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HR Software: What It Costs And How To Decide What’s Best For Your Company

Work has been increasing daily and, though that’s a fantastic win, it’s also time-consuming. You’re finding yourself with a larger workload and wishing there was a way to automate and organize it all.

You’re interested in human resources software, but you’re unsure—how much does HR software cost? Will it be worth it? 

Don’t worry—we’re here to walk you through what you need to know and consider when it comes to this significant investment. 

Here I’ll take you through:

Let’s dive in!

What is HR software?

It’s a way to automate core HR management tasks. It keeps employee information organized and accurate and provides reports driven by data to help your business run smoothly. 

The demand for tons of paperwork is eliminated, giving you more time to focus on running your business. 

HR software also helps manage and automate requirements like employee time-off, employee data and directories, and performance management. You can allow employee self-service options for employees that will further save your HR staff time and give your staff autonomy. 

These software capabilities can be implemented in small businesses, as well as enterprise businesses, and include HR functions like:

  • Onboarding
  • Offboarding 
  • Payroll
  • Human Resources management
  • Time Tracking
  • Human capital management
  • Employee Training
  • Performance reviews
  • Talent management
  • Benefits Administration

Now, let’s consider the WHY.

Why do you need HR software?

Whether you’re a startup or enterprise company, HR software solutions save your business time and money by automating workflows and organizing data in one centralized location. This makes it easier for you and your staff to focus on the bigger picture. 

It also leads to more energized and productive team members who aren’t spending their days completing mundane tasks. This increased employee engagement impacts your company’s overall culture and workforce satisfaction. 

Let’s take a minute to consider the basics and answer some most commonly asked questions about what HR software is and what it does. 

Related Read: Enterprise Performance Management: Everything You Need To Know

Defining measures of success

Before you decide to move forward with a new HR system, it’s essential to determine your business needs and your goals in using it—what do you want to achieve?

defining measures of success graphic

If you don’t set definitive measures of success ahead of time, you won’t know with clarity if the software did what you hoped it would. 

Here’s an example: 

If errors in work output cost your company a significant amount of money each month, automation could help. You’d be able to compare the amount of money lost before using the software versus the amount lost after implementing it—allowing you to see clearly whether the software has been beneficial in that specific area. 

Is your turnover rate too high? Perhaps automated applicant tracking would help get the right people in the seats—giving you confidence your new employees were qualified to be there. 

Consider these questions:

  1. What are your current pain points, and could HR software elements help solve them?
  2. In what administrative areas can the software reduce your workload?
  3. How will your team use their newly-found extra time to support the business?
  4. Will the potential cost of ongoing consulting fees and software upgrades be worth the cost compared to the time and effort your staff will save?

10 HR software types and costs

There are many different kinds of HR software. This is a good thing because it allows companies to select the systems and products best for their specific needs. 

Here are the top HR software systems and their costs:

1. HRIS

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) can help your HR department manage needs like payroll, benefits, and training. 

Examples:

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Rippling (from $10 per month)

Rippling is a good choice for small businesses in need of strong integration options and is highly rated by customers.

  • Enterprise: PeoplesHR (from $11.11 per month)

PeoplesHR is a cloud-based option that’s customizable to meet the needs of any business.

For further guidance, check out the best HRIS systems on the market today.

2. HCM

Human Capital Management (HCM) is similar to HRIS with a strategic focus on the management of employees.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Eddy (From $8 per employee/per month).

Eddy is highly-rated for managing all things HR.

  • Enterprise: Ascentis (From $16 per employee, per month).

Ascentis centers on companies with between 100 and 2,500 employees, with a focus on healthcare, manufacturing, and business staffing needs. 

Read the 11 Best HCM Software Vendors of 2022 for more guidance when it comes to which system is best for you. 

3. HRMS

Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) help automate your business needs and assist with HR duties like CoreHR and leave management, performance, timesheets, and expenses.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): SageHRMS (From $5.50 per employee/per month)

SageHRMS works with small and medium-sized businesses to save your HR department time and energy.

  • Enterprise: Paylocity (From $7 per month/per employee)

Paylocity helps businesses manage daily HR tasks using automated systems to save your team time. 

There are other HRMS systems – here are the 10 Best HRMS in 2022.

4. Applicant tracking system (ATS)

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) organize and manage your onboarding process in areas like job postings and interview organization.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Manatal (From $15 per employee/per month)

Manatal helps to simplify hiring processes and save you time.

  • Enterprise: Bamboo HR (From $99 per month for 12 employees then $8.25 per employee)

BambooHR helps you organize applicant information throughout the hiring process.

Read the top 10 applicant tracking systems for more guidance when it comes to which system is best for you. 

5. Learning management systems (LMS)

Learning Management Systems (LMS) help provides growth opportunities for your employees when it comes to learning and development. These systems offer convenient courses and training to help your team members be their best.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): iSpring Learn (From $620 per year)

iSpring Learn provides a range of services, from course editing to progress-tracking.

  • Enterprise: Docebo (From $900 per month)

Docebo works with enterprise companies like Amazon Web Services and Wal-Mart to scale learning programs fast.

Read the 10 best LMS for more guidance when it comes to which system is best for you. 

Related: Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Small Businesses

6. Performance management tools

Performance management is one of the toughest aspects of leadership, and it takes time and experience to get it right. Using tools to help you manage team members will save time and allow you to focus on what’s most important.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): intelliHR (From $3.25 per employee/per month)

intelliHR provides HR support with a focus on performance management and employee engagement.

  • Enterprise: Workday Adaptive Planning (From $15,000 per employee)

Named by Gartner as a leader in 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Core Financial 

Management Suites - Workday Adaptive is known for collaborative planning.

Read the 10 Best Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Software Vendors Of 2022 to learn more about enterprise software options. 

7. Payroll software

Payroll software is crucial for time management when you’re running a company—it calculates for you and helps ensure employees always get paid on time.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Zenefits (From $8 per month/per employee)

Zenefits streamlines multiple HR processes, including payroll needs.

  • Enterprise: Kronos (From $40 base cost per month plus $6 per employee)

Kronos works across varying industries to manage workforce needs.

Read the 10 best hr software for payroll for more guidance on options and pricing.

8. Employee scheduling software

How do you run a business and manage all employee time schedules on a daily basis? With help! Employee scheduling software eases the burden of worrying about shift covering, clocking in and out, and managing shift coverage.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Zoho.com (From $1.25 per month/per employee)

Zoho offers employee self-management and an automated time-off request system to save both employees and supervisors time.

  • Enterprise: ADP Enterprise (From $20 per employee/per month)

ADP Enterprise offers time and attendance tools, like schedule management, time-off requests, and hours-worked calculation.

For further insights around options and cost, read the 10 Best Employee Scheduling Software of 2022

9. Talent management software 

Talent management systems help you find the talent you’re looking for, recognize your top performers, develop talent further, and aid in succession planning.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Cegid (From $4 per month per user)

Cegid encourages team-coaching and collaboration throughout your business with tracking of progress toward goals and objectives.

  • Enterprise: Sap SuccessFactors (From $8 per user per month or as an annual subscription from at $85 per employee)

Sap SuccessFactors integrates multiple applications, including performance management, employee goals, feedback, and recognition to recognize progress and ensure success for your business. 

To learn more about talent management, check out the 10 best employee evaluation software for performance reviews & recognition.

10. Employee onboarding software

Successful onboarding is crucial to the success of new employees. Employee onboarding software can simplify the process and provide a great up-front experience for potential hires.

  • Small/Medium Enterprise (SME): Sapling.com (From $25 per month)

Sapling has been around for over fifteen years and knows how to help you bring on talent and manage performance.

  • Enterprise: Qualtrics EmployeeXM (From $1500 per year)

Qualtrics EmployeeXM helps you manage customers, products, your personal brand & the company’s employee experience in one location. 

For more guidance on onboarding software, check out the 10 best employee onboarding software list.

HR software pricing

Once you decide you’re ready to move forward with purchasing HR software for your company, the next step is to consider the price range of various types. 

hr software pricing graphic

You’ll want to consider your number of employees, budget, and functionality needs. You may not need to use HR software in every aspect of your business. It’ll save you money by pinpointing your actual areas of need. 

There are two different pricing models to choose from.

Subscription plan:

In this scenario, the vendor hosts the service on its own server. This is also known as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). You would likely pay a monthly or annual fee for this service—usually per employee, per month. Companies choose this type of plan when they’re not interested in maintaining data through their service.

Perpetual licensing:

In this choice, your business would run the software on your server, and you’d pay for the software once, including any annual costs for software upgrades or maintenance. The license never ends, and your company maintains stored data indefinitely - a plus to ensure data isn’t lost. 

Types of pricing plans:

There are four different types of software pricing plans:

  1. Quote-based plan 

This plan is based on the unique requirements of your business. You’ll pay for what you need and nothing you don’t. 

  1. Monthly payment plan

Monthly payment allows companies to use HR software without a long-term commitment. While there are benefits to this choice of payment, it can cost more in the long run. 

  1. Annual payment plan

By choosing an annual payment plan, you’re able to see the long-term benefits of the HR software company you chose. You may also be offered a 10-20% discount for opting to go with an annual plan. 

  1. Free plan

Some vendors offer free plans, normally for a limited number of users or functionality. These can be a great way of testing the software to see if it’s the right fit for your organization.

Questions to ask when choosing HR software

You’ll want to consider these questions when it comes to deciding which company to go with:

  • In what areas could you benefit from HR software? 
  • What employees and departments would be impacted?
  • Is the system you’re interested incompatible with businesses your size?
  • What is the cost of implementing the software? This could include things like installation, integration, and data migration. 
  • Is there a cost for training staff on how to use the software?
  • How user-friendly is the software?
  • Are there additional fees for customer support?
  • Is there an option for add-ons to include specific modules needed?
  • Is the software compatible with remote work if applicable?

Time to decide which HR software is best for you

Choosing to automate your business with HR software solutions will reduce margins of error and save employees time and energy. This equates to a more satisfied workforce and increased productivity. 

Be sure to do the following:

  • Consider your current needs and areas of improvement
  • Identify how staff will manage the extra time created by using HR software 
  • Identify what time can be saved and spent on value-added work
  • Decide where to begin first – are there areas of your business that need more immediate attention than others?

For more guidance on choosing the best HR software for your business, check out the People Managing People’s pick of the best HR Software 2022.

Also, be sure to sign-up for the People Managing People Newsletter to learn more from professionals in the HR world! 

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By Brandy Bischoff

Brandy Bischoff is the Deputy Chief of a public-safety organization in the United States. While she’s had successes as a manager, she’s always working to become better in her role and wants to learn all she can about leadership. She believes deeply in treating people with respect no matter the circumstance, exercising patience, and continued learning in all aspects of life. Brandy believes in the guidance provided within her writing and hopes it’ll help other leaders learn and become better too. Outside of her full-time career, Brandy is passionate about her loving and supportive friends and family, and she follows her passion for writing when the kids go to bed.

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