As your business grows, so do the demands of your employees. By using the best HR software you’re streamlining your management process by not only saving yourself a huge amount of time, but also a ton of resources.
With the number of HR programs increasing all the time, the market has become incredibly saturated. Often programs provide a range of features that users think they need but don’t utilize. In this article, we’ve reviewed the top HR software for 2022 and provided options that will satisfy pain points across a huge range of business sectors and sizes.
Our Pick for Best HR Software: Namely
Namely stands out as the best HR software for several reasons. The first is its ability to cover a wide range of features related to HR. While Namely won’t come in as the cheapest, its value for money is that it has more features than almost all its competitors, reducing the need for multiple HR programs.
It’s been designed for a small to medium-sized business in mind. Larger can of course successfully integrate Namely, however, it does start to get expensive the more employees you add.
Finally, Namely’s ability to link with other tech vendors makes it an incredibly powerful tool. Its ability to link time and attendance, international payroll, bonuses, rewards, recognition, and health and wellness, is unrivaled in the HR software space.
The Best HR Software – Top 7 HR Software Programs
The list below highlights what we have reviewed as the best HR Software for 2022. As new features and products are added (and removed), we will update the list to reflect this.
- Namely – Best overall HR software
- APS (Automatic Payroll Systems) – Best for HR payroll processes
- BerniePortal – Best for small-mid businesses
- WorkDay – Best for HR analytics
- Gusto – Best for small businesses with zero HR experience
- KissFlow – Best for HR onboarding
- Bamboo HR – Best for low-cost HR solutions
HR Software Solutions – In Detail
From the list above, we’ve taken the time to review each of what we think are the top human resources software on the market right now. The programs have an array of features, so don’t just assume that the best HR software for your business is ranked at number one.
1. Namely – Best Overall HR Software
Namely is widely regarded as one of the biggest and best HR software platforms in the business. It’s been created as an all-in-one program that allows easy management of HR tasks such as payroll, talent management, employee databases, time-off management, and much more.
It’s been designed to allow smaller businesses to scale, without the hassle of using multiple programs to cover multiple bases. Analytics plays a huge role with Namely and while this will likely be overkill for small businesses, it can be a huge asset for expanding medium to large entities.
One of the areas where Namely excels is its ability to link HR to its employees. Employee portals can be set up to log time worked, holidays, changes in personal/contact info and even to see the latest news and reports from within the company.
- Great platform that offers a wide range of features
- Ability to integrate both employees and employers in a single program
- Ideal for smaller businesses that are starting to grow or already established mid-large businesses
- Flexible tools that can be added on to create bespoke programs and packages
- Overkill for most smaller businesses
- Can get expensive as you begin to add more packages
2. APS – Best for HR Payroll Processes
APS was initially launched as a dedicated payroll system, but as it’s grown it’s not widely regarded as one of the best HR software programs on the market.
Payroll is still a key feature of the program, and this is one of the main reasons why so many companies integrate APS. The ability to easily track, edit and update payroll structures across the board means that APS can cater to companies both small and large.
The platform caters to a wide range of features, which include recruiting, self-service sections for employees, performance management, and a huge tax section that allows you to break up payments based on tax laws for that employee’s location.
- Easy to use interface
- Huge platform for calculating tax both for employees and as part of business expenses
- Payroll function is one of the best in the business and likely a good enough reason to use it even without the other features
- Platform is highly configurable to only use features and tools that you need
- Not ideal for smaller business as it can be a little complex to use
- Prices can quickly rise as you add features within the program
3. BerniePortal – Best HR Software for Small-Mid Businesses
BerniePortal has been around since 2008 and even though it’s not always the first program that springs to mind when you think of the best HR software, it is one of the most underrated.
It comes as a platform that’s ideal for smaller to midsize businesses. Everything from the usability of the program to the looks is that of a much higher and more expensive product. Which leads nicely into the fact that you can get started for as little as $9 per employee.
Some of the features include applicant tracking, onboarding, benefits administration, benefits reports, mobile access, and a simplified payroll section. What’s nice about BerniePortal is that should your business outgrow the relatively limited payroll options currently available, you can hook it up to existing payroll systems if you prefer.
- Very easy to use and ideal for smaller businesses
- Huge range of core features
- Ability to link up to existing payroll programs
- Low pricing at just $9 per customer
- Limited in terms of scaling businesses
- The onboarding section is a little basic
4. Workday – Best for HR Software for Analytics
Workday is arguably the best know HR software program on our list. It’s been subject to aggressive marketing from the company and can be seen at numerous sporting events as part of sponsor deals. Companies already using this program include Abode, Visa, Charles Schwab, and Target, to name just a few.
It’s unique in the way that it works, with a huge emphasis on the finance side of your business. Payroll plays a massive ‘role’ in this setup and this is probably the main reason why Workday is integrated by so many global business powerhouses.
Analytics was a huge highlight for us and it’s here where you see the biggest benefits of the platform. Not only is the data substantial, but Workday process this info to then create suggestions about how to use this to the business advantage (essentially make/save money).
You also get access to HR tools such as capital management, spend management, enterprise planning, and workforce management. Industry-specific solutions can be applied with Workday based on your business’s data points.
- Great program for learning how to make and save money using HR
- Used by multiple massive global brands
- Excellent design and easy to digest graphics
- Adaptable software for your business as it grows/changes over time
- Can be expensive
- Overkill for many small businesses
5. Gusto – Best HR Management Software for Small Businesses
For small businesses or ones that are just starting with little to no HR experience, Gusto is a must-have. It removes all the unnecessary products and clutter that can be the downfall of so many sites and allows the HR department, even with no experience, to seem competent and knowledgeable about their role.
This is not to say that Gusto pulls the wool over the eyes of employees, far from it. But it allows processes like payroll, employee databases, benefits administrations, onboarding, time-off management, and time and attendance to be done, quickly, easily, and with zero fuss.
It’s not perfect and features like recruiting and performance management are not the best. However, at just $39/month, plus $6 per employee, you get a great package for the price.
- Great starting point for small, growing business
- Next to no HR experience required to run the program
- Low initial costs
- Handles all the basics of HR with ease
- Limited to 50 clients
- Lacks depth with some features, such as recruiting and performance management
Best HR Software Free
The best free HR Software simply does not exist or at least, is not worth having. However, there are ways to get started for free and there are programs that will allow you to manage HR on a budget.
Most HR software comes with some sort of free trial attached where you can try before you buy. These range, usually between 14 and 30 days, and in that time, you get access to all features on-site, for no cost.
Other programs might allow you to work for free with a limited number of employees on your books. Generally, you’re looking at around 5, but HR software programs like Freshteam allow you to get up to 50 employees for free within its software.
Here’s a look at our top three picks for best free HR Software:
- Gusto – Comes with a 30-day free trial with all features included
- BambooHR – Free 14-day trial for the full platform
- Freshworks – Up to 50 employees registered for free
Best HR Software Companies for eCommerce
eCommerce is one of the fastest and most aggressive business sectors. It often requires many employees to run successfully and to do that, you need a good HR program.
Agencies that are linked to eCommerce will need features like extensive payroll and a strong analytics section. Below we’ve listed the best HR software programs for eCommerce.
- Workday – Great for payroll and comes attached with a huge analytics section
- Namely – Creates an easy database for employees to input data like hours worked and also holidays input.
- BerniePortal – Benefits, and earnings can be easily tracked which is ideal for any commission-based eCommerce businesses
Best Automated HR Management Software
Automation is the key for HR software programs and the ability to have processes set up that reduce human input is what makes these programs so valuable. It can come in several forms, but usually, things like payroll, time management, holidays, sick pay, and even recruitment can be automated.
Below we’ve included what we think are the best-automated HR software programs on the market right now.
- Namely – Namely can be overwhelming given its size, but it can automate almost all the HR sections for small to large businesses
- APS – APS specializes in payroll, and it allows users to not only log time manually but also use integrated apps that are linked to its software
- Workday – Workday takes a ton of data and finds flaws or leaks in how the HR section is running, before suggesting tweaks that can be made to improve workflow (automation)
Best HR Software for Agencies
Agencies are going to need a platform that’s going to be diverse and can work in multiple niches. The ability to integrate the same program over and over, with features that can be added or removed is key for agency HR software.
Below is a list of what we think is the best HR software for agencies.
- Namely – Namely is the most dynamic of all the programs we’ve tested and comes with a huge range of features that you can toggle on and off. Most features come at an additional cost, meaning that smaller businesses can benefit from lower costs with fewer features
- Gusto – Gusto caters to small to medium businesses, which allows agencies to cater to a wide range than simply large companies. It’s feature-rich and like Namely, allows the agency to toggle these features as to not overcomplicate.
- Workday – Workday is the strongest HR software when it comes to analytics. This is ideal for agencies working with larger businesses that need data to improve how their HR departments are functioning.
What is HR Software?
HR software has been designed to help businesses control, manage, and maintain the human resources side of the company. It allows companies to spend as little time as possible on medical tasks such as payroll, recruitment, holidays, and bonuses, and more time on things that are going to help grow and improve the company.
One of the biggest developments for HR Software over the last decade or so is that it’s allowed businesses with little to no HR experience or knowledge to run a business for their employees as if there was a team with years of experience. The software has been designed to be easy to use and extremely efficient at what it does.
Most HR software that you can download allows a business to apply different features to design the HR platform that it needs. Payroll is an area that most businesses will use HR software for, but features like recruitment and even reporting, might not be as important to some.
What are the Benefits of Using HR Systems Software?
Using dedicated HR software comes packed with a ton of benefits. We’ve outlined some of these below, but it’s worth noting that these can be changed based on the size and type of business you’re working in.
- Efficiency – Given the complexity of HR software, it means that the program can do the work of multiple office staff in a vastly reduced period. As companies grow, their HR software often grows with them, with the more sophisticated programs allowing for huge scope on what can be done almost on autopilot.
- Employee morale – One of the biggest leaks for most businesses is employee morale. Being able to not just keep employees happy, but also engaged is a huge issue. HR software has proven to vastly reduce downtime and keep employees happy by offering rewards for work completed and tracking on jobs/projects that they enjoy doing.
- Talent management tools – Being able to both spot talent and keep hold of talent is a vital aspect for all businesses. HR tools like talent management allow companies to track how employees are performing and see where they are excelling to be moved into other areas of the business.
- High value – The amount spent on HR software programs is dependent on the size of the company and the tools it utilizes from within that program. The reality is that, even though programs can be expensive, they are almost always a lot cheaper than hiring someone to come in and cover all that work. It’s not just in terms of personnel that HR software saves, but it also allows businesses to track where money is being spent and how that money is then best performing.
- Metrics/Analytics – Data is a key tool for all businesses and the ability to see how each section of the business is performing on a cost basis, is vital. However, HR software also allows companies to see how well employees are performing and then work out if they are providing value to their business. It plays a key role in projections for the business, especially when it comes to expansions to see how costs will inflate and if they can afford that.
How Much Does HR Software Cost?
HR software can be coy about how much they are planning on charging you. It’s not so much that the costs are high, but they can fluctuate massively based on the size of the business. For example, a company with 5 employees isn’t going to need as many resources as a company with 5,000 employees.
Most programs will have a fixed monthly fee and then a cost per employee after that. This will range, but expect anything between $6 and $12 per person, per month. As you can see, if you’ve got a workforce of 500 at $12, then this is costing $6,000 per month to run.
It’s also worth noting that any additional features you add can include costs. HR software are generally coy about how much this will be, and they quote you induvial based on your needs. You can expect to add anywhere up to 2x-5x of the costs per person, per month for a full package.
One of the key things to note here is that, even though costs can be high, they can also be very cheap. If you’re a small business of 10 and paying just $6 a head, then to have an almost automated HR service for $60/month is an incredible value. Even at higher prices, HR software is generally seen as a smart investment that often, pays for itself and then some.
Does CRM Software Include HR?
The short answer is yes, CRM software does include HR.
CRM stands for Candidate Relationship Management. This is a process where the business is able to create lasting relationships with both new and current potential job candidates.
Recruitment plays a big role in HR and even though this is seen to be an added feature on most HR platforms, it’s one that is still very common.
What Type of HR Software is Right for You?
There is no single feature that makes HR Software right for a particular business. Each business differs in terms of its needs and budget.
We’ve created a list of what we think are the key features that you need to consider for your HR software.
The whole concept of an HR system is to make repetitive tasks easy to perform. The best HR software products allow companies to set the program up and almost forget about it.
Integration with employees is a massive tool that ties on nicely to this. The ability to let employees log time, holidays, taxes and overtime saves a huge amount of resources that would usually be left to a member of staff. Automation allows the business to get a snapshot of what’s going on when needed and the ability to dive deeper into these figures.
We touched on this above, but the ability to let employees have access to a portal is not only great for efficiency in the workplace but also morale. HR software programs allow businesses to set up an area that can include information on things that would otherwise need human interaction.
Things like booking time off, checking off old pay stubs, and questions about employee contracts can all be done with the right software. Think of these as a massive FAQ for everything that your employee is likely to need.
HR and Payroll Software
Payroll is probably the number one reason why most people use these types of products, and the best HR software will have some sort of payroll platform integrated into it. The features will vary from product to product, but a basic outlook will include things like payslips, holiday time, taxes, and bonuses.
For products that do not include payroll, they will usually have a solution that allows integration from existing products. This works well, for the most part, as it allows businesses who are happy with their payroll structure to then take advantage of other HR software features.
Company size and Growth
HR software is not just for medium to large businesses. Most of the options we have outlined on this page will work well for companies that have just a handful of employees and save them huge amounts of time by implementing them.
Products like Gusto have been designed with smaller to mid-size companies in mind and are at a price point that should suit. If a business is expected to grow exponentially, then many of these products are going to be able to cope with this rise in terms of volume, but you need to future proof the product by ensuring it has the features needed for when the influx in employees arrives.
HR Onboarding Software
When new employees start at a company, the admin that needs to be drawn up is extensive. HR software that allows onboarding can automate this and allow for a smooth transition from one business to another.
A big role that onboarding plays in setting up payroll and taxes for the employee. However, programs that go above and beyond will also create a HUB where they can learn about the organization, its structure, culture, vision, and mission.
HR Recruitment Software
HR recruitment software allows businesses to track the application process of potential new candidates. Some businesses can get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a specific role. The software’s job is to sift through applications and narrow the field before any human intervention.
Its main goal is to create shortlists and assist with the hiring of new candidates. The system can take them from the application stage, right through to the employee stage, making it a more than worthwhile time-saver for the company.
Conclusion – What is the Best HR Software for 2022?
Picking the best HR platform in 2022 is almost an impossible task. The reason being is that each business will need to utilize different features. Things like the size of the business, tools, and budget play a huge role in what essentially comes out as the “best”.
However, if we had to pick as an all-around product, it would be Namely. Its ability to integrate employees and employers on one platform was a winning formula for us.
Namely has a massive range of features that you can literally switch on and off as needed. This makes it ideal for small and medium to large businesses. Namely can grow with the business, and for us, this is a key feature for the best HR software programs.
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