Managing and tracking your company’s employees requires managing many policies, processes, and tools. The best HR software can help streamline the process, so you stay on top of all the tasks you need to run a tight ship. With quality HR software, companies can manage employees, onboard new hires, and train staff, seamlessly. Many HR software options also handle payroll functions, creating a smooth process for your employees and the company.
Finding the right HR software depends on your company’s specific needs. We’ve researched software options to find the top HR software companies right now. Keep reading to learn about the best HR software options to determine if they are right for you.
The 5 Best HR Software Companies
- Namely - Best For Mid-Sized Companies
- Zenefits - Best Overall HR Software
- Gusto - Best For Payroll
- BambooHR - Best For Customer Support
- SAP SuccessFactors - Best For Performance Tracking
Why Do You Need HR Software?
Human resource managers and departments handle most of the administrative functions of a company or organization. The role is crucial in a company’s success. Over 80% of US small businesses either use some type of HR software or plan to implement one soon. Utilizing the top HR software ensures that you and your staff have the necessary tools to manage administrative duties effectively.
Using the right HR software also provides an efficient environment and platform for company employees to use. It all starts during the hiring and onboarding process. According to a SilkRoad Technology survey, 53% of HR professionals say employee engagement increases when onboarding is improved. HR software helps you create an easy-to-use onboarding experience that benefits the company and employees. Having good HR software in place can help you beyond the onboarding process to communicate with employees effectively, set clear performance goals, manage payroll, and more.
The Top 5 HR Software Companies
Namely - Best For Mid-Sized Companies
Software company Namely was founded in 2012 to make an HR software platform as intuitive as social media. Focused specifically on mid-size companies, Namely is a full-service HR platform with tiered packages to meet most companies’ needs.
Where It Excels
Namely’s primary goal is to provide a great experience for company employees. The software’s interface and functions are comprehensive but still user-friendly for you and your employees. Namely’s People Operations Platform is designed with “real people” in mind.
The software platform also works well regardless of your HR staff size. Whether you have a team or it’s just you, Namely manages everything in a nice, neat package, making administration a breeze. The full-service software includes features like a company database, onboarding, e-signatures, reporting, compliance, performance tracking, and more. You can upgrade to its HR Complete program to add other functions like payroll and benefits administration.
Where It Falls Short
Most customers have positive experiences using Namely, but they have received several negative reviews for customer service issues. Like many software companies, Namely’s customer service doesn’t seem adept at handling customer issues promptly.
Namely’s payroll function is new compared to many of its other features, so some of the bugs are still being worked out. Also, Namely currently doesn’t offer an international payroll option.
- HR Fundamentals: Contact company for a customized quote
- HR Complete: Contact company for a customized quote
- Enhanced Services Add-Ons: Contact company for a customized quote
Zenefits - Best Overall HR Software
Zenefits is a cloud-based HR software company geared towards small business HR needs. The company provides HR support to over 11,000 businesses. Its software integrates with over 50 tech partners to seamlessly tie all of your human resource functions in one central location.
Where It Excels
Zenefits provides full-service online HR support where you need it the most. The interface streamlines your processes by connecting the various HR functions in one easy-to-navigate dashboard. The program works well for employees and HR staff and includes mobile access for employees.
Zenefits’ Essentials package handles most essential HR needs. There are also two upgraded options for access to advanced features like payroll and performance tracking.
Where It Falls Short
Zenefits mobile app is great for employees, but it lacks access to most administrative tasks for HR professionals. You are better off using your online access to manage most of your needs.
- Essentials: $10/month per employee ($8/month per employee when paid annually)
- Growth: $18/month per employee ($14/month per employee when paid annually)
- Zen: $27/month per employee ($21/month per employee when paid annually)
Gusto - Best For Payroll
Gusto is a leader in the payroll software industry despite being in business for less than a decade. Geared towards small businesses, Gusto has processed billions of dollars in payroll for more than 100,000 businesses in the US. While its best known for its payroll capabilities, Gusto also offers other HR features like time tracking, and onboarding. Not only can you administer benefits within Gusto, but you can also work with its brokers to purchase health and other insurance coverage for your company.
Where It Excels
Payroll administration is where Gusto shines. The intuitive platform makes payroll a breeze for HR professionals. Gusto is designed to cut down on the time it takes to run payroll, with an option to set it on autopilot. The software syncs employee hours, provides a comprehensive summary for your review, and files payroll taxes automatically. Gusto integrates with partner platforms for a seamless payroll experience. It’s also the best on the market for handling contractors.
Gusto Wallet is the company’s mobile app for employees. It’s not your average HR mobile app. The app works like a mobile banking app, allowing users to manage their paychecks, set goals, save automatically, and even earn interest. Gusto Wallet enables you to set up a spending account, complete with a free debit card.
Where It Falls Short
Gusto is not meant for larger businesses, so if that’s you, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Also, Gusto offers health benefits, but coverage isn’t available in all states, although they are working on expanding their coverage.
- Core: $6/month per person plus $39/month base price
- Complete: $12/month per person plus $39/month base price
- Concierge: $12/month per person plus $149/month base price
- Contractor: $6/month per person ($0 base price)
BambooHR - Best For Customer Support
BambooHR is a cloud-based HR software provider. The full-service software handles most HR needs, especially for small business customers. From implementation and beyond, BambooHR provides award-winning support whenever you need it.
Where It Excels
BambooHR is a leader when it comes to customer support. Customers have access to an extensive database of training videos and articles covering everything you need to know about the software and how to use it to streamline HR operations. You can also request optional implementation help with a dedicated HR project manager to guide you through the entire process.
BambooHR’s software covers the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to compensation. It collects and organizes data efficiently, saving you time and money. Customers also have access to BambooHR’s marketplace, full of free partner apps for even more human resource tools.
Where It Falls Short
It’s billed as an all-in-one HR solution, but BambooHR’s packages are missing some features included by many of its competitors. You’ll have to pay extra to gain access to payroll, time tracking, and performance management tools.
- Essentials: Contact company for a customized quote
- Advantage: Contact company for a customized quote
- Add-on services: Contact company for a customized quote
SAP SuccessFactors - Best For Performance Tracking
SAP SuccessFactors is a business software company with cloud-based solutions for various company needs, including human resources. Instead of a traditional human capital management (HCM) system, SAP refers to its platform as a human experience management (HXM) suite. The suite is broken down into four main categories: employee experience management, core HR and payroll, talent management, and HR analytics and workforce management.
Where It Excels
SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite is a robust HR management tool offering everything you’ll ever need. Its best feature, perhaps, is the talent management module, which includes extensive performance management solutions. Its tools allow you to set and track employee goals, monitor performance continuously, create high-quality performance reviews, and create action plans to empower employees to be more effective.
Where It Falls Short
SAP Successfactors website is relatively vague in terms of what HR software packages are available. There’s also no clear guidance on package pricing. You need to call and speak to a sales representative to get more information on the HXM Suite.
- Contact company for software package details and customized quotes
How To Choose The Best HR Software For Your Needs
Having the right HR software in place can streamline your business and help you manage daily administrative tasks. There are hundreds of HR software products on the market. How do you find the right software for your company? Here are some tips that will guide you through choosing the best HR software for your needs.
Step 1: Decide the Type of HR Software You Need
One internet search of HR software, and you’ll realize that several types of software are available to meet the varying needs of HR professionals. The first thing you need to know is the type of software your company needs. Below is a list of HR software types available today. We’ll discuss these in more detail later in this article.
- Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
- Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
- Performance management
- Employee engagement
Step 2: Determine What Features You Need
You also need to figure out the features that will meet your HR needs. The last thing you want to do is get stuck with HR software that doesn’t allow you to perform your job effectively. What are some of the features essential to companies today?
- Documentation storage and distribution
- Mobile capabilities
- Manual HR functions
- Internal communication
- Employee directory
- Electronic signatures
Having a clear understanding of the tools you need for workplace administration will help you weed out software that isn’t a good fit.
Step 3: Calculate Your Budget
HR software pricing varies significantly. Some companies charge a monthly fee per employee, a monthly fee per user, or charge a one-time or annual fee. Pricing starts as low as $5 per employee month. One-time costs range from $5,000 to upwards of $100,000 for enterprise customers.
A quick count of company employees or users will give you a better idea of how much you will need to budget for software. Because of the added cost, it’s a good idea to include the expense in the company’s annual budget if you are planning on adding HR software soon.
What are the Different Types of HR Software?
HR software needs vary, which is why there are several types of software to consider as you search for the best HR software. Here are the most common types of HR software available.
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
HRIS is a core data management system that manages several HR functions in one spot. Typically it’s marketed as an all-in-one HR solution but is also available as a stand-alone product with integration capabilities with other HR software.
Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
ATS software is used during the recruitment and hiring process of potential job candidates. The software serves many functions like batch posting job openings to online job sites, communicating with other members of your hiring team, mining data from resumes and rank them, schedule interviews, and track applicants through the entire recruitment process.
Onboarding software is used when adding a new employee to your company. The software manages the administration process, including gathering the required documents, background checks, I9 verification, adding the employee to your payroll and other systems, and more.
Performance management software lets you assess your employees’ performance, set goals, and track improvement.
As the name suggests, this software is designed to help companies increase engagement among employees. This is accomplished through tools like employee training, employer and manager feedback, and analytics.
HR Software vs Recruiting Software
In your search for the right software, you may come across recruiting software. While some HR software, like ATS, is used during the recruiting process, for the most part, HR software is more focused on employees once they’ve landed a job within your organization. Recruitment software is used to market your company and job openings to potential candidates, analyze and track applicants, and manage applications and other documentation.
HRIS software may contain features you’ll use during the hiring process too, but typically HR software is used after you hire an employee. Human resource managers are tasked to keep track of every employee, ensuring their rights and needs are met. You are also managing employees to ensure that they’ve provided the necessary information required to satisfy company and compliance guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is HR software?
HR software is computer software designed to help companies manage, track, and communicate with employees.
What are the benefits of HR software?
HR software can save your company time, money, and other resources by creating a streamlined, automated environment for management and employees to use.
Does HR handle payroll?
Yes, typically, company payroll is managed by a company’s human resource department if they have one. HR departments often work in conjunction with third-party payroll companies to manage the entire payroll process.
What does HRMS stand for?
HRMS stands for Human Resource Management System. This software type is considered a comprehensive human resource software that typically includes onboarding, employee engagement, job performance, payroll, and other features.
The Bottom Line
HR software can not only help you manage employees, but it can also help streamline company processes and procedures to keep everyone on the same page. Determine your company’s needs, compare pricing and features, and choose the best HR software for your organization’s needs.