Best HRIS Systems for 2021

The ability of HRIS systems to perform basic human resources tasks helps to improve overall HRO staff efficiency. As such, the HRIS software you select should include the most common functions executed by your organization’s HR staff. Here, we’ve compared the top HRIS solutions, so you can choose the system best suited to your needs.

What Is HRIS Software?

A human resources information system (HRIS) is an all-in-one software solution facilitating typical hiring actions, beginning at the recruiting process and including the onboarding process for new employees. Additionally, a HRIS solution contains performance, training, talent, and attendance management modules — all residing in a centralized database.

Read more: HRIS Trends for 2021: The Future of HR Management

Compare Top HRIS Software

Vendor
API
Functionality
Third-Party
Integration
Employee
Self-Service
Time and
Attendance
Employee
Onboarding
Performance
Management
Workforce
Analytics
BambooHR
Beekeeper
GoCO
monday.com
Namely
PayCor
Qualtrics XM
Rippling
WorkLLama

What Should I Look for in an HRIS System?

There are many features that can be included in an HRIS system, but functions like benefits management or talent management can be easily added if an HRIS system is Application Programming Interface (API) capable. The summarized features below can either expand the capability of HRIS systems, or perform a core HRIS function:

  • API capable: Allows a HRIS to add on HR modules by using an API to communicate with the core HRIS application. This capability allows a HRIS solution to expand its features and functionality.
  • Third-party integration: Gives the HRIS solution the potential to use a third-party applications with the existing HRIS product. An example would be to add collaboration capabilities like chat into a HRIS product.
  • Employee self-service: Gives the employee some autonomy to take certain actions in a HRIS product without HR personnel assistance.
  • Time and attendance: Manages employee weekly work schedules and tracks any vacation or sick time taken during a pay period.
  • Employee onboarding: The process of checking in new employees, such as adding them to an org chart and department, or processing new employee paperwork.
  • Performance management: Tracks employees’ work performance ratings annually and retains previous year’s performance ratings.
  • Workforce analytics: Retrieves reports from a HRIS product that provide granular employee statistical information to better understand how to improve employee performance and overall management best practices.

All HRIS systems reviewed here are cloud-capable. Some HRIS vendors offer all three deployment methods — cloud-based, installed on a desktop, and mobile device capable. Exploring deployment options, as well as the features above, will help you select the best HRIS solution for your organization.

Best HRIS Systems

BambooHR

BambooHR has all the core features to meet the requirements of a good HRIS solution. The user interface is set up in an intuitive manner, and is easy to use. The talent management and onboarding employees features get high marks from customers. The onboarding process can send paperwork to employees before an employee’s start date, and the paperwork can be electronically signed. The payroll feature also received high praise from customers. BambooHR can also integrate with useful third-party applications like Slack.

Some customers’ biggest complaint is the customer service support. During implementation of the HRIS product, customer service was very responsive. After implementation, customer service support was lacking, and the tutorials sent only leave the client with more questions. Other customers raved about the customer service support and had no issues. Overall, this product has received more positive reviews than negative.

BambooHR Product Interface.

BeeKeeper

The simplicity of the application and customer service support received multiple compliments from BeeKeeper customers. Another plus for this HRIS package is the ability to communicate through the organization using the HRIS application’s chat and messaging capabilities. This product can also facilitate communication with seasonal employees who may speak different languages.

BeeKeeper doesn’t offer application tracking, or time and attendance features, like most HRIS packages do. The forms module does not have a back-end database feature, so customers must export information to Excel or use an application like Zapier by setting up a workflow. Adding and managing users could be done with fewer clicks and navigating. That said, several customers had no complaints about the BeeKeeper and were happy with all aspects of the application.

BeeKeeper Product Interface.

GoCO

GoCO is very user-friendly, and this is another HRIS package that employs good customer service. The implementation and setup of the application is easy and customizable. The onboarding and benefits administration modules are rated highly as well. Customers like the GoCO employee database, reporting capability, and its alert and notification features.

However, one customer’s company switched to GoCO and describes the transition as a “nightmare;” combined with being overcharged, the company was frustrated even more. Another notable complaint was that payroll synching does not match an employee’s full-time or part-time status, and there are instances where employees are over or underpaid. GoCO charges for adding new features to the base application, and one customer stated they left a HRIS vendor for doing what GoCO said they would not do. GoCO’s base price is $29 a month, and as you add on HR features the price increases.

GoCo Product Interface.

monday.com

monday.com is a multi-faceted application that can perform more than just HRIS functional tasks. For instance, monday.com can do project accounting, business process management, product lifecycle management, and project portfolio management. Users like monday.com’s collaboration tools, access control permissions, and document management features. Pricing for one standard seat is $10 per month.

Customer feedback compliments the application’s ability to integrate tasks into personal calendars. Tracking projects and customizing templates are other features customers like. That said, software integration and an administrator approval prior to integration are listed as problems, based on customer feedback. The most notable negative with monday.com is that several customers stated the vendor is more aligned to be a project management application than a HRIS solution.

Monday Product Interface.

Namely

Namely can be used by an organization of any size. Its best feature is the onboarding module, based on reviews. The electronic signature feature as part of the onboarding process received several positive reviews. This product is also complimented for performing many of the primary actions that increase the productivity of an HR office. Its application tracking, benefits administration, and payroll modules all received good reviews.

However, customers noted the customizing processes as difficult to accomplish, and when customization is implemented, it slows down the application. Apparently, the e-signature feature is not available to current employees, and it’s only available to newly hired employees during onboarding. Hourly wage reports are lacking, and when a report is generated, it requires manual intervention to make the hourly wage report correct.

Namely Product Interface.

PayCor

The time, attendance, and payroll features of this application are superb, according to customer reviews. The mobile punching feature allows employees to clock in and out using their mobile devices. The onboarding process also received positive feedback. There are constant compliments about how easy it is to use PayCor. Further, the purchase price of this product received positive comments.

Documentation storage was noted as a con, and basic customization options are lacking in the application. Formatting reports is a challenge and it takes considerable time to accomplish. The inability to set up workflows for standard HR actions is also an issue for customers. The most consistent complaint from reviews was the disappointment in customer service support.

PayCor product interface.

Qualtrics XM

Qualtrics is defined as an employee engagement platform, used to increase employee job contentment and retain talented staff. Reviews state the HRIS solution is extremely easy to use, and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) text analysis and predictive intelligence features have been successfully used to identify employee retention problems. This product is notably survey-intensive.

It can be time-intensive to set up survey questions to get meaningful data. The dashboard is not available for every survey type. The onboarding process was noted as being slow. The one constant complaint in several reviews is poor customer service.

Qualtrics Employee XM Product Interface.

Rippling

Rippling says it can onboard an employee in 90 seconds and save up to 50 hours on administrative work per month. This product has received the highest reviews among category leaders for benefit administration, human resources, payroll, talent management, and HR analytics. Customers confirmed onboarding is easy and the automation and integration features are stated as being second to none. One customer commented that it’s hard to fail using this product.

One notable downside for reviewers was the lack of help when the application was first implemented. Customer service told one customer that setup and implementation was “client driven.” This customer commented that this was a waste of $2K for implementation services. Other complaints were that the PTO application needs some improvements. There were other minor complaints, but most customers stated in different ways they were totally happy with Rippling.

Rippling Product Interface.

WorkLLama

WorkLLama is only offered as a cloud-based solution; whereas all the other HRIS products reviewed here can be deployed to a desktop and/or used on a mobile device. This product is advertised as being able to rank the best qualified candidates using its AI-powered platform. The AI platform can also notify candidates and schedule interviews.

For what it’s worth, WorkLLama did not have a review section for comments, nor could we find any positive or negative comments about WorkLLama elsewhere in our research.

WorkLlama Product Interface.

Benefits of HRIS Systems

The benefits of using HRIS systems are plentiful. As an IT professional, you can appreciate the benefits of these comprehensive, all-in-one software solutions:

  • Regulatory compliance: Regulations or standards from the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as other health, safety, and termination laws are all readily available via work analytics or reporting modules. Managers don’t have to access different IT systems to get this information, as it is all contained in the centralized database. As such, compliance monitoring is much easier to do when required.
  • Improved efficiency: Automated actions for personnel actions against a branch, division, or department can be easily executed.  Some of these automated personnel actions can be passed down to managers and employees to execute through self-service modules.
  • Improved decision-making: All the metrics needed to make informed hiring decisions are contained in the centralized database, as opposed to disjointed IT systems.
  • Improved employee experience: Employees can complete any annual training without having to use a different IT system or web site. They can track their own vacation and sick time used, including their current balances. 

Types of HR Solutions

HRIS can easily be confused with a Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), and these terms can be used interchangeably. However, there are some differences. Another term used is Human Capital Management (HCM), which can include a HRIS solution with other features already contained in a HRIS. Typically, a HRMS contains a HCM, along with payroll and time and labor modules. See the table below to clear up any confusion.

HRIS
HCM
HRMS
Recruiting
HRIS
HCM
Compensation & Benefits
Performance
Payroll
Attendance
Position Control
Time & Labor
Training
Succession
Employee Self-Service
Global Admin
Reporting
Analytics

Selecting a HRIS Software Package

Before deciding on a HRIS solution, query all stakeholders in your organization to see which HRIS features will immediately improve overall HRO productivity. Does the company need a feature that helps with extensive background checks prior to hiring a prospective candidate? Is safety training and compliance with OSHA standards a yearly requirement?

Processing, retaining, and reporting employee data are standard actions across all HRIS systems. But some companies will have industry-specific requirements that affect selecting a HRIS solution. Most of the HRIS packages evaluated here can support small business-to-enterprise size organizations, so it really comes down to what your company defines as its core features.

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Don Hall
Don Hall has been employed as an IT Manager/Supervisor in the U.S. Government for over twenty years. He has managed programmers, cyber security, and infrastructure/networking personnel during his management career. Hall currently works as an IT Operations Officer that requires him to have general knowledge of various IT topics to assist his Command in making informed decisions or recommendations on behalf of the customers we support.

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