HR Management Software Buyer's Guide
The Best HR Software Is All About Your Employees
By Alainia Conrad, Market Research Associate
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 you're about to embark on. After all, this is the system that’s going to track your most important assets: your employees. It's essential to have a grasp on the HR needs of your business and the features required to fulfill your needs. Not understanding your requirements can lead to failure. Personnel Today listed “Not getting priorities right” as one of their “Five reasons why HR software implementations fail.” 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.
- Self-service HR software solutions provide employees and management with a platform for handling all personnel-related processes.
- By monitoring attendance and finances, HR software programs facilitate necessary processes associated with running a business.
- All-inclusive HR software systems include features that manage the entire employee lifecycle, from recruitment to career development via educational components.
See how the top 10 HR Management Software leaders fare against the most common key requirements
Benefits of HR Application Software
Human resource management system software (HRMS) is one of the most essential tools for any business and is often referred to as human capital management software (HCM) or human resource information systems (HRIS). Recruitment, payroll, benefits, attendance and other HR software features are universal functions across industries. And the need to facilitate these functions is equally prevalent in the business sphere.
Aside from automating everyday processes, the adoption of software for HR can advance your business into new areas of personnel management. Top HRIS systems can serve as a tool for employees to complete training, learn new skills and view their progress. Learning and performance management, along with analytics features, give businesses an in-depth view of their employees’ achievement, which contributes to more accurate reviews.
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software
HRIS Software Implementation Goals
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software
Basic HR System Software Features & Functionality
|Core Human Services||
Baseline human resource functionality includes an employee information dashboard and document management. Essentially, at its simplest, an HRMS is intended as a central platform for storing and managing employee information.
The inclusion of self-service functionality and profiles gives employees the ability to access their information and make changes. Employee self-service is essential, as any inaccurate personal information such as addresses can affect payment or benefits administration. Employees need to be able to update this information on their own to guarantee it's accurate and avoid weighing down HR departments with the task.
The moment from offer letter to employment day one has always been critical to the overall success of an employee. Layer on the extreme mobility of employees from job to job, remote workers and so many other risks of alienating your new hire, the timeline even well beyond day one becomes critical.
The software that performs employee onboarding is like the sandpaper in your workshop, making the employee transition as smooth as possible. A platform that can easily convert new employees from candidate status will build the foundation for each new member of your workforce. Completion of the necessary documentation is essential throughout each employee’s time at your company.
|Benefits Management||The distribution of benefits information and guided enrollment are essential HR functions. A comprehensive HR solution ensures employees are aware of their insurance options, allowing for seamless decision-making. Your chosen HRMS should be able to lead your employees through the enrollment process, with all necessary information included on the platform. An all-inclusive benefits management system helps everyone in your organization choose the best plans for their needs and removes the responsibility of answering excessive benefits-related inquiries from your human resource department.|
Think high level about where you are today (maybe an annual performance review) and where you might be heading (maybe more ongoing feedback and objective management), and how the market supports either or both.
According to Gallup’s Re-Engineering Performance Management report, “only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.” Supplying comprehensive feedback is not only beneficial to management looking to keep track of employee progress, but can also serve as a motivational tool. Performance management specifically through HR administration software can use data to provide quantifiable feedback and easily share it.
|Time and Attendance||
Users can clock in and out, request time off, view company holidays, and perform other time-related functions through a self-service HR portal. Conversely, management can approve employee requests and post attendance policies for viewing.
Payroll management is often singled out as its own separate system, but many of the best HR systems incorporate this capability. The fear of replacing your payroll system can often be alleviated when you realize both the cost savings and gains of rolling this system into your core HR system.
Commonly referred to as “applicant tracking” or “recruiting,” this is the first step in the candidate-to-employee lifecycle. Facilitating the hiring process through streamlined recruitment, evaluation and selection operations promotes a positive experience for your business and your applicants. Additionally, rigorous candidate assessment with the help of human resource software ensures the right person is chosen for the job.
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software
Advanced HR Software Features to Consider
|Employee Engagement||Get feedback from employees, recognize achievements and reward positive results. This component is usually implemented as an extra tool or full replacement for traditional performance reviews. As mentioned, performance feedback is a key component to employee success. Being able to provide consistent assessment through human resource management software gives employees a constant look into their progress and their standing in the company.|
Digital training courses and continued education resources are included in some of the top HR systems. Learning management ensures all of your employees are up-to-date on the latest technologies and on-par with their coworkers’ skill levels.
Beyond standard training courses, some learning management systems include career development features. Career development-enabled learning management platforms help workers create plans and provide the educational materials that are aligned with their goals.
|Compensation Management||Compensation management takes all factors of employee payment into account: general wages, overtime, bonuses, etc. The workflows associated with rewarding your employees are critical to business, so how well the human resources software programs handle that functionality should be looked at in detail.|
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software
HR Software Comparison
Take your initial HRIS systems list and eliminate some based on your additional requirements. Now you can begin viewing system capabilities — this may be shocking when you begin assessing examples of HRIS systems and see the variability of what’s out there. Old, new, broad, narrow — the HR management software market is all over the map due to the different buyers it serves, as well as the individual vendors' evolution.
The expansive market serves as motivation to delve into the investigation of your requirements to narrow your HR software list. It may help to weigh the importance of each requirement so you can decide which shortcomings are deal breakers and eliminate HRIS companies 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.
- What are you hoping to improve upon compared to your current HR system, or what do you hope to gain by adopting human resource information system software?
- Who will be using your HR system? How do they use the software and what features do they want?
- How would you like your solution to be deployed?
- What's your budget?
- What integrations do you require?
Questions to Ask HRIS Vendors
- How is the HRIS program implemented?
- Is training embedded in the product? Is it free?
- What's the size of this vendor? How does it correspond to the size of your business?
- How well does this vendor serve your industry?
- How dedicated to support is the HR software provider? Is it vouched for by current clients?
- Is the HR database software integration-ready?
- How many tasks can be performed on a mobile device?
- Related to vendor training above, how soon until your employees are using the software?
- Can the reports and analytics meet your organization’s needs?
Expert recommendations and analysis on the top HR Management Software
- 9 HR Tech Trends Shaping the Technology Landscape Heading Into 2020
- Future of Human Resource Management: HR Trends Predictions for 2019
- HRMS Software Features List and HR System Requirements Checklist
- How to Choose the Best HR Software Tools for Your Company
- Namely vs Zenefits
- Workday vs SuccessFactors
- Workday Competitors and Alternatives
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 system also provides enhanced security and data privacy.
UltiPro, a cloud-based solution 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.
Workday HCM is a SaaS solution that unifies all aspects of managing the employee lifecycle in a single system. 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 system is also equipped with audit tools and built-in security capabilities, and it offers mobile apps for flexible access.
SuccessFactors HR combines a set of integrated products to form a complete suite for HCM. The HR portfolio enables companies to execute basic HR 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 HR solutions and more.
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 making it easily accessible to both 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.
Infor CloudSuite HCM is a cloud-based product designed to deliver comprehensive capabilities for medium-sized and large organizations. Its core bundle consists of global HR, HR service delivery and talent management. Companies can add on payroll, HCM analytics and workforce management modules on an as-needed basis for extended functionality.
Dayforce HCM combines all major HR components into a cloud-based, unified solution. 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.
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.
Sage Business Cloud People is a modern HR and People system that transforms the way mid-size organizations acquire, retain, manage and engage their workforce. Built on the number one cloud platform in the world, the Salesforce App Cloud, Sage People can typically be implemented in about 90 days and offers end-to-end customization. Bring out the best in your talent with Sage People, a better way to manage the employment journey from joining to leaving, providing core HR, payroll, talent acquisition, talent management and HR planning. It integrates with multiple accounting, payroll and third-party applications, giving you a single source of truth for your HR and people data. Sage Business Cloud People has multinational customers across many vertical markets and is recommended for businesses with 200 - 5,000 employees. Customers include; Aveva, Armstrong, Klarna, Mitsubishi UFG, Paddy Power Betfair, Quest Software, Redflex, Siteminder, Skyscanner, Worldwide Clinical Trials, Theisen’s, and Trustpilot.
The PeopleStrategy HR suite enables small and medium-sized businesses to manage all aspects of HR from one cloud-based platform. Its modules cover core HR (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.
CoreHR provides a fully integrated HR solution for all your global HCM and Payroll needs. Delivered on the world's most secure platform, CoreHR transforms how businesses operate by managing all strategic and transactional HR processes allowing you to focus on your most important asset - your people.
Ascentis HRIS/HRMS is a wizard-driven, intuitive HR software solution for mid-market companies of all industries. When managing employee data, Ascentis HR automates complex business transactions, eliminates manual processes, and reduces systemic errors.
Paycom’s software suite automates a variety of the core tasks necessary for attracting, managing and retaining talent. It helps businesses to streamline their processes and relieve the burden of unnecessary paperwork, allowing managers to focus on tasks that cannot be automated. Its cloud-based deployment lets managers access its features from any internet-connected device, enabling them to complete tasks even when they’re out of the office. It facilitates tasks such as benefits administration, reporting, onboarding and learning management.
Zenefits is a cloud-based suite of tools that enables companies to manage HR, payroll and benefits from a central platform. The solution is targeted at small and mid-sized businesses.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.
Align your people strategy to your business strategy with ADP Vantage HCM. We’ll help you focus on strategy, drive employee engagement, and bring new insights to your business as you simplify administration, manage costs, and minimize risk. With Vantage HCM, you’ll get easy-to-use technology and expert guidance — which translate into big wins for you and your company.
Kronos Workforce Ready is a cloud-based HR suite 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.
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.
Epicor HCM software solution offers deep functionality designed by HR industry professionals that is built on a modern, agile service-oriented architecture platform. Epicor HCM offers flexible deployment options including cloud subscription, hosting, and on-premise options. Also included is a suite of integration tools to allow your data to exist where you choose with the vendor of your choice.
Paycor is a full-service HR system designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Paycor provides solutions that assist with a variety of core HR tasks, including hiring, learning and development, time tracking, and payroll.The cloud-based system is suitable for businesses across all industries. However, 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.
BirdDogHR is a talent management suite that provides employee performance management for thousands of companies nationwide. It helps companies attract and hire top talent, align employee goals with company goals, create succession plans and ensure compliance with government regulations. It assists with managing employees throughout every stage of their employment. It can be deployed through the cloud and is mobile-friendly, so you can access it anywhere, anytime. It's intended for small- to medium-sized businesses.
We built our unmatched software for the SMB market, targeting users in roles ranging from business owners and executive leaders to HR managers and all others who handle payroll and HR management. We serve all industries, but with software that has the comprehensive capabilities to accommodate industry-specific business needs, we specialize in home health, skilled nursing, real estate, professional and financial services, restaurants, and skilled labor, to name a few.
SyncHR is a comprehensive human capital management (HCM) platform that delivers benefits, payroll, time and attendance, talent management, and core HR capabilities to mid-market companies. The cloud-based system automates common tasks and can integrate with other business systems to provide real-time insights across an organization.
Talent Management: Manage the Entire Employee Lifecycle. Seamlessly recruit, on–board, develop, compensate and track progress of your employees. Deltek Talent Management offers your company all the solutions it needs to manage the complete employee lifecycle on one built-in platform. With our extensive product line, you can efficiently handle Acquisition, Performance, Learning, Development and Compensation. To suit your company's specific needs, modules can be purchased individually or together as a unified employee management solution.
FinancialForce HCM gives you the power to manage your entire workforce with one, comprehensive, cloud solution. The unique value of this is the power of the Salesforce platform which delivers native collaboration, global, social and mobile capabilities to your workforce and allows you to better communicate and engage. Now you can empower and retain your workforce while delivering valuable dashboards and reporting options to your business managers.
Paychex provides pay processing and general human resource solutions for businesses of all sizes. Users can choose from four different pricing plans, all of which offer core HR and pay processing functionalities. The web-based system assists with hiring, onboarding, tax filing, benefits management, time tracking and more. Users can customize the solution to meet their specific business needs, adding only the features that they will use. This allows all users to get the best system to fit their needs, whether they be simple or complex.
Paylocity is an all-in-one HR platform that enables organizations of every size to execute benefits administration, payroll, talent management, time and labor management, and other core processes. The cloud-based software includes multiple customization and configuration options, allowing organizations to scale according to their needs. It contains robust security measures such as encryption, real-time backups and numerous data centers.The solution has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, giving users flexible access to information. Users can update contact information, receive notifications, view timesheets, follow company updates and perform other actions. Several welcome screens introduce new users to the app’s main features.
Cornerstone Growth Edition simplifies performance reviews and eLearning with a mobile-friendly, easily-configurable interface that can be up and running in just a few hours. With Cornerstone Growth Edition, performance reviews are simple and intuitive. Our solution not only automates employee performance reviews, it gives managers practical tips and guidance to develop their employees and make smarter business decisions.
Lumesse is a cloud-based SaaS platform that leverages machine learning for its management and talent acquisition solutions. It includes learning, performance, employee engagement, recruiting and workforce planning for organizations worldwide. It balances extensive experience with local proficiency in solving challenges related to human resource acquisition and management. It offers solutions and support to users, regardless of the time, company location, or the type of device in use. It is secure, intuitive, and can be internationalized into more than 50 languages. In 2018, Saba Software Inc., a talent development solutions company, acquired them, to provide amplified expertise to consumers.
JobDiva is a cloud-based Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for staffing enterprises, incorporating a patent-protected recruiting engine. It is supported by a full suite of advanced features that drive the hiring process from the first engagement to hiring and onboarding Its partner ecosystem offers more than 150 integrations that provide robust recruiting and hiring capabilities that assist throughout every phase of the process. Through its implementation, businesses are able to decrease their time-to-hire, engage easily with candidates and grow their organizations.
PeopleGuru develops and supports HCM software for mid-market organizations. Our Gurus have brought together their industry expertise to develop a true single HCM application for complete employee lifecycle management.PeopleGuru HCM is supported by a team of Gurus who are passionate about helping our clients achieve their desired business outcomes. Our focus is to ensure our clients always have the tools they need to deliver on their strategic HR objectives, mitigate compliance risk, drive efficiencies in the business, and engage their people.
Founded in 2009, JazzHR provides an applicant tracking system, recruiting and hiring software accessible to small and mid-sized businesses. Sourcing tools enable users to post jobs, mirror any internal approval processes and syndicate jobs to numerous free and paid job boards from one spot. Users can list jobs on a hosted careers page, add jobs to the company’s careers site or build a custom careers page. Features include sourcing and applicant tracking. Users can also manage the entire interview process within the platform, create and send out offers and onboarding paperwork, and set up customizable reporting. Also has tools for social recruiting and employee referrals which includes sharing jobs, requesting referrals and tracking applicant sources.
Founded in 2004 as HRM Direct, ClearCompany offers solutions for hiring, retaining and engaging employees. This product supplies features to assist with managing employees throughout every stage of their lifecycle. It combines a variety of core HR functions within one platform, providing users with a full HR suite. Provides users with branded career sites, hiring, onboarding and many more functionalities. Suitable for businesses of all sizes in all industries.
The SumTotal elixHR™ Platform is the first virtual single source of truth for all of your HR data, and it stands for "extending and linking HR information and processes". Get one global view of your workforce, advanced analytics and modeling, mobile capabilities and the ability to extend HR information into the other business applications your people already use — without the need for HRMS consolidation or full scale integration.
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. Also equipped with additional features for general HR activities, such as document storage and management, customizable dashboards, and audit trails.
American Time and Labor Company is a provider of integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions for payroll and human resources (HR). The Company offers services, including payroll processing, workers compensation insurance, human resource services, benefits, tax management, risk management, time and attendance and GPS time tracking solutions. The Company, through its cloud based HCM platform, provides an integrated product suite to manage employees and processes, while efficiently enabling employers to run companies more productively and in line with Federal and State wage-hour laws.With every great product or company there is usually a reason behind the success, and typically that reason is addressing a need or problem in the market place. American Time and Labor Company believes in fulfilling a need and fixing problems that American employers face while managing their businesses. American Time and Labor Company helps employers off-load the weight and cost of backend administration, while also helping companies manage employees more effectively. American Time and Labor Company offers a suite of products designed to help American employers manage their employees and fulfill requirements demanded on businesses by Federal and State wage-hour laws.
Mobile Support - Top 10
Provides mobile platform access via a mobile device optimized web site.
Accounting Features - Top 10
Provides integration with various banking institutions, offers billing and invoicing tasks related to fiscally managing employees and contractors, and enables employees to easily submit receipts for reimbursement. Also allows administrators to assign the expenses to the proper category for accounting purposes and can combine financial data for several employees, teams or departments across the organization, usually for reporting purposes. Can also automate employee and contractor (temporary staff) related bookkeeping processes and store related data either natively or via integration to a full-featured Accounting system.
Compensation and Rewards - Top 10
The product enables administration of employee base salaries and hourly pay.
HRM Core Functions - Top 10
The product includes a complete directory of employee profiles, offers integration to popular calendaring and email systems, stores both new employee and prospective employee data that led to termination.
Learning and Professional Development - Top 10
Provides for the management of leadership development programs, enables digital learning courses (classes) to be offered to employees, enables employees to access e-Learning courses through mobile devices and tracks employee professional certifications as well as ensures compliance with third-party training and certification mandates.
Payroll - Top 10
Recruitment and Hiring - Top 10
Covers Applicant evaluation, Candidate engagement, Employee and contract worker hiring, Job requisitions and Social recruiting. For more details, see the In-Depth Report.
Talent Management - Top 10
Covers employee performance, goal management, retention management, succession planning, and talent review. For more details, see the In-Depth Report.
Workforce Management - Top 10
Handles attendance tracking, Exit Interview and feedback, IT and legal workflows upon exit, labor cost distribution, time reporting, as well as workforce scheduling and assignments. For full details, see the In-Depth Report.
Pricing & Cost Guide for HR Management Software
See the Price/User for the top HR Management Software… Plus the most important considerations and questions to ask when shopping for HR Management Software.
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