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With many sub-types of HR software solutions available, finding the right fit for your needs takes time and effort. You're looking for software to help you manage your core HR tasks (such as recruitment, payroll, performance management, and benefits administration), but you need help figuring out which tool is best. Don't worry — I'm here to help you simplify this process. In this post, I'll share my insights and experience using dozens of different HR tools to help you find the best fit for you.

You Can Trust Our HR Software Reviews

We've been testing and reviewing HR software since 2019. As HR professionals ourselves, we know how critical and difficult it is to make the right decision when selecting software.

We invest in deep research to help our audience make better software purchasing decisions. We've tested more than 2,000 tools for different HR use cases and written over 1,000 comprehensive software reviews. Learn how we stay transparent, and take a look at our software review methodology.

Best HR Software: Pricing Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes pricing details for my top HR software selections to help you find the best software for your budget and business needs.

Tools Price
Deel Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Paycor From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee
Greenhouse Pricing upon request
Rippling From $8/user/month (billed annually)
ClearCompany From $60/user/month (billed annually)
Paychex Flex Pricing upon request
GoCo From $5/employee/month
Lattice From $4 to $11/user/month
Remofirst From $25/user/month (billed annually)
Factorial From $4.50/user/month
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How to Choose HR Software

HR software can solve many different challenges and improve numerous workflows. To help you figure out the best HR software for your needs, you need to pinpoint your key users and document their specific challenges first.

As you work through your own unique HR software selection process, keep the following points in mind:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the HR software feature gap you're trying to fill to clarify the features and functionality the HR software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who will use the software and how many licenses you'll need. You'll need to evaluate if it'll just be your senior HR professionals who need access or your entire department. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify your key priorities for your HR software power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as accounting, time-tracking, or payroll software. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with an all-in-one HR platform.
  • What outcomes are important - Determine the results that the software needs to deliver to be considered a success. Review the capabilities you want to gain or improve, and how you will measure success. For example, you may want to provide a more enriched employee experience through self-service abilities or improve employee engagement by offering team recognition capabilities. You could compare HR software features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve, you could waste a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the software selection alongside your existing workflows and systems. Evaluate what's working well, and any problem areas that need to be addressed.

Remember, every business is different — don’t assume that an HR software system will work for your organization just because it's popular.

Best HR Software Reviews

To help you find the best HR software for your needs, I’ve conducted a detailed assessment of each system in this list. Here are my top 10 recommendations for the best human resources software on the market today. I’ve also included 30 more options below for different use cases.

Best HR software for global teams

  • Free demo available
  • Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
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Rating: 4.8/5

Deel is a comprehensive HR platform that supports global teams of all sizes, from startups to enterprise organizations. Their HR tools allow you to hire employers or contractors in over 150 countries without needing to worry about local laws, complicated tax systems, or global payroll specifics.

Why I picked Deel: I included Deel because their HR software uses advanced automation to simplify your hiring and onboarding workflows, eliminating the stress many HR professionals feel when dealing with overwhelming legal regulations abroad. Instead, Deel helps you run compliant background checks, generate custom contracts aligned to local laws, acquire signatures, and collect all the necessary paperwork and tax forms.

Their global payroll functionalities also landed them a place on this list, since Deel runs payroll without involving local partner organizations. Instead, their in-house payroll experts work across time zones to eliminate handovers, monitor compliance, and provide faster service. Speaking of finances, Deel can also handle off-cycle payroll adjustments, and expense reimbursements as well.

Deel Standout Features & Integrations:

There are several unique features that make Deel stand out against others in this list. Their Deel Shield feature helps you avoid contractor misclassification issues, which could put your company at risk of legal liabilities and fines. Instead, Deel Shield offers 100% protection from contractor misclassification risks.

Another feature that adds a lot of value for growing global teams is Deel's global mobility support and immigration assistance. Managing international visa requirements is complicated at best, but Deel offers employer of record (EOR) support for obtaining US Green Cards and many other types of visas so you can avoid that stress yourself.

Integrations are available to help you import and export HR data between popular accounting and reporting software solutions such as Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Xero, Workday, and Workable. Deel also has an Open API solution that allows developers to build their own interfaces on top of the Deel platform too.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Advanced employer of record (EOR) services are also available
  • Covers up to $25,000 if a misclassification/legal case arises
  • You can pay employees in 150+ currencies, including crypto

Cons:

  • No free trial available
  • No mobile app available

Best for payroll management across niche industries

  • 90-day free trial + free demo available
  • From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee
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Rating: 4.1/5

Paycor is a human capital management (HCM) software designed for HR leaders, finance leaders, and payroll managers. Their software includes modules for core HR data, payroll, talent management, workforce management, employee experience, and benefits management.

Paycor makes payroll easy to set up and run, leveraging their own tax and compliance expertise to ease your company’s risk management pain points. Their payroll software solutions boast general ledger integration, an employee self-service portal, powerful reporting tools, and helpful HR resources like templates, law alerts, and how-to guides.

Why I picked Paycor: They are committed to tailoring their software to your business needs, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they've developed their software to meet the specific HR needs of key industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, restaurants, retail, professional services, education, and non-profits. Their software also scales well, allowing you to get going with their Basic plan and add more features when you're ready to expand.

Paycor Standout Features & Integrations:

The features in their Basic level plan are more advanced compared to other payroll providers, including features like on-demand pay, off-cycle pay runs, and worker opportunity tax credit tools. Typically, these features are only included in premium payroll plans. Of course, Paycor also covers the basics such as payroll and tax service, wage garnishments, online check stubs or check stuffing, and online tax reporting too.

In their higher service levels, Paycor goes beyond financial features to include onboarding tools, a time-off manager, compensation planning, talent management, and advanced analytics.

Integrations with over 200 apps are available through the Paycor Marketplace. Or, additional custom integrations can be configured using their API too.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good ability to customize reports
  • Unlimited payroll runs
  • Easy to use self-service portal

Cons:

  • Time tracking only available as an add-on
  • UX can feel a bit clunky at times

Best for casting a wider net for recruitment

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Greenhouse is a recruiting software and app that helps you gain a broader reach in your recruitment efforts and track candidates through every stage of the hiring process, including onboarding.

Why I picked Greenhouse: If you'd like to reach a wider audience for recruitment, this software can help you do that in a smart way. It allows you to post on over a thousand job boards, including both niche sites and major job marketplaces. You'll get personalized recommendations about where you should post your job listings based on both industry performance and historical data.

To effectively screen applicants, you can customize a scorecard that will help you evaluate people fairly and consistently. You can also set up anonymized screening to reduce unconscious bias in your recruitment process. The software has tracking tools to set and monitor your OKRs and KPIs related to hiring. You can also collect feedback from candidates on their recruitment experience.

Greenhouse Standout Features & Integrations

One of the standout features of this software is its mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. It hosts summaries of open jobs, stages, and candidates, and you can review and approve applications directly in the app. If you're conducting an interview on the go, you can rely on the in-app prep kits, which include job details, interview questions, and candidate scorecards. The app also gives you access to candidate profiles with an activity feed, their resume, and any other related attachments.

Integrations are available natively with 400+ software systems, including BambooHR, Bob, Calendly, Checkr, Deel, Gem, Google Meet, LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, Real Links, and many others. They also have an open API to support any other custom integrations you may need.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Customer onboarding included in all plans
  • Tools to mitigate unconscious bias
  • Full-functionality mobile app

Cons:

  • BI tools only included in top-tier paid plan
  • Lacks transparent pricing

Best for integrated IT management functions

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Rippling is a unique solution that combines HR and IT management by letting you manage your employees’ payroll, benefits, devices, and apps in one system. But don’t fret, they still do all the core HR basics: payroll & expense management, employee benefits enrollment, time & attendance, talent management, pulse surveys, onboarding & offboarding, and asset & inventory management. In addition, Rippling has a built-in applicant tracking system and learning management system as well.

Why I picked Rippling: Their software stands out because they built app and device management (basic IT) into their HR platform, which is appropriate for the modern, online, all-digital workforce. You can remotely manage and protect employees’ devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) as well as easily manage workforce apps like Google Workspace, Slack, and Office 365.

Rippling Standout Features & Integrations:

Rippling is an ideal system for companies with limited resources who still want to provide their employees with top-notch service as it saves time by automating many tasks that would otherwise take hours to complete manually. For example, it offers fully automated onboarding and offboarding processes, giving businesses an easy way to manage these traditionally paper-heavy processes. You can easily customize forms to match your company's brand, store documents securely in the cloud, and automatically sync data across multiple departments, so everyone is updated on new hires automatically.

Their reporting capabilities also allow you to analyze key metrics across all their integrated modules, including performance, employee satisfaction, employee engagement, or turnover rates. These reports can give you valuable insight into what’s working well within your organization, while also uncovering any areas for improvement.

Integrations are available with 1Password, Asana, DocuSign, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Workspace, LinkedIn, Microsoft 365, Netsuite, Sage Intacct, Slack, Typeform, QuickBooks, and many other popular software systems

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Helpful automations to streamline your onboarding process for new hires
  • Includes a very useful headcount planning tool
  • Automatically highlights possible data errors

Cons:

  • Some users have reported issues with non-Chrome browsers
  • Mobile app lacks some features that are available on the desktop and browser versions

Best for talent management covering the full employee lifecycle

  • Free demo available
  • From $60/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

ClearCompany is a cloud-based talent maximization platform that's designed to help HR teams support their staff across the full employee lifecycle. Their platform covers many features, including applicant tracking, employee onboarding, performance management, employee engagement, and related analytics.

Why I picked ClearCompany: What sets ClearCompany apart from other HR software systems is its focus on transparency and alignment. It's designed to help you create a clear, aligned workforce where everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the company's overall goals.

It achieves this alignment, in part, through its performance management module that includes advanced goal-planning tools. Using this module, you can set goals for your employees, track their progress, and provide feedback. It's a great way to keep your team motivated and focused on their objectives.

ClearCompany Standout Features & Integrations:

One of ClearCompany's standout features is its applicant tracking system, which offers you more than just a portal for posting job ads and collecting resumes. Instead, it uses powerful automation features to help you screen candidates, schedule interviews, and even conduct background checks. It's a huge time-saver and makes the entire recruitment process much more efficient. Plus, you can also load hired candidates into their onboarding feature as well, to make that transition quicker and easier for your HR staff.

Integrations are available with numerous skill assessment platforms, background-checking tools, payroll systems, and benefits providers. Key systems to note include ADP, BambooHR, Ceridian, Checkr, eSkill, LinkedIn Recruiter, Office 365, Okta, OneLogin, Paychex, Paylocity, Slack, UKG Pro, and others.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Includes employee engagement features to foster closer connections
  • Includes a system for tracking internal employee referrals
  • Includes public employee recognition tools such as milestone announcements and celebrations

Cons:

  • No integrated payroll capabilities
  • Pricing details are not transparent

Best for compliance and regulatory support

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request
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Rating: 4.2/5

Paychex Flex is a complete human resources software solution that offers a wide range of services, from payroll and benefits administration to hiring and onboarding, for businesses of all sizes. Paycheck Flex maintains a rigorously up-to-date database of federal, state, and local tax rates, as well as labor laws and regulations.

Why I picked Paychex Flex: Paychex Flex HR helps businesses stay up-to-date with ever-changing employment laws, regulations, and reporting requirements. The software provides tools and features that facilitate compliance with federal, state, and local regulations, including tax filing and reporting, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, and labor law compliance. This focus on compliance helps businesses mitigate legal risks and ensures HR processes align with relevant regulations.

Paycheck Flex HR software stands out by offering an exceptional level of compliance automation with real-time updates. Ensuring compliance with ever-changing labor laws, tax regulations, and employment standards can be a daunting task for HR teams. Paycheck Flex HR software maintains comprehensive compliance reports and audit trails. This includes detailed records of all payroll calculations, tax filings, and employee data changes.

Paychex Flex Standout Features & Integrations:

Features include their pay-on-demand feature, which provides employees with access to their earned wages ahead of the regular payday. This feature allows employees to request an advance on their earned wages for hours they have already worked but have not yet been paid for. The requested amount is deducted from their upcoming paycheck. Pay-on-Demand gives employees greater financial flexibility and can help them manage unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. 

Another standout feature is the Paychex learning management system. It offers a wide range of over 300 online training courses, which is a great way to help my employees develop important professional skills. The Paychex Learning Essentials feature includes options to track and view learner transcripts, schedule live trainings, and view courses from your mobile device. The Enhanced version of Paychex Learning additionally allows you to upload custom content to courses and includes interactive quizzes and tests.

Integrations include QuickBooks, Xero, ClockShark, TSheets, Aflac, UnitedHealthcare, Hubworks, Indeed, Jirav, Microsoft Azure AD, and Oracle.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Exceptional level of compliance automation
  • Built in learning management system
  • Pay-on-demand feature for paycheck advances

Cons:

  • Could use real time alerts for processing failures
  • Slight learning curve

Best for time-saving workflow automations and modular pricing

  • Free demo available
  • From $5/employee/month
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Rating: 4.8/5

GoCo is a flexible and modular employee management software with a wide variety of features to support HR professionals. Their list of modules includes new hire onboarding, benefits management, time & attendance tracking, a document management system, and tools for performance management. They are a popular choice across a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, information & technology, professional services, education and nonprofits.

Why I picked GoCo: While many HR systems are modular, GoCo takes things one step further in the flexible configuration of their software. Their team provides a white glove implementation service to help you configure their software exactly the way you want it, which is something not all SaaS vendors offer. For example, if you already have a payroll or recruiting system you're happy with, they'll work with you to sync them with GoCo. This is also reflected in their pricing structure, which is truly modular, so you can pick and choose the modules you actually need rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

GoCo Standout Features & Integrations:

Their software includes many helpful workflow automations to help HR teams automate and standardize common HR processes. For example, you can use GoCo to automate your onboarding checklist to create a memorable first day for your new employees while ensuring nothing important slips through the cracks. Their employee self-service option also allows staff to submit and track their own time-off requests and make changes to their benefits and dependents, which helps to reduce your HR team's workload while promoting employee accountability for maintaining their own personal details.

Integrations are available natively with 30+ popular software systems such as productivity tools and many payroll providers including ADP Workforce Now, Dominion Payroll, Gusto, Patriot, Paychex, Paylocity, Paycor, Sage HRMS, QuickBooks and others.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Integrated document management tools to make digital forms fillable & collect and track e-signatures
  • Includes modern performance management elements like 360-degree feedback
  • Staff can easily enroll and self-manage their own benefits through their benefits administration portal

Cons:

  • Built around US-specific tax, compliance, and labor regulations
  • No free trial available

Best for performance, comp, and engagement

  • Free demo available
  • From $4 to $11/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.7/5

Lattice is a versatile HR platform that supports employee performance, engagement, and compensation management. It provides HR departments with tools to help with performance reviews, goal setting, feedback exchanges, and 1-on-1 meetings.

Why I picked Lattice: I decided to add this platform to my list because of how it effectively combines performance, engagement, and compensation management in a single solution. Its continuous performance management approach allows for ongoing feedback and development discussions between managers and employees. Having compensation management in the same system as performance evaluations and goal tracking empowers data-driven pay decisions. Meanwhile, engagement surveys help HR teams understand and improve employee sentiments.

Lattice Standout Features and Integrations

Standout features include 360-degree feedback and real-time updates in the performance management module, which help foster a culture of continuous improvement. The platform's engagement surveys are customizable, enabling organizations to tailor questions to their specific needs and gain actionable insights.

The software's OKR and goal-setting features help align individual and team objectives with company goals. Lattice also offers detailed analytics and reporting tools, providing data-driven insights to inform HR strategies.

Integrations include ADP, BambooHR, Google Workspace, Humaans, Jira, Microsoft Suite, Okta, Rippling, Salesforce, Slack, UKG, Workday, and Zenefits, among others.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • User-friendly and intuitive interface
  • Customizable engagement surveys
  • Timely and effective customer support

Cons:

  • Linking individual to team goals can be tricky
  • Limited overview capabilities for 1:1 notes

Best for managing international payroll in 170+ countries

  • From $25/user/month (billed annually)
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Rating: 4.4/5

Remofirst is a cloud-based HR and payroll software that offers a complete suite of tools for benefits, compliance, and performance management. Remofirst is a portable system that is accessible from any internet-connected device.

Why I picked Remofirst: They offer additional Employer of Record (EOR) services on top of their software, making them an excellent choice for organizations who want to hire internationally but don't have a foreign entity in place. Thanks to the depth of their services, Remofirst can easily process payroll and tax information, ensuring compliance with labor laws in multiple countries. Users also gain access to their team of international experts and customer service support to resolve any issues promptly.

Remofirst Standout Features & Integrations:

Features include advanced employee time and attendance tracking (including hours worked, vacation days taken, and sick days used), and tools to help businesses manage their inventory, assign devices to users, track deployment progress, and manage the logistics of sending out equipment to employees.

Additionally, Remofirst includes a performance management system to set employee goals and objectives, track their progress over time, and identify areas where employees require additional training or development. On top of that, Remofirst also offers a comprehensive benefits administration system to manage employee health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.

New integrations are being added every quarter. They also offer a mobile app for employees for Android and iOS devices.

Remofirst Plans & Pricing:

Remofirst’s services cost from $199/employee/month. They also offer a $25/month plan if you only need to manage global contractors.

Best HR software for small businesses

  • 14-day free trial
  • From $4.50/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.5/5

Factorial is a super-affordable and comprehensive HR system that's well-suited for small businesses since it supports tasks spanning the full employee lifecycle within one platform.

Why I picked Factorial: Their HR software offers organizations a good return on their investment since it covers so many functions in one platform. Their system can handle paid time-off (PTO) tracking, time tracking, payroll management, document management, applicant tracking systems, employee onboarding & offboarding, goals & OKR tracking, and even performance reviews.

Factorial also offers an iOS and Android mobile app for employees. Within the mobile app, employees have access to self-service items like leave requests, the ability to check who's in/out of the office, birthday announcements, and staff anniversaries. To protect your data, they employ single sign-on (SSO), data encryption at rest (AES-256), and a security firewall.

Factorial Standout Features & Integrations:

Features include employee shift scheduling, time tracking, PTO tracking, documents & e-signatures, reporting & analytics, payroll & expense management, talent management tools (recruiting, onboarding, offboarding, and performance), and an integrated organizational chart (org chart).

Integrations are available with 15+ popular platforms including Desky, Gmail, G Suite, Indeed, Microsoft Outlook, Okta, PowerBI, Sage, Teamtailor, and Zapier.

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other related tools that we've tested and evaluated:

Selection Criteria for HR Software

Selecting HR software requires a deep understanding of how each functionality meets a specific use case, solves a common pain point, or improves operational efficiency. My approach to choosing the HR software for this list is grounded in my years of HR management experience and thorough research to ensure the recommendations I make are based on actual utility and performance. Here's a detailed look at the evaluation criteria I used to make my final picks.

Core HR Software Functionalities (25% of total score): To be considered for inclusion in my list of the best HR software, each solution had to offer the ability to fulfill some of these common use cases:

  • Core HR data management capabilities that centralize all your employee data
  • Integrated modules for easy digital data management
  • Some form of employee self-service module to reduce administrative requests
  • Customizable user roles and permissions to curate who can access your employee data

In this case, since HR software is a very broad category, determining the core functions was a little trickier than usual! However, I also intentionally included a broad set of tools in this list. As a result, each software system in this list is a top choice within its area of expertise and has something unique to offer.

Additional Standout Features (25% of total score): To help differentiate one HR software from another, I also keep a keen eye out for unique features that will ultimately make your day-to-day life easier, including the following:

  • Automation Tools: A major benefit of HR software is the automation of mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming administrative HR tasks. It may seem simple — and it is — but not all software is built that way. Therefore, I selected software where automations are front-and-center and customizable as needed.
  • Notifications: Notifications will help you ensure nothing important slips through the cracks. You can configure them to send automatically and they will save you time in the long run. Key notifications I always appreciated when using human resources software myself were reminders for overdue performance reviews or alerts for whenever an employee changed their personal info.
  • Advanced Analytics: You want a system that makes it easy to collect and interpret data from across different modules. Advanced analytics includes the ability to drill down and compare core metrics across sub-groups like departments, locations, or employee types.
  • Data Visualization Tools: While many systems offer at least basic analytics, many take it one step further, presenting your workforce data visually in charts, graphs, or visual dashboards that update in real-time as your data changes.
  • Templates: Whether it's job postings, offer letters, welcome packages, onboarding workflows, or employee handbooks, the HR software systems in this list offer numerous ready-to-use templates that you can customize as needed.
  • Mobile App Accessibility: Offering apps for Android and iOS mobile devices is important because it provides a better employee experience for your staff and administrators, allowing them to make updates from anywhere. Mobile accessibility is also important if your HR system involves your recruitment because 89% of active job seekers use their mobile devices to apply for new positions.

Usability (10% of total score): To assess each software system's usability, I examined the following features:

  • The design of their user interface, with a preference for simple navigation and menu designs that make information easily accessible.
  • Role-based access control features that are easy to set up, ensuring users only see the information they need.
  • Responsive designs that work across different operating systems, including mobile devices.
  • Self-service features for different types of users (employees, managers, administrators, power users, etc.) to ensure a positive user experience.

By offering ease of use for all types of users, you'll greatly improve your user adoption rates.

Onboarding (10% of total score): To get a sense of each software provider's customer onboarding process, I consider the following factors:

  • The availability of best practice guides to streamline the setup process.
  • Whether comprehensive training materials are available, including videos and interactive tutorials, to speed up internal training for new users.
  • Evaluating the availability of dedicated customer success managers or on-call customer support teams, including 24/7 help via chatbots.

Customer support (10% of total score): To evaluate the level of customer support each vendor provides, I consider the following factors:

  • Whether multiple support channels are available for assistance, including email, phone, and live chat.
  • Whether they offer a customer-facing knowledge base, FAQs, or other self-service tools to aid problem-solving.
  • Whether customer support is only available within specific time frames or zones, or 24/7 via chatbots.

Value for Price (10% of total score): To gauge the value of each software, I consider the following factors:

  • The availability of free trials or demo versions to do a test run on the software before purchasing.
  • The existence of transparent pricing models that clearly explain which features are included in each level.
  • Tiered pricing plans that cater to different business sizes, from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) up to enterprise-level organizations.

Customer Reviews (10% of total score): Evaluating customer reviews is the final element of my selection process. This helps me determine how well a product is performing with actual users in real HR scenarios. Here are the factors I consider:

  • Whether a product has consistently high ratings across multiple review platforms (if they do, this indicates a broad level of user satisfaction).
  • Whether any feedback specifically mentions issues with ease of use, customer support responsiveness, or lacking features.

This assessment framework helped me identify HR software systems that stand out against others in the market thanks to their innovative features, user-friendly design, effective support, and overall value.

As of 2024, the HR software landscape continues to evolve to meet the demands of modern workplace dynamics, changing organizational needs, and technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Here are the most important trends impacting the HR software space currently:

Most Rapidly Evolving Features

  • Increased Integration of AI and ML: AI and ML are being increasingly integrated into HR software for predictive analytics, automation of routine tasks, and personalized learning and development plans. By capitalizing on this technological advancement, HR teams can create more efficient processes and gain deeper insights into their workforce that were invisible to them previously.
  • Focus on Remote Work Management: With the rise of remote work, HR software is rapidly evolving to include features that support remote team management, such as virtual onboarding, remote performance tracking, and engagement tools. This trend underscores the ongoing shift in work patterns and the need for tools that support a dispersed workforce.
  • Comprehensive Employee Management: Features that offer a 360-degree view of employee management, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and offboarding, are in high demand. This trend reflects a growing preference for all-in-one systems that offer a holistic approach to managing the employee lifecycle.

Most Unique and Unusual Functionality

  • Virtual Reality (VR) for Training and Onboarding: Some HR software is beginning to incorporate VR to provide immersive training and onboarding experiences. This novel approach aims to enhance learning outcomes and engagement by simulating real-world scenarios. It also bridges the gap between user experiences for in-office and remote employees, ensuring a consistent training experience for all.
  • Blockchain Technology Integration: The initial buzz around blockchain technology's potential in HR has evolved into a more nuanced understanding of where it can truly add value. Here's how blockchain is being incorporated into HR software and the current state of this trend:
    • Managing Sensitive Employee Data: Blockchain's ability to provide secure, immutable records makes it ideal for managing sensitive employee data, such as personal identification, employment history, and credentials.
    • Credential Verification: One of the most promising uses of blockchain in HR is for the verification of candidate credentials, including education, certifications, and previous employment. This can significantly reduce the time and resources spent on background checks, while also minimizing the risk of fraudulent claims.

These trends are shaping the development of HR software, making it more efficient and capable of meeting the complex needs of modern organizations. If you’re interested in this topic, I also recommend reading our articles explaining how AI will impact human resources or how AI is being incorporated into recruiting software too.

What is HR Software?

Human resources (HR) software is a digital tool for managing employee-related activities, aimed at streamlining HR processes like hiring, payroll, performance management, and benefits administration. The purpose of HR software is to automate certain human resource tasks, improving efficiency and accuracy in managing employee-related processes.

Features HR Software

To help you ensure you're on the right track, I've outlined the most important HR features to consider when selecting a new HR software system:

  • Employee self-service abilities: This feature allows your employees to manage their personal information, which can significantly reduce the volume of simple administrative requests your HR staff regularly receive.
  • Payroll processing: This includes crucial tools to manage your payroll data, calculate taxes and deductions, run payroll, and complete direct deposits.
  • Recruiting & applicant tracking: This includes features to screen candidates, schedule interviews, and submit job offers, including an integrated onboarding workflow to reduce administrative burdens for new hires.
  • Analytics & reporting: You'll want to be able to run advanced reports on your HR data to uncover workforce trends, enhance strategic planning, and make better data-driven decisions.
  • Compliance monitoring: This covers features that minimize legal risks related to paying employees and monitoring employee work hours to ensure they comply with labor laws and employment standards.
  • Attendance & time-tracking: This covers tools that track the hours your employees work (including overtime), or whether they're absent from work. This can also include tools that allow your staff to swap shifts with other employees.
  • Leave management features: Separate from time-tracking and attendance, these are tools that track and manage paid time off (PTO) requests, or other types of leave requests.
  • Talent management capabilities: This covers a broad set of features to help you develop and upskill your workforce, including performance evaluations, learning management (such as an LMS), and internal training capabilities. Comprehensive systems may also offer features for succession planning too.
  • Employee lifecycle management: These features can help you recruit new employees, manage the hiring process, and facilitate the onboarding process for new hires. Many platforms also have tools to support offboarding departing employees.
  • Communication and collaboration tools: This includes features like in-app chat streams, tagging colleagues with @ mentions, individual task assignments, and file sharing.
  • Software integrations: Connecting natively with other software systems you're already using will improve your team's productivity and help you work more efficiently. Key integrations to look for include email providers, digital calendars, job boards, work platforms like Google Workspace, project management tools, and any other tools you're already using.

Keep in mind that these features will vary depending on the specific type of human resources software you're looking for. If you'd like more specialty suggestions, pop down to my list below for other types of specialty HR software instead.

Benefits of HR Software

HR software is designed to make your human resource functions more efficient. By investing in modern HR software, you can reduce administrative burdens, make better data-driven decisions, and uncover actionable insights to help you strategically manage your workforce more effectively.

By selecting the best HR software for your needs, you can expect to gain the following benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency: By automating routine tasks, HR software significantly reduces the time and effort required for administrative processes, giving your HR professionals more time to focus on other strategic tasks, such as talent management and employee engagement.
  • Streamlined Data Management: HR software provides a centralized database for all employee information, making data management more secure and accessible. This centralized system ensures that employee records are kept up-to-date and can be accessed or updated by authorized personnel only, reducing the risk of data discrepancies and loss.
  • Improved Compliance: HR software simplifies the process of keeping up with changing labor laws and regulations thanks to regular software updates. This helps organizations avoid potential legal issues by ensuring that their HR practices remain in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Thanks to built-in analytics and reporting tools, HR software offers insights into workforce trends and other HR metrics. These insights enable managers and HR professionals to make informed decisions regarding workforce management, talent acquisition, and retention strategies, ultimately leading to better organizational planning and performance.
  • Enhanced Employee Experience: Most HR software offers employee self-service portals that empower employees to manage their personal information, submit time-off requests, and access their payroll and benefits information online. This level of autonomy improves the overall employee experience, leading to higher engagement and satisfaction levels.

By streamlining administrative tasks, improving data management and compliance, enabling informed decision-making, and enhancing the employee experience, HR software represents a valuable investment for businesses aiming to optimize their HR functions and drive organizational success.

Costs & Pricing for HR Software

Something to look out for in any HR software solution is fair, transparent, and scalable pricing. Most providers offer various pricing tiers to cater to the needs of small businesses and startups, midsize businesses, and enterprise businesses.

You can expect to pay a monthly per-user fee for HR software under a SaaS (software-as-a-service) contract agreement. In general, the price range for HR software systems is between $5 to $60 per user, per month.

Plan Comparison Table for HR Software

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features Included
Free$0Basic employee management, time-tracking, limited reporting, and access for a limited number of users
Basic$2 - $8 per user/monthEmployee self-service, leave management, basic reporting, and payroll abilities or integration
Professional$8 - $15 per user/monthPerformance management, benefits management, advanced reporting, and enhanced security features
EnterpriseCustom PricingCustom integrations, full-suite HR management, dedicated support, advanced analytics and reporting
A breakdown of HR software plans and pricing details depending on the level of features required.

I always strive to choose software with transparent pricing models. However, sometimes those details are only available upon request due to the modular nature of their system. You can often still get a clear understanding of their different plan levels and the features that are included in each by visiting their websites.

If cost is your biggest factor, this article digs into the costs of HR software and how you can decide what's best for your company.

If you only have a small number of employees, you can likely get started with a free or basic plan initially. However, there are several reasons why you may want to opt for a more advanced plan, including:

  • Employee Count Increase: Many basic plans have limitations on the number of employees you can manage. As your employee headcount grows, you'll need to scale up to a plan that can accommodate more users and offer more extensive features and better scalability.
  • Multiple Locations: If your organization has multiple locations, or is poised for future expansion, a basic plan won't suit your needs for long. Advanced HR software typically offers multi-location support to make this process easier.
  • Automation of Processes: Basic plans generally don't include automation tools. However, advanced HR software can automate repetitive tasks such as onboarding, offboarding, performance reviews, and time-off requests, freeing your HR staff up to focus on other strategic initiatives.
  • Data Analytics and Reporting: Upgraded plans often include advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, providing insights into workforce trends, employee performance, and other key metrics.
  • Tailored Solutions: If you want a solution that's tailored to your specific needs, you'll need to scale up to an advanced software plan. Higher-priced plans offer greater customization capabilities to accommodate industry-specific requirements or unique organizational structures.

By upgrading to a more advanced HR software plan, companies can better manage their growing workforce, streamline HR processes, enhance employee experience, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, ultimately contributing to overall organizational efficiency and success.

New & Noteworthy Product Updates

Below, I've summarized the most recent release notes and product updates for my top HR software recommendations. Discover what’s now possible through new feature releases, improvements, and updates for web, desktop, and mobile apps. Learn what’s new, if it’s hot—or not, and why it matters for core HR functions.

March 2024: HR Software Updates

Greenhouse Update Notes

This latest update from Greenhouse helps recruiters communicate with candidates faster through automated campaigns.

On March 29, 2024, Greenhouse launched a Campaign Creation Tool that allows recruiters to proactively prepare initial drafts of candidate communication events in advance, aiming to speed up recruitment activities.

The Campaign Creation Tool accelerates candidate outreach, helping recruiters engage with top talent rapidly. This update boosts user productivity and helps streamline hiring workflows, allowing teams to process higher volumes of candidates at scale.

Verdict: Hot! This new feature will help Greenhouse users speed through candidate communications without sacrificing the quality of their messaging.

Arcoro Update Notes

Arcoro's new integration with BuildOps helps teams build better onboarding workflows with less need for manual data entry.

On March 13, 2024, Arcoro announced a strategic partnership with BuildOps to enhance HR functionalities for commercial contractors. This collaboration integrates Arcoro's robust Onboarding system with BuildOps' operational software through an Open API, ensuring that new hire data is synchronized between systems.

This update automates HR tasks, reduces errors in data entry, and streamlines operations. The integration offers significant benefits by improving operational efficiency and compliance in HR processes, reducing overhead, and minimizing errors in employee data management.

Verdict: Hot! This new integration will make onboarding processes more efficient, saving HR teams time and effort.

Deel Update Notes

Deel offers integrations with many international payroll systems, including the freshly acquired PaySpace, and others.

On March 4, 2024, Deel announced its largest acquisition yet—PaySpace, a cloud-based payroll and HR platform from Africa that serves over 14,000 customers in 44 countries. This acquisition is part of Deel's strategic move to strengthen its service offerings across various international markets, helping Deel facilitate smoother operations for global companies.

The acquisition not only expands Deel's geographical footprint, but also enhances its product stack, allowing the company to offer more comprehensive and integrated HR services. This strategic move is expected to bring significant benefits to Deel's existing and new clients by providing a more robust platform capable of managing diverse workforce needs efficiently.

Verdict: Hot! This acquisition gives Deel direct control of legal entities and local teams of legal and HR payroll experts across more countries, expanding their coverage.

February 2024: HR Software Updates

ClearCompany Update Notes

ClearCompany now offers a native payroll integration with UKG Ready and Paylocity, as of February 2024.

On February 22, 2024, ClearCompany launched new payroll integrations with UKG Ready and Paylocity, extending the reach of their talent management platform. These integrations sync employee data automatically between ClearCompany's system and the payroll providers, enabling bidirectional data exchanges and ensuring accurate and up-to-date data in both paired systems.

For existing ClearCompany users, these new integrations reduce manual efforts, such as updating changes to employee data in multiple systems, giving HR teams more time to focus on strategic talent management instead of data management.

Verdict: Not hot. While new integrations are always appreciated, this is just one new payroll integration out of many others that could be added.

Rippling Update Notes

Rippling has released new features to ensure compliance with Australian regulatory requirements.

On February 12, 2024, Rippling established a new headquarters in Sydney to expand into the Asia-Pacific market, supporting growth and local business needs through its integrated platform.

To support its expansion into this new market, Rippling enhanced its features to match the Australian regulatory framework, ensuring compliance with local HR standards like Modern Awards (a document that states the minimum entitlements Australian employees receive) and superannuation (workplace pensions, and other tax-related aspects specific to Australia).

For Rippling's users, this expansion into the APAC region provides localized support and services and signifies their commitment to catering to global business needs.

Verdict: Hot for Australian-based businesses! With this update, Australian companies will find it easier to achieve compliance while benefiting from a local support team.

Paycor Update Notes

Paycor users can now analyze key employment metrics against industry benchmarks for compensation and other factors.

On February 6, 2024, Paycor announced the launch of two innovative tools: Pay Benchmarking and Labor Forecasting. These tools are designed to aid HR and business leaders in making more informed decisions around compensation and workforce planning.

Pay Benchmarking helps leaders base compensation decisions on up-to-date market data and industry standards, ensuring fair and competitive pay rates. As part of this update, Paycor regularly refreshes salary data for approximately 10 million jobs across the US, with data acquired through a partnership with Visier. In addition, the new Labor Forecasting tool helps businesses create optimal staffing schedules that align with anticipated business demands, improving operational efficiency and customer service.

By incorporating these tools, businesses can achieve pay equity, and optimize labor management, which are both critical to maintaining a competitive edge in today's dynamic market environment.

Verdict: Hot! These new additions to Paycor's software will help leaders arm themselves with information and make better decisions as a result.

Paychex Flex Update Notes

Paychex Flex's latest product, HR Analytics Premium, helps teams analyze workforce distribution, cost, turnover, retention, pay, and more.

In February 2024, Paychex Flex introduced a new product to supplement their payroll software called HR Analytics Premium to help teams transform their HR data into actionable insights. This new product feature specifically provides guided analysis on workforce distribution and costs, turnover, retention, and pay.

This new product is designed to assist HR professionals with data-driven decision-making, providing users with a deeper understanding of their workforce dynamics. As a result, users will gain the knowledge needed to optimize their HR operations while staying competitive in the market. (Note that compensation benchmarking data will be introduced later in 2024.)

Verdict: Hot! While this product doesn't directly impact payroll processing, gaining the ability to analyze key metrics, including payroll costs, is always a good thing.

Factorial HR Update Notes

In February 2024, Factorial released numerous updates, including a new feature that allows administrators to set up Blocked Periods for time off based on specific company needs. Administrators can apply these restrictions to the entire company, specific groups, or individual employees as needed.

Enabling Blocked Periods is valuable for organizations as it ensures that staff availability aligns with operational requirements, especially during peak business periods or specific project phases. This functionality also promotes fairness and transparency in leave management, as all employees have clear visibility of blackout dates through the company's calendar, improving overall planning and coordination.

Verdict: Hot! This new feature helps improve workforce management and transparency around organizational needs during peak business times.

January 2024: HR Software Updates

Trinet Update Notes

Trinet PEO clients can now pay US-based independent contractors through a new Contractor Payments module.

In January 2024, Trinet announced a new Contractor Payments feature for Trinet PEO clients, making it possible to process payments for independent contractors. As part of this update, clients can also onboard independent contractors, store their tax documents, set payment schedules, and generate Form 1099-NECs through this new module.

Specifically, the update introduces an optimized workflow for initiating, tracking, and processing payments for independent contractors. It includes a more intuitive user interface that simplifies navigation and makes it easier to access essential functions like payment status tracking and contractor information updates. Furthermore, it integrates additional payment methods and currencies to cater to a global workforce.

This enhancement significantly adds value to users by reducing the time and effort required to manage contractor payments. It improves accuracy and compliance with financial regulations, and the expanded payment options make it more convenient for users to handle international transactions. This update ensures a more efficient, flexible, and streamlined payment process, supporting better management of a diverse and global team of contractors.

Verdict: Not hot. While this is a good feature, the scope is also narrow — paying US-based contractors — which won't be useful for all businesses.

Types of HR Software

HR software is quite a broad category. Here are a few examples of other types of HR platforms that cover specific functions or niches within your HR department:

These HR software sub-types are aimed at specific users or functions:

Recruiting Tools

These are the most popular types of recruiting software for sourcing and screening candidates, integrating more diverse candidates, dealing with large volumes of applications, and conducting video interviews:

Employee Performance

Performance management software will help your staff to reach their full potential and add much-needed structure to their long-term development plans:

Employee Engagement

If you're looking for ways to motivate and celebrate your staff, employee engagement and recognition software is what you need:

Scheduling & Time Tracking

Scheduling and time-tracking software are essential tools for any hourly-based workforce. These tools will help you create shift schedules and track time off requests with ease:

Payroll & Accounting Solutions

Here are my lists of the payroll software and companies out there, plus my top choices for expense reporting:

Benefits Management & Compensation 

Employees care fiercely about their benefits, so you should always handle these with care. The tools in these lists will simplify the enrolment and management process for you and help you offer non-monetary perks as well:

Resource Management Software

If you're looking for software to help you manage your resources — including your human resources, and physical resources like inventory and equipment — these types of resource management software may be a better fit:

HR Software: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about HR software and how it can help you streamline your business processes.

What HR software is best for startups?

For startups, choosing HR software that is scalable, user-friendly, and cost-effective is crucial. Startups should look for platforms offering essential HR functionalities like recruitment, onboarding, payroll management, and performance tracking, combined with excellent customer support.

Options that provide flexibility, like modular services or pay-as-you-grow pricing models, are particularly beneficial as they allow the software to grow with the company. Many startups prefer cloud-based solutions for their ease of access and lower upfront costs.

Our list of the best HR software for small businesses is also a good place to start.

How can I tell which HR software is right for my business?

You’re in luck, because assessing HR software is one of our specialties at People Managing People! Follow this easy five-step process to get started on your buyers journey to finding the best HR software for your business:

  1. Identify your needs: Ask yourself: What challenges or obstacles is your HR team currently facing? What are your most time-consuming processes you wish to improve? What software are you already using, and what features are missing that you need?
  2. Research vendors: This is where we can save you A LOT of time! We already have specialty HR software lists for many different types of HR software niches, so definitely start here. Ask yourself: Does this software integrate with the tools I’m already using? Does this software include my whole wish list of features? Does this software have positive consumer reviews?
  3. Make a shortlist: Make a shortlist of the software that looks good to you, and share it with your other team members to get their input. Remember, each person in your team will likely have a different wish list of features that relates to their own role, so it’s important to gather input from as many members of your HR team as you can.
  4. Test drive a free trial: This is a very important step, as a free trial will give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to use a software system. Also, a free trial is better than a free demo. Always remember that a person giving you a demo is already an expert at using the software. Therefore, with them controlling the keyboard and mouse, everything will look fast and easy. That’s because they have done these actions hundreds of times! Instead, you should do your own test drive, to see how it would really work for your unique business situation.
  5. Implement and onboard: If the free trial goes well and addresses the HR needs you identified in step one, then it’s time to jump in. Take advantage of any onboarding and training opportunities offered by the software vendor too, so you can get your team up and running quickly.

If you’d like more information, take a look at our additional tips for how to choose HR software too.

How do HR platforms manage data security?

While each HR software system is different, the need to protect sensitive employee data while in transit and at rest applies to every system. HR software developers ensure data security and compliance, using the following methods:

  • Regular security audits
  • Compliance with international standards like GDPR and ISO/IEC 27001
  • Detailed access controls to prevent unauthorized access
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Single sign-on

It’s important for businesses to review each provider’s security credentials and compliance certifications. This article offers more details into data management best practices if you’re interested in learning more.

What are the average implementation times for HR software?

Implementation times for HR software vary widely depending on the complexity of the software and the size of the organization. On average, simple systems can be set up in a few weeks, while more comprehensive solutions may take several months to fully implement. The key factors affecting this timeline include the scope of the project, data migration needs, customization requirements, and the readiness of the organization’s infrastructure and staff.

To gain a better sense of your own implementation needs, have a read through this article on software implementation and how to tell if you’re ready for new HR technology.

What is the typical HR software selection process?

Sure, you might already be totally convinced that you need more powerful HR software in your tech stack. But, what about the rest of your team, your HR staff, or your boss?

Unless you have purchasing power for your organization, you may need a little help convincing your organization to invest in better HR software. But don’t sweat it, we are pros at that too!

Here’s the nine-step process I recommend following when selecting any new software:

  1. Brainstorm your business needs and vision
  2. Identify your current pain points
  3. Document your current process steps
  4. Define measures of success (ROI – Return On Investment)
  5. Get initial buy-in and approval
  6. Gather any IT or other requirements
  7. Contact vendors
  8. Build a business case and get approval
  9. Make a decision

Read our recommendations for how to make a business case for HR software for a more detailed description for each of these steps.

What is an HR database used for?

An HR database is used by an HR team to store employee records. They’re intended to act as a single source of all employee data, which can be integrated into other systems like payroll software, performance management, and talent management systems. They help to keep your employee information organized and easily accessible since most HR databases are cloud-based.

HR professionals involved in the recruitment process can also benefit from investing in a recruiting database too. While a recruiting database may be a standalone piece of software, a better option is to find a recruiting database solution that is a module within your HR software. In that case, it’s really easy to link hired candidates into your employee onboarding workflows once you’re ready to start collecting their personal information.

Are there different types of HR databases?

Yes, you bet! The three main types of HR database software are:

Essentially, they are all synonyms for different levels of HR software. The main difference is in the volume of features they include. Typically, HRIS software is the most affordable and covers only core HR functions. HCM software is usually mid-range in features and price, with HRMS systems found at the top of the scale, often with enterprise-level features and pricing upon request.

What's the best HR software for Canadian businesses?

If you’re based in Canada, it makes sense to put your trust in a Canadian-made solution that addresses your country-specific needs, such as Canadian labor and compliance laws. Luckily, I’ve already created a list specifically for this purpose.

Here’s my list of the best Canadian HR software built by Canadian organizations, for Canadian organizations. And, if you’re shopping specifically for a payroll solution, I’ve created a list of the best Canadian payroll software as well.

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Kim Behnke
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, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.