11 Best HCM Software Vendors Of 2021

This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best human capital management (HCM) software.

The Best HCM Solutions List

Here’s a shortlist of the HCM platforms that made my top 10 list:

  1. Eddy - Best for easy customized onboarding
  2. Oracle HCM Cloud - Best for AI and machine learning insights
  3. Sage People - Best for employee engagement functionalities
  4. SAP SuccessFactors - Best for scalability of add-ons
  5. ADP WorkforceNow - Best for integration with existing HR software
  6. Workday - Best for user experience and user interface design
  7. Rippling - Best for small businesses and HR teams
  8. Vibe HCM - Best for HR transaction automation
  9. Ascentis - Best for medium and large enterprises
  10. Viventium - Best for usability and user onboarding
  11. eXo Platform - Best for employee social networking

HCM Systems Comparison Criteria

What are we looking for when we select HCM software for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools, including any other tools already in use for HR management? Any pre-built integrations?
  5. 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.

  • Free demo
  • From $8/employee/month

Eddy - Best for easy customized onboarding

Eddy lets employees keep track of their hours, apply for leaves, and check the policies that go with them.

Eddy is an all-in-one HR Suite built for local businesses that streamlines tedious HR processes and improves the employee experience. Founded in 2017 by former professional basketball player turned entrepreneur, Travis Hansen, Eddy has grown rapidly due to it’s simple but powerful product, highly-rated customer service, and focus on local businesses with deskless workforces.

With Eddy, businesses can hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees with one easy-to-use software. Key features include job posting management, tracking incoming candidates, and a full-scale applicant tracking system (ATS). Thet onboarding system lets HR managers create custom onboarding packages, assign tasks, and easily collect digital signatures.

A core function of Eddy is people management—users can access company directories and store important employee documents, notes on performance, and training and certifications in employee profiles. You can also create custom PTO policies and approve or deny requests; tap into their time tracking tool, which allows employees to easily clock-in and clock-out; and navigate payroll processes using Eddy’s in-house, full-service system that includes support for multiple pay periods and end-of-year W-2 preparation, filing, and distribution.

Eddy starts at $8/employee/month and offers a free demo.

Pros

  • Low entry-level per-employee cost
  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Robust self-serve help documentation

Cons

  • Payroll and ATS cost extra
  • No free plan or free trial listed
  • From $13/user/month

Oracle HCM Cloud - Best for AI and machine learning insights

Oracle’s human capital management solution syncs across mobile and desktop for ease of use.

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.

  • From $10/user/month

Sage People - Best for employee engagement functionalities

Sage People provides space for onboarding and training employees, and includes robust reporting features.

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.

  • Has a free trial
  • From $8/user/month

SAP SuccessFactors - Best for scalability of add-ons

SAP SuccessFactors offers a full suite of human capital management features, including reporting and tracking.

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.

  • Free demo
  • From $10/user/month

ADP WorkforceNow - Best for integration with existing HR software

ADP WorkForce Now dashboard, with company insights, time clocking, and news and announcements.

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.

  • From $100/user/year

Workday - Best for user experience and user interface design

Workday offers intuitive financial reporting and planning features.

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.

  • Has a free trial
  • From $7/user/month

Rippling - Best for small businesses and HR teams

Rippling users can create to-do lists, as well as update personal information and request time off.

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.

  • Pricing upon request and has a free demo

Vibe HCM - Best for HR transaction automation

Vibe allows users to create surveys and assess results.

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.

  • Pricing upon request and has a free demo

Ascentis - Best for medium and large enterprises

Ascentis users can submit time off requests and monitor productivity.

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.

  • Pricing upon request and has a free demo

Viventium - Best for usability and user onboarding

Viventium’s user dashboard featuring calendar, requests, and reporting tabs.

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.

  • From $5/engaged user/month

eXo Platform - Best for employee social networking

eXo Platform users can network with other employees within the company.

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.

  1. Infor – Best for reporting and analytics capabilities
  2. StarGarden HCM – A cloud-based HR automation with automated workflows, reporting, and dashboards as well as full-function HRM/HCM.
  3. 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.
  4. HoneybeeBased – A free HRMS software that contains a web-based employee management system as well as an employee mobile app.
  5. 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.
  6. Eddy HR – A complete HR solution with an applicant tracking system (ATS), onboarding, people management, document storage, PTO management, payroll, and time tracking.
  7. ApplicantPRO – With ApplicantPro you can post jobs, push posts to job boards, organize qualified applicants, collaborate with your hiring managers, and send offers.
  8. 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.
  9. iCIMS Talent Acquisition Suite by iCIMS – A unified recruiting platform that has three product suites for recruitment marketing, advanced communications, and hiring.
  10. Ceridian – Human capital management in the cloud designed to identify, attract, hire, reward, and develop your team as well as take care of payroll administration.
  11. Thrive HCM – Login on any device and get real-time information inside a secure, single database with HR, benefits, time management, payroll, and analytics.
  12. BambooHR – HR software that collects and organizes all the information you gather throughout the employee lifecycle-hiring, onboarding, or building culture.
  13. Zoho HR – Zoho HR has complete solutions for both in-house recruiters and staffing agencies that helps you source, track, and hire the best candidates.

Other lists of other helpful tools similar to HCM software:

HCM System FAQ

Have some questions about human resources and human capital management? Need some human capital examples? Start with this handy FAQ.

What Is HCM?

Human capital management refers to the collection of organizational practices related to the acquisition, management, and development of the human workforce-or human capital-within an organization.

These practices include HR functions such as workforce acquisition, workforce planning, workforce management, and workforce optimization.

What is the difference between HCM and HRM?

The main difference between HCM and HRM is that HCM is more geared towards employee management. This includes performance, onboarding, analytics, position control, and absence management along with other HR services.

HRM includes 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 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).

What Do You Think About This HCM Software?

Are there any human capital management tools that you think we have missed but should be on this list? Let us know in the comments. And subscribe to the People Managing People newsletter for more tools and tips!