Best HR Software (HRIS, HRMS) - October 2020

Best HR Software Vendors, Benefits, Pitfalls, Implementation Best Practices, and more

Are you looking for best in class HR software to help your team streamline employee onboarding, payroll, workforce management, etc?  Whatever the case, this guide will allow you to identify the best HR software vendors, questions to ask on demos, how to manage internal stakeholders, and so much more.

We originally wrote this overview of the best HR software (including the best HRIS's and HRMS's) a year ago and have continually updated it with the latest information to help you automate your HR management. We hope this shortlist of vendors helps, along with our advice on HCM software pitfalls, pricing, features, questions to ask on demos, etc. Good luck!

We spend hundreds of hours researching the best HR and recruiting software so you don’t have to.  We never take money from vendors during our research phase and rely heavily on practitioners and experts to help us recommend the right software.  Most of the vendors featured on our site have no commercial relationship with us, we want to feature the best software for our readers regardless. Learn more

We put in the effort to make this guide awesome

70
Hours Researched
6
Experts Consulted
27
Vendors Reviewed

Featured in

Top Human Resource Software

We track thousands of HRTech solutions, these are the best HR Software per our research and expert council as of August 2020

Freshteam

Review

This product from Freshworks, a business software developer from California, is an all-encompassing talent management solution specifically targeted for growing businesses but useful for all sorts of operations. Freshteam can handle your human resources experience from job postings and applicant tracking all the way to features like an employee directory and time off management. Their Sprout version is completely free for up to 50 employees.

Freshteam

Stats:

Freshteam

Pricing:

Freshteam is free for up to 50 employees, it then starts at $50 per month per 50 users, billed annually. There are no cancellation fees. 

Best for:

All kinds of businesses can benefit from Freshteam, but it’s ideal for teams that want to handle everything from a job posting to leave management in the same place at a competitive price.

Worth Checking Out:

Bob

Review

Bob, or HiBob, is a really interesting new entrant to this market (that already has customers like Monday.com and eToro). Their philosophy is to put the employee first, and you can see that in how easy the product is to use. Also, in various ways, this solution engages employees to better understand and cultivate culture. This is a great fit for forward-thinking HR departments that need tools like onboarding, time-tracking, payroll reports, time-off management, surveys, benefits, and much more.

Bob

Stats:

  • Unlimited customizable flows 
  • Over 13 modules 
  • Four packages to cover most needs 
  • 44 reviews with a 4.6/5 average 
  • Founded in 2016

Bob

Pricing:

Bob offers custom pricing. They have flexible plans for growing companies and will work with you to offer the best possible cost.

Best for:

Bob offers custom pricing. They have flexible plans for growing companies and will work with you to offer the best possible cost.

Worth Checking Out:

ClearCompany

Review

ClearCompany is another HRMS company that goes across the entire employee lifecycle from recruiting and applicant tracking through performance. They’re a great solution for SMBs looking for a talent management solution with very good customer service. One noteworthy thing about ClearCompany is a feature in their ATS that identifies and sources the best available talent for your company based on its top performers.

ClearCompany

Stats:

  • 99% retention rate
  • 640,000 total users
  • 96% employee approval rating 
  • 2,000+ customers
  • In business for 15 years

ClearCompany

Pricing:

Custom subscription-based pricing is available upon request of a demo or free trial. No credit card is required for the free trial. 

Best for:

Clients in every industry and all sorts of company sizes.

Worth Checking Out:

Onboarding, offboarding, benefits, payroll, performance reviews - Zenefits has a broad set of solutions for most of what we typically think of as the core HR services and tasks. Notably, Zenefits is specially built for smaller organizations with an average customer size of just under 50 employees. This means that the user experience is thought out not only for human resources staff, but to be easy and quick enough for managers or executives that have some HR tasks on their plates as well.

Zenefits

Stats:

  • They claim that their costumes can save up to a full week of work from using their tool. 
  • Their customers also spend up to 90% less time on payroll and benefits after moving to their platform. 
  • Plenty of Zenefits customers have also been able to spend 50% less time onboarding new employees.

Zenefits

Pricing:

Zenefits starts with the Essentials plan at $8 per month per employee. This includes all the Core HR modules, Time & Scheduling, Integrations, and the mobile app. Those features are all included, plus other modules, as the plans go up in price. They also offer independent add-ons like payroll software for free, advisory services at $8 per month per employee, and benefits admin using your own broker at $5 per user per month.

Enterprise pricing is available upon request.

Best for:

Smaller teams that want to save time by streamlining their HR services with an intuitive platform that lets them pay and tweak as they go.

Worth Checking Out:

BambooHR tries to accommodate one or another version of their technology to fit your business. Their HR platform spans across the employee lifecycle as they also have recruiting and performance management in addition to the core HRMS functionality. They also offer a separate HRIS and a small business package. If that wasn’t enough, they have numerous amenities like an app marketplace of HR/recruiting vendors that integrate with their system, an HR glossary, and host HR events on occasion.

BambooHR

Stats:

  • 30,000 onboards per month
  • Over 18,000 active client organizations
  • 1.7 million employees active on their system as of October 2020

BambooHR

Pricing:

Pricing is not disclosed upfront, but they do offer a free trial of their all-in-one software and then go out of their way to find a version that will suit you. Before they come up with a personalized quote that will align with your budget, however, they are also likely to extend your free trial upon request or even give you a free demo of the advanced features.

Best for:

Companies looking for a very customizable product and pricing that reflects their needs. It’s also popular among teams that are partially or even fully remote.

Worth Checking Out:

Namely has quickly become one of the best HR software solutions for the mid-market (from 50 employees to up to a thousand). Their modern, employee-friendly software sees nearly 80% of employees log in each month. Plus, their software saves their clients an average of 11 hours each week through automation and integrations which provides a strong ROI for overworked HR teams.

Namely

Stats:

  • 75% of their customers say that Namely has increased employee engagement for them. 
  • 72% say that the platform has made them more productive. 
  • They claim that their average clients save about 11 hours per week using Namely.

Namely

Pricing:

Custom pricing is available upon request of a demo. It will vary depending on which package you choose. They start with a basic HR package and then sell extensions or enhanced services for things like payroll solutions and employee benefits.

Best for:

Mid-sized companies in any industry, but mostly in the United States.

Worth Checking Out:

Rippling is another new player in the HR tools market, with a focus on helping SMBs manage HR and IT in one solution. An interesting thing about them is that they try to make their software easy-to-use and intuitive not just for HR professionals and recruiters, but for the CEO, IT staff, and any team member that will interact with the product. The tech is exactly what you’d expect from a silicon valley-based startup, with a great UI and eye-catching design. Notably, they also have over 500 integrations with everything from Slack to Github.

Rippling

Stats:

  • Named a “Next $1B Startup” by Forbes in early 2020
  • Became an actual $1B startup just months after that mention, getting valued at $1.35 billion in August 2020
  • Over 1,000 reviews on the main business software sites, all averaging 4.9 stars

Rippling

Pricing:

Starts at $8 per month per user, will vary depending on which modules you’d like to use (or if you want the whole platform) and for how many people.

Best for:

Rippling is built to work for businesses with 1 employee as much as companies with thousands of them. Their focus is on automation and ease of use while always keeping a modern feel to everything.

Worth Checking Out:

ADP is one of the giants in this space. They’ve been in the payroll processing business since it was done manually 70 years ago. Now, their product offering has tools for 2 person companies up through the largest organizations in the world. From PEOs and payroll management to HRIS, ADP basically has it all. Our only caution here is to make sure you are looking at relevant point solutions outside of ADP’s core HCM suite. It’s worth pointing out that some of their modules just don’t stand up to purpose-built recruiting and engagement solutions.

ADP

Stats:

  • 1200+ reviews on the web with an average of 4.4 stars out of 5
  • Named among Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies for 14 consecutive years
  • 4-time winner of the Human Resource Executive Top HR product award

ADP

Pricing:

Custom pricing is available upon request of a demo for each specific product.

Best for:

Virtually any company could benefit from ADP’s vast product offering, the only question is if their design will be compatible with your company’s culture and management style.

Worth Checking Out:

Although Ultimate Software became UKG, its main HR software product is still branded as UltiPro. Focused on core HR management, UltiPro is still simply one of the most well known and used HCM suites out there. Their solution has been tested throughout the years and built out to the point where they have modules for just about everything you could imagine: payroll, benefits management, onboarding, time-tracking, and countless other HR functions.

Ultimate Software

Stats:

  • 96% customer retention rate
  • Average $3.88 return on each dollar invested

Ultimate Software

Pricing:

UKG does not reveal the price of UltiPro on its website, although research has shown that licenses tend to start at $600.00 per year for every 5 users.

Best for:

UKG states that UltiPro is mainly marketed towards companies with more than 100 employees. That being said, their software is used in all kinds of industries.

Worth Checking Out:

Factorial is a great HR software solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Their offering gives human resources teams their time back through managing employee onboarding, time tracking, PTO, org charts, payroll, talent acquisition, and much more. We also like that they place a good deal of importance on data security. With Factorial, all database information is encrypted and GDPR-compliant. They also use a Single Sign-On system and regularly perform vulnerability diagnostics.

Factorial HR

Stats:

  • Used by over 60,000 companies

Factorial HR

Pricing:

The Factorial HR platform starts at $40/mo for up to 10 employees. After that, it’s $4 per additional user. There is a 14-day free trial and custom enterprise pricing is available for bigger teams.

Best for:

Small and medium-sized businesses with many an HR process to streamline, good for those with a remote workforce and operations in Europe, the US, or Latin America.

Worth Checking Out:

Buying HR Tools?  Study Up First

Want to be the smartest in the room when it comes to HR Tech? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Best Practices for HR Software

It’s easy to get tripped up by the various pitfalls when adding an HRMS to your HR software stack. Here are some best practices to help you make sure the process of implementing this new technology is successful:

  • Fully commit: In order to take full advantage of the services your HRIS offers, spend time fully understanding all of its features and how to use them. Get your data migrated into your new system quickly and put in the time to get used to the new processes. If you go all in, you will be able to reap the most value from your HRIS.
  • Decide on an implementation team: Before you choose an HRIS, you should decide on a team who will take full responsibility for the roll out process of the product. This team should be in charge of communicating the new HRIS to employees as well as providing employees with any necessary training and support. Members of the team should be experts from different areas of the company and should take full ownership of the implementation process.
  • Concentrate on adoption: If people at your company aren’t using your HRIS, then its value is drastically decreased. To prevent poor adoption, make sure that employees are aware of the new technology before you roll it out. It’s also essential to select a user-friendly HRIS and provide the necessary training so all employees, from new hires to executives, feel comfortable using the technology. A pro tip here is to get one leader from each functional area to communicate the new system is coming, and the core benefits to employees of using the new system.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek support from the vendor: Be careful to choose a vendor who cares about your success with the product and will be ready to assist if you run into any big issues. It’s unrealistic to fully rely on the vendor to fix all your issues, but don’t be afraid to ask for assistance - they should be happy to give it to you if they care about their success as a business.  Understand in detail the support that will be offered, and get SLAs in place if you can.
  • Be able to adapt: Being adaptable is always important for an HR team, but especially when it comes to implementing an HRIS. If the roll-out is lacking energy or employees are responding negatively to the system, you need to be ready to change your approach to set your HRIS program up for success.

Final Advice

Hopefully the information laid out here is useful as you start to think about which HR software vendors to contact for demos, what questions you want to have answered, and which internal stakeholders need to be engaged to ensure a successful implementation of a new HRIS.  Our advice is to select 2-4 vendors and get on the phone to start seeing what these solutions can do, and how your timeline should be structured for this initiative.  Good luck!

If you want to be the smartest in the room when it comes to HR Tech, sign up for our weekly newsletter

The latest from our Blog

Five Strategies to Build and Increase Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty doesn’t manifest out of thin air. It is gained through a series of strategies...

When HR Tech goes too far - Microsoft’s employee surveillance technology

While advances in HR Tech are great, there is a fine line of advancement and overreach...

7 Tips to keep employees productive while working from home

Guest Rachael Bob shares tips on keeping employees motivated during COVID-19's third wave.