This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best HCM software within all HR software.
HCM software is used across most HR departments as it assists in managing the organization as a whole. In this post, you’ll learn how important HCM software is, especially in employee management, and how you and HR professionals in your organization can utilize this for your own benefit.
In this post, I’ll share with you a basic human capital definition and highlight a few of the best HCM software options on the market today. Here are some of the best HCM tools to streamline your human capital management processes.
The Best HCM Solutions List
Here’s a shortlist of the HCM platforms that made my top 10 list:
These practices include HR functions such as workforce acquisition, workforce planning, workforce management, and workforce optimization. The practice is guided by an overarching human capital management strategy intended to help the organization maximize overall business value.
What is the difference between HCM and HRMS?
The main difference between Human Capital Management (HCM) and Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) is that HCM is more geared towards employee management. This includes performance, onboarding, analytics, position control, and absence management along with other HR services.
HRMS, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive HR system. This looks at all the core features in a broader range to include all HRIS software and HCM systems but focuses largely on HR processes such as payroll processing and compensation management, benefits administration, and time and labor management.
What are some HCM software benefits?
HCM software provides valuable resources for any organization. All HCM platforms have many beneficial automated features such as recruiting, managing administrative tasks such as payroll and benefit plans, overseeing employee performance, and training.
Human Capital Management Software is designed to manage and maintain a workforce with ease, while boosting the employee experience and employee engagement.
What is the best HR software for a small business?
Small businesses may benefit from free or low-cost HR software like HoneybeeBased (free for up to 3 users), Rippling ($7 per user per month), or Zoho People (free for up to 5 users).
HCM Systems Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select HCM software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? What is the user experience like? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
Features & Functionality:
Advanced Payroll Features – Can the tool handle payroll, benefits management, deductions, and compliance?
Recruitment & Onboarding – Do they have tools to attract and retain staff, as well as get them trained on basic systems upon entry?
Performance and Evaluation – Does the HCM tool offer a modern and useful solution for performance reviews, employee records, motivation, productivity, and evaluation in the workplace?
Analysis and Reporting – Does the tool offer customizable reporting features that can deliver actionable insights?
Self-service – Does the software allow employees to go in and update or view information relevant to them, including contact details, shift schedules, paystubs, and more?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools, including any other tools already in use for HR management? Any pre-built integrations?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
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Overviews Of The 11 Best HCM Products
Here’s a brief description of each HCM software that is featured on this list.
1. Infor – Best for reporting and analytics capabilities.
Used by over 68,000 organizations worldwide, Infor is a leader in business cloud software products. This tool offers global human resources software solutions with features for budgeting and employee relations, employee benefits, workforce management, and HCM analytics.
Infor stands out with their analytical and multicurrency capabilities, with some of the best parts of the software hinging on the information management and reporting capabilities.
As one of the more expensive out-of-the-box options on this list, Infor lost some marks as far as Value for Cost goes in the evaluation criteria. Other options are under $10/user, making Infor’s cost rather prohibitive.
Infor starts at $150/user/month and has a free 30-day trial.
You have probably heard of Oracle, as they are a big name in the software business. Oracle HCM Cloud is their answer to a complete HR solution to engage your workforce and optimize operations that include workforce modeling, an HR help desk, and talent acquisition.
Oracle Integration and Oracle SOA Suite can integrate any SaaS or on-premise HCM application. In addition to application adapters, Oracle offers many other integration options including technology adapters for REST, SOAP, LDAP, FTP, and file-based access. Thus, they scored highly in the Integrations section of the evaluation.
One con to note is that their payroll solutions are supported only for a limited number of countries, which may prove challenging if you have remote workers around the world.
Oracle HCM Cloud starts at $13/user/month and has a free demo.
3. Sage People – Best for employee engagement functionalities.
Over 10 years, the Sage Business Cloud People system has grown into a respected and progressive company operating in the HRMS sector with a full suite of people analytics tools. Sage People has the #1 rated HR and People management system on Salesforce.
Sage People excels in quick implementation, out-of-the-box automation, and streamlined and flexible reporting features. Additionally, if you check out their workforce engagement tools, you are bound to find something you love.
Sage People lost a few marks in the UX section of the evaluation criteria. An analysis of organization and navigation finds the tool lacking here and there, as the design feels a bit outdated and could use some modernization or fine-tuning.
Sage People starts at $10/user/month and has a free demo.
SAP was founded in 1972 in Walldorf, Germany and now has offices around the world. SAP stands for “Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing” and SuccessFactors is one of their many enterprise-grade solutions for employee management and administration.
SAP SuccessFactors has great flexibility in pricing, as you can add or subtract tools as needed. A very basic plan will cost you under $10 per user per month and you can easily scale upwards from there. This scored them well in the Value for Cost evaluation section.
One con to note is that training can involve quite a bit of work on this software, as it has a lot of nooks and crannies to explore. The learning curve may be a bit steep for some, even if the payoff is worth it.
SAP SuccessFactors starts at $8/user/month and has a free trial.
For nearly 70 years, ADP WorkforceNow has been developing business solutions (including HCM and other HR tools) that have now garnered them the honor of being named on FORTUNE Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list for 12 consecutive years.
ADP HCM solutions integrate seamlessly with one another, with popular business software applications, and with leading payroll, HR, and financial systems, including most ERPs (see: ADP Marketplace). This flexibility scored ADP WorkforceNow highly in the Integrations evaluation category.
A critique to consider is reporting may be kind of glitchy; in my experience, there were times when names who should have been removed appeared on a report/analysis document despite prior termination. Some manual intervention can correct this, however.
ADP WorkforceNow starts at $10/user/month and has a free demo.
6. Workday – Best for user experience and user interface design.
Used by Airbnb and Netflix, Workday is a solution for all things finance, human resources, and capital management planning. They were named a leader for 4 years in a row as a part of the “Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud HCM Suites for 1,000+ Employee Enterprises” report.
Workday, as a newer platform on the market, absolutely nailed the user interface with a clean, modern, and intuitive layout on both the web browser version and the mobile app. This scored them favorably in the UI category of the evaluation criteria.
A few negative points of the software are 1) interacting with equity data (note: vesting data in particular) was rather weak and 2) the business processes may come across as a bit disconnected for some users, depending on their experience level with this type of tool.
The workday starts at $100/user/year and has a free demo.
7. Rippling – Best for small businesses and HR teams.
Rippling is a modern HCM solution that is built to tackle new hires, deductions, time and PTO, custom reports, and employee changes. They are an employee management platform that G2 Crowd rated as #1 in Core HR and IT and was a PC Mag Editor’s Choice in 2019.
Rippling is very competitively priced and doesn’t skimp on the features, making them a great option for smaller businesses with a tight budget. This ranked them highly in the Value for Cost segment of the evaluation criteria. They also offer a free trial, which is a bonus cost-wise.
One constructive criticism of the tools is that they could improve upon reporting features, where data visibility can be somewhat limited; for example, various levels of permission around viewing compensation info per user would be welcome.
Rippling starts at $7/user/month and has a free trial.
Vibe HCM works to automate HR transactions and also provide a lane for HR managers to engage with all their employees through one unified platform that is usable on any device. Their platform has won the Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Award in 2018.
This tool does a few things really well, including providing the picture-perfect amount of features for smallish companies (say, 500 users or less). Additionally, their compensation planning model is top-notch and all sizes of enterprises can benefit.
Customization and flexibility options definitely come with an added expense with Vibe HCM and it is difficult to see how this tool could be expanded to work with large scale organizations. Because of these size and function limitations, they lost some marks in the Usability category of the evaluation criteria.
Vibe HCM offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.
9. Ascentis – Best for medium and large enterprises.
Ascentis offers easy-to-use HCM, HRIS, online payroll, talent management, recruiting, and timekeeping solutions. With 35 years in the industry, Ascentis has supported an ongoing commitment to delivering a client-centric service model for mid- to large-size companies.
This HCM software is user friendly, no matter what side of the experience you are on: user or administrator. Ascentis has an accessible and quick customer service team and the system is highly customizable once you get the hang of things. Thus, they scored highly for Usability.
A con of this software is that the talent management module aspect of this software is not as seamless and user-friendly as other HR solution options; for example, the need for excessive manual data entry may detract from the talent management functions.
Ascentis offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.
10. Viventium – Best for usability and user onboarding.
From applicant tracking to onboarding to time and attendance to payroll to business intelligence to human resources–Viventium provides intuitive software to make it easier to engage your team. Viventium was named a high performer in G2′s Fall 2019 “Best Payroll Software Report.”
This software has a user-friendly interface and real-time updates that capture every change or addition. The customer service is attentive and training materials are robust enough to answer most questions. This all accounted for their high evaluation in the Usability category.
One downside of this tool is that reporting is not as flexible as it could be and more modification options would be welcome. The filters for different reports can be a bit cumbersome to manage.
Viventium offers pricing upon request and has a free demo.
eXo Platform is an all-in-one digital workplace solution that helps you connect, align, and engage your teams around a single interface. It is designed to fit the needs of enterprises of all sizes and industries that are looking to improve the company and peer-to-peer communication, boost collaboration, and manage company knowledge.
eXo Platform has a rich set of features to improve the working experience, including enterprise social networking features such as user profiles, activity streams, and more. Users can easily navigate through the platform and interact with their peers through a built-in chat application and the ability to like, comment on, and share various pieces of content. Collaborative groups allow users to communicate, collaborate on projects, and easily find what they are looking for. Document management features allow users to share content easily through drag and drop, organize content in rich document libraries, and share information with the click of a button in the activity stream or the chat application.
eXo Platform has a number of integrations with third-party applications including Salesforce, Microsoft Office, and Google Suite. Built-in add-ons include eXo Wallet, gamification, kudos, chat, and more.
Three plans are available: Professional, Enterprise, and Enterprise Unlimited starting from $5/engaged user/month. eXo Platform has a community edition in which users can test the platform’s different features. Additionally, demos are available for free to get more information.
Other HC Management Solutions To Try
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy HCM software, check these out.
StarGarden HCM – A cloud-based HR automation with automated workflows, reporting, and dashboards as well as full-function HRM/HCM.
Kronos Workforce Ready – A single source of truth that can help you hire more strategically, onboard employees faster, drive efficiencies, and deliver a great experience.
HoneybeeBased – A free HRMS software that contains a web-based employee management system as well as an employee mobile app.
Purley HR – An HR leave management tool for your small to medium-sized business with time-off management, talent management tools, and employee data management.
Eddy HR – A complete HR solution with an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding, people management, document storage, PTO management, payroll, and time tracking.
ApplicantPRO – With ApplicantPro you can post jobs, push posts to job boards, organize qualified applicants, collaborate with your hiring managers, and send offers.
Ultimate Software – Ultimate assists with your HR, payroll, benefits; navigating healthcare reform and staying up to date, in compliance, and on time; and pay-related services.