This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best human resources information system (HRIS) and other HR systems.
An HRIS, or Human Resource Information System, provides features that support the HR department in a wide range of tasks, from finding and hiring employees to manage the organization at large.
The majority of companies report that they believe their business is “complex” for employees; one way to alleviate concerns like this is to make sure you have the proper human resource systems to support your team in an ongoing manner.
Just like any HR software, the right HRIS will support HR managers as well as employees, recruits, newcomers, and long-standing team members. HRIS examples range from items to help with recruiting and onboarding to continuing training and education or even compensation and benefits navigation.
In this article, I will play the role of HRIS analyst: I will explain the value of any human resources information software solution and breakdown what sets any given tool above the rest. I will also explain why HRIS is an important item to add to your employee management software toolkit.
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 are the types of HRIS systems?
There are many different types of HRIS. Different HRIS tools are needed for different things, for example, requesting/approving time off or supplying employee review form templates for performance evaluation.
Examples of features an HRIS system should include:
time and labor management activities
a payroll system
employee training modules
performance appraisals and management
How does HRIS help with recruitment?
HRIS helps take care of the HR and recruitment process as it unifies employee data into a single source. This creates an appealing user experience for recruiters and the candidates themselves. It also helps with repeatable processes as you can share and enter information across the database software.
Human Resources Software Comparison Criteria
What are we looking for when we select what tools make it on the final HRIS systems list? What components of an information system are we 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?
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?
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UZIO provides an easy-to-use and inexpensive cloud-based human resources information system for small and medium-sized businesses. It is a US-based company headquartered in Reston, VA.
Extensive features such as employee onboarding, time & attendance management, employee records management, workflows & automation, single-click approval process, and more make UZIO the best choice overall. It integrates easily with the UZIO payroll & benefits management solution. UZIO is gearing up to reach the top spot in the HRIS segment at a very rapid pace. It wraps in all the essential features that a small or medium enterprise may require.
The UZIO HRIS is priced very competitively at $4 per month per employee and comes with a 30 days free trial.
Sapling is a people operations platform best suited for mid-market companies with distributed international offices. The tool can automate workflows for onboarding, offboarding, and using people data across existing systems.
Sapling allows users to build automated workflows for recruitment and onboarding. Team members can automatically assign people workflows based on location, department, and employment status.
The tool allows team members to store and manage people data and create org charts, and end-users can create individual profiles.
Sapling offers native integrations with a variety of other software, including applicant tracking systems, payroll software, time tracking software, and more. The tool also has an API and webhooks available for further integration options.
Sapling starts at $6/user/month and offers a free demo.
EnterpriseAxis is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) HR information system by developer The Gingrich Team, who also deals in other office applications like staff augmentation and outsourcing services.
This software’s customizable web portal can fully replace a company’s public face website if preferred. This is a huge positive of using the tool. Additionally, their IT data security is high quality and they can assist with following government compliance.
This software lost a few marks in the consideration of the UX evaluation category, as the look and feel of the interface are fairly clunky and abrasive. Everything from the blunt color scheme to the general clutter detracts from the design.
EnterpriseAxis starts at $49/month and has a free demo.
Founded in 2015, HRM Labs tailors its solution to the country and industry in which you are based. For example, they can provide payslips with configurable payment items such as employee information to show an exemption (tax, allowance, deduction, reimbursement).
HRM Labs is intuitive and easy to pick up on, plus they have a very responsive customer service team available by either phone or email. Thus, they scored particularly well in the Usability category of the evaluation.
One con of the tool is that there is not much buzz about it online, including a general lack of product visualizations, information about pricing, and trial/demo capabilities. This makes it hard to fully explore the tool before scheduling a sales call.
For over a decade, CommonOffice has been providing innovative Cloud-based HR software to clients around the world. They are hyper-focused on security, being IBM audited and offering login validation, multilevel encryption, internal audits, and nightly data backups.
CommonOffice has a smooth, well-organized, and cunningly designed user interface. Everything from the clean menus to the eye-catching data visualizations makes it a stand-out in the UX segment of the evaluation criteria.
One con is that you may run into limitations for certain complex tasks, for example, multiple-level investigations or complex performance management metrics may require external tools.
CommonOffice HRIS starts at $4/user/month and has a free trial.
HR.my is a no-cost multi-user online HR software that allows Employer accounts to add an unlimited number of employees, who each are able to sign up for their Employee account for free. Accounts are all managed by a powerful Role-based User Access Control.
As a free-to-use tool, HR.my walked away with a perfect score in the Value for Cost category of the evaluation criteria. The tool is feature-rich, too, making it an ideal option for small-to-midsize businesses working on a budget.
The only downside to being aware of is that HR.my may not be suitable for large enterprises, as it is primarily designed for the needs of smaller businesses.
Developed by Instructure Inc, Bridge is an HRIS with ample resources dedicated to training and learner, as can also be seen by their open-source Learning Management Platform called Canvas. Bridge highlights data-driven approaches to develop and retain staff.
Bridge’s various assessment tools are especially useful and stand out as a way to compile a comprehensive database of career positions and the skills that apply to each. Additionally, self-review and peer-review tools are also used to pick out skill goals for the future.
Bridge lost a few marks in the Value for Cost segment of the evaluation, not only because the yearly fee is much more than other options on this list but because they have multiple “add on” costs that muddy transparency in the pricing scheme.
Bridge starts at $9000/year for 500 users plus a one-time implementation fee of $5000+ and a yearly support fee of $1700+.
Homebase is a cloud-based time clock and timesheets that allow 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.
Pros/EvalHaving 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 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, even Capterra has awarded them “Best Ease of Use” multiple times. 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 first are getting accustomed to the software.
Built For Teams starts at $30/month and has a free demo.
Optimum HRIS is an integrated solution with one master database, so you can update employee records once across all applications without the worry of duplicated entries. They provide in house software for both Windows and IBM I as well as a cloud-based SaaS solution.
Optimum HRIS has in-system training when you set it up as well as an assigned personal representative for any additional issues. It’s easy to use and adaptable, scoring them well in Usability per the evaluation criteria.
One con is that the reporting functions could be a bit more robust, as they are not always easy to build with the exact information you may want.
OptimumHRIS starts at $10,000 as a one-time payment and has a free demo.
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top HRIS systems list. If you need additional suggestions for handy HR data, check these out.
Paycor – used by small and large companies for recruiting and onboarding, benefits and payroll, learning management, and more
Rippling – automatically set up new hires in all your systems, keep employee data up-to-date, and disable departing employees systems
BambooHR – Automates operational tasks around hiring, onboarding, preparing compensation, and building culture.
Zoho– Streamline both your data collection and secure storage with an employee database management system
GustoHR– Used by over 100,000 small businesses to run payroll, manage benefits, and support your team.
WhenIWork– Free employee scheduling software with time tracking capabilities and even an applicant tracking system.
Freshteam– With Freshteam’s automation capabilities you can instantly view and manage employee data and perform HR functions.
Recruiterbox – Set up a careers site, post to job boards to spread the word about your openings, and tag-in external recruiting agencies.
Collage – Automate your HR processes, store all of your employee data and documents, and navigate everything from time off to onboarding and recruiting.
Zenefits – Create a compensation package and auto-send documents to new hires, full-time employees, contractors, and freelancers.
Onpay – Access benefits and HR in 50 states and sync with accounting and time-tracking software and payroll tools.
Kronos – Automate administrative human resource management processes and provide employee self-service (ESS) capabilities.
Deputy – Schedule staff based on demand, wage costs, and availability and send updated schedules straight to your teams via web or mobile.
What Do You Think About This HRIS Systems List?
Have you tried out any employee management software listed above? What HR tools would you recommend? Is there an HRIS system that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments of this article.
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