There are so many different workforce management software that making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to align staff deployment with business needs, ensuring compliance with labor laws, and managing labor costs effectively—and now need the right tool for the job. In this post, I share from my personal experience as an HR specialist using many different workforce management tools, and share my picks of the best workforce management software overall.
What Is Workforce Management Software?
Workforce management software is a digital solution designed to manage and optimize various aspects of workforce operations. It encompasses functionalities such as employee scheduling, time and attendance tracking, leave and absence management, labor compliance, and performance management. This software aids in aligning workforce deployment with business needs, automating administrative tasks, and providing analytical insights for better decision-making.
Papaya Global is an end-to-end global workforce management solution with cross-border payments in 160+ countries. The platform supports all employee options (payroll, EoR, contractors) and uses smart technology to ensure compliance and eliminate errors.
Why I picked Papaya Global: This software is great for simplifying your international workforce management, and boasts 100% local compliance assured. But the main reason it made my list is for its advanced, real-time business intelligence. You can get insights on who your workers are by country, cost, and more. You can also see how well you’re attracting and keeping top talent, and why they chose to leave. Plus, you can create data visualizations to see where your company stands in equity of gender, age and pay, both by department and seniority structure.
Papaya Global Standout Features and Integrations
Some standout features include solutions for automating payroll and payments, international employee benefits administration, and AI-based compliance verification. These alleviate some of your HR team's manual workload, and ensure you're up to code as an international employer.
Other nice features are the dedicated HRIS system included in the platform, which helps you keep all your employee data centralized and accounted for. Onboarding tools are also included, helping to ensure every new hire gets a warm welcome and the tools they need to succeed.
Integrations include BambooHR, Expensify, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Namely, NetSuite, Priority Software, SAP Business One, SAP Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors. You can also create additional custom integrations for your existing HR software upon request to the provider.
- Extensive knowledge base
- Platform backed by J.P. Morgan and Citibank
- 24/7 customer support to ensure payments are paid on time
- No mobile app available
- Employee profiles could be more detailed
Deel is an end-to-end global workforce management platform with local expertise in over 150 countries.
Why I picked Deel: I chose this platform for my list because it makes it easy to manage both employees and contractors across the world. It gives you a complete view of your entire workforce, no matter where in the world they’re located. Its feature set includes contract management, expense reimbursements, and off-cycle adjustments.
If you want to hire international employees, the company acts as an employer of record. It handles both payroll and benefits so you don’t need to open up a foreign entity. And to hire global contractors, the software helps you avoid misclassification with legal-reviewed contracts. It's a great way to hire international talent in a flexible way.
Deel Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the global HR services provided by the company. This includes a global mobility service, which can help you with visa sponsorship for international candidates. It's nice to have both the software and the services all provided by the same company.
Another helpful feature is the software's Slack plugin. It can be used to create an accessible organizational chart, provide self-service PTO management, and even track applicant referrals.
Integrations include Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Xero, Workday, and Workable. An Open API is also available to build your own integrations.
- Simplifies payroll using multiple currencies
- Managed by 200+ local legal and tax compliance experts
- Tailored for international organizations
- No free trial available
- Overlapping plan features require custom pricing
Connecteam is an all-in-one employee app and workforce management software that enables teams and HR managers to automate some of their business processes.
Why I picked Connecteam: The WFM platform can save you time and boost your workforce's productivity with its custom checklists, detailed reporting, and mobile-first digital forms. You can also schedule shifts and jobs more efficiently and keep track of employees’ work hours with an advanced GPS time clock. The workforce management solution can help simplify the employee communication process, improve your staff's professional skills, and manage day-to-day operations, all from a single unified platform.
Connecteam Standout Features and Integrations
One standout feature is that the platform is compatible with both desktop and mobile. This allows employees to clock in from anywhere, which ultimately is what makes the GPS tool valuable. You can also set up automated notifications and reminders for your employees through the platform. This is helpful for keeping everyone up to speed on announcements, updates, and other important company information.
Integrations include Google Calendar, Gusto, and QuickBooks Payroll, among others.
- Unlimited custom jobs with all plans
- Free plan for up to 10 employees
- Designed specifically for field teams
- Some advanced time clock features limited in basic plan
- Only one time clock in the basic plan
Replicon Time & Attendance is a comprehensive workforce management solution that simplifies time tracking and attendance management for businesses.
Why I Picked Replicon Time & Attendance: I included this software on my list because of its tools that help you drive accountability, visibility, and consistency across your workforce. The system automatically applies the latest legal requirements and provides configurable rule sets so you can ensure adherence with labor laws and internal policies. This is especially useful for companies operating in diverse regulatory environments or industries with intricate labor demands.
Replicon Time & Attendance Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the software's cutting-edge geofencing and mobile time tracking features. These help you ensure accurate clock-ins and clock-outs based on employees' physical presence at specific job sites or locations. This offers enhanced visibility and accountability for businesses with mobile or remote workforces, reducing the risk of time theft and inaccurate reporting.
Integrations include SAP, ADP, Salesforce, Quickbooks, Atlassian, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Servicenow, Zero, Zoom, Outlook Calendar, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Azure DevOps, Google Meet, and Google Calendar, among others.
- Highly customizable reports
- Activity tracking features
- Ability to analyze data in multiple ways
- Advanced features, comes with a learning curve
- Interface could be easier to navigate
Paycor is a comprehensive HR SaaS product designed to streamline payroll management, employee scheduling, and various other HR tasks.
Why I picked Paycor: I picked this software because of how scalable it is to meet the needs of various business sizes, models, and contexts. It covers payroll and benefits administration, talent acquisition and management, time tracking and scheduling, and compliance management. With these various tools, you can set up a customized solution based on your company's needs.
This software is a good option for those looking for something custom, rather than a one-size-fits-all platform. In addition to the specific modules provided by the company, advanced analytics and reporting tools are also included. You can run reports to monitor various aspects of your employee experience, lifecycle, and more.
Paycor Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features include the talent development features the platform offers. Employee onboarding tools and a learning management system help you improve employee performance and set people up on the right foot. You can also plan your compensation structures in the platform, which helps you connect pay with performance.
Integrations include HireTech, Emburse Certify, Zillion, Points North, FMLA, Tapcheck, Instant Pay, Sterling, Wageworks, and Ignite, among others.
- Modular nature allows for easy customizations
- Many time-saving automations
- Includes HR solutions for specific niche industries
- May be too expensive for smaller organizations
- Basic package limited to payroll features only
Arcoro is a workforce management software that's designed specifically to help construction businesses streamline their HR processes.
Why I picked Arcoro: This cloud-based solution offers a range of features, including succession planning, performance management, and compliance tracking. It made the cut for my list because not only does it cover a lot of ground, it's also especially designed to meet the needs of construction companies.
The software's ATS and onboarding modules make it easy to bring new talent to the company, while its core HR promotes transparency and improves employee engagement. Meanwhile, its time and attendance module makes sure your employees are where they're supposed to be and that they're safely doing their jobs. This can be done by collecting answers to questions via surveys.
Arcoro Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features that set this platform apart from other construction workforce management tools are mostly in its succession planning capabilities. This feature allows businesses to plan for the future by identifying potential leaders within their workforce and developing them to take on more responsibility. It's a great way to ensure that your business is prepared for the future and that you have a strong leadership pipeline in place.
Integrations include Acumatica, Procore, Quickbooks, Sage, and Viewpoint. All of these allow you to transfer data seamlessly with your existing construction software and business applications.
- Outstanding customer care team
- Niche specialty in construction companies
- Great succession planning features
- May not work for non-construction businesses
- Few out-of-the-box intregrations
ExakTime Time & Attendance is a software with time tracking, location tracking, time off management, and other functionalities that help you manage your field team.
Why I picked ExakTime Time & Attendance: This is a good choice of platform for those managing field and mobile staff, which is why I included it on my list. Not only can employees working on job sites easily clock in and out of the system, they can do so using the mobile app or the weatherproof, sturdy time clocks provided by the company. It's as simple as clicking 'GO' and 'STOP' to start and end your day.
The system can also manage time off requests, overtime and payroll reporting, equipment tracking, and other elements of workforce management. Administrators have a comprehensive dashboard to monitor employee locations and hours worked. Injury and expense reporting are also included, and there are 40+ pre-built reports to help you track your workforce's performance.
ExakTime Time & Attendance Standout Features and Integrations
One of the standout features this product offers is multimedia field notes for employees. This allows your staff members to report on the work they've completed each day, helping keep clear and up-to-date records of work being done. This is especially helpful if different team members are swapping in and out of jobs, and need context to jump in and take over. It also helps you ensure work is documented, avoiding potential headaches down the line.
Integrations include Sage, QuickBook, Viewpoint, Foundation Software, ADP, Acumatica, ConstructionPayroll.com, MYOB, Paychex, and Workday, among others.
- Hardware provided for clocking in and out on-site
- Connects with popular payroll platforms
- GPS tracking included
- GPS only works if activated on the mobile device
- May not be suitable for office staff
Keka HR is a comprehensive human resources (HR) and payroll management software that's designed to streamline HR processes for businesses of all sizes. It's a cloud-based platform that offers a wide range of features including employee self-service, leave and attendance management, document management, timesheets, and more.
Why I picked Keka HR: Keka HR is a solid choice for any business that wants to simplify its HR processes and improve workforce management. It's different from other tools in the market because it's not just an HR tool, it's a complete workforce management solution. It's packed with features, is easy to use, and integrates with other tools, making it a standout choice.
However, one thing that I really like is how transparent the pricing is for their HR and Payroll product. You are on a fixed fee until you hit the 100-user mark. After that, you pay an additional amount per employee. Easy!
Keka HR Standout Features & Integrations
Features like the employee self-service portal allow employees to manage their own HR-related tasks like leave requests, timesheets, and personal details, which saves a ton of time for HR teams. The performance management feature is also super handy. It lets you set and track goals, conduct performance reviews, and give feedback, all in one place. And let's not forget about the payroll management feature. It's easy to use and automates a lot of the tedious tasks associated with payroll.
Integrations for this software include over a dozen options to automate your workflows. For example, there are pre-built connectors with Tally, Xoxoday, EarlySalary, Kaarva, Plum, Good Health, Quicko, Paxes, and Trackex. Additionally, the tool has an API and webhooks available for custom integrations.
Justworks is an HR software system that can manage several core HR functions for US-based companies, including general workforce management, payroll processing, and benefits administration.
Why I picked Justworks: The main reason this software made my list is for its large-group benefits packages. These include things like medical and dental coverage, vision insurance, life insurance, 401(k) plans, and commuter benefits. Some of the more unique benefits offered are access to health advocacy services, on-demand primary care services, and fertility and family-building services.
Beyond benefits administration, the platform can also handle an array of other HR tasks. It can be used to onboard new hires, manage employee time off, keep track of employee documents, and build out an org chart for everyone at your company to reference. Employee time tracking and scheduling are also available, and can be directly connected with the software's payroll feature.
Justworks Standout Features and Integrations
This provider's main standout feature is the services offered in addition to the software. You can access the company's team for more advanced HR offerings like professional employer organization (PEO) service, payroll service, or compliance monitoring. The customer support team is available 24/7 by phone, email, chat, Slack, and SMS.
Integrations include QuickBooks, Greenhouse, Xero, Slack, Vanguard, Fidelity, Citi Bike, and E-Verify.
- Can file local, state and federal taxes on your behalf
- PEO services are include in all plans
- Services offered as well as software
- Only available for USA-based organizations
- Software integration details are not transparent
ADP Workforce Now is a modern human capital management (HCM) solution that combines payroll processing, time and attendance tracking, talent management, benefits management, performance management, a recruiting system, and hiring and onboarding tools.
Why I picked ADP Workforce Now: I picked this platform because it brings deep industry knowledge to a tool built especially for small to medium-sized businesses. ADP is a well-known and trusted HR software company with over 70 years of experience and a good track record when it comes to customer support. The Workforce Now product is designed specifically for SMBs, but can be scaled up to one of the company's more robust offerings as your business grows.
ADP Workforce Now Standout Features and Integrations
Standout features within the flexible time tracking and attendance module include automated alerts, overtime calculation rules, and timecard approvals. The time and attendance module also links employee working hours directly to payroll, removing a lot of unnecessary (but common!) administrative wrangling that your team will happily leave behind.
Integrations inlcude Absorb LMS, ClearCompany, Clockshark, Deputy, Infor, JazzHR, Oracle, QuickBooks, Replicon, Sage Intacct, SAP SuccessFactors, Sapling, Workday, Xero, ZipRecruiter, and many others.
- Extensive customizability
- Modular build, you can opt in or out of features
- Reputable and secure provider with many years in the industry
- Legacy system could use some UI modernization
- Navigation between modules is not very intuitive
Need expert help selecting the right Workforce Management Software?
If you’re struggling to choose the right software, let us help you. Just share your needs in the form below and you’ll get free access to our dedicated software advisors who match and connect you with the best vendors for your needs.
Best workforce management analysis and reports
Free trial available
|EOR from $650/employee/month or $2/contractor/month; Global payroll from $3 to $12/employee/month||Website|
Best for managing employees and contractors globally
Free demo available
|Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people||Website|
Best WFM software with an advanced GPS time clock
14-day free trial + free plan available
|From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)||Website|
Best unified platform for time & attendance, schedules, labor compliance & pay
14-day free trial
Best modular, scalable workforce management solution
90-day free trial + free demo available
|From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee||Website|
Best workforce management software for construction companies
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
ExakTime Time & Attendance
Best for managing a workforce of mobile staff
Free demo available
|From $9/employee/month + $50/month base fee||Website|
Best for HR and Payroll services
Free trial + free demo
Best WFM software with comprehensive employee benefits plans
Free demo available
ADP Workforce Now
Best workforce management software for growing businesses
30-day free trial
|From $160/month for up to 49 employees||Website|
Best workload visualization tool for workforce management
Best workforce management software for hourly workers
Best for monitoring employee productivity
Best for gamifying employee performance management
- Oracle HCM Cloud
Best high-security workforce management software
Best workforce management platform with HRIS and payroll
- SAP SuccessFactors
Best workforce management for healthcare companies
Best for a flexible org chart and position-based architecture
Best for cloud-based contact centers
- Verint Workforce Management
Best for contingent workforce management planning
Best for remote workforce management
- Fuse Workforce Management
Best for self-service scheduling
- SwipedOn Pocket
Best for location-based workforce management
- SumTotal Workforce Management
Best workforce learning management app
- Calabrio Workforce Management
Best workforce management software for call centers
- Alvaria Workforce Engagement Suite
Best workforce management dashboard
Best all-in-one platform for HR, payroll and IT functions
Best global workforce management with international specialists
- Zoho Recruit
Best for automating the recruitment process
Best recruiting, performance, and payroll management in one
Selection Criteria For Workforce Management Software
I'm happy to explain my methodology if you'd like to know how I created this list. To start, I created a long list of the most popular workforce management software systems with positive user ratings and comprehensive features. From there, I analyzed the details of each system further, using the selection criteria below as my lens.
Using this framework, I was able to compare each workforce management solution against the rest of my list systematically. These criteria also helped me pinpoint the software systems that offer the best value to users.
Here are some of the top features I looked for when researching workforce management software:
- Employee scheduling: The ability to create work schedules, sometimes with a drag-and-drop calendar. You can also usually manage time off requests and shift swapping.
- Employee time tracking: Time clocks to track employee work hours, which might let team members clock-in and clock-out from their mobile devices.
- Analytics and reporting: Track your KPIs, HR OKRs, and other core metrics in real-time, and reduce the time consuming work of reporting with clear dashboards.
- Employee lifecycle management: Tools like applicant tracking, onboarding, and employee performance management features like performance review templates.
I look for user-friendly, cloud-based software with a responsive user interface that’s easy to navigate on any device. This goes both for HR management tools and employee self-service features. Ideally, the software will automate and streamline various aspects of your workforce management workflows. So I looked for platforms that were easy to navigate and learn, without sacrificing on functionality. Bonus points if they have a mobile app!
I looked for platforms that integrate with other common HR software, like human capital management (HCM) software, employee experience software, and shift scheduling software. Some also have integrations with other common workplace SaaS tools like project management software and communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. I also noted if the platform has an API to build custom integrations.
Price can vary from one provider to the next, so I made sure to note the cost of each software and whether a free plan or free trial is offered. For context, these platforms can cost anywhere from $30 per month up to $500 per month and above. Some also have a cost per user, and others have custom pricing for enterprise businesses or discounts for small businesses.
Integrating Workforce Management Software Into Your Business
Introducing any new workplace tool comes with an adjustment period. Actually, it can even come with hurdles. From setup and data migration, to staff adoption, to connecting it with your existing tech stack, it can feel overwhelming. But before you get caught up in the doom spiral of adding yet another tool to your toolkit, take a breath. There are ways to set yourself up for success, and I’m here to help you out with that.
When selecting a new workforce management software, be sure to consider the setup, onboarding, and implementation process. Thinking ahead will make for a smoother integration and ultimately, a better ROI. Here are two key areas to investigate, either through a provider’s website, free trial, or product demo:
1. Integration With Existing Systems
People switch between 10 apps 25 times per day on average to do their work.– 2021 Anatomy of Work Index, Asana¹
This becomes a huge time suck, and having proper software integrations can really make a difference. If you tech stack isn’t communicating, it’s going to slow you down!
Before you swipe the company card on a new employee management software, check in on these important factors:
- Where is employee data currently stored?
- How are you managing payroll and benefits administration?
- What tools support your performance and talent management efforts?
- How are you tracking employee engagement?
- What recruitment, hiring, and onboarding systems are you using?
Of course, take into account any other core HR functions that will need to work well with your new software. From there, make a list of your existing tech stack and look for integrations with those tools when you’re doing your research. If you pursue a software demo, ask the person showing you around about key integrations you’ll need and what they’re capable of.
2. Future Planning and Scalability
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection based on its available integrations, you need to also take a step back and think long-term. This software might be a good fit for the current state of your business, but will it be the right tool a year from now?
Scalability is a very important factor to consider, especially for quickly growing businesses. On the one hand, there’s no sense in jumping into an enterprise-level platform when you’re a 300-person SMB. On the other hand, will a software geared towards startups really be able to keep up as you scale?
Here are a few things to reflect on related to future planning and software scalability:
- What are the specific features and functionalities you currently need in a workforce management solution? What ones might you need in the future?
- What will be the cost associated with implementing a new software solution now? How would that cost grow relative to the anticipated business growth you foresee for the next 6 months, or one year out?
- Does the software offer multiple pricing tiers, and do the higher-tiered plans offer features and functionalities that will be valuable to you as your workforce grows?
Thinking ahead will help you make a better software selection for the medium- and long-term. And this will avoid the headache of data migration and the rigamarole of implementing yet another new tool down the road!
3. Onboarding, Training, and Support
31% of employees say they need better support on software adoption.– The State of Digital Adoption Report 2022, Userlane²
You need software that works for your team, and not the other way around. Even the most user-friendly platforms come with a ‘getting to know you’ phase. So as you’re seeking out software options, keep an eye out for:
- What’s offered as far as user onboarding
- What types of customer service (email, phone, live chat) are available at each pricing tier
- Whether a self-serve help center is available, and if the content is any good
- If tutorials and how-to videos are available
- If a user community or forum is available
These are all great ways to ensure you’ll be set up for success in implementing the software. Make sure any employee who will be using the tool has access to key support. Whether that’s in the form of documentation, training, or a support agent.
Workforce Management Software Trends for 2024
Workforce management best practices, priorities, and areas of focus are always evolving. And the features and functionalities offered by software providers are continuously changing to keep up with your shifting business needs. I keep an eye on these trends to inform how I select software for my list, and ensure I'm giving you the most up to date information available.
Here are a few key trends I'm watching at the moment:
AI-Driven Talent Acquisition
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is cropping up all over the place. But particularly when it comes to recruitment and hiring, it's proving to be especially useful. More and more workforce management tools are incorporating AI-powered recruitment tools like:
- Job description generators
- Sourcing of candidates using AI
- AI screening of applications
- Automated evaluations of assessments
And these are just a few of the ways that AI is revolutionizing recruitment and hiring. I'm definitely looking out for other ways AI will be integrated into these systems and processes.
Employee Well-being and Engagement Platforms
In response to the challenges of retention and employee engagement, there's a rise in platforms focusing on monitoring employee well-being and engagement levels. These tools offer features like employee surveys, feedback collection, and holistic wellness programs. By prioritizing employee mental health and satisfaction, these platforms help in retaining top talent and enhancing overall workplace productivity.
Hybrid Workforce Management Solutions
With the rise of hybrid and remote working, there's an increasing demand for tools that can address the unique challenges of a dispersed workforce. Here are some of the features I've seen to support managing a remote or hybrid workforce:
- Communication tools
- Productivity tracking
- Advanced analytics
These solutions help you understand how remote employees feel, what they're struggling with, and what they need to be successful. They help you compare and contrast this against in-office workers, and ensure nobody misses out on important information just because they work from home.
Integrated Regulatory Compliance
Alongside the rise of hybrid and remote work is the rise in distributed and even global teams. And this has added a layer of complexity to ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations. Many workforce management solutions now provide regulatory compliance features, helping to ensure that companies remain focused on the bottom line without compromising on legal responsibilities.
In summary, these trends in workforce management software are critical for HR professionals, business leaders, and managers seeking to address key challenges like hiring, retention, and performance management. Embracing these trends can lead to more strategic decision-making, efficient processes, and a more engaged and compliant workforce. Implementing these tools can be a significant step towards building resilient, future-ready organizations.
What is workforce management?
What's the difference between workforce management and workforce planning?
Other Workforce Management Software Reviews
When it comes to workforce management, the right software for you will depend on your unique business needs. Here are some links to other software types that also cross over with workforce management tools:
- Employee Scheduling Software
- Attendance Tracking Software
- Employee Monitoring Software
- Safety Management Software
- Contractor Management Software
- Succession Planning Software
- Staffing Software for Recruiting & Staffing
- Performance Management Tools
- Employee Management Systems
- Talent Management Systems
- Employee Engagement Software
- Benefits Administration Software
Which Workforce Management Software Do You Recommend?
What do you think of the workforce management tools on this list? Do you currently use any workforce management systems? What core HR ERP would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.
Not sure if your organization is ready for a workforce optimization tool yet, but you still need help with payroll management? Here's an article on how you can Keep Your Payroll On Time, All The Time.
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