Best HR Software (HRIS, HRMS) - August 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

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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 is a simple HR software suite that boasts over 3,000 customers including University of Pennsylvania, and Daimler.  Their solution is focused on helping small and mid sized companies with recruiting, onboarding/offboarding, time off, and managing employee records.  We really like that you can sign up for a free trial to get a sense for if this HR software is right for your business.

Worth Checking Out:

Bob, or HiBob, is a really interesting new entrant to this market (that already has customers like and eToro).  Their philosophy is to put the employee first, and you can see that in how easy the product is to use - along with the various ways this solution engages employees to better understand and cultivate culture.  This is a great fit for forward thinking hr departments.

Worth Checking Out:

ClearCompany is another HRMS company that goes across the entire employee lifecycle from recruiting and applicant tracking through performance.  They have 2,000 customers, 99% retention, and a great solution for SMBs looking for a talent management solution.

Worth Checking Out:

Onboarding, offboarding, benefits, payroll - Zenefits has a broad set of solutions for most of what we typically think of as the core HR tasks.  Zenefits is especially built for smaller organizations with an average customer size of just under 50 employees.

Worth Checking Out:

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Namely has quickly become one of the best HR software solutions for the mid market with modern, employee friendly software that sees nearly 80% of employees log in each month.  Plus, their software saves their clients an average of 11 hours each week through automations and integrations which provides a strong ROI for overworked HR teams.

Worth Checking Out:

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UltiPro is simply one of the most well known and used HCM suites out there focused on core HR management.  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, onboarding, etc.

BambooHR boasts over 16,000 customers, which translates into roughly 1.5 million employees active on their system.  This software spans across the employee lifecycle as they also have recruiting and performance management in addition to the core HRMS functionality.  Check out their app marketplace to see some of the HR/recruiting vendors that integrate with their system.

Worth Checking Out:

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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, applicant tracking and much more.  Their systems has been used by over 60,000 companies and counting!

Worth Checking Out:

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Factorial HR

ADP is one of the giants in this space, and has offerings 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 as some of their modules just don’t stand up to purpose built recruiting and engagement solutions.

Worth Checking Out:

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Rippling is another new player in the HR tools market, with a focus on helping SMBs manage HR and IT in one solution.  The tech is what you’d expect from a silicon valley based startup with a great UI and intuitive design.  They also have over 500 integrations with everything from Slack to Github.

Worth Checking Out:

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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!

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