when putting together a budget. As mentioned, many SaaS models charge per user. So even if the cost is only $10 per user, each month, if you need to support 1,000 users, you’ll pay $120,000 every year.

Customizations

Making specific customizations to the HRIS software may cost extra. You’re more likely to find this incorporated into the base cost, but you should always check, as things like the extent of the customizations, complexity and specific needs contribute to the overall cost.

Customization expenses are more common with subscriptions, as the vendor would handle customizations. Vendors may also customize elements of an on-site system, but once the human resources management software is installed on your servers, your IT department has the freedom to make any changes necessary.

Training

More complex human resource management software often requires training in order for administrators and users to understand workflows, setups and individual capabilities. Again, you’ll find a wide variety, with some vendors offering in-person training, some providing online premium training or free self-training, and some offering a mix. Whatever the case, don’t overlook this element when budgeting for an HRMS solution. Proper training can encourage higher user adoption rates and ensure users get the most out of the HRMS software.

Other Costs

Some other areas to think about include installation and implementation, data migration, and maintenance.

These are often rolled into the subscription or license price tag, so you don’t have to pay for them separately. It’s always good to verify, though, because each vendor has their own pricing details.

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State of Human Resources and Its Technology

For an in-depth treatment of industry trends spanning general HR, talent management and human resources technology, check out the additional resources at the end of this guide. Here, we’ll cover some of the key highlights so you can make a more informed buying decision.

Market Movement

The HR market is projected to be worth more than $38 billion by 2027, achieving a CAGR of 11.7%.

Spending, however, isn’t expected to grow, according to the Sierra-Cedar 2019—2020 Survey White Paper, with 41% of companies increasing HR budgets in 2020 compared to 55% spending the same and 4% spending less. The top areas of focus for companies that plan to spend more include talent management, core HRM, business intelligence for HR, benefits and payroll.

Technology Transformation

In addition to the emergence of employee experience platforms (discussed below), innovative technologies include augmented and virtual reality, along with the development of learning applications.

AR/VR can support recruiting efforts and enhance job learning, especially for professions that are inherently more dangerous. Additionally, the learning market is transforming, says HR analyst Josh Bersin. There’s a shift away from sole reliance on LMS software as learning experience platforms (LXP) solidify as a viable segment in the landscape, thanks to vendor innovation and the entrance of non-traditional — though major — players like MyTrailhead from Salesforce and LinkedIn Learning.

Artificial Intelligence

AI, to no one’s surprise, has been a constant focus. And while it’s not a magic cure for all human woes, tools that use AI-based technology are making a mark within the HR management sphere. Chatbots answer employee queries and can screen candidates, offering interviews if appropriate. Algorithms also relieve the burden of scanning resumes so hiring managers can focus on the recruiting phases where human interaction is most critical.

Employee Experience

Companies have realized the importance of reframing the place employees have in a company. The employee experience has become a central theme as organizations seek to attract talent, engage employees to produce better results, reduce churn and compete in a high-demand talent marketplace.

Bersin has identified the emergence of a new software category within HR management — the employee experience platform (EXP).

This software seeks to enhance productivity and engagement by presenting a single user-friendly interface where employees can go to receive services and find relevant information.

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Questions to Ask Yourself

Use these questions as a starting point for internal conversations:

  • What are you hoping to improve upon compared to your current HRM system, or what do you hope to gain by adopting a human resource management solution?
  • What current and future company-wide priorities do you need to consider?
  • Who will use the HRIS software and what are their must-have features and their nice-to-have features?
  • What challenges are users facing with your current solution?
  • What deployment model makes the most sense for your company, given constraints such as personnel, budget and user count?
  • What’s your budget?
  • What business software integrations do you require (CRM, ERP, accounting)?
  • Is gaining the functionality provided by point solutions key to your business, or is having a unified suite more important?

Questions to Ask Vendors

Use these questions as a starting point for conversations with vendors:

About the Software

  • Are payroll previews available? How easy is it to rectify payroll errors?
  • How is the HRMS software implemented and how is data migration handled?
  • Is the software built on one database, allowing for a seamless flow of data between modules?
  • Do dashboards and reports make it easy to quickly identify and keep tabs on key business metrics? Do they also allow enough drill-down for granular analysis when needed?
  • How does the HRMS software automate and streamline manual tasks such as data entry, recruiting and onboarding?
  • How often are product updates released? How are they rolled out — are upgrades automatic?
  • What compliance tools (audit templates, workflows, GDPR) are offered?
  • Does it provide a unified, user-friendly experience for managers and employees?
  • Is there a mobile app? Is there a seamless user experience when switching between desktop and mobile apps across devices? How many tasks can be performed on a mobile device?
  • What security measures are in place to protect employee data, prevent data loss and comply with industry-specific regulations?
  • Can the HRMS software be configured according to industry-specific best practices? Does it offer functionality that can handle requirements for companies in your industry?

About the Vendor

  • Is training embedded in the product? Is it free? Are resources available to help users learn how different aspects of the software work?
  • Related to training, how soon until employees are able to use the human resources management software?
  • What’s the size of the vendor? Are they financially stable and viable in the market?
  • How well does this vendor serve your industry? For example, can it support unique workflows and capabilities?
  • How dedicated to support is the HR software provider? Is it vouched for by current clients? What support avenues do they offer (phone, chat, email, community forum, client success manager)?
  • What does the implementation process look like? How much support will the vendor provide?

In Conclusion

Finding the right HR software is critical to the short and long-term success of your business. With strong software in place, you’ll be able to effectively manage every phase of the employee lifecycle from recruitment to exit. It will provide key insights that improve operations and identify risks so you can take preventative action. Building a list of requirements with input from key stakeholders and conducting thorough product and vendor analysis will put you on the path to a fruitful HRMS implementation.

HR Management Software Report

Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software

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Top 10 HR Management Software Leaders by Analyst Rating

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Paycom

User Sentiment:
84%

Paycom automates a variety of the core tasks necessary for managing and retaining talent. It helps businesses streamline their processes and relieve the burden of unnecessary paperwork, allowing managers to focus on tasks that cannot be automated. Cloud-based deployment provides access to features from any internet-connected device, enabling users to complete tasks even when they’re out of the office. It facilitates tasks such as benefits administration, reporting and more.

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Paylocity

User Sentiment:
88%

Paylocity is an all-in-one cloud payroll solution that enables organizations of every size to execute administrative tasks such as talent acquisition, time and labor management, and other core processes. Its functionality includes multiple configuration options that allow companies to customize according to their needs.It contains robust security measures such as encryption, real-time backups and secure data centers. It also has a user-friendly mobile app that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

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Workday HCM

User Sentiment:
83%

Workday HCM is a SaaS solution that unifies all aspects of managing the employee lifecycle in a single HRMS. The suite of modules allows organizations to operate globally, run payroll, administer benefits, manage talent and facilitate learning, among other things.While designed for medium and large enterprises, the platform can support the needs of smaller businesses as well. A business process framework provides control for all internal processes. The software is also equipped with audit tools and built-in security capabilities, and it offers mobile apps for flexible access.

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Paychex

User Sentiment:
83%

Paychex provides payment processing, time-keeping and other general human resource software. They offer this to self-employed users, small businesses, medium business and large enterprise ventures. Buyers can choose from various pricing plans and payment options such as direct deposit, real-time transfers and same-day ACH. Most versions have some core HR management and pay processing functionalities.Based in the cloud, it assists with hiring, onboarding, tax filing, benefits management, business insurance, startup services and more. Users can customize it to meet their specific needs, adding only what they use. This allows administrators to ensure it fits their requirements, whether they be simple or complex.

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ADP Workforce Now

User Sentiment:
85%

ADP Workforce Now provides a comprehensive suite of tools that help organizations handle payroll, time and attendance, talent management, benefits administration, and other HR processes. The modules enable organizations to efficiently manage the complexities of the employee lifecycle. The cloud-based platform is best suited for midsized and enterprise organizations with 50 employees or more.Built on a single, configurable database, the software facilitates data syncing across different components to reduce manual entry and data errors. Embedded with protective layers such as physical security, intelligent detection, fraud defense and other mechanisms, the HRM system also provides enhanced security and data privacy.

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Paycor

User Sentiment:
84%

Paycor is a full-service software designed to meet the human resources needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Paycor provides a HRIS that assists with a variety of core human resources tasks, including hiring, learning and development, time tracking, and payroll.The cloud-based HRMS is suitable for businesses across all industries. However, HRIS solutions can be customized to benefit a variety of specific industries including restaurant and healthcare industries. Ximble features are now integrated after its acquisition in 2019.

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UltiPro

User Sentiment:
85%

UltiPro, cloud-based HRIS software from Ultimate Software, brings together core HR, talent management and payroll into a unified HCM suite. Allows users different levels of access that can be customized based on business needs.In addition to these capabilities, the software is equipped with a robust set of business intelligence and predictive analytics tools. Powered by AI and machine learning, they provide data insights to drive intelligent decisions.

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Zenefits

User Sentiment:
81%

Zenefits is a cloud-based suite that provides integrated HR, payroll and benefits. It’s targeted at small businesses but can be used by organizations with up to 2,000 employees. Key features include time management, performance management, hiring and onboarding, and document management.Users can view the company’s structure via a dynamic org chart, which gives a real-time picture that shows changes to titles, contact info and other system updates. An employee directory centralizes information to facilitate easy collaboration.

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Dayforce

User Sentiment:
83%

Dayforce combines all major HR components into a cloud-based, unified HRMS. Suitable for smaller companies that need to manage over 100 employees to enterprises with thousands of employees, this program helps businesses tackle every aspect of the employee lifecycle. Companies can take advantage of professional services, payroll tax filing and standardized implementation processes via Dayforce Activate.

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Namely

User Sentiment:
77%

Namely is a cloud-based platform for mid-sized businesses. A suite of connected modules allows organizations to manage payroll, time and attendance, benefits, and talent. It comes equipped with additional features for general HR activities, such as document storage and management, customizable dashboards, and audit trails that help save time, configure employee profiles, track events and activities, and control access.

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iSolved

User Sentiment:
75%

iSolved is a cloud-based suite of tools that encompasses payroll, benefits, learning management and other core human resources activities. As an all-in-one module, it simplifies management tasks, facilitates single sign-on (SSO) and unifies data to reduce errors and increase productivity. In addition to its primary capabilities, it has add-on modules for ACA compliance and integrations with carriers for 401K and benefits. It also offers a managed benefits service add-on that provides COBRA, FSA, HSA and other expanded benefits options.

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ADP Vantage HCM

User Sentiment:
75%

ADP Vantage HCM, a cloud-based, on-premise and open architect solution, brings together core human resources services through integrated modules that help manage payroll, time and attendance, workforce management, talent management and more. It helps organizations of all sizes across the U.S. improve employee engagement and gain real-time insights to enhance workforce processes and workplace operations. It simplifies office administrative operations, minimizes risks, reduces expenses and provides dedicated guidance to enhance operational efficiency. Talent managers can streamline the onboarding process and synchronize performance with preset goals on a monthly and yearly basis. It also offers a mobile application.

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BambooHR

User Sentiment:
89%

BambooHR is an HRMS designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and provides solutions for organizations in all industries. Based in the cloud, it streamlines data collection throughout the employee lifecycle, warehousing relevant information in a centralized database to make it easily accessible for managers and individual employees. It facilitates hiring, onboarding, compensation administration, performance management, provides employee self-service capabilities and everything in-between. It allows organizations to make customizations, set multiple administrators and maintain inactive employees.

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Justworks

User Sentiment:
94%

Justworks is a professional employer organization that helps businesses automate and streamline multiple administrative functions. By automating tasks such as payroll, benefits administration and reporting, it saves organizations both time and money. Ensuring compliance and providing administrators with access to robust benefits options, it elevates traditional administrative practices and provides the support users need to make the most of its capabilities. Designed with small and medium-sized businesses in mind, it offers multiple pricing plans and can scale with the growth of any business.

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NEOGOV

User Sentiment:
78%

NEOGOV delivers comprehensive human resource capabilities for the public sector and education organizations. The SaaS-based suite includes core HR, applicant tracking, onboarding, performance management, learning management, payroll, time and attendance, and e-forms. It’s suitable for small, medium and large businesses.

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Rippling

User Sentiment:
n/a

Rippling is a cloud-based, unified platform that helps manage employee data, payroll, benefits, devices, apps and more. Designed for small and medium businesses, it lets administrators manage operations from HR to IT with a single click. Features include custom reporting and graphs, digital document management, time tracking, workflow approval management and provisioning. It enables users to automate administrative work from onboarding new hires to offboarding.

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TimeForge

User Sentiment:
n/a

TimeForge is a full-service HCM suite from Truno, a company that specializes in the retail industry. However, it's able to accommodate the needs of any organization, making it a feasible choice for businesses with any specialty. It allows businesses to optimize workflows by focusing on the needs of their workforce. With access to a range of features, managers can build schedules, process payroll and complete a variety of other tasks. By integrating a variety of functionalities and allowing for customizations, it helps businesses get all of their needs met in one place.

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OnPay

User Sentiment:
98%

OnPay is designed to address core payroll needs for small businesses and handles basic HRM functions as well. Integrates with a variety of other HRIS software to enhance processes such as time tracking, accounting, benefits and compliance software integrations. Only requires a few minutes to set up and features an easy-to-use interface. The software also offers assistance with data migration for new users, making the transition from older or existing HRIS systems simpler.

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SuccessFactors

User Sentiment:
75%

SuccessFactors combines a set of integrated products to form a complete suite for HCM. The HRIS system enables companies to execute basic human resource functions as well as expand to strategic initiatives and planning to remain competitive. Based in the cloud, uses technology such as AI and machine learning to solve pressing human resources demands. In addition, SAP offers consulting and professional services to help companies implement integrations, deploy HRMS software and more.

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TriNet

User Sentiment:
n/a

TriNet is a payroll and full-service HR solution used by small and medium-sized businesses. Users have access to human resources consulting, risk and compliance, benefits, payroll services and an employee and manager self-service portal.Some of its capabilities include tax calculation, benefits management, insurance, risk mitigation, reporting, expense management and more. The company has been in service for over 30 years, has more than 18,000 clients and employs 300,000 onsite workers. It’s also ESAC accredited and is classified as an official Certified Professional Employer Organization by the IRS.

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Zoho People

User Sentiment:
87%

Zoho People is a cloud-based platform that facilitates labor management activities such as performance evaluation, time and attendance tracking, and expense reporting. As part of a larger product suite, it can seamlessly integrate with the rest of this vendor's recruiting and expense solutions. It also connects with the provider's payroll product, but payroll is only available internationally in India and in the U.S. for California and Texas. Includes support for 12 languages, allowing organizations to manage a global workforce.

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Ascentis

User Sentiment:
76%

Ascentis offers HCM services to companies of all industries via its cloud-based suite. Its five modules include time and attendance, payroll, HR and benefits, talent, and recruiting. Users can choose to pick individual functionalities or the entire package of services, depending upon their needs. It facilitates process automation for several complex business processes and transactions, reduces the probability of errors, offers real-time analytics, eliminates manual work, and helps talent managers and organizations cater to their human resources and talent management requirements. It also provides ease-of-use through an interface that can be accessed anytime, anywhere on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

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Viventium

User Sentiment:
93%

Viventium, a cloud-based HRM software for small and mid-sized organizations, enables talent managers, executive leaders and organizations to manage general human resources, payroll, recruitment, time and attendance. It offers flexibility, expert guidance, easy customization and usage, and other facilities to aid HCM needs. Employers can track employee data, run mock audits, create custom action plans, save employment data, run data analysis, develop employee surveys, accept or reject leave requests, add essential candidate information to dedicated profiles and more.

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SyncHR

User Sentiment:
75%

SyncHR is a comprehensive HCM platform that delivers benefits, payroll, time and attendance, talent management, and core human resource management capabilities to mid-market companies. The cloud-based human resource management software automates common tasks and can integrate with other business systems to provide real-time insights across an organization.

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Fingercheck

User Sentiment:
92%

Fingercheck is a cloud-based HRIS system. It provides tools that help to streamline hiring, time tracking and payroll tasks along with various other HR management tasks. Provides benefits to users at all levels, allowing both employees and employers to streamline workflows. Users can easily automate their processes.

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Cornerstone OnDemand

User Sentiment:
80%

Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based talent and performance management product. Together with its subsidiaries, it helps companies cater to their people development and management needs, handling the employee lifecycle from start to end. Five modules support recruiting, learning, performance and content management. It can be accessed from anywhere at any time, regardless of the user’s location or device type.

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SumTotal

User Sentiment:
69%

SumTotal is a configurable, unified platform that enables businesses to attract, build and retain talent. Its modules deliver capabilities for talent acquisition, talent development, learning management, talent management and workforce management. These modules assist organizations with recruiting, mentoring, career path planning, onboarding, continuous feedback, succession planning and more. It also provides an ATS that enables employee tracking from the receiving résumés to onboarding. Cloud-based and on-premise deployment are available, and it can be used on smartphones or tablets.

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Kronos Workforce Ready

User Sentiment:
81%

Kronos Workforce Ready is a cloud-based HRM software designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, across all industries. Users have access to a broad range of features and additional integrations to complete a variety of core human resources tasks. Facilitating management of both full- and part-time employees as well as hourly or salaried employees, it is customizable to meet the specific needs of any business. Users have the option to start with the full deployment of modules or begin with a single module and build from there.

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PrismHR

User Sentiment:
77%

PrismHR offers flexible, customizable and efficient solutions to support the comprehensive payroll, benefits and HR management requirements of small businesses and HR service providers. It provides assistive capabilities through the six key modules: platform, payroll, talent, time, employee portal and benefits. Its marketplace offerings include tools for financial wellness, identity protection, time and attendance, voluntary insurance, compliance, consulting services, taxes and more. These add-on capabilities are pre-integrated and give HR providers validated connections.

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Oracle HCM Cloud

User Sentiment:
78%

Oracle HCM Cloud provides a suite of applications that enable organizations to build and execute modern human resources and talent management strategies. Its set of modules includes human resources, talent management, workforce management and AI capabilities. These modules help align human resources processes that are supported by local compliance and provide managers with access to a workforce directory, employee profiles and skills information, time monitoring, policy implementation, and employee experience and skill alignment. It also enables talent managers to create a talent-rich applicant pool, recruit and retain quality hires, and execute employee engagement practices.

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APS Payroll

User Sentiment:
93%

Designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, APS Online is a cloud-based workforce management product. It provides features to help users automate and streamline a variety of core HRM tasks including processing payroll, tracking time and attendance, hiring the best talent, managing employee benefits, and creating analytic reports based on user data. Users can access their account from any internet-connected device to conveniently complete tasks. Built with scalability in mind, it is able to grow with businesses. Additionally, each organization has access to a dedicated support team and account lead that can assist with tech support and field general assistance inquiries.

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Arcoro

User Sentiment:
85%

Arcoro, formerly known as BirdDogHR, is a cloud-based HRIS solution that helps companies of all sizes manage employees throughout every stage of their employment. Users can leverage it to attract and hire top talent, align employee goals with company goals, create succession plans and ensure compliance with government regulations.Capabilities include core HR, payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, onboarding, learning management, performance management and compliance. Availability on mobile devices grants users 24/7 access from anywhere.

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PayServ

User Sentiment:
n/a

Payserv supports and develops employees with robust management features provided by its Workforcethrive solution. Users can securely access their information from any internet-enabled device through a simplified, single source. It connects critical processes like payroll and time management to optimize daily operations.It is designed to serve medium to large-sized businesses and supports human capital management, scheduling, employee performance and more. It can also help users stay compliant with various benefits guidelines. It is available through a cloud-based deployment strategy.

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PeopleStrategy

User Sentiment:
n/a

The PeopleStrategy suite enables small and medium-sized businesses to manage all aspects of human resources from one cloud-based platform. Its modules cover core requirements (performance, comp planning, onboarding), workforce management, payroll, benefits administration and talent acquisition. Capabilities include applicant tracking, self-service, analytics and reporting. It automates many parts of the administration process and stores information in a single database to eliminate double data entry.

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Vibe HCM

User Sentiment:
87%

Vibe HCM unifies core human resources capabilities surrounding transactions and compliance, along with strategic employee engagement. The SaaS-based suite includes recruiting, onboarding, core HR, time and attendance, communication and connection, talent development and recognition, payroll, compliance, benefits management and engagement measurement. It’s suitable for medium and large businesses.There are two different versions of the product available to deploy. Essentials is best for businesses that need to get up and running quickly but want the ability to upgrade in the future. Edge is suitable for those whose complex requirements call for customization and advanced capabilities.

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WebHR

User Sentiment:
86%

WebHR is a full-service, cloud-based HRIS system with payroll capabilities. It standardizes, manages and automates recruitment, hiring, payment and more. Through it, administrators and employees alike can complete enrollment, onboarding, benefits, background checks, attendance and more.Serving over 25,000 companies and around 200 countries, there’s a free version with limited functions that serve five or fewer users. For regular, paid subscriptions, it can support up to 1000 workers. It uses AI to streamline the entire process.

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Comparison of HR Management Software Leaders

HR Management Software Leaderboard

GET THE IN-DEPTH REPORT

Information Management - Top 10

Lets HR managers assign employees to specific projects, tracking progress, store document files in a repository, and two other key requirements.

HRM Core Functions - Top 10

Should have pre-built definitions or templates of legal compliance, allows centralized audit of HR practices, and allows existing HR practices to be audited from a legal compliance perspective for issues related to recruiting, workforce management and employee exit practices.

Pricing & Cost Guide

See the price/user for the top human resources software… Plus the most important considerations and questions to ask when comparison shopping.

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