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Workday and Oracle are highly-rated vendors of human resources software, and both companies offer robust solutions for managing a wide array of HR workflows and data. Find out how Workday HCM and Oracle HCM compare to help you choose the right HR software for your business.

SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium)

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What is Workday?

Workday HCM is a cloud-based human resources software that includes a well-rounded set of HR tools such as timekeeping, performance management and compensation benchmarking. Workday’s human capital management product is designed for medium- to enterprise-size businesses. This HR software offers comprehensive data reporting and analytics capabilities including predictive modeling.

What is Oracle?

Oracle’s human capital management offering includes modules dedicated to talent management, workforce management and payroll.

Oracle vs Workday: Feature comparison

FeaturesOracleWorkday
Predictive modelingYesYes
CloudYesYes
Performance managementYesYes
Time trackingYesYes
Payroll for U.S.-based employeesYesYes
International payrollYesYes
Workforce planningYesYes
Learning managementYesYes
HR analyticsYesYes

Pros and cons of Workday

Pros of Workday

Figure A

Image: Workday

Workday’s HR software tools allow organizations to manage all of their HR workflows and store all HR data in one centralized system. This provides a better user experience for employees and administrators. Workday’s employee self-service tools are fairly easy-to-use on web and mobile, so employees can access their timesheets, pay stubs and benefits information from wherever they are.

One area where Workday really shines is compensation management. The software provides strong compensation benchmarking tools that integrate well with the recruiting tools to assess salaries for upcoming roles. Salary benchmarking is important for attracting and retaining top talent in today’s competitive labor market. Salary benchmarking can also be used for equity and inclusion purposes to ensure fair pay across the organization.

Cons of Workday

The reviews are mixed when it comes to Workday’s user interface. Some users find Workday’s system easy to navigate, while others find the UI frustrating or outdated. This somewhat comes down to personal preference, but it is worth noting that Workday is a fairly complex system and most users need training to use it properly. Before choosing a software solution, it’s always a good idea to sign up for a demo and experience the interface for yourself.

Another potential con is pricing. Workday does not offer transparent pricing, so you will need to contact the company for a quote. Workday is generally geared more towards midsize to enterprise companies, so its features and pricing are designed for bigger companies with larger budgets and advanced HR needs. If you are looking for HR software for a small business, it’s a good idea to check out vendors like Rippling that are targeted toward smaller companies.

Pros and cons of Oracle

Figure B

Image: Oracle

Pros of Oracle

One of the biggest pros of using Oracle’s HR software is simply that it is from Oracle, which is an established company with a strong reputation for data security. Companies can feel confident that Oracle’s data security practices meet industry standards even for more sensitive or regulated industries like healthcare and government. This is important because businesses store a lot of sensitive employee information and banking data in HR software.

Oracle offers helpful data dashboards and HR analytics with actionable insights on hiring and HR opportunities such as recommendations on how to better allocate labor or advance employees within the company. Oracle has fairly strong international payroll support in its native application and through integration with ADP. The company has planned expansions to several additional companies including France over the next few years.

Cons of Oracle

One downside of Oracle is that, like Workday, it is not the easiest software to figure out. Tech-savvy administrators and HR staff should be able to learn the system fairly quickly with the right training; however, since employee self-service is an important part of HR software, some organizations prefer HR software systems with a smaller learning curve to provide a better experience for new hires.

How does Workforce compare to Oracle?

Workforce planning

Figure C

Credit: Workday

Workday’s workforce planning tools are designed to provide HR leadership insight into their historical workforce data in order to plan for the future; for example, the platform can use past data to build predictive models about upcoming labor needs. This would help your company accurately plan and budget for changes in workforce needs, and especially give the recruiting team a head start in building a pipeline of applicants for in-demand roles.

Oracle’s workforce modeling feature uses business intelligence tools to help assess a company’s future staffing and reorganization needs based on different potential business situations. Oracle’s data modeling and visualization tools are great, because they are designed to be code-free accessible for all users and not just data analysts.

Payroll processing and analytics

Figure D

Credit: Oracle

Workday includes payroll processing capabilities for employees based in the U.S., U.K., Canada and France; the HR software integrates other payroll providers for international payroll processing to non-supported countries. Workday’s payroll dashboards are fairly easy-to-read and provide helpful insights on metrics such as labor costs, overtime spending and compensation trends.

Oracle supports payroll processing to 10 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico and several in the Middle East. Companies can access payroll analytics as well as set up rule-based payroll processing. Oracle also integrates with ADP, a popular payroll software provider, for domestic and global payroll processing.

Deployment

Workday and Oracle are large, complex systems, and many companies will benefit from working with a third-party consultant when deploying these HR solutions.

Workday has a list of deployment partners that the company recommends customers use. New customers that don’t want to engage an outside consultant for deployment can work with Workday’s professional services team to get set up. Businesses can also use Workday Success Plans, a subscription-based service that offers access to additional resources, tools and expertise to help customers understand Workday.

For Oracle’s setup process, there is a lot of data to import, roles and workflows to define, and training required. Existing Oracle customers will likely have an easier time deploying the HR system and learning to fully utilize it.

How to select the right HR software for your business

Choosing the right HR software can be difficult. Both of these Workday and Oracle platforms offer robust HR tools with solid customization capabilities; however, each HR software excels in different areas of HR, so it’s a good idea to prioritize the features that your organization has the greatest need for. Workday offers strong compensation management tools, while Oracle excels in the areas of performance and international payroll.

Keep in mind that these Oracle and Workday HR solutions are likely to meet the needs of large businesses, while small businesses may find the systems unnecessarily complex or costly.