What Is the Best HR Software?

The best HR software streamlines employee onboarding, payroll, time-off requests, training, benefits management, workforce management and more. HR Software offers employees self-service tools to reduce the requests and questions your HR department handles daily.

Allow employees to access their benefits information, pay stubs and time off all in one convenient place. This explanation covers the main benefits of using HR software, what to look for in a good system and the best options on the market based on your business size and type.

What Are the Benefits of Using HR Software?

The best HR management software provides extensive benefits to your organization. Here’s a look at the top benefits you’ll experience once you implement a software system.


Automate many of your HR department’s busy work tasks with software. Send reminders to employees whose information is out of date or incomplete. Notify all employees when you make a change to the employee handbook or HR policies to keep everyone updated. Even create automated workflows for approvals and reporting.

Centralized information

Onboarding a new employee can include some confusing and chaotic moments. There is tons of paperwork to be completed, handbooks to read and sign off on and training materials to communicate. 

HR software offers a centralized database of information and can walk new employees through the many steps in onboarding. Years down the road when an employee is unsure of a policy, they know right where to look and see the most up-to-date HR information.

Time-off management

Managing employee time-off can be an extremely time-consuming task. The software helps you manage accruals based on employee tenure and contractual agreements concerning time off. And an employee can categorize the time off based on it being vacation, sick or leave. Then send it through the preset workflows for managers to approve through notifications and automation.

Employee insights

HR software can help you find insights into who your top stars are and how you can help foster their development, all while allowing you to focus on retention. View an employee’s skills and aspirations to look for opportunities to train the employee and keep them happy in their job so that they stay with your company.

What Factors Make a Good HR Software?

There are hundreds of HR software options on the market, which can make shopping for the right system challenging. Outlined below are the top features you should look for in your search for the best platform.

Employee information management

House your employee data in a secure location. Provide different users access to view employee information, such as making everything available for top HR representatives while making some essential information viewable for the employee’s manager. You can automate messages to your staff to update their information on set intervals and give them self-service options to make changes during life events, such as a move to a new address or welcoming a new baby requiring tax document changes.

Recruiting and hiring

Managing applications during the hiring process can mean a giant stack of resumes on your desk. Or it can mean a helpful pre-sorted file of the best candidates. Once you select one of those candidates, get their paperwork moving quickly with auto-filling fields based on their application and resume data. Never miss another outstanding candidate when you add structure to your recruiting and hiring practices through HR software.

Good UI/UX design

The software has to be intuitive or your team won’t get the full benefits out of using it. Frustrations and inefficient designs will get in the way of your team’s productivity. And employees might go around the software and just call or email your team with questions, which defies the point of having software. Look for software that’s easy to learn and navigate so that your team will fully adopt it. 

Time and attendance management

Managing time cards and time-off requests are probably some of the most time-consuming HR tasks. But software can automate a great deal of this work and make it simpler for employees to self-manage their time and attendance data. Program your HR system with how your employees accrue time off and their wage information for attendance purposes to simplify payroll for hourly employees.

Employee analytics

Data provides many great insights and can reduce administrative burdens for HR teams. Your recruiting and retention teams can pull fast facts about your employee population and competitive advantages. Showcase employee resource groups, diversity efforts and more to attract and retain top talent. And with reporting you can showcase the value your department offers the organization.

The Best HR Software 

Take a look at some of the highest-rated HR software systems available. Learn what makes them great and the types of organizations they’re ideal for to find the best option for you.

SAP SuccessFactors 

SAP SuccessFactors is specially tailored to be the best HR software for small businesses. But that doesn’t mean it’s missing any key features that an enterprise looks for in such software. The intuitive interface, simple setup and ongoing training videos help make it very friendly to smaller businesses. 


  • Excellent set of features for small to medium-sized businesses
  • Easy setup process
  • Useful video training and tutorials
  • Comprehensive performance management features


  • More expensive than competing HR software systems
  • Is somewhat limited in its interoperability and addons with other business software

Best For: Employee performance management

Pricing: Prices start at $6.30 per user per month, but you’ll need to request a quote for the software based on your organization and user needs.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Workday is an extremely robust HR management software that encompasses every aspect of people management. The cloud-based software makes it easy to manage HR from anywhere, at any time. Because of how inclusive the software is, it’s not designed for smaller businesses.


  • Excellent analytics and big data insights
  • Outstanding employee self-service options
  • Ability to purchase additional modules based on needs (i.e., onboarding, performance management, benefits, expenses, time tracking, recruiting, etc.)


  • Report generation is complicated and not intuitive
  • Takes many clicks to navigate to the page or information employees need

Best For: Large enterprises with multiple locations

Pricing: Workday does not publish its pricing on its website. You’ll need to reach out to sales to get a quote.

Rating: 4 stars


BambooHR provides an excellent feature set for small to medium-sized organizations. The user interface is extremely intuitive making it easy to learn and navigate for your employees.


  • Get all the features and tools you need for HR all in one place
  • Connect to many software systems through APIs


  • Limited benefits administration tools
  • Mobile app functionality is somewhat limited
  • More expensive than other software options

Best For: Small- to medium-sized businesses

Pricing: BambooHR creates custom quotes based on your organization’s size and needs. You can select from two different plans and add features based on your needs.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Gusto is the best HR software for small business thanks to its easy-to-use payroll management features. Plus, the company offers outstanding support, which is an attractive feature for small businesses with limited resources. The ability to give contractors limited tools in the system also makes it an attractive option.


  • Easy to use
  • Customizable employee records
  • Unique view for contractors
  • Good mobile version for on-the-go use
  • Excellent customer support


  • Reports are somewhat limited
  • User dashboard is not as useful as it could be

Best For: Payroll management for small businesses

Pricing: Gusto starts at $39 a month for the base subscription plus $6 per month per user.

Rating: 4.5 stars


Benefits help employers retain top talent and differentiate the employer during recruiting. But managing benefits can be a real headache without the right tools. Zenefits makes benefits administration simple while still offering the essential HR tools you need from your software. 


  • Thorough employee records
  • Outstanding mobile app for employees
  • An interface that’s easy to learn and use 


  • Extensive tools could be overwhelming for smaller businesses at first
  • Mobile app is tailored toward employees and lacks some administrative functions

Best For: Benefits administration

Pricing: Prices start at $8 per month per user. But you’ll need to upgrade to get access to additional features, such as performance and compensation management.

Rating: 4 stars


Namely is an extremely comprehensive HR software option for small businesses. The pricing structure will likely make the software too expensive for larger organizations, and even small businesses might struggle to afford the subscription given the breadth of the tool.


  • Comprehensive HR software tools
  • Thorough employee performance review tools
  • Manage HR, payroll and benefits all in one place


  • Very expensive, especially for the target market of small businesses
  • Not suited for larger employers

Best For: HR organizations that want to create a custom experience

Pricing: Namely does not publish its prices on its website. You must reach out to get a quote based on your needs.

Rating: 4 stars

Tools to Attract and Retain Top Talent

HR is all about caring for employees. The right HR software can help your organization do this with greater ease and enjoyment while empowering managers and offering self-service tools to reduce office busywork. Get greater insights into your workforce while empowering your recruiting and hiring team with valuable resources to attract and retain top talent. 

Schedule some demos of the software options listed above to start your journey toward improved HR management.