Hiring workers to join your company is a necessary step to grow your business and expand its output. However, with more workers comes more HR work. Businesses that hire employees and contractors must keep track of and manage many human resource tasks to keep their workforce operating smoothly. Luckily, today’s software options can support your HR team in more effectively managing your staff while adhering to other operational requirements of your organization.
SEE: Hiring kit: Technical recruiter (TechRepublic Premium)
Human resources software can streamline HR processes and simplify activities like recruiting, payroll processing, onboarding, time and attendance management, and benefits administration. With the right HR software in place, businesses can spend less time focusing on mundane HR tasks and more time leading their teams to success. This article will guide you through some of the top HR software solutions to consider in 2023.
- Feature comparison table
- Top HR software of 2023
- How to choose the right HR software
- Review methodology
Feature comparison table
|Time and attendance tracking||Yes (with add-on)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Built-in expense management||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Workflows and approvals||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Global payroll processing||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No|
Top HR software of 2023
Justworks: Best for small businesses and startups
Justworks provides software that streamlines processes involved in payroll, employee benefits, compliance and other HR actions. The solution makes it easy for HR professionals to offer high-quality benefits, correctly process employee payments and keep track of employer-related compliance needs.
The all-in-one platform includes features and capabilities designed with small businesses and startups in mind. With robust HR tools, helpful compliance resources and extra wellness perks within the Plus plan, organizations can carry out HR actions and show appreciation for their teams.
The Basic Plan includes the following features:
- Payroll for salaried and hourly employees.
- Off-cycle payments.
- Vendor and contractor payments.
- Employer payroll tax filings.
- W-2 and 1099 filings.
- Unemployment insurance filings.
- Employment practices liability insurance.
- 24/7 support.
- HR consulting.
- Harassment prevention and inclusion training.
- Online employee onboarding.
- PTO management.
- Calendar, doc center and directory.
- Accounting software integrations.
- Commuter benefits.
- Plan setup.
- Mobile app for employees.
- Workers’ comp.
- Life and disability insurance.
- Health and wellness perks.
- Fitness memberships.
The Plus Plan includes all Basic Plan features, plus additional features that focus on access to medical, dental and vision insurance:
- COBRA administration.
- Health advocacy services.
- One Medical (where available).
- Medical insurance.
- Dental and vision insurance.
- HSA and FSA accounts.
- Online payroll services provide a streamlined payroll process for employees, vendors and contractors at no extra cost. The solution also processes employee benefits, deductions and tax withholdings for users to ensure accuracy.
- Time tracking (available through an add-on) and HR tools simplify processes like onboarding, reporting and PTO management, making it easier to manage on-site and remote workers.
- Justworks reports and remits federal, state and local payroll taxes and files W-2s and 1099s to ease the burden of tax season on users.
- Time tracking tools are only available for businesses that select the Justworks Hours add-on at an additional cost.
- As a professional employer organization software solution, Justworks’ price per employee is high compared to other HR software options.
- Basic plan: Provides payroll, benefits, HR and compliance features for $59 per month per employee (1–49 employees) or $49 per month per employee (50+ employees).
- Plus plan: Provides all the features included in the Basic plan, as well as access to medical, dental and vision insurance. The Plus plan costs $99 per month per employee (1–49 employees) or $89 per month per employee (50+ employees).
Gusto: Best for expert guidance
If you’ve been considering an HR solution for your business, odds are you’ve heard about Gusto. Gusto’s software offers features for organizations to manage their benefits, hiring and other HR processes. It has become a staple name in the HR game, providing helpful solutions for big, small, in-person and remote workforce teams.
While access to HR experts and priority support resources may not be included in all plans, businesses can benefit from these by selecting the HR services add-on with the Plus plan.
The Simple plan includes:
- Full-service single-state payroll, including W-2s and 1099s.
- Employee profiles and self-service.
- Basic hiring and onboarding tools.
- Gusto-brokered health insurance administration.
- Employee financial benefits.
- Payroll and time-off reports.
- Custom admin permissions.
- Integrations for accounting, time tracking, expense management and more.
- Basic support.
The Plus plan includes everything in the Simple plan, plus:
- Full-service multi-state payroll, including W-2s and 1099s.
- Next-day direct deposit.
- Advanced hiring and onboarding tools.
- PTO management and policies.
- Time tracking and project tracking.
- Workforce expense costing and reports.
- Team management tools.
- Full support.
The Premium plan includes everything in the Plus plan, plus:
- HR Resource Center.
- Compliance alerts.
- Access to certified HR experts.
- Full-service payroll migration and account setup.
- Health insurance broker integration.
- R&D tax credit discount.
- Waived fees and exclusive pricing.
- Performance reviews.
- Employee surveys and insights.
- Dedicated support.
- The solution comes with helpful resources like professional templates and guides that are developed by HR experts to help them generate job descriptions, administer performance evaluations and carry out other HR tasks.
- Gusto provides businesses with dedicated personal support from certified HR experts through their Premium plan or as an HR services add-on with the Plus plan. This provides access to live, unlimited advice from SHRM and HRCI-certified experts.
- Changing teams and new staff members are easy to track and manage with Gusto, as businesses can create custom onboarding checklists for new hires.
- Gusto does not support international workers outside the U.S.
- Simple plan: Starts at $40 per month, plus $6 per month per employee.
- Plus plan: Starts at $80 per month, plus $12 per month per employee.
- Premium plan: Pricing for this plan is available upon request.
Papaya Global: Best for global payroll
Papaya Global offers software to support businesses of all sizes with their payroll, compliance and HR processes. This platform is ideal for businesses with dispersed team members, as it provides global payroll processing solutions in over 160 countries.
Papaya helps business leaders manage all the tasks and factors involved in processing global payments. With its automated features, approval chains and customized notifications, this software makes it easier for HR team members to carry out even the most complex payroll processes with accuracy and compliance.
- Payments and payroll processing in 160+ countries.
- Automated payments in local currency.
- Operational support for worker equity and expense payments.
- Equity management.
- Third-party payments.
- Platform dashboard/panel.
- User permissions.
- Approval chains.
- Customized notifications.
- New worker requests.
- EOR and payroll reporting.
- Technical support.
- Knowledge base.
- Center of excellence.
- EOR and payroll compliance.
- Contract management.
- GDPR compliance.
- SOC2 compliance.
- Not only does Papaya support payments in more than 160 countries, but the system can also conduct automated payments in workers’ local currency, deposited directly to their bank accounts. Businesses can also process payments to third-party vendors and organizations, like the IRS.
- By taking advantage of the software’s payroll intelligence suite, users can access helpful reports on their data. This suite provides visually rich, dynamic reports on factors like payroll processes, admin data and billing. Businesses can also access auto-generated BI reports within the solution’s robust reporting suite.
- Papaya keeps data safe, letting teams set up customized roles and permissions for accessing, viewing and altering data within the system.
- Papaya Global costs per employee can quickly add up to become a heavy expense for businesses with many staff members.
- Full-Service Payroll: Allows businesses to manage and process payroll, taxes, benefits and compliance for countries where they have entities. This plan starts at $12 per month per employee.
- Employer of Record: Lets users hire, pay and offer benefits to international employees without a local entity. This plan starts at $650 per month per employee.
- Contractor Management: Businesses can compliantly onboard, pay and manage international contractors at scale. This plan starts at just $2 per month per contractor.
- Data and Insights Platform License: Lets users gain insights into their workforce spending and starts at $150 per month.
- Global Expertise Services: Allows you to offer benefits to a global workforce. This starts at $190 per month per employee.
BambooHR: Best for employee experience
As its name would suggest, BambooHR is another software provider with solutions that focus on streamlining HR tasks. BambooHR uses automation in its HR tools, allowing users to quickly and simply carry out HR processes.
The solution also comes with features and capabilities that allow organizations to improve their employee experiences and overall company culture. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, BambooHR includes several solutions for strengthening the culture within organizational workforces; Its performance management and employee satisfaction features enable team leaders to track and manage workers and ensure their teams are set up for success.
- Employee records.
- Mobile app for organizational leaders and employees.
- Workflows and approvals.
- Reporting and analytics.
- Mobile hiring app.
- Applicant tracking system.
- Onboarding features.
- Offboarding features.
- Time tracking.
- PTO tracking software.
- Employee satisfaction scoring with eNPS.
- Performance appraisal software.
- BambooHR provides pre-built workflows with approval processes, so teams can save time and ensure tasks are completed strategically.
- With the mobile hiring app, HR teams and business recruiters can stay on top of their talent sourcing at any time and from any place. The recruiting software also comes with an applicant tracking system, so users can carry out hiring quickly and efficiently.
- With eNPS, users can gauge and keep track of employee satisfaction, giving them the data they need to take actionable steps to improve the organization for their staff. BambooHR also gathers data throughout the employee life cycle and delivers insights to help organizations support team members.
- The solution’s integration options are limited, so businesses should check before purchasing this product to see whether it would work well with the other software in their tech stack.
BambooHR lets users test out its software with a free trial. Businesses can also expand the capabilities of their software plan by purchasing add-on services for payroll, benefits administration, performance management or time tracking. These are the plans that BambooHR offers:
- Essentials plan: Custom pricing.
- Advantage plan: Custom pricing.
Specific pricing information is not provided on the website, but potential customers can sign up online to learn more about the HR platform.
Rippling: Best for compliance management
Rippling’s workforce management platform provides features and capabilities for managing team members’ payroll, expenses, benefits, devices and other factors. Rippling’s HR Cloud product uses automation to streamline people operations and helps businesses support their team members throughout the entire employee lifecycle. Although Rippling also offers global payroll solutions, compliance management is where the software really shines.
Rippling takes care of tax and compliance work, keeping businesses compliant with the appropriate forms, laws and regulations. It also allows businesses to create custom policies for HR actions like PTO and automatically apply them to specified groups of people. By automating policy enforcement tasks, organizations can avoid human error and benefit from features like reminders and automatic system updates. And if any mistakes are made, Rippling’s software will automatically flag hidden local, state and federal compliance infractions and recommend a plan for resolving each one.
- Payroll accuracy.
- Global HRIS.
- Automatic tax filing.
- Dedicated mobile app.
- Automated payroll compliance.
- Minimum wage enforcement.
- Overtime enforcement.
- Leave enforcement.
- Payroll analytics.
- PEO services.
- Library of pre-built reports.
- Time tracking and attendance features.
- Expense management.
- Benefits administration.
- 500+ integrations.
- Task delegation.
- Dynamic general ledger mapping.
- Automated onboarding features.
- Form generation.
- Automated transition and offboarding features.
- Exit surveys.
- Hiring tracking.
- Unified compensation data.
- Report scheduling and sharing.
- Custom RQL data queries.
- Unified finance data.
- Workflow automation.
- Customized role-based policies and permissions.
- ACA and COBRA administration.
- With Rippling Learning Management, workforce leaders can maintain compliance with their team’s mandatory trainings and certifications. They can also set up custom enrollment rules and use the intelligent course assignments feature to automatically assign courses to staff members, send them reminders and track their progress.
- Rippling helps businesses stay on top of their labor law compliance, as the solution automatically manages ACA and COBRA compliance tasks. It carries out processes according to federal, state and local policies for important matters like ACA notices and COBRA payments.
- The Rippling Pulse feature helps leaders get an inside look at their organization by administering employee surveys, triggering actions based on survey responses and uncovering insights from survey results.
- This solution is not as user-friendly for beginners as some of the other HR software options. The steep learning curve may be challenging for less tech-savvy users.
Pricing for Rippling software starts at $8/month per user, but the final price may depend on the services included with your plan. Rippling allows buyers to choose the services they prefer and customers can submit their information to receive a custom quote.
Paychex: Best for HR benefits
Paychex offers software for more than just payroll processing. Its HR services enable organizations to support and manage their teams while reducing their risk and meeting their HR needs. The software contains useful features for employee hiring and onboarding, HR consulting and gaining beneficial analytics insights. Workforce leaders and HR staff will appreciate the control and visibility granted by the software, both of which make it easy to automate HR processes and customize the solution based on their specific needs.
For more HR functionality, businesses can opt for Paychex PEO, an HR outsourcing solution that provides PEO Services. Paychex’s HR PEO team includes experts that work with businesses and support them with many HR administrative services.
- Talent attraction and retention features.
- Risk reduction.
- Access to analytics and self-service.
- Regulatory compliance support.
- Employee recognition platform.
- Data-driven insights.
- Workplace safety and compliance management.
- HR automation.
- HR consulting.
- Employee onboarding.
- Hiring services.
- PEO options.
- Paychex gives businesses what they need to support their members with 500+ wellness programs. This perk can be helpful for attracting and retaining new talent, boosting employee satisfaction and engagement, and decreasing turnover rates.
- Rippling adheres to GDPR and CCPA and carries out annual audits for SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2 compliance. The solution also allows businesses to monitor their federal, state and local labor compliance through ACA and COBRA administration, minimum wage laws and mandatory workplace posters.
- Managing and securing employee information is simplified with Paychex’s automated document management tools. The system allows HR staff to request information from employees, obtain e-signatures, and ensure that all documents are organized and up-to-date.
- Time tracking capabilities are only available through Paychex Flex Time, an additional service that businesses can integrate with their software for an added fee.
Paychex is available in these three plans:
- Paychex Flex Essentials: $39 per month + $5 per employee.
- Paychex Flex Select: Custom pricing.
- Paychex Flex Pro: Custom pricing.
How to choose the right HR software
Choosing an effective HR software solution is essential, but with the variety of options available, it can be tough to choose the right one for your business needs. To successfully select the right HR software solution, there are some vital factors and best practices you should consider.
Begin the selection process by identifying your HR needs. Understanding your business’s HR requirements can help you determine which areas of your HR process require automation and which HR activities should be prioritized in selected software features. From here, you’ll develop a better idea of the type of HR software that can meet your specific needs.
Once you have identified your HR needs, you should evaluate the features that each HR software solution offers. Key features to look for include an applicant tracking system, onboarding management, payroll processing, benefits administration or any other supportive tools that could help with processing your business’s HR needs.
SEE: The best applicant tracking systems (TechRepublic)
Finally, consider the functionality of the product and how well it can support your HR staff and business in the long run. You should look for a scalable solution that can accommodate your organization’s changing HR needs, especially if it is a growing business.
In addition, good software solutions will provide robust security features to protect the privacy of your staff’s sensitive information. Another factor worth assessing would be the software’s integration options, as an ideal system will integrate seamlessly with other business tools you use.
Selecting the right HR software is crucial to the success of your HR processes. When choosing an HR solution, consider your specific HR needs and the qualities of the software to find a perfect fit for your business.
This is a technical review that relies on compiled literature researched from relevant databases. The information provided within this article is gathered from vendor websites or based on an aggregate of user feedback to ensure a high-quality review.
Read next: The best human resources payroll software (TechRepublic)