Finding the best Human Resource Information System (HRIS) for your organization will improve the efficiency of your internal HR processes. These powerful tools help streamline common workflows and reduce administrative overhead like data entry. The right HRIS for your business depends on what your current pinch points are, and the dynamics of your workforce.
This article will help you compare and evaluate the best HRIS systems on the market. I’ll explain the value of each HR software solution and how they can help your organization.
Here are some basic questions and answers about employee information systems. This FAQ will clear up a few things that HR professionals often ask about HRIS.
What features should an HRIS have?
There are a lot of HRIS solutions out there, and each one has its own set of unique features. Some common features and core HR functions included within an HRIS are:
Employee database (the key to it all)
Applicant tracking systems (ATS)
Workflow, scheduling, or resourcing.
How does an HRIS help with employee management?
An HRIS helps HR teams, managers, and employees themselves to manage information by centralizing employee data into a single source. At the employee level, your staff gain the ability to update their own personal information as needed (called self-service), reducing their reliance on HR departments to manually enter data or update paper-based filing systems. Similarly, management and HR teams gain the ability to organize employee records into teams, departments, or however they choose, so they can dive deeper into their workforce management data easily.
What are the main benefits of an HRIS?
An HRIS will increase the efficiency of your HR functions, ensuring all members of your HR department have access to the same real-time information about an employee. Many HRIS systems also have integrated functions to help companies assess employee engagement, improve employee performance, curate company culture, and act as a central repository for internal communication, document management, knowledge sharing, and learning management.
Are there different types of human resource information systems?
Yes! HR management software generally falls into three tiers, determined by the cost and the level of features included in the platform. Those three tiers (from lowest to highest cost + features) are:
HRIS = human resource information system
HRMS = human resource management system
HCM = human capital management (system)
As long as the system you choose has the features you need, it doesn’t matter if they identify themselves as HCM software, HRMS software or an HRIS.
Human Resources Software Comparison Criteria
What features am I looking for when selecting software for the best HRIS systems list? What components of a human resources information system am I looking for exactly? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive?
Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
Features & Functionality:
Customizable dashboard – Is the human resource’s dashboard easily organized and rearranged to suit your needs and best interests?
Payroll Features – Can the tool handle full time, contract, and part-time payroll? Can it calculate taxes and deductions as needed?
Learning/Development – Does the HRIS offer some sort of onboarding and/or ongoing development platform to hone the skill of current staff?
Recruiting and Onboarding – Does the HR system incorporate any features for recruiters, or include an applicant tracking system? Is there a simplified process for onboarding new staff?
Reporting and Analytics – Does the software offer HR-specific data analysis along with actionable insights derived from it to help with decision making?
Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other HR technology? Any pre-built integrations?
Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
People Managing People is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
monday.com allows users to onboard new team members and create custom workflows for other employee management processes.
monday.com is an HRIS platform that allows HR teams to customize and run all of their HR processes and workflows with drag-and-drop technology. The tool also includes a variety of HR-dedicated templates for getting started.
The tool allows hiring managers to oversee their recruitment pipelines and track applicants with embedded forms that record all relevant contact details automatically. As candidates go through the hiring process, team members can update the status of their application so that there’s a real-time source of truth for all open positions.
monday.com also includes a pre-made template for onboarding, which includes all of the employee training sessions and reading material newcomers need in their first weeks on the job. The onboarding template also uses no-code automations to notify relevant team members of their tasks to properly welcome the new hire. Another great feature is the vacation tracker, which allows employees to schedule vacation time.
monday.com costs from $8/user/month. A 14-day free trial is also available.
Employees can access a personalized dashboard populated by individual goals, tasks, reports, and engagement systems.
intelliHR is a people management and analytics platform built for organizations to centralize performance management, employee engagement, core HR processes, and people data analytics. intelliHR provides best-practice tools for HR and managers to align, manage and enable a people and culture strategy within a broader business strategy.
Where intelliHR notably adds value is through the automation of traditionally manual HR processes, such as onboarding and compliance management, while capturing critical people and performance data that’s not typically visible. This data provides deep insight into issues and opportunities that HR managers can use to inform decision making.
One of the biggest points of difference is intelliHR’s built-in people analytics. The analytics features allow organizations to gain a firsthand view of their people’s happiness, engagement and well-being through a wide range of easy-to-use interactive dashboards, capturing insights across training investment, team sentiment, attrition, performance and employee satisfaction. Managers can use the analytics feature to keep up to speed with their team through features like goals, feedback and regular check-ins.
intelliHR has an industry-leading NPS of 61, with an award-winning customer support team experienced in HR and change management. The team uses design thinking workshops, tailored to each customer, to ensure the software is launched smoothly, with a high adoption rate.
intelliHR costs from $3.90/user/month. They also offer a free demo and a 30-day free trial of the employee engagement product tier.
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 for onboarding to cross-border payments in 160+ countries.
Papaya Global 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 integrates with most financial tools.
Papaya Global costs from $20/user/month and offers a free trial.
Transform your employee directory using Eddy, with built-in ways to quickly chat and call co-workers.
Eddy is an all-in-one HR Suite built for local businesses that streamline tedious HR processes and improves the employee experience. Founded in 2017 by former professional basketball player turned entrepreneur, Travis Hansen, Eddy has grown rapidly due to its simple but powerful product, highly-rated customer service, and focus on businesses with deskless workforces.
With Eddy, businesses can hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees with one easy-to-use software. Key features include job posting management, tracking incoming candidates, and a full-scale applicant tracking system (ATS). The onboarding system lets HR managers create custom onboarding packages, assign tasks, and easily collect digital signatures.
A core function of Eddy is people management—users can access company directories and store important employee documents, notes on performance, and training and certifications in employee profiles. You can also create custom PTO policies and approve or deny requests; tap into their time tracking tool, which allows employees to easily clock in and clock out; and navigate payroll processes using Eddy’s full-service payroll system that includes support for multiple pay periods and end-of-year W-2 preparation, filing, and distribution.
Eddy starts at $8/employee/month plus a $49 base fee, and offers a free demo.
With Zenefits, employees can enroll for healthcare coverage directly within the system, and access other features like commuter benefits through Uber using the Zenefits mobile app.
The Zenefits platform helps to alleviate common HR headaches by integrating core HR functions with payroll, benefits, and time-off tracking, all within one system. Their automated onboarding process supports offer letters, background checks, e-signing digital documents, and employee self-onboarding. In their higher service tiers, modules are also available for compensation management, performance management and several in-depth employee engagement tools.
Where Zenefits really shines is in their benefits management capabilities. Through their Zenefits Health Insurance Marketplace, you can review different insurance plans to find the best option for your business. Once you’re ready, you can request a quote for group insurance through one of their certified insurance brokers, who will also help you administer your benefits plan – a service that’s included for free no matter which pricing plan you choose. If you already have an insurance broker you’re working with, you have the option to integrate them into your platform too, for an additional monthly fee of $5 USD/employee/month. Another neat feature worth mentioning is that employees can use their Zenefits commuter benefits card to pay for rides booked through UberPOOL, depending on how you configure your system.
Zenefits integrates with 45+ applications including Google Suite, Office 356, Slack, Salesforce, Expensify, Bonusly, BetterWorks, Zapier, and many others.
Pricing for Zenefits starts at $8 USD/employee/month for their Essentials plan. For an additional fee, add-ons are also available for full payroll services ($6 USD/employee/month), HR and payroll advisory services ($8 USD/employee/month), and the insurance broker option noted above. A free demo and a 14-day free trial are also available.
Cezanne HR streamlines common HR tasks from recruitment and onboarding to performance appraisals and employee development.
Cezanne HR is a cloud-based HR software solution that is used in over 100 countries. Their comprehensive platform includes core HR features such as people management, onboarding and employee lifecycle support, intuitive employee self-service features, absence management, time tracking, and recruitment tools including an applicant tracking system (ATS). Their modern performance management module supports continuous performance improvement through check-ins, 360 degree feedback and multi-stage goal setting. On top of all that, they also have built-in tools to visualize your talent pools, map out career development plans, and support succession planning.
This platform is a great fit for multinational companies as it includes global capabilities at its core, like country-specific compliance information, configuration options based on regions, and the ability to use multiple currencies. It also supports free language translations from English to Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, German, French, Turkish and Romanian to help growing companies standardize their HR portal processes in new countries. Since the design team behind Cezanne HR is UK-based, you can rest assured that their system is GDPR compliant (UK & EEA) too.
Cezanne HR does not include payroll functions, however, it does integrate with common payroll systems and organize information in the format your payroll team will need. The system also supports single sign-on (SSO), and integrates with other solution partners in niche areas like compensation planning, employee engagement, expense management and learning management.
Pricing details are not available on their website, but a free demo is available.
Oyster delivers fully-compliant global payroll services with automatic local deductions, taxes, and contributions no matter where your team is located.
Oyster is a robust HR platform for any organization wanting to recruit and hire staff globally. Their system is used successfully in over 180 countries with built-in tools to manage international tax and employment law, plus compliance guardrails for local labor laws to ensure your company receives the legal protection you’ll need when operating in a new territory.
Their digital hiring tools make it easy to hire contractors in any of the 180+ countries they support. A built-in contractor misclassification assessment tool helps determine if you should fill a vacant position with a new employee or a contractor. There’s also a helpful employment cost calculator that can figure out the cost of a new employee in any country, including their required taxes and government contributions, plus the Oyster flat-fee, which varies depending on the country you’re hiring in.
Their Oyster Academy is a helpful resource for companies that are new to the international work-from-anywhere scene, including training courses for how to prepare for distributed work, and how to create a company culture in a distributed work environment. An add-on called Oyster Health is also available to secure health insurance coverage for a global workforce under a single company plan.
Pricing for Oyster starts at $399 USD/employee/month. They also have a free Lite plan for up to 2 contractors only – a good option for anyone building a global startup from scratch. A free demo is also available.
Bob’s cheerful and fun social media-inspired user interface makes employee engagement easy for employees at all levels.
Say “hi” to Bob, an HRIS platform designed to bolster employee engagement and link employees around the globe to your company culture. Their user interface is designed with a social media-like feel, to get employees excited about engaging with team members. From the main homepage, employees can view key details like work anniversaries, birthdays, and other facts about colleagues to help them make connections deeper than shared work tasks – an important feature for fostering engagement in today’s work-from-anywhere environment.
The platform includes all the typical HRIS features you’d expect, such as employee data management and HR analytics, culture tools, time and attendance tracking features, digital onboarding tools, and a document hub with DocuSign built right in. Bob also keeps a log of where staff are (i.e., working remotely, in the office, sick, or on vacation), which is another useful feature for companies with distributed or hybrid workforces.
Bob integrates with 40+ commonly used programs, including many applicant tracking systems, Google Suite, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zapier, and others. They also have a full-feature mobile app.
Pricing is not available on their website, but a free demo and free trial are available.
Employee PTO and other notifications appear on the calendar.
Homebase is a cloud-based time clock and timesheet platform that allows you to track hours from anywhere in order to save time on preparing payroll. Their free apps allow your whole team to stay coordinated and connected, even remotely.
Having a freemium subscription plan scored them favorably in the Value for Cost department. The free tool offers scheduling and time tracking for unlimited employees at a single location.
One critique is that the software is tailored to employers who have multiple staff members with staggered schedules/shift work. It may not be the best for those who are self-employed or those with flat Monday-to-Friday work weeks.
Homebase starts at $16/month per location and has a freemium version of the software.
Built for Teams is a modern, easy-to-use HR solution for human resources and workforce planning with a design that is interactive, dynamic, and collaborative in order to help your organization hire, retain, manage, and analyze your workforce.
Built for Teams is very intuitive and easy to use. In fact, they’ve been voted “Best Ease of Use” multiple times according to user reviews across different platforms. Because of this consensus, this tool scored highly in the usability category of the above evaluation criteria.
Two minor cons to note are that the syncing to Outlook can be a bit glitchy and the calendar program is a bit confusing and clunky to navigate, particularly when you are first getting accustomed to the software.
Built For Teams starts at $30/month and has a free demo.
If you’ve looked into all of these and you’re not sure you can handle it, why not find out how an HRIS Analyst can help your organization?
Need expert help finding the right Human Resource Software?
We’ve partnered with the software comparison portal Crozdesk.com to help you find the right solution. Crozdesk’s Human Resource Software advisors can give you independent advice and shortlist software products that best fit your specific needs. Our partnership gives you free access to their tailored software selection advice and community negotiated discounts, taking the hassle out of the research process.
It takes just a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a call at no cost or commitment. You’ll get custom product shortlists covering the top solutions that best fit your specific needs from their team of software experts (via phone or email) and they can even connect you to your choice of the selected vendors. To get started, please submit the form below:
Join Our Community Of People Managers & Culture Creators
The People Managing People blog, podcast, and community exists to help you become a better leader of people and catalyst for healthy company culture. Our community is a space for experienced people managers and culture creators to develop as leaders and connect with other like-minded individuals.