There are so many different HRIS systems so making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to deal with employee data and HR processes in an all-in-one platform and need the right tool for your business and team. In this post, I share from my personal experience as a HR and recruitment specialist using many different HRIS tools, and share my picks of the best HRIS systems overall.
What is an HRIS system?
An HRIS (or human resources information system) is a type of HR software that organizes your employee data. The main purpose is to integrate core HR functions into one interconnected piece of software. Key features include centralized employee data management, payroll processing, benefits administration, attendance tracking, recruitment, performance evaluation, and self-service portals.
Deel is a global HRIS solution for international teams. It eliminates borders from your talent pool, supporting over 150 countries where you can hire, manage, and pay any contractor or employee.
Why I picked Deel: Their HRIS platform gives you a comprehensive overview of benefits, perks, and salary expenses. You can compare different country costs and see what benefits and withholdings are required. You can set up employees with local health insurance, pension plans, or stipends. Payroll deductions and withholdings are automatically calculated, allowing you to simply schedule a mass payment in one click.
For employees, Deel works as the employer of record, handling full payroll and benefits so you don’t need to open up a foreign entity. Deel’s full-featured user interface gives you features such as contract management, expense reimbursements, and off-cycle adjustments. Their automated onboarding is a great time saver, and the analytics are helpful in keeping track of your HR data.
For contractors, Deel helps you avoid contractor misclassification with legal-reviewed contracts and provides multiple withdrawal options. The platform provides a polished and consistent payment experience, using major payment providers like Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and Revolut to offer withdrawals in the currency of the contractor’s choice, including cryptocurrency.
Deel Standout Features and Integrations:
Compared to other HRIS offerings, Deel stands out with global payroll, global mobility support, integrated Slack tools, and advanced integrations. Their global mobility service helps companies with visa sponsorship, allowing them to bring in candidates from abroad. The Slack plugins can be used to create an accessible organizational chart, provide self-service PTO management, and even track applicant referrals. They also provide 24/7 client support and live chat. Deel is also fully compliant with SOC2 and ISO 27001 security standards.
Integrations are available with major HR, ATS, and accounting platforms, including Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Xero, Workday, and Workable. In addition, Deel's Open API solution allows developers to build their own connections with the Deel platform as needed.
Papaya Global is an online HRIS system that helps companies remove barriers to global hiring. Papaya Global's automated, SaaS platform provides an end-to-end global workforce management solution covering everything from onboarding to cross-border payments in 160+ countries.
Why I picked Papaya Global: Their platform supports all employee options (payroll, EoR, contractors), integrates with all management tools, and uses smart technology to ensure compliance and eliminate errors. It creates a highly visible system for tracking payroll spending and real-time business intelligence (BI). Papaya Global can help any company simplify global people management. Enterprises can access Papaya’s state-of-the-art automation, security, and BI without replacing their existing payroll system.
Papaya Global Standout Features and Integrations:
Features that make Papaya stand out from other HRIS software in this list are definitely their advanced payroll functionalities. They've created a proprietary payment network that gives you control over when payments arrive in the bank accounts of your international employees, not just when payments should send.
They also have an AI-driven account funding feature that can simulate your payroll payments in advance, so you can keep a proactive eye on your company's cash flow. Plus, since their payments don't go through a third party, you can make full-value transfers with no hidden fees.
Integrations include most financial tools, and HR software like BambooHR, Expensify, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Namely, NetSuite, SAP SuccessFactors, and Workday. An API is also available to support additional custom integrations.
Remofirst is an HRIS platform that specializes in managing global teams. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools including global employer of record services, international payroll and invoice management, benefits management, and compliance support. This makes it an ideal solution for businesses seeking to hire and manage employees across different countries.
Why I picked Remofirst: I selected it due to its comprehensive feature set that caters to the needs of modern, global businesses. It offers functionalities such as employee self-service, payroll entry, and expense reimbursement, which are essential for efficient HR management. What sets Remofirst apart is its focus on global payroll and compliance.
The platform is recognized for its user-friendly onboarding process, personalized customer support, competitive pricing, and transparency. It is trusted by a wide range of companies, from startups to Fortune 500 corporations, and is a reliable choice for businesses aiming to expand their workforce globally.
Remofirst Standout Features & Integrations
Features include the deployment of international benefits to your team. The platform makes it easy for you to setup payroll and benefits in one go. These can include premium health insurance, equipment, and financial benefits. I also like that a dedicated team of legal experts and HR professionals takes care of compliance matters. They meticulously arrange everything in accordance with the local laws applicable to each employee and stay updated on regulations to ensure non-compliance is avoided.
Integrations are not available.
Paycor is a comprehensive HRIS (Human Resources Information System). It's a cloud-based platform that offers solutions for managing and optimizing the employee lifecycle. From recruitment and onboarding to benefits administration, payroll, and time tracking, Paycor has got it all covered. It's designed for small to medium-sized businesses, but I've found it to be pretty scalable, so it could work for larger organizations too.
Why I picked Paycor: Paycor is user-friendly and has a wide range of features. It's got a clean, intuitive interface that's easy to navigate, even if you're not particularly tech-savvy. Plus, it offers plenty of features that make managing HR tasks a whole lot easier.
With Paycor, you can post job openings, track applicants, and even onboard new hires, all from the same platform. The payroll system is also easy to use. And it includes tax filing, which is a huge time-saver.
Paycor Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include its pay-on-demand feature, which allows employees to access their earned wages before their next official payday. It's also convenient that expense management, scheduling and time tracking, and employee experience monitoring are all also available in the platform.
Integrations include several other tools for wage and salary verification, expense management, employee wellness, certified payroll, and FMLA. Key software systems to note include Certify, ESR, Payfactors, and WageWorks.
Rippling is an online HRIS system with features like payroll, time and attendance, learning management, benefits, talent management, PEO, pulse surveys, and workforce analytics. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.
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 and Integrations:
With robust data collection and custom field capabilities, companies can collect and store any employee information within Rippling. HR teams can then use the data across Rippling to automate access to apps and create policy rules (PTO, overtime, benefits), and more. Rippling can also reflect any organization’s approval processes with advanced approval chains for hiring, terminations, and salary changes.
Rippling’s role-based permission system allows you to automatically give other people—like managers and junior admins—access to specific Rippling services, as well as customers’ third-party apps, based on their department or level. Users can also precisely control what information they can view and change in Rippling—from salary to SSN to device OS. Smart rules allow admins to automatically provision new accounts and policies when employees get promoted or change departments.
Rippling integrates with 500+ apps so instead of entering and managing employee data in 500+ systems, users can enter data in Rippling once and see it updated everywhere. Key integrations include 1Password, Asana, Atlassian, BrightHire, Checkr, Databricks, DocuSign, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Workspace, LinkedIn, Microsoft 365, Netsuite, QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, Slack, Typeform, Zendesk, Zoom, Upwork, and hundreds more.
Sapling, which recently joined forces with Kallidus, is a people operations platform best suited for mid-sized businesses with distributed international offices. The tool can automate workflows for onboarding, offboarding, and using people data across existing systems.
Why I picked Kallidus Sapling: I really appreciate the ability to create auto-assigned workflows and alerts, which can be customized for different locations, departments, or employee types. For example, you can build automated workflows for recruitment and onboarding, and automatically assign people workflows based on location, department, and employment status. This is a useful feature for companies with distributed teams as it helps HR managers regulate processes across all work locations and departments.
Kallidus Sapling Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features to improve your employee experience include colour-coded org charts by location, department, or custom groups, an employee directory, and customizable employee profiles to help reflect your company culture and core values. HR teams will appreciate the system’s ability to track job-related data such as promotions, salary adjustments, relocations and other historical changes. The system also supports paid time-off (PTO) tracking, including customizable PTO policies for different groups.
Your HR team members can easily store and manage people data and create color-coded org charts to visualize different departments or teams. End-users can also create individual profiles with customized prompts to support your company culture. Their system also comes with pre-built reports to analyze any type of data stored in the system.
Integrations are available with 40+ software systems, including applicant tracking systems, payroll software, time tracking software, and more. The tool also has an API and webhooks available for further integration options.
Paychex Flex is a comprehensive payroll and HR solution that caters to businesses of all sizes, with over 730,000 businesses utilizing its services. The platform offers a range of features including payroll processing, tax payment automation, HR and benefits integration, employee management, and dedicated HR support.
Why I Picked Paychex Flex: Paychex Flex allows businesses to create customized workforce management solutions. This is particularly useful for companies with hybrid work environments, where employees work both in-office and remotely. The system can accommodate complex scheduling needs, optimizing employee time and ensuring seamless coordination between on-site and remote workers. This flexibility in managing diverse work setups is a unique feature not commonly found in other payroll and HR solutions.
Paychex Flex provides businesses with access to a team of compliance experts who stay up-to-date with the latest labor laws and tax regulations. This specialized support ensures that businesses remain compliant with federal, state, and local regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues and penalties. The system also offers real-time compliance alerts and updates, allowing businesses to adapt swiftly to changing regulations, a feature that gives Paychex Flex a distinct edge in the market.
Paychex Flex Standout Features and Integrations:
Features include integrated financial wellness programs for employees. These programs include resources for financial planning, budgeting, and investment guidance. By providing employees with tools to manage their finances effectively, businesses can contribute to their employees' overall well-being and job satisfaction. This feature is unusual in the payroll and HR industry and showcases Paychex Flex's commitment to not only streamline HR processes but also to enhance the overall quality of work life for employees.
Integrations are available with 300+ commonly used applications, including BambooHR, Epicor, Infor, JazzHR, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP, and many others. Plus, Paychex Flex has an API to support any custom software integrations you may need.
Trinet's cloud-based HRIS software is designed to support your core HR needs including payroll processing, time and attendance tracking, benefits enrollment, and workforce analytics operations. Businesses of various sizes can benefit from bringing their HR operations into a single platform. If needed, you can also use Trinet for additional customer support and HR consulting services too.
Why I picked Trinet: In addition to their software, Trinet also offers additional guidance on HR-related issues such as compliance and risk management. This is a very valuable service, especially for smaller organizations with no in-house legal expertise. Instead, you can use Trinet to protect your organization from employer liabilities like wrongful termination lawsuits, discrimination and harassment claims, and unlawful retaliation.
Trinet Standout Features and Integrations:
Trinet's payroll capabilities include handling complex payroll regulations in several countries, making it a suitable choice for globally operating companies. Tax withholdings and employee benefits can also be managed through the system. One of the software's unique features is its compensation benchmarking database, which provides salary data on over 15,000 job titles and 225 industries.
Employee goals can be set and tracked through the software, and connected with broader business objectives. Managers and employees can use the system to document ongoing feedback exchanges and performance discussions. When annual reviews come around, this information can be used and managers can either select from the system's existing performance review templates or create their own structure.
Integrations are available with BambooHR, Carta, Greenhouse Software, Lattice, Oracle NetSuite, QuickBooks, Sage Intacct, and Xero.
Insperity's HR software was designed to help small to midsize businesses streamline their HR processes, automate administrative tasks, and provide access to HR experts and resources. While their software is technically a human capital management (HCM) system, it includes all the features you'd expect in an HRIS, and more.
Why I picked Insperity: I included Insperity in this list because, in addition to their HR software, they're also an HR service provider. The company offers consulting to support you with implementing and making the most out of their software platform. Plus, their platform can facilitate a wide range of HR functions, including hiring, onboarding, talent management, payroll processing, and benefits administration.
Insperity Standout Features and Integrations:
Employees can input their personal information and keep it up-to-date through their self-serve portal to the system. This portal can also be used to access paystubs and tax documents. The software can also store important employer documents like an employee handbook and policies, serving as a source of truth for all staff members. Employee training and performance management can also be facilitated through the platform, keeping a documented history of employee development and goals achievement.
Integrations are available with various third-party applications, such as QuickBooks, Salesforce, and ADP. Insperity also has a public API and API dashboard that can be used to configure custom integrations with your existing tech stack.
Justworks is a user-friendly and comprehensive HR software that simplifies employee data management for businesses. It can serve as a centralized platform for HR professionals to store, organize, and manage employee information efficiently, and provides access to a 24/7 HR expert support team.
Why I picked Justworks: I included Justworks in this list because they offer more than just software. If you need it, you can also lean on them for their more advanced HR offerings such as their professional employer organization (PEO) service, payroll service, or compliance monitoring support, which are all included in their Basic plan. Their customer support team is also available to you 24/7 by phone, email, chat, Slack, or SMS too.
Justworks Standout Features and Integrations:
Justworks' self-service portal empowers employees to take control of their data—they can update personal information, access pay stubs and tax forms, and enroll in benefits, all of which reduce the administrative burden on HR professionals. The platform also provides a centralized repository for storing and sharing important files, such as employment contracts, performance reviews, and training materials. This feature eliminates the need for physical paperwork and ensures data security.
HR experts can extract valuable insights from employee data with reporting and analytics capabilities. The platform provides pre-built reports and customizable dashboards, enabling HR professionals to monitor trends, track key metrics, and make data-driven decisions. And by leveraging the 24/7 support team, admins can maximize the value they get out of the platform with expert guidance for building the perfect reporting dashboard.
Integrations include QuickBooks, Greenhouse, Xero, Slack, Vanguard, Fidelity, Citi Bike, and E-Verify.
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Best all-in-one HRIS for international teams
Free demo available
|Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people||Website|
Best automated SaaS HRIS for paying a global workforce
Free trial available
|EOR from $650/employee/month or $2/contractor/month; Global payroll from $3 to $12/employee/month||Website|
Best HRIS for global payroll and compliance
Free demo available
|From $199/employee/month for EOR and $25/mo for contractors||Website|
Best comprehensive, user-friendly payroll and HR solution
90-day free trial + free demo available
|From $5/employee/month + $99/month base fee||Website|
Best online HRIS for third-party integrations, for USA and Canada-based companies
Free demo available
|From $8/user/month (EOR pricing upon request)||Website|
Best HRIS for a distributed workforce
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best HRIS for remote-friendly HR tools
Free demo available
|From $39/month + $5/employee/month||Website|
Best HRIS system for extra customer support and HR consulting services
Free demo available
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best HRIS with payroll, benefits, and performance management
|Pricing upon request||Website|
Best HRIS with 24/7 HR expert support
Free demo available
Other HRIS Software Options
Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best HRIS systems list. If you need additional suggestions for managing your HR tasks, check these out:
Best HRIS for construction companies
Best HRIS system for easy customized onboarding
Best HRIS system for benefits management and group insurance
Best HRIS system for employee engagement
- Built For Teams
Best HRIS for ease of use & quick onboarding
Best HR tool for creating custom HR processes and workflows
Best HRIS for a user-friendly hiring and onboarding pipeline
Best HRIS software for performance & people analytics
Best HRIS system for small businesses
Best for a mobile-first employee management solution
- Sage HR
Best HRIS for its employee lifecycle supporting features and mobile capabilities
Best HRIS tool for employee scheduling & time/clock records
- Cezanne HR
Best HR software for UK-based global organizations
- Oyster HR
Best HRIS platform for international recruiting and payroll management
Best HRIS platform for payroll & benefits integration
Best HRIS for startups & small teams
Best HRIS for a user-friendly employee experience
Best HRIS with employee scheduling tools
Best HRIS with applicant tracking
- Zoho People
Best HRIS for those already using the Zoho software suite
Best payroll & HR system for small businesses
- SAP SuccessFactors
Best employee experience platform for enterprise-level organizations
Best free multilingual HR platform
- CommonOffice HRIS
Best HRIS customer portal for employee self-service
- HRMS Labs
Best HRIS system with configurable payslip items
Best careers site & job board solutions
- UKG Pro
Best HRIS software for learning management and high-volume recruiting
- Collage HR
Best for automating your HR processes
Selection Criteria for Human Resource Information Systems
Curious how I created this list? I'm happy to explain my process.
To start with, I reviewed recent HRIS market data to create a long list of popular HRIS systems. Next, I dug into each system using the selection criteria below to further hone my selections and assess the depth of their key features.
I also drew on my years of personal experience using HRIS software on a daily basis to pinpoint the features that will save you time and make your HR processes more efficient.
Here's a summary of the main evaluation and selection criteria I used to create this top 10 list of the best HRIS solutions. If you're considering an HR system that's not on my list, I recommend using these criteria in your own evaluation process too.
Core HR Features
Aside from the obvious management of employee records, I looked for HR platforms that offered a wide range of core HR features. With more key functions rolled into one system, you'll get a better return on your investment. The most important core features of an HRIS are:
- customizable dashboards,
- incorporated payroll software,
- a time-off management system,
- recruiting & talent acquisition tools (e.g., an applicant tracking system), and
- employee onboarding and offboarding workflows.
More advanced features that gained bonus points include tools for talent management, employee retention, and performance reviews.
User Interface & User Experience
The user interface (UI) of your HRIS is important because it will have a big impact on how your employees react to using the new system. That's why I selected systems with visually attractive, clean, colorful, and user-friendly interfaces that will make everyone's interactions with the system more engaging.
I also assessed the way each HRIS organized their menus, and how their employee information was organized within individual employee records to ensure a good user experience (UX) too.
While usability does go hand-in-hand with UI and UX, I prefer to evaluate it separately. To ensure ease of use, I chose systems that are simple, straightforward, and intuitive to use. That will go a long way toward ensuring users at all levels can complete tasks independently. Based on my own personal experience, having a user-friendly employee self-service portal can really cut down on the number of questions your HR department has to field on a regular basis.
Mobile App Accessibility
Now, more than ever, all of us are glued to our phones. That's why it's important that your HRIS is mobile-friendly, and ideally offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS (Apple) mobile devices.
At the employee level, a mobile app will allow them to easily update their own personal information as needed. For administrators, the ability to make updates on the go is helpful since it prevents work from building up when you're away from your desk. Instead, you can quickly update something the moment it occurs to you. And trust me, I've been there many times!
Reporting and Analytics
An HRIS system will be far less useful if you can't create detailed reports or run analytics on your data. It may seem like an obvious feature that every system includes. However, in my experience, sometimes systems say they offer reporting and analytics, but when you dig into it, you can't customize the reports to meet your own unique business needs.
Before you invest in any type of HR solution, ensure their reports are customizable to your own needs. This will go a long way towards supporting data-driven decision-making, specifically for your unique business needs.
Integrations are crucial to consider as they link systems together that offer different functionalities, still tied to your same employee data set. The desired effect is this: when you update your employee data in one system, it will automatically update in any other integrated management tools that link to the same data.
That's why I sought out HRIS systems that integrate with other common tools HR professionals use on a daily basis. Key integrations to look for include payroll solutions (if not part of the HRIS already), document management systems, single sign-on applications, and work operating systems (i.e., Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace).
Value for Price
Let's be honest. Often it all comes down to price. That's why I selected HRIS systems that offer a reasonable price per employee, with transparent details on how much it costs to scale up to a bigger plan in the future. I also tried to pick systems that offer free trials or demos. That way, you can get a hands-on sense of the system's ease of use before you commit to a contract.
What features should an HRIS have?
How does an HRIS help with employee management?
What are the main benefits of an HRIS?
Are there different types of human resource information systems?
Can HRIS systems be customized?
Other HR Software Reviews
Keen to see what other types of HR management systems are out there? Look no further! Here are some helpful links to show you what else is out there and point you in the right direction:
- HR Software: Reviewed & Compared
- Best HCM Software Vendors
- HRMS Software for Human Resource Management
- Employee Management Systems
- HR Management Software
- Cloud-Based HR Software Systems
- HR Case Management Software to Manage Issues & Risks
- HRMS for Small Businesses
- HRIS for Small Businesses
- HR Software for Small Business
- Payroll Software: Reviewed and Compared
I hope this article got you one step closer to finding the right HRIS for you. If you've looked into all of these and you're not sure you can handle it, perhaps an HRIS Analyst could help?
Looking for software specifically for the recruitment process? My list of the 10 Best Recruiting Software will definitely have what you need.
If employee scheduling is your main concern, read our list of the 10 Best Employee Shift Scheduling Software. We even have a list of Open Source Employee Scheduling Software if you want something you can really customize.
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