Compare The Best HR Software Solutions

By | April 26, 2023

Our top recommendation for most businesses is TriNet because of its comprehensive, well-balanced approach to an all-in-one human resources solution. Get a custom quote to see how TriNet can help your business.

To help you find the best HR software, we started with 34 of the most popular tools and cut the list to the top 17. How? We evaluated each platform across several key features, including core HR functions, recruitment, attendance, performance, payroll, compliance, and benefits.

We did the hard work of figuring out what separates each brand to provide helpful and honest recommendations. In other words, you’ll be well taken care of by choosing any platform on our list.

The Best HR Software: Our Curated Top Picks

These companies made the cut: TriNet, Gusto,, Zenefits, BambooHR, Rippling, Paycor, Namely, SentricHR, Run Powered by ADP, Paycom, Fingercheck, Paylocity, Workday, Patriot, UKG Dimension, and Zoho People

While all of the above are excellent tools for various situations, our favorite HR software options are:

  • TriNet – Best if you don’t have an HR department
  • Gusto – Best for streamlined benefits and payroll administration
  • – Best for simple management of HR tasks and processes
  • Zenefits – Best for core HR plus affordable employee scheduling
  • BambooHR – Best for in-depth reporting and analytics

Below, you’ll find full reviews of each of the 17 best HR platforms—with recommendations on who should use each one—and a comprehensive look at the methodology we used to determine our top picks.

Brand logos for best HR software.

The Best HR Management Software Overall

TriNet brand logo.

As a startup or small business, your vision and passion revolve around building a world-changing product or service. But to make that vision a reality, you need to scale.

Growth means hiring. And hiring inevitably leads to a harsh reality—more hands-on HR. 

TriNet feels your pain. They know that HR administration for smaller organizations can feel like a quagmire of paperwork and compliance issues, sapping your time, money, and sanity. That’s why TriNet provides an all-in-one HR solution built to support businesses as they grow. 

With TriNet as your partner, you can wave goodbye to HR headaches and refocus on running and growing your daily operations.  

TriNet’s comprehensive platform handles everything from payroll processing and benefits selection to performance management. Need affordable health insurance or retirement plans for your team? TriNet partners with major providers to supply options you’d never get access to on your own. Want to improve employee satisfaction or make sure your company stays compliant with the latest regulations? TriNet’s HR experts have you covered.   

One of TriNet’s biggest strengths, though, lies in its performance management tools. Using their simple interface, you can set goals with employees, check in on their progress, keep a running log of notes, and generate useful reports to gain insights into your team’s development. 

TriNet also offers over 500 online courses in various skills so your employees can keep learning, growing in their own capabilities as your company grows.  

While TriNet’s pricing isn’t clearly, publicly listed and you can’t pick and choose services from their range of offerings, this software’s many pros outweigh the cons for small businesses with an eye on growth. Think of them as your HR co-pilot, ready to help you navigate any situation so your focus can stay on what matters most. 

When you started your company, supporting human resources might have been far from your mind. But now you have the opportunity to build a culture and work environment that reflects your overall vision. With TriNet’s robust platform and team of experts, you have a strategic partner ready to lift the burden of HR from your shoulders so you can do what you do best—innovate, expand, and turn your business dreams into a reality.  

Is Human Resources Software Right for You?

The functionalities that come with HR tools overlap with a lot of other types of software, from enterprise-grade business management solutions to specialized platforms for individual human resources functions and professional employer organizations that handle everything for you.

There are also HR tools that come with additional features for advanced focus on employee development and talent and performance management. These are often referred to as human capital management (HCM) systems. Tools that cover the core elements of HR management but also include features for advanced automation and data management are sometimes called human resources information systems (HRIS). 

While the differences seem subtle, an HCM or HRIS is a strong choice if you value any of these advanced benefits and want a tool that brings more to the table. 

Our list of reviews below includes a full spectrum of HR tools—from specialized platforms and HCMs to standard, all-in-one human resources management software—so you can make the best choice for your needs. 

For most businesses that want to handle human resources in-house, we recommend a versatile HR platform that handles most of the core functions. These options are all reviewed in this post’s section on HR software that can do it all.

Even if you don’t have a dedicated HR team, many tools on our list simplify each process, making human resources management approachable for non professionals who are in charge of facets of HR.

We also have an entire library of free tutorials, articles, and guides to help business owners and administrators handle the day-in, day-out activities of managing HR. Some of our noteworthy resources include:

If your business is brand new, has complex needs, or needs a solution to fill existing HR gaps, tools that solve specific problems may be a better choice. The second half of this article covers a few of our favorite tools for unique HR situations.

The Best HR Software That Can Do It All

The software providers in this section provide HR management platforms with core human resources features, including automated workflows, onboarding support, self-service portals, and employee databases. They all also include payroll and benefits administration in some capacity.

If you want a platform that can do it all, or you’ll eventually want one that can handle everything involving core HR, these are the tools for you.

Gusto Review – Best for Streamlined Benefits and Payroll Administration

Gusto brand logo

Gusto is the best HR and payroll platform for startups and small businesses looking to handle routine yet critical tasks without bulking up their HR department. 

This software eliminates the need for an overwhelming amount of paperwork and spreadsheets, automating everything from onboarding new hires to processing payroll and managing benefits.

For small companies struggling to navigate the labyrinth of employment laws and regulations, Gusto provides peace of mind by calculating, filing, and paying all your local, state, and federal payroll taxes automatically. 

The platform also generates and distributes W-2s, 1099s, and any other tax forms required. With Gusto handling compliance, you can say goodbye to the headaches and potential legal issues that come with manually processing payroll. And its support for unlimited pay runs, flexible pay frequencies, and multiple rates allows Gusto to adapt to any pay structure. 

On top of payroll management, Gusto offers benefits administration on par with platforms built for much larger companies. In one place, you can provide health insurance, retirement plans, commuter benefits, dental and vision coverage, and more to your workers. With 9,000 plans from over 30 carriers to choose from, there are affordable and effective options for any budget. 

And, since benefits integrate fully with payroll in Gusto, the software deducts premiums and contributions automatically. 

For startups looking to attract top talent, robust benefits are a must. But administering them is usually complex and time-consuming.

Not with Gusto.

For managers wearing multiple hats in a workplace, Gusto provides a single, streamlined hub for all things related to HR. Get new hires off and running, track PTO, run payroll, and a whole lot more with just a few clicks. 

And the software takes even more off of your plate with its self-service employee portal that puts access and answers right at people’s fingertips so they can help themselves.

While Gusto may lack some of the advanced features of enterprise-focused platforms, their simplified approach is a perfect fit for smaller companies looking to build the foundation for growth. By automating essential but tedious tasks that sap time and sanity, Gusto allows you to focus on expanding your business, not filling out forms. 

And with pricing that scales as you grow, Gusto is a platform you can build with for years to come.

Want to learn more about Gusto? Check out our in-depth review.

Zenefits Review – Best HR Software with Affordable Employee Scheduling

Zenefits brand logo.

For small to midsize businesses, tackling employee scheduling and tracking time can strain limited resources. But, with Zenefits, even complex schedules can be created painlessly. 

Zenefits provides sophisticated yet intuitive employee scheduling features at a price that fits small business budgets. By centralizing scheduling, time off management, and time tracking in one platform, Zenefits eliminates the hassle of juggling multiple tools and ensures greater accuracy, compliance, and insight into your workforce.

With Zenefits’ drag-and-drop schedule builder, creating and managing schedules is efficient and user-friendly. You can set employee shifts and work periods by role, accounting for skills and qualifications, or build individual schedules based on availability, paid time off, and shift preferences. 

Make adjustments in real time to handle last minute changes and let Zenefits automatically consider overtime calculations, break requirements, and other compliance needs. 

Plus, employees can request time off, see the full schedule, set availability, and get notifications on their mobile devices. Everyone stays in the loop, no matter where they’re working.

Businesses managing complex schedules across locations or with remote employees will appreciate the much-needed visibility and control Zenefits provides. Gain insight into how schedules impact overtime and labor costs as well as the ability to set schedules that prevent employee burnout. 

With Zenefits, you never have to worry about accidentally scheduling someone on an approved paid time off day or struggling to find coverage for last minute shift changes. And by tying scheduling to payroll, the entire process—from creating the schedule to paying your employees—is seamless and accurate every time.  

Beyond scheduling and time tracking, Zenefits offers additional HR functionality for small businesses. Their AI-powered reporting provides data and insights for optimizing your workforce, while automated onboarding, document management, and a centralized employee database help organize all critical information in one place. 

Higher tier plans include extra features like compensation management, performance reviews, employee engagement tools, and an internal social network for enhanced communication and task management.

Zenefits’ scheduling functionality alone provides an affordable solution for small businesses drowning in complex workforce management needs. Get a complete, centralized hub for managing your workforce at a fraction of the cost of other platforms. 

BambooHR Review – Best for In-Depth Reporting and Analytics

BambooHR brand logo.

BambooHR is the best HR solution for established businesses looking to gain invaluable insights into their workforce. With BambooHR, you’ll have a smarter view of your employees and be able to optimize critical HR decisions.  

Managing a large volume of employee data across multiple platforms is like navigating a maze with no clear path forward. How can you unlock the potential of your HR data when it lives in disconnected silos? 

BambooHR provides a centralized employee database customizable to your needs so you can finally see the complete picture of your workforce in one place. 

Say goodbye to chaos and guesswork. BambooHR’s robust reporting capabilities put at your fingertips the data-driven insights you need to optimize your human resources processes. 

Create custom reports highlighting what matters most to your business or start with BambooHR’s library of pre-built report templates for headcount, turnover, PTO usage, and more.

You can generate reports on any data you track, such as sales performance, employee satisfaction, or certification completion. For example, pull a report on sales representatives who recently completed advanced training—sorted by sales numbers or client satisfaction rates—in a matter of minutes. 

BambooHR lets you share insights in the way that suits your needs. Export reports to PDF, CSV, or a spreadsheet, or share reports directly within the platform using BambooHR’s granular user permissions. And, the API allows you to pull reports and data into other tools for further analysis. 

Interactive charts and dashboards provide a real-time view into critical metrics like time to hire or turnover. With these dashboards, HR managers glean insights into team performance instantly and employees get access to information relevant to their role.

For businesses handling complex compensation structures or advanced workforce management needs, BambooHR’s reporting functionality is a must-have. 

You’ll also get custom automated workflows, PTO management, and document storage which each integrate fully with BambooHR’s reporting.  Beyond that, your team can tap into the software’s mobile access, onboarding and offboarding tools, and full applicant tracking system. 

Add-on modules for payroll, benefits, time-tracking, and performance management mean potential extra cost, but you’ll only pay for what you need in the BambooHR ecosystem. One other notable drawback is that BambooHR’s features are currently limited to companies based in the United States.

Gain the HR knowledge and visibility you need to unlock your full potential with BambooHR. Check out our full BambooHR review to learn even more about this human resources software.

Paycor Review – Best Mid-Market Human Capital Management (HCM) Software

Paycor brand logo.

For midsize businesses eager to upgrade the HR experience and empower their people, Paycor is a top choice. With extensive experience and industry-leading technology, your business can trust Paycor as an HCM solution that delivers. 

Bid farewell to the avalanche of HR tasks burying your team and hello to a comprehensive platform built to engage employees and fuel growth.  

Paycor starts strong with a hiring experience tailored to your recruitment needs. Customizable workflows streamline the entire process from initial recruitment and advertising job openings to onboarding new talent. 

You can even leverage AI-powered sourcing for a diverse range of qualified candidates and then schedule interviews with ease. Once hired, Paycor’s automated onboarding ensures an amazing first day and beyond. 

For employees already in the fold, Paycor’s robust performance management features provide everything you need to engage your team. 

From 1:1 meetings and personalized feedback to customized learning paths, you have the tools you need to develop their skills and prepare for dynamic future demands. Plus, ratings, rewards, and recognition make it easy to call out achievements and spread positivity. 

With a solution focused on leveling up talent, your employees will feel invested in and poised to thrive.

Tackle salary analysis and ensure fair pay with confidence using Paycor’s advanced compensation management capabilities. Peer benchmarking insights, auditing features, and interactive dashboards provide transparency into compensation data so you can make the right decisions for your business and the well-being of your workforce. 

As an HCM, Paycor delivers across all the key “people” pillars: talent management, employee engagement, performance management, compensation management, and continual learning. But you won’t be missing out on essential HR features like payroll, benefits, self-service portals, and a centralized employee database—Paycor delivers mightily on those fronts, too. 

While more expensive than options for small teams, Paycor packs in the value to make the investment worthwhile. If you’re serious about engaging employees and reaching new heights with the talent you have (and want to attract in the future), Paycor has the tools and support to get you there.

See our full Paycor review for more information.

Rippling Review –  Best Solution for Combining IT, Finance, and HR Management

Rippling brand logo.

As a growing business, managing IT, finance, and HR all at once can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Disconnected systems, data silos, and tedious manual processes bog down your teams and prevent strategic thinking. 

Rippling provides an all-in-one solution to help midsize companies gain control and insight into their operations. 

This solution sits between basic HR software and complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It covers more functionality than a standard HR solution by adding unique technology and finance management modules, but avoids the overwhelming scope and cost of traditional ERP software. 

The platform starts with a unified workforce management system to automate policies, tap into data-driven workforce insights, and handle approvals. From there, you can integrate HR, IT, and finance components tailored to your needs. 

The HR module streamlines hiring, onboarding, payroll and benefits management, employee learning, and more on a global scale. You can even outsource your HR with Rippling’s full-service PEO or maintain control in-house and support your own human resources department. 

Rippling’s IT solution simplifies device management, security monitoring, access control, and compliance to protect your systems and data. Monitor employees’ tech usage and automate offboarding to reduce risk when employees leave. 

Meanwhile, adding the finance module to your Rippling package helps your staff oversee corporate spending with automated expense management, plus handle receipt matching and reimbursement. With it, you gain full visibility into budgets, transactions, and employee purchases to optimize your financial operations. 

Plus, automated reimbursements via integration with Rippling’s payroll will save your finance team hours of manual work.

As an all-in-one solution, this software revolutionizes HR workflows and data centralization so you can free your teams from repetitive tasks to focus on high-level initiatives. While more complex to implement than basic HR software, Rippling provides a robust, integrated experience for managing your workforce, technology, and money.

For businesses struggling with disconnected systems and data silos, Rippling’s modular platform and full-service options offer a smarter approach to navigating growth. Automate and streamline operations across departments for a truly connected workforce. 

Want to learn more about Rippling? Check out our in-depth review.

Namely Review – Best for Outsourcing Payroll and Benefits Administration

Namely brand logo.

When you lack a formal HR department, the basics of payroll and benefits management can be a serious chore. Namely provides a straightforward solution to your struggles through their managed services for these routine HR functions.  

Experience the relief of HR outsourcing and the confidence of rock-solid compliance. Namely’s team of experts provides unparalleled support and guidance to make sure your payroll and benefits are processed and managed efficiently, accurately, and mindful of regulations. 

That way, you’ll fully eliminate headaches that arise from erroneous paychecks, missed tax deadlines, or confusion over healthcare regulations. Namely ensures you stay compliant and reduce risk with expert support at every stage, from plan design and underwriting to enrollment and claims management. 

Get help with the full spectrum of payroll and benefits management or just certain components, whether you want managed assistance just for payroll runs, healthcare options, retirement plans and more. 

On top of that, you and your team get access to their intuitive, user-friendly HR platform to handle essential tasks like onboarding, PTO tracking, and document management. 

Outsourcing to Namely’s professionals may sound expensive, but you can actually gain valuable cost and time savings by getting these tasks off your plate entirely. Instead of beating your head against the wall whenever it’s time to switch to HR administration, you can focus on growing your business because Namely has your payroll and benefits responsibilities handled. 

If you’re ready to break free from administrative overload, Namely is the solution your company needs and your employees deserve.

SentricHR Review – Best for Building a Fully Customized HR Solution

SentricHR brand logo.

SentricHR is an ideal solution if you want an approach to HR software that’s uniquely personalized to your needs. One-size-fits-all platforms can struggle to accommodate how you do business, but you don’t have to settle for an imperfect fit.

The SentricHR team will work closely with you to understand your requirements and challenges. Together, you’ll build an HR software solution optimized for your organization from the ground up, plus set up a long-term partnership that allows your SentricHR platform to evolve with you through ongoing support and realignment with any shifting needs.

A customized HR platform built with SentricHR can streamline your approval processes and workflows, reduce inefficiencies, and even save you money in the long term.

Your employees receive a tailored experience that caters to them by reflecting your specific company structure, leading to higher satisfaction and retention. A customized platform can be a competitive advantage in your industry, enabling you to better serve both internal and external stakeholders.

Pick and choose the features you need from SentricHR’s comprehensive suite, including document management, onboarding, and compliance as well as payroll, benefits, and analytics. 

Within each module, you can work with SentricHR to tailor the automations, fields, and workflows to match your business exactly. For example, create custom document templates with predefined fields, then set automated routing for review and e-signature. 

Once it’s set up, you can rest easy knowing your processes are always followed to the letter. 

Plus, you don’t have to pay for what you don’t use. SentricHR’s modular approach and customized pricing mean you only pay for the capabilities you need. 

While advanced customizations and one-on-one support do cost extra, the long-term efficiencies gained from a tailored and optimized HR solution can offset the initial investment over time. The only downsides are SentricHR’s interface, which could use a modern refresh, and additional per-check fees for payroll processing.

If you’re ready to infuse your company with a competitive edge, SentricHR provides the agility and adaptability you need. 

Paycom Review – Best Comprehensive, Mobile-First HR Software

Paycom brand logo.

Paycom offers businesses an end-to-end HR platform built for modern, mobile workforces. Their solution provides the tools you need to efficiently manage teams, tap into employee potential, and strategically align your workforce, all within an intuitive mobile app experience.

For service-based, retail, and field service-minded businesses, Paycom’s mobile-first design is a game-changer. Their feature-rich iOS and Android apps make it easy for managers and employees to stay connected and productive, no matter their location. 

Managers can oversee projects, communicate with teams, approve time-off requests, and monitor performance on the go. 

Meanwhile, employees get instant access to company resources like employee handbooks and training materials, as well as the ability to submit requests for paid time off, check pay stubs, and enter expense reports anytime and anywhere.

Paycom’s platform is built specifically for mobility—others tack mobile apps onto their HR software as an afterthought. 

You don’t have to sacrifice functionality or ease of use for mobility. Paycom’s apps are full-featured and designed with a thoughtful interface that just works, whenever and wherever you need it.

And its core HR software functionality is no slouch, either. With a robust set of features for managing payroll, benefits, compliance, and talent acquisition, Paycom gives you a comprehensive HR tool set. 

While Paycom isn’t as customizable as other tools out there—making it a less than ideal fit for larger teams or businesses needing a highly targeted solution—field-based businesses and workforces that rarely join together in an office setting will love this mobile-first HR platform.

Check out our full Paycom review for a more in-depth look.

Fingercheck Review – Best for Businesses with Hourly Employees

Fingercheck brand logo.

If you have a sizable portion of your workforce getting paid hourly wages, finding the right tool to manage schedules, time tracking, and payroll can feel impossible. Fingercheck, though, caters to businesses that rely on clock-in-clock-out workers more than salaried employees. 

It handles the entire employee lifecycle, from streamlining the hiring of workers to help you weather high-volume periods to seamless payroll processing that can factor in tips, exempt wages, and more. Fingercheck is particularly adept at handling seasonal and part-time workers in a way that many other HR platforms aren’t. 

Where Fingercheck really shines is in its scheduling module. With one click, you can create optimized schedules that assign shifts based on skills, availability, and employee preferences, which is a constant consideration when your workforce is largely (or entirely) paid hourly. 

Prebuilt schedules can provide an excellent starting point, saving managers hours of time. Real-time schedule updates keep everyone informed of the latest changes. The platform also supports employee requests for shift swaps and time off approvals through customizable admin workflows. 

With Fingercheck’s time tracking, you gain insight into employee hours with clock in/out functionality and real-time monitoring. Because it’s fully integrated with payroll, you can sit back while the software calculates wages, overtime, and deductions automatically for error-free paydays. 

From scheduling conflicts to time theft, Fingercheck provides the visibility and support you need to address issues quickly.

You can also create professional and compliant employee handbooks with the click of a button, then distribute policies directly to employees through Fingercheck’s software to maintain transparency across your organization. 

While its reporting functionality could be improved, Fingercheck succeeds in delivering an intuitive solution for managing the critical yet complicated aspects of hourly employee scheduling, time tracking, and payroll. With this software, you can get ahead of staffing needs, gain transparency into labor costs, and ensure employees are paid accurately and on time, every time.

Paylocity Review – Best for International Payroll Runs

Paylocity brand logo.

As an organization with international employees or contractors spread the world over, managing payroll and compliance is one of your biggest challenges. Most HR tools don’t support payroll runs across borders, forcing you to cobble together different systems to pay and manage your workers. The administrative burden is enormous. 

Paylocity stands apart from the others with a unified, customizable platform built specifically for organizations with a global workforce. This software makes it easy to coordinate payroll for your international teams in over 100 countries.

Pay global staff in local currencies and ensure fair compensation based on the average cost of living in each location. Paylocity analyzes local salary norms and statutory benefits to guarantee your international employees receive what they’re owed. 

The software automatically handles foreign exchange rates and tax withholdings for each country, even filing returns on your behalf to ensure you avoid penalties.

Tired of fluctuating exchange rates and opaque fees eating into your budget? Paylocity gives you real-time visibility into currency conversions and transaction fees so you have control over costs. 

Its global payment network helps get funds to employees reliably and on schedule, too, no matter the payroll frequency. Don’t worry about compliance in unfamiliar regions any longer. Paylocity is an expert guide that knows local labor laws inside and out for all the locations they serve.

Paylocity’s software suite also covers all your other essential HR needs in one place—talent management, recruiting, learning, benefits, and more. 

As the world becomes more globally connected, businesses like yours require a trusted partner to handle the complexity of international compensation and payroll compliance. Paylocity is that partner, with their localized expertise and robust, unified platform. 

If you’re ready to eliminate the headache of international payments management and focus on sustaining your worldwide operations, look no further than Paylocity.

Want to know more? See our full Paylocity review.

Workday Review – Best Enterprise Resource Planning in an HR Platform

Workday brand logo.

Workday is a unified ERP solution built from the ground up for organizations like yours, offering a single, powerful system to help you optimize your workforce and manage every aspect of your entire business. 

This unified platform consolidates all of your core HR, financial, logistics, and customer data management needs into a scalable system that flexes where and when you need it to. 

With Workday, you can leverage an integrated HR ecosystem that syncs recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance, compensation, payroll, and every other human resources function you can think of—it’s that comprehensive.

Even if you have thousands of employees, Workday makes human resources an integrated piece of the whole where every manager has everything they need. From built-in workforce analytics, forecasting, and strategy tools to financial insights, supply chain management, and a CRM, it offers a holistic view of your organization.

Workday’s software utilizes machine learning to gain insights into each employee and tailor experiences to their needs. For your HR department, this means the platform offloads tasks to itself, like responding to questions or managing specific cases so your HR pros have more time for high-priority work. 

For employees, it results in an engaging experience where they have a customized view of company resources, learning opportunities, and growth paths.

The benefits of Workday’s unified ERP approach are clear. Real-time visibility across your entire business allows for data-driven decisions and minimizing risks, while deep automation capabilities decrease manual work. And with it all coming in one integrated package, you enable a seamless flow of information across your entire company.

While the initial investment in Workday is substantial, the long-term gains of productivity, reduced costs, data flow, and improved compliance can balance out the high price tag. 

It’s the only HR platform on our list that centralizes all of this, integrates your data, and unlocks workforce intelligence at such an advanced level. It’s the HR powerhouse you didn’t know you needed. 

Get with Workday and eliminate the hassle of managing data across disparate systems and enable your HR team to focus on high-value initiatives like enhancing employee experiences, developing skills, and driving strategic outcomes that really move the needle. 

HR Tools That Work for Specific Situations

If you already have tools for some HR functions, but need additional features, you don’t necessarily need a full HR solution. The same is true if you have complex needs in specific areas. Or maybe you are on a really tight budget or have basic HR needs, making a complete HR suite inaccessible or overkill.

The companies below offer highly specialized or low-scope HR solutions for various situations.

However, we’ve only included a small sampling of the options available. See our methodology to learn more about the individual functions of HR software, where to find our top picks for specialized tools, and who should use them. Review – Best for Simple Management of HR Tasks and Processes brand logo.

HR professionals juggle countless tasks while navigating complex workflows and managing cross-functional teams. And they often do it behind the scenes, without complaint. 

But disjointed systems, siloed data, and inefficient processes will slow you down. Enter, a project management-first tool that’s designed to streamline operations, optimize productivity, and gain real-time visibility across projects. 

But, in terms of HR, you can also customize dynamic workflows for every aspect of human resources management, including consolidating employee records, setting an onboarding process for new hires, running campaigns to attract top talent, and boosting employee engagement. 

Dozens of ready-made templates can help transform how you handle performance reviews, time-off requests, recruitment, and more. Monday’s intuitive interface lets you set up automated rules to keep HR action items on schedule. Gain insight into your team’s workload and progress through simplified reports and charts. 

The versatile functionality of means you can use it for any HR processes you want to optimize. You can also integrate with other HR tools to help shoulder the workload, since it isn’t a full-scale HR suite for payroll, filing taxes, keeping up with changing labor laws, or enrolling in the right benefits program. 

But, in combination with your existing HR systems, Monday can help you create a launchpad for improved communication, stronger collaboration, and enhanced operational agility.

The future of work is here—and it’s visual, collaborative, and streamlined thanks to

Check out our full review to see how it can transform the way your business manages projects.

Zoho People Review – The Most Affordable Solution for Basic HR Needs

Zoho brand logo.

Small businesses need an HR solution that won’t break the bank, but will still help keep their team organized and supported through growth periods. 

Zoho People offers an affordable human resources toolkit built specifically for startups and small businesses. Their lean and scalable platform provides efficiency, simplicity, and affordability while covering all the key HR bases.

Zoho’s entire software suite offers a modular approach that lets you select the tools you need, so you’re not paying for expensive features or components you’ll never use. Start with the basics like employee records, time-off management, and performance reviews, then add additional capabilities as your business scales without disrupting work or creating a significant financial burden. 

The starter plan for Zoho People includes an employee database, time-off management for up to five people, and basic performance reviews—all for free. That’s a steal if you’re a tiny operation that just needs the essentials.

Paid plans start at just a few dollars per employee per month, with steep discounts for users who don’t need full access to the software. 

And there are no hidden fees or long-term contracts. Just straightforward, affordable pricing. 

As you upgrade to higher tiers, you can begin automating HR tasks like scheduling, time tracking, and feedback so you can spend less time on administration and more time growing your business. Features like mobile clock-in, geo-location, shift scheduling, and timesheet approvals help you more effectively manage workforce time and attendance. 

On top of that, unlocking built-in KPIs, competency assessments, and reviews can make performance management a breeze. While Zoho People lacks advanced features of larger HR systems and an all-in-one feel, their focused approach provides training, development, and growth opportunities for small teams at a fraction of the cost. 

Startups and small businesses that need an affordable HR solution to handle the basics will find an easy, cost-effective choice in Zoho People. Why delay implementing a simple, streamlined HR system your team will actually use? Get a customized solution for your startup or small business HR needs at a fraction of the cost of other HR software. 

Patriot Review – Best for Exclusively Addressing Accounting and Payroll

Patriot brand logo.

If you don’t have an in-house accountant, tax pro, or HR administrator, you need an easy yet comprehensive way to manage accounting and payroll. 

Thankfully there’s a better way than paying for separate systems for both. Patriot is a solution that seamlessly handles both sides of this equation, helping your business save time and money without worrying about inaccuracies or missed payroll runs.

The accounting features, like cash vs. accrual basis, automated bank transaction importing, and financial reports, provide a clear snapshot of your business’s financial health. Meanwhile, the full-service payroll side of things handles tax calculations, payroll runs, and support for both W-2 and 1099 employees with ease, ensuring 100% compliance.

Plus, gain real-time visibility into your financial performance through integrated accounting and payroll reports. Speed up decision making by having this accurate data at your fingertips. 

With costs up to 50% less than competitors, Patriot’s affordable plans make it easy to get the tools you need for simplifying your accounting and payroll.

Choosing Patriot means you no longer have to fret about disjointed financial processes and spreadsheets. Get accurate, automated accounting and payroll in one integrated powerhouse. 

See our full Patriot review to learn more about its pros, cons, pricing, and offerings.

RUN Powered by ADP Review – Best if You Only Need Payroll and Onboarding (for Now)

RUN Powered by ADP brand logo.

For micro-sized and small businesses bursting at the seams with ambition, onboarding and paying their small group of employees is of paramount concern. RUN Powered by ADP, the payroll accuracy and compliance pioneers, offers an HR solution tailored to your business’s lean and agile needs.

With RUN’s software, you can automate, delegate, and accelerate both the payroll and onboarding processes. 

Starting with just the basics, RUN’s Bootstrap HR toolbox provides the essential features to get your house in order. For example, it calculates and disburses accurate paychecks, simplifies tax filings, and automates deductions for benefits and retirement plans if you bring those with you. And compliance updates ensure you never miss a beat with changing regulations.

It even handles garnishments, special tax rates for employees in different locations, and year-end filings so you don’t have to worry about anything. As HR pros themselves with over 70 years of experience, ADP built RUN’s AI to flag potential errors and ensure 100% accuracy in every pay run. 

Onboarding new team members also becomes easier than ever. RUN reports your new hires to the government and guides them through all necessary paperwork before their first day. You can create custom onboarding checklists to ensure every new employee goes through the same process. RUN even includes integrated background checks—including SSN verification and criminal history—which provide peace of mind in your hiring efforts.

With step-by-step guidance through every tool and process plus 24/7 support from certified payroll experts, even non-HR professionals will feel at ease handling essential tasks.

Despite RUN’s lightweight feel, your entire team gets a self-service portal for accessing pay stubs, updating personal information, and more. 

Why pay for a Cadillac when a Honda Civic will do? With RUN, you only pay for the features you need right now. Adding insurance, time and attendance, performance management, and other functions is a click away when your company growth dictates the need for them.

However, it’s important to note that there are no performance management features and automated labor law compliance only comes in at higher tiers. Keep that in mind as your operations grow to new heights.

ADP knows you don’t want to just stroll to the next great stage of your business—you want to RUN.

RUN is just one of ADP’s human resources solutions. Check out our full ADP review to learn more.

UKG Dimensions Review – The Best Solution for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems

UKG brand logo.

Hospitals and healthcare systems have to balance more priorities than most companies in other industries, including patient care quality, controlling costs, and handling dynamic schedules. 

The realities of healthcare and compliance requirements make this next to impossible to do without a solid HR platform. UKG Dimensions gets that. 

This brand offers a specialized workforce management solution and HR platform containing a built-in precision scheduler for patient care and shift orchestration, on top of industry-leading human resources features. 

With their pre-built add-ons, you can create accurate schedules based on forecasted patient volume, staff qualifications, and preferences while ensuring proper coverage and avoiding burnout. From varying shift patterns and dizzying arrays of employee types to managing multiple, busy locations, you get all of the coordination tools you need on top of a robust HR platform.

UKG provides an easy-to-use system for employees to communicate their needs while automating schedules that maximize efficiency and work-life balance.

As your patient experience guardian, UKG Dimensions helps coordinate care across departments and locations. Enhanced communication and visibility into schedules, time-off requests, and task management promote better collaboration between nurses, physicians, specialists, and support staff. 

Plus, you can automate workload distribution and patient-to-staff assignments. Because it integrates with most EHRs, you get the help you need with patient classifications and matching patients with the appropriate providers, too. 

UKG Dimensions also provides sophisticated analytics and reports that give unprecedented insight into your greatest expenses?your people. From optimizing labor to control costs, adjusting to volume changes, and ensuring safe staffing levels, the industry-specific solutions have you covered. 

While it comes with nearly everything you need, it doesn’t cover benefits management. The recruitment and performance management tools are also weaker in UKG than other tools on our list because that’s not the main focus. But this powerhouse is the only option on our list that can rise to the occasion for the uniquely intense HR needs of the healthcare industry. 

How We Determined the Best HR Software

We started with a list of 34 tools, including ADP Workforce Now, Ascentis, BambooHR, CakeHR, Cezanne HR, Deel, Factorial, Fingercheck, Freshteam, GoCo, Gusto, HR Acuity, HR Cloud, Justworks,, Namely, OnPay, Oyster HR, Paychex, Paycom, Paycor, Paylocity, Patriot Payroll, People HR, QuickBooks Payroll, Rippling, Sage HR, SentricHR, Square Payroll, TriNet, UKG Dimensions, Wave Payroll, Zoho People, Zenefits.

We evaluated each one against the following criteria to cut the list down, identifying those that check all the boxes and those that are great for specific situations.

At the end, we were left with 17 HR solutions that cover the entire category of human resources.

Compliance with Employer Laws and Regulations

Running a business comes with countless responsibilities, especially around managing employees.

There are dozens of federal and state laws regulating how employers should handle payroll, provide breaks, withhold taxes, and much more regarding the management of their workforce.

This includes laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), federal and state income tax withholding that varies depending on where an employee works, COBRA, and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) just to name just a few.

Even businesses  with a dedicated HR team can have trouble staying on top of everything without being overwhelmed.

Despite that, compliance with these laws is absolutely critical, no matter how small or large your company may be. Failure to comply can result in costly fines, audits, and legal trouble

The good news is, technology has made it much easier for HR teams and non-HR professionals alike to keep their businesses in compliance.

Much of the HR software we reviewed above provides an all-in-one solution to handle key tasks like payroll processing, paid time off tracking, tax withholding, and benefits administration according to applicable laws.

With the right HR platform, you get peace of mind knowing that payroll is calculated properly, employees are receiving the correct benefits and paid time off, and all federal and state taxes are being withheld, paid, and filed on time. On top of that, these smart platforms stay up-to-date with changing regulations so you don’t have to.

While no technology can replace human oversight and judgment, HR software goes a long way in reducing the burden of regulatory compliance, letting you focus on other things.

If your industry is uniquely regulated, HR software that is supported by compliance experts can help further simplify the process of maintaining compliance and give business owners, HR professionals, and administrators greater confidence in managing their workforce.

Recruitment, Hiring, and Onboarding

The process of finding and hiring new employees is complex and can easily become disorganized without the right tools to keep everything in order. HR software helps simplify these critical tasks for both HR professionals and non-HR managers alike.

For example, using an applicant tracking system allows you to post jobs to multiple sites with one click and accept applications from candidates in a centralized place. Managers can then review, organize, and communicate with applicants efficiently through the software. 

Once you’ve found the right hire, onboarding new employees typically requires managing offer letters, background checks, payroll setup, and benefits enrollment across multiple systems. An HR management tool brings all these activities together in one workflow so nothing gets missed. Onboarding tools get them up to speed with company policies, payroll, benefits enrollment, and more before their first day. 

Businesses that use dedicated HR solutions for these purposes often see decreased time to hire, lower cost per hire, and improved new hire retention. The best HR software provides an end-to-end experience from recruiting through onboarding and beyond. In this roundup, all of our top picks contain features for at least two of these three areas, if not all of them.

We’ve also published reviews of the best onboarding software and applicant tracking systems for those wanting to take a deeper dive into solutions focused specifically on one part of the process. While recruiting, hiring, and onboarding can certainly be messy and complicated, the right technology and tools can help create an organized, hassle-free experience for HR teams, managers, and new employees alike.

Attendance and Scheduling

Many businesses can benefit from smarter tools for scheduling, timekeeping and attendance management. 

For example, retailers with part-time workers often struggle with creating schedules that meet the needs of the business while also being fair to employees. Or, manufacturing companies have to account for shift work, overtime, and managing productivity on the floor, while healthcare organizations need to ensure proper staffing levels and that certification requirements are met for patient safety.

Solving these complex scheduling and time-tracking problems is where human resource tools come in. HR software with integrated time and attendance systems or features like schedule optimization tools and time clock apps can simplify work for managers and business owners. They make it easy to create customized schedules that fit the needs of your workforce, track hours worked, calculate overtime and paid time off, and stay on top of attendance issues.

With integrated timekeeping and scheduling, businesses can also streamline related HR and payroll activities. Data flows automatically into payroll, reducing manual entry and errors. Reports provide insights into labor costs, budgeting, and productivity. Many systems also sport features like employee self-service portals, task management, and integrations with other workplace tools.

If you already have a comprehensive HR solution or have specific needs when it comes to attendance and scheduling, a tool that’s solely focused on this facet of HR may be a better fit. Check out our favorite time and attendance tools and the best time clock software to find the right one for you.

Performance and Training Management

There are many tools and strategies to effectively manage employee performance, keep people engaged, provide impactful training, and enable continuous learning. However, juggling multiple systems and processes for each area of employee management can create extra work for HR teams and confusion for employees.

Our recommendation for most companies is to adopt an all-in-one human resources platform that integrates options for performance management, engagement, training, and more. These unified systems simplify things by housing all people-related data and initiatives in one place. Employees get a single sign-on to access reviews, feedback, learning content, and communication tools while HR administrators get a holistic view of their people and programs.

Most of our top picks above offer robust features for managing performance and developing skills, ranging from performance reviews and goal setting and tracking to peer feedback and online learning centers with videos and instructional courses.

An HR suite with strong performance and learning features built into the software is an efficient choice that simplifies work and creates a great employee experience. With the right platform in place, organizations can ensure employees get the feedback, coaching, and development they need to thrive.

If you already have a well-established HR system but want to focus on leveling up your employee engagement, performance, or training efforts, a specialized tool is likely your best option. Check out our top performance management recommendations, our favorite employee engagement platforms, the best employee training tools to learn more.

Payroll and Compensation

HR software that includes payroll and compensation features is what most people want.Your team needs to get paid—it’s one of the most important HR functions. So, it’s not a matter of if you need payroll, it’s a matter of how you get it and how it fits into your overarching HR system.

HR software with payroll fully integrated means most, if not all, of your HR processes can be taken care of in one platform. It goes a long way toward reducing the need for manual data entry, thus minimizing errors and saving you time that you can spend focusing on other tasks.

Plus, you can maintain greater consistency and accuracy in your data, which is crucial for payroll compliance and financial reporting. 

Having payroll functionality in your HR software also means a more unified user experience for both your HR managers and employees.No one needs to log into different platforms just to update their information, see their pay stubs, track performance, or onboard new employees.

That’s why all of our top 12 picks offer payroll processing and compensation features in some form.

If you already have a payroll solution, finding HR software that fully integrates with it can help achieve some of the same benefits as getting everything in one place.

However, a dedicated online payroll tool may be a better fit if your business only needs payroll and onboarding features in terms of HR, or if you’re operating with a limited budget. In that case, check out our top picks to find the perfect standalone payroll software for your situation.

Benefits Administration

Choosing HR software that handles the nuances of benefits procurement and administration can solve many headaches for businesses. With an all-in-one solution, you’ll have access to a wider range of high-quality benefit packages that you can offer your employees. 

Software providers often employ benefits experts who can help you determine the right mix of plans for your company culture and budget.This can helps ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform and offering competitive, cost-effective benefits packages that can help you recruit and hire effectively

The ideal HR software for your company handles both the administrative and strategic components of benefits management. With the software automating much of the paperwork and processes, you can focus on leveraging benefits plans to motivate your teams and support their wellbeing. 

Whether you should bring your existing benefits vendor into a new HR software platform or switch to the software provider’s partner vendors depends on your situation. If you have a long-standing relationship with your current vendor and they integrate well with the new software, keeping them on may make sense (or may dictate which software option you choose). 

However, HR software providers’ partners are often highly vetted, with competitive pricing and plans tailored to work optimally with the HR software. For many businesses, making this switch is the simplest and most cost-effective option.

While we don’t discuss benefits in-depth in this post, check out the top employee benefits plans to learn more about our favorite HR solutions with the best benefits packages for different types of businesses.

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