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10 Best Cloud HR Software Systems for HR Teams in 2023

The Best Cloud HR Software List

Here’s the list of the best cloud HR software that I’ll cover in this article:

  1. Deel

    Best cloud HR platform for end-to-end payroll management for global workforces

  2. Oyster HR

    Best cloud HR platform for international recruiting and payroll management

  3. Paycor

    Best cloud HR software for talent management + employee experience

  4. Sapling

    Best cloud HR software for customizing workflows

  5. Zoho People

    Best all-in-one cloud platform for managing variable workforces

  6. BrightHR

    Best cloud HRIS for automations and document management

  7. OrangeHRM

    Best free cloud-based HRMS software, available via open source

  8. bob

    Best cloud HR software for engaging and connecting hybrid teams

  9. Collage HR

    Best cloud HR for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

  10. Arcoro

    Best cloud HR software for compliance and health & safety focused industries

Looking for a new human resources (HR) software system? Chances are, you'll want something cloud-based. The good news is, there are many cloud HR software options to choose from if you're clear on the functions you need.

To help you in your search, I've rounded up a list of the top HR management systems that fall into these categories:

  • HRIS = human resources information system
  • HRMS = human resource management system
  • HCM = human capital management [system]

All the systems in this list are cloud HR software solutions that streamline common HR processes. They are powerful tools that help you develop repeatable, customizable, and paperless workflows. They also cut down on data entry and give your employees HR tools to help themselves with common tasks.

Take a look at my list below to find out how cloud HR software can help to modernize your business processes.

Comparison Criteria

Wondering what I look for when selecting the best cloud HR software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I seek out systems with a visually attractive, clean, and colourful interface that makes using the system enjoyable.
  2. Usability: I prioritize systems that are simple and straightforward, making it easy for users at all levels to complete tasks independently. 
  3. Integrations: To improve productivity, I selected systems that integrate with other common HR tools to gain functions that aren’t already included in these systems. 
  4. Value for $: I prefer systems with a transparent price per user, but those details are not always readily available. 

Cloud HR Software: Key Features

Here’s a summary of the main features you can expect to find in this list of the best cloud-based human resources software: 

  1. Core HR data management features: A single source of employee data management that populates all software modules automatically.
  2. Payroll functions: Integrated, tax-compliant payroll management software that removes the need for manual calculations.
  3. Time off & attendance: Tracking when your employees start and stop work, as well as their vacation and other leave requests.
  4. Benefits administration: A way to link your health benefit offerings to your core employee and payroll data.
  5. Performance management: Tools to facilitate performance reviews and track employee performance and development over time.
  6. Recruiting & onboarding tools: This includes digital tools to screen candidates, streamline the hiring process, and turn candidates into new employees, including an applicant tracking system (ATS). 
  7. Training & learning management features: A process for tracking employee qualifications and certification expiry dates, and hosting in-house training presentations.
  8. Employee self-service: The ability for employees to update their own personal information and access other details independently without relying heavily on HR staff.

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Overviews of the 10 Best Cloud HR Software

Below you’ll find a brief description of each cloud HR software that explains each tool’s best use case and main features. I’ve also included screenshots to give you a snapshot of the user interface too.

1

Deel

Best cloud HR platform for end-to-end payroll management for global workforces

Deel is an excellent cloud-based HRIS for businesses that need to manage employee data and handle payroll tax compliance. It’s used by companies like Dropbox and Shopify to handle their global workforces. Deel's platform can hire employees or contractors in over 150 countries on your behalf as an employer of record, eliminating the need to set up a new entity or understand foreign payroll requirements. Companies can use Deel to offer international benefits, offer stock options, and track equipment in a streamlined manner.

The platform is easy to use and provides a variety of features that make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes. Deel integrates several functions, including contract management, expense reimbursements, and off-cycle adjustments. Employees can also self-manage their pay and personal data, which reduces admin load.

The platform does not provide tools for screening candidates or tracking applications but integrates with applicant tracking systems like Ashby and Greenhouse. Users can directly import qualified candidate data into Deel to initiate onboarding and use Deel’s built-in Veriff integration to validate users.

The company provides 24/7 client support and live chat. At the time of writing, Deel has over 1,200 reviews on Trustpilot, with an aggregate score of 4.8 score. Any company considering hiring an international worker should evaluate Deel for their workforce.

Deel offers flat pricing upon request, as well as a free demo.

Free demo available

From $49/user/month

2

Oyster HR

Best cloud HR platform for international recruiting and payroll management

Oyster is a cloud HR platform that helps organizations recruit and hire staff or contractors globally. Their system is used successfully in over 180 countries with built-in tools to manage international payroll, taxes and employment law, plus compliance guardrails for local labor laws to ensure your company receives the legal protection you’ll need when operating in a new territory.

Their digital hiring tools make it easy to hire contractors in any of the 180+ countries they support. A built-in contractor misclassification assessment tool helps determine if you should fill a vacant position with a new employee or a contractor. There’s also a helpful employment cost calculator that can determine the cost of a new employee in any country, including their required taxes and government contributions, plus the Oyster flat-fee, which varies depending on the country you’re hiring in.

Their Oyster Academy is a helpful resource for companies that are new to the international work-from-anywhere scene, including training courses for how to prepare for distributed work, and how to create a company culture in a distributed work environment. An add-on called Oyster Health is also available to secure health insurance coverage for a global workforce under a single company plan.

Pricing for Oyster starts at $499 USD/employee/month. They also have a free Lite plan for up to 2 contractors only - a good option for anyone building a global startup from scratch. You can also request a free demo through their website.

Freemium plan + free demo available

From $499/employee/month

3

Paycor

Best cloud HR software for talent management + employee experience

Paycor is a cloud-based HR software to streamline HR processes and improves team collaboration. The system includes a robust suite of tools for managing employee data, tracking time off and absences, and creating and managing employee onboarding processes. Paycor can manage employee records, such as adding or deleting fields, create custom reports, and set permissions for those who can access the system. The system offers a built-in audit trail that tracks all changes to employee records.

Paycor's process automation feature can automatically generate payroll reports, create invoices and performance reviews, and send reminders for upcoming deadlines. This feature can also automate repetitive tasks such as scheduling employee shifts or ordering supplies. Businesses can free up resources to focus on more strategic goals by automating time-consuming tasks.

Its web and mobile HR app allows employees to access their HR information and perform various tasks independently. Employees can update their profiles, access and sign documents, and view and print their payslips. Paycor provides users with a comprehensive knowledge base of HR best practices, including toolkits and manuals. The software offers templates and tools for creating well-organized, comprehensive reviews, ensuring that all relevant information is included and that the review process is as efficient as possible. Additionally, Paycor's software has a built-in rating system that objectively evaluates employee performance, making the review process fairer and more accurate.

Pricing for Paycor starts at $99/month.

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month

4

Sapling

Best cloud HR software for customizing workflows

Sapling’s cloud-based HCM (human capital management) platform allows HR teams to automate common HR tasks from onboarding to offboarding and everything in between. Their HR tools simplify tasks using auto-assigned workflows, email scheduling, and alerts which can be customized for different locations, departments or employee types to standardize processes. This is a useful feature for companies with distributed teams as it helps HR managers regulate processes across all work locations and departments. Their system also comes with pre-built reports to analyze any type of data that’s stored in the system.

Helpful features to improve your employee experience include colour-coded org charts by location, department or custom groups, an employee directory, and customizable employee profiles to help reflect your company culture and core values. HR teams will appreciate the system’s ability to track job-related data such as promotions, salary adjustments, relocations and other historical changes. The system also supports paid time-off (PTO) tracking, including customizable PTO policies for different groups.

Sapling integrates with 50+ leading HR, IT and productivity systems including JazzHR, Lever, Workday, ADP, Paylocity, 15Five, Kallidus, Lattice, OneLogin, Greenhouse, Okta, Zapier, the Google Suite, Slack, Lessonly, ChartHop, Jira, LinkedIn, and many other platforms.

Pricing for Sapling starts at $6.99 USD/user/month for a team of 100 people. Add-ons are available for time-off tracking and survey tools, for an extra fee. You can also request a free demo through their website.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

5

Zoho People

Best all-in-one cloud platform for managing variable workforces

Zoho People is a cloud-based HR software solution that helps simplify HR operations and the employee experience. Their employee database scales easily and is used in over 45 countries. Their platform streamlines core HR functions such as employee onboarding, time off management, HR file management, and employee database management. Even at their lowest pricing level, users will benefit from module-based reports, workflow management tools, and “Zia” - their AI bot which answers employee questions and can be accessed from any screen within their system.

Technically an HRMS, this is a great choice for businesses with hourly, shift-based, field-based, or remote workforces due to the depth of their attendance tracking, shift-scheduling and mobile check-in features. By enabling Zoho People’s geo-fencing capabilities, companies can mark geographic locations such as client offices or field sites using GPS points. GPS-based attendance improves the accuracy of reported work hours by ensuring mobile staff can only log in when they arrive in the area, and not before.

Their full-feature mobile app is another bonus for mobile workers as they can access company information or connect with their colleagues in just a few clicks. As well, remote workers can check-in and out of their workday using People Kiosk: a digital version of the old punch-clock system that uses facial recognition to identify workers and track in and out times.

Zoho People integrates with Google Workspace and Google Analytics, Office365, Slack, Zendesk, WordPress, Joomla, and payment gateways such as PayPal, WePay, WorldPay and more. In addition, Zoho has a whole suite of their own custom Zoho apps, including Zoho Analytics, Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, Zoho Directory, Zoho Expense, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Mail, Zoho Projects, Zoho Recruit, Zoho Sign, Zoho Vault, and Zoho Writer.

Pricing for Zoho People starts at $1.25/user/month for their Essential HR level. You can also request a free demo or a 30-day free trial through their website.

30-day free trial

From $1.25/user/month

6

BrightHR

Best cloud HRIS for automations and document management

BrightHR’s cloud HRIS system allows companies to manage employee data, attendance and absences, expenses, shift schedules, and document management all within one system. It’s an excellent choice for business leaders who are constantly on the go thanks to their full-feature mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

BrightHR can also be used in conjunction with other Bright Software modules that address health and safety (BrightSafe) and employee wellness (Bright Wellness & Counselling). On top of that, HR teams will also appreciate BrightHR’s list of resources including templates and guides (through BrightBase) and HR and employment law advice (though BrightAdvice).

One feature that caught my eye is the ability to automate reminders for certain tasks. For example, as you’re onboarding a new employee, you can automatically schedule an email reminder to mark the end of their probationary period. This is really useful since the end of a probationary period typically requires additional paperwork, and it can be hard to stay on top of it manually if you have a large group of employees you’re managing.

The document management capabilities within BrightHR are also very strong. Users have the ability to update and share new documents with team members easily through their web platform or mobile app. To ensure new information is actually read by staff, you can assign a follow-up date, automate email reminders, and track completion through read receipts. These features make their document management area very useful for tracking corporate policies or internal training documents, since you can ensure all your employees are always referring to up-to-date information.

Pricing details for BrightHR are available upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website.

From $4.08 (£3) per employee per month for the basic plan

7

OrangeHRM

Best free cloud-based HRMS software, available via open source

OrangeHRM is a human resource management system (HRMS) available through cloud hosting or on-premise hosting, depending on your needs. The cloud version of their product called OrangeHRM Starter is available for free under an open source license, making it an excellent choice for small businesses or startups.

Key features within their OrangeHRM Starter product include time tracking features like timesheets and clock-in/clock-out abilities, a time off management system, 180-degree employee performance reviews, job postings via an integration with your company website, and an employee database including a corporate directory with employee profiles.

To access additional features, you can scale up to their Advanced package, which includes an organization chart, a document manager, a disciplinary tracker, more advanced recruitment tools, and digital onboarding tools. Their Advanced level also supports performance and career development planning through customizable 360-degree reviews, goal tracking, individual development plans, and a 9-box matrix to monitor employees ready for advancement.

Though specific software integrations are not mentioned on their website, they do have an API that supports them. Their system is also mobile accessible as well.

Their OrangeHRM Starter product is free to use through an open source license. However, pricing for their full feature Advanced system is available upon request. You can also request a free demo or a 30-day free trial through their website.

From $6/user/month.

8

bob

Best cloud HR software for engaging and connecting hybrid teams

Say “hi” to Bob, an HRIS system designed to bolster employee engagement and help link employees to your company culture, no matter where they’re logging in from. Their cloud-based HR solution boasts a social media-like user interface that gets employees excited about engaging with other team members. From the main homepage, employees can view key details like work anniversaries, birthdays, and other facts about colleagues to help them make connections that go beyond just work tasks—an important feature for fostering team engagement in today’s hybrid work world.

Bob’s platform includes all the typical HRIS features you’d expect, including employee data management, HR analytics, culture tools, time and attendance tracking, digital onboarding tools, and a document hub with DocuSign built right in. Bob also keeps a log of where staff are (i.e., working remotely, in the office, sick, or on vacation), which is another useful feature for companies with distributed or hybrid workforces.

Bob integrates with 40+ common HR software solutions, including Google Suite, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zapier, and many others. They also have a full-feature mobile app for Android and iOS as well.

Pricing details for Bob are available upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

9

Collage HR

Best cloud HR for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

Collage is a great cloud-based HRIS software option for Canadian businesses as it comes pre-set to Canadian employment standards. Their platform includes all the typical HR tools you’d expect in an HRIS, including employee self-service modules, a time-off management system, performance management features, a recruiting portal with an applicant tracking system, and robust HR reporting across all employee data. The performance management module includes modern, continuous feedback elements like 360-degree reviews, check-ins and customizable survey tools.

Managers and employees will appreciate the simplicity of the time-off management system, which can be accessed via their mobile-friendly app as well. Collage automatically tracks time off accruals and balances, and syncs vacation requests with a company calendar so teams always know when co-workers will be away. Vacation requests can also sync with payroll depending on how you configure your platform.

Payroll functions are not included in their Core HRIS package, but a data sync with other payroll software can be added for an additional $3 CAD/user/month. Customers can also outsource their payroll functions to Collage’s team of CPA-approved payroll managers who provide full payroll management services that are compliant with Canadian tax laws. This is a helpful option for small companies that don’t already have payroll expertise in-house. HR professionals will also appreciate the system’s ability to streamline benefits administration by syncing directly with your benefits provider for an additional fee of $2 CAD/user/month.

For Collage’s Core HRIS features, the price starts at $7 CAD/user/month, but add-ons to sync with benefits or payroll programs are available for an additional fee. You can also request a free demo or a free trial through their website.

Free demo available

From $8/user/month

10

Arcoro

Best cloud HR software for compliance and health & safety focused industries

Arcoro’s modular, cloud HR software fully digitizes core HR processes including employee data management, benefits management, time & attendance tracking, compensation, and performance management. If you need it, they also have additional modules including an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding tools, and a learning management system (LMS) with 80+ common health and safety courses too.

Due to their deep compliance tracking capabilities, Arcoro is a popular HR software choice for safety-conscious industries like construction, manufacturing, engineering and landscaping. Arcoro supports compliant hiring practices by integrating your hiring standards (including affirmative action programs (AAP), equal employment opportunities (EEO), E-verify, and others) into your job postings and candidate screening processes within their ATS. This is further complemented by their drug & background screening option, which is often a requirement for many safety-sensitive positions too.

Many functions within Arcoro’s system are also available as employee self-service modules through mobile devices, including their benefits management and time & attendance offerings. Employees can easily track their hours using their time tracking app while in the field. It can also be used to manage health & safety compliance requirements, like daily health screening questionnaires, or track GPS locations to prevent dishonest time tracking.

Formerly known as BirdDog HR, Arcoro integrates with popular technology platforms including Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, Quickbooks, US.Jobs, ZipRecrupter, and others.

Pricing details for Arcoro are available upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website, or a free HR Assessment to help you determine which modules you need.

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request

The 10 Best Cloud HR Software Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Deel

Best cloud HR platform for end-to-end payroll management for global workforces

Free demo available

From $49/user/month Visit Website
2
Oyster HR

Best cloud HR platform for international recruiting and payroll management

Freemium plan + free demo available

From $499/employee/month Visit Website
3
Paycor

Best cloud HR software for talent management + employee experience

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month Visit Website
4
Sapling

Best cloud HR software for customizing workflows

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
5
Zoho People

Best all-in-one cloud platform for managing variable workforces

30-day free trial

From $1.25/user/month Visit Website
6
BrightHR

Best cloud HRIS for automations and document management

Not available

From $4.08 (£3) per employee per month for the basic plan Visit Website
7
OrangeHRM

Best free cloud-based HRMS software, available via open source

Not available

From $6/user/month. Visit Website
8
bob

Best cloud HR software for engaging and connecting hybrid teams

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
9
Collage HR

Best cloud HR for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

Free demo available

From $8/user/month Visit Website
10
Arcoro

Best cloud HR software for compliance and health & safety focused industries

Request a free demo

Pricing upon request Visit Website

Other Cloud HR Software Options

Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best cloud HR software list:

  1. Cloud9HR

    Best cloud HR tool for payroll and talent management

  2. Rise

    Best all-in-one cloud-based platform for Canadian companies with lean HR teams

  3. Rippling

    Best cloud HR software for workflow automations and software integrations

  4. BambooHR

    Best cloud HRIS system for employee self service

  5. HR Cloud

    Best cloud HR software for digital onboarding and offboarding processes

  6. IntelliHR

    Best cloud HR software for performance management

  7. Connecteam

    Best cloud software for employee shift scheduling

  8. Zenefits

    Best cloud HRIS system for benefits management and group insurance

  9. Cezanne HR

    Best HR software for global, multi-lingual organizations

  10. Folks HR

    Best cloud HRIS system for Canadian non-profit organizations

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What is a Software Cloud? 

When related to software, the term "cloud" describes systems that operate remotely via the internet. They're managed through a series of web servers that run applications and store data on your behalf. The original software developers are also responsible for ongoing system maintenance.

Another term for cloud software is SaaS (software-as-a-service), a popular software subscription model. As well, the term "on-demand" is sometimes used interchangeably, since cloud software is always available.

The opposite of cloud-based systems are "on-premise" systems. On-premise systems run locally on your computer or company network. Since they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, they can often be customized for specific business needs. The flip side is,  your in-house IT support needs are likely to increase.

Other Resources

Cloud HR software is on the forefront of HR transformation. By digitizing your core HR processes, you’ll be able to ditch your filing cabinets, increase your efficiency, and improve your overall employee experience. 

Since many HR systems are cloud-based, we have a few other software lists that may have what you’re looking for too:

We also have tips on HR Software: What it Costs and How to Decide What’s Best for Your Company, plus HRIS vs HCM Systems: The 5-Point Guide You Need to Make the Best Choice.

Lastly, to stay in the loop, be sure to subscribe to our People Managing People newsletter covering industry trends in HR leadership.

Related Read: How To Choose HR Software In 5 Easy Steps

Related List of Tools:

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By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.