November 2, 2023

Top HR Management Systems (HRMS) Software for 2024

Written by
Why is TechnologyAdvice Free?
Tags: HR

Our picks for the top human resources management system (HRMS) include:

  • Gusto is the best HRMS for small businesses.
  • BambooHR is the best all-around HRMS.
  • Workday is the best HRMS for enterprise businesses.
  • Rippling is the best HRMS for workforce management.
  • Zenefits is the best HRMS for benefits administration.

Nov. 2, 2023: Kaiti Norton removed information about Gusto’s 529 college savings benefit, which the company no longer offers.

Jul. 10, 2023: Jessica Dennis added our methodology, vendor pricing, and a comparison table so you can get the information you need faster. She also added formatting and style elements for easier navigation.

We picked our choices with you in mind.

First, we evaluated 15 HR management systems based on current options and the reviews of customers like you. We then narrowed our selections to the platforms with all-in-one solutions that best address your top-of-mind concerns, such as recruitment abilities, integration support, and price.

We researched the following vendors during the course of our research:

  • TriNet Zenefits
  • BambooHR
  • ADP
  • Gusto
  • Paylocity
  • Rippling
  • BambooHR
  • Paycom
  • UKG Pro
  • Zoho People
  • Ceridian
  • Paycor
  • Namely
  • Workday
  • JazzHR

As the market changes, we reevaluate our choices so you always receive the best insight for your purchasing decision.

Not sure what kind of HR software you need? Read our explanation of HRIS vs. HRMS vs. HCM.

What is the best HRMS software?

Standout feature Starting price Free trial?
Gusto
Jump to Gusto ↓
Automated payroll $40/mo. + $6/employee/mo. No Visit Gusto
BambooHR
Jump to BambooHR ↓
Native applicant tracking system $108/mo. for first 20 employees 7 days Visit BambooHR
Workday
Jump to Workday ↓
Reports and analytics Contact sales No Visit Workday
Rippling
Jump to Rippling ↓
Financial and IT tools $8/user/mo. 1 month Visit Rippling
TriNet Zenefits
Jump to Zenefits ↓
Breadth of benefits offerings $8/employee/mo. 14 days Visit Zenefits

If none of these solutions meet your needs, explore our HR Software Guide to browse other products that might work for you. Or, check out our video overview below.

Gusto: Best HRMS for small businesses


Pros

  • Contractor-only payment plan.
  • Employee self-service tools.
  • Hiring and onboarding tools.
  • Benefits administration.

Cons

  • No mobile app.
  • No global payroll except for contractors.
  • No invoicing or accounts receivable features.

Thanks to its easy-to-use payroll service and included HR tools, Gusto is the perfect starter HRMS system for small businesses. While it’s most well-known for its payroll service — and many companies use it for only that — Gusto also offers some basic HR software to assist with time and attendance, hiring and onboarding, talent management, and more.

Gusto isn’t the cheapest payroll service on the market, but it’s pretty affordable compared to competitors, especially considering all of the extra HR features that are included. However, Gusto’s HR tools aren’t sophisticated enough for big businesses, so larger companies should check out more robust alternatives like Workday or Rippling. For small businesses that need payroll software and some baseline HRMS features, though, Gusto is a great pick.

Learn more about Gusto →

Payroll

Gusto’s payroll service covers all major features, including automated deductions, direct deposit, tax filing, and varied pay schedules. It doesn’t charge extra fees for paying taxes in multiple states (some payroll software does) and it also offers the ability to run automatic payroll with the AutoPilot feature.

Time and attendance

Payroll calculations often depend on the number of hours an employee worked, which means time and attendance tracking is one of the most valuable HR features payroll software can provide. With Gusto’s time and attendance feature, HR teams can track employee hours, manage time off, and automatically sync everything to the payroll service.

Standard tiers

  • Contractor-only: $35 per month plus $6 per contractor per month; discount: monthly fee waived for the first 6 months.
  • Simple: $40 per month plus $6 per employee per month.
  • Plus: $80 per month plus $12 per employee per month.
  • Premium: Contact sales.
Add-ons
  • International contractor payments: custom pricing.
  • State tax registration: pricing varies by state.
  • R&D tax credits: 15% of identified tax credits; discounts available on Premium Plan.
  • Health insurance broker integration: $6 per month per eligible employee.
  • 401(k) retirement savings: pricing varies by 401(k) integration.
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs): $2.50 per month per participant.
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs): $4 per month per participant ($20 per month minimum).
  • Dependent care FSAs: $4 per month per participant ($20 per month minimum).
  • Commuter benefits: $4 per month per participant ($20 per month minimum).

Gusto is a great stepping stone if you need more than the employee database of a human resources information system (HRIS) but not necessarily the advanced, strategy-focused features of a human capital management (HCM) solution.

Gusto supports you with complex payroll functionality for diverse teams, including international contractors, plus basic recruitment tools for an expanding workforce.

Explore other solutions for small teams: Best HR Software for Small Businesses

BambooHR: Best all-around HRMS


Pros

  • Payroll add-on.
  • Time and attendance.
  • Mobile app.
  • Data and analytics tools.

Cons

  • Benefits administration can be lacking.
  • No support for international employees.

BambooHR is one of the most well-rounded HR software platforms on the market. In addition to standard HR features like compensation management and people analytics, it also includes some features that close competitors do not, like an applicant tracking system (ATS) and a payroll add-on. This means that HR teams can handle all their activity in a single HR management system instead of having to integrate multiple platforms.

BambooHR is designed for medium-sized businesses that are growing fast and need software solutions for the hiring process in particular. Some small businesses may also benefit from the platform, but many will find that its comprehensive feature selection is overkill for their requirements. Meanwhile, large businesses and enterprises will likely find that BambooHR isn’t complex enough for their needs.

Learn more about BambooHR →

Applicant tracking system

BambooHR’s recruiting software isn’t as sophisticated as some standalone ATS options like Greenhouse or Workable, but it will suffice for many small and midsize businesses that are willing to upgrade to the Advantage plan. The ATS includes automatic alerts, in-system messaging, a centralized candidate database, and customizable templates for offer letters and emails.

Performance management

In addition to a payroll add-on, BambooHR also offers the option for a performance management add-on as well. Similar to the ATS, it’s not as in-depth as competitors such as SAP SuccessFactors, but many businesses will enjoy the convenience of having native performance management in their HRMS system. The performance management module covers simple and frequent assessments, customizable performance evaluations, and assessment scheduling to encourage more frequent check-ins.

BambooHR includes a one-time implementation fee with a project manager. Companies with 20 or fewer employees can opt for Quickstart Training for $299.

Essentials
  • For up to 20 employees: $108 per month flat rate.
  • For 21+ employees: $5.40 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 25 or more employees.
Advantage
  • For up to 20 employees: $180 per month flat rate.
  • For 21+ employees: $9 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.
Add-ons

Payroll (US only)

  • One-time implementation fee
  • For up to 20 employees: $150 per month flat rate
  • For 21+ employees: $7.25 per employee per month
  • Volume discount applies after 21 or more employees.

Note: Additional factors, like the number of FEINs or the number of states you need payroll for, can affect this price. Please contact BambooHR for specific pricing quotes.  

Benefits administration (US only)

  • $5.25 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Time tracking

  • $3.00 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Performance management

  • $5.25 per employee per month.
  • Volume discount applies after 30 or more employees.

Although its lowest pricing tier may be just enough for small businesses wanting a centralized employee database, BambooHR’s native add-ons make it a great solution if you’re looking to consolidate your HR tech stack into one.

BambooHR also features out-of-the-box workflows, an intuitive user interface (UI), and a huge integration marketplace to make it one of the easiest to implement HRMS, even if you lack an IT team.

Workday: Best HRMS for enterprise businesses


Pros

  • Easy-to-navigate interface.
  • Comprehensive HRMS features.
  • Global capabilities.
  • Finance management software options.

Cons

  • Limited integrations compared to competitors.
  • System can lag at times.
  • Pricing is not transparent.

Workday is a cloud-based human capital management system that is designed for large and enterprise businesses, including global companies. In addition to HCM and financial management software, it also offers add-ons for analytics and reporting, payroll, spend management, talent management, and more.

Compared to other enterprise-level software, Workday offers an intuitive and visually appealing interface, although the sheer number of features can be overwhelming. It’s not as complex as suites like Oracle HCM and Sage HRMS, but Workday may be too sophisticated and expensive for smaller businesses that need a more limited set of HRMS functions.

Learn more about Workday →

Reporting and analytics

Workday’s analytics and reporting add-on offers comprehensive but easy-to-use custom reports. The augmented analytics software harnesses the power of pattern detection, graph processing, and machine learning to provide extra insights and help businesses make data-driven decisions.

Peakon Employee Voice

Workday offers a continuous listening platform called Peakon Employee Voice. This feature helps companies gather anonymous feedback from employees and see how they compare against industry competitors on various benchmarks.

Workday does not disclose its pricing on its website, so you will have to contact their sales team for a custom quote. However, some third-party sources indicate that it can cost anywhere from $45-$62 per employee per month, billed quarterly or annually.

Learn more about Workday’s pricing and features in Workday vs. SAP SuccessFactors.

Compared to others on our HRMS shortlist, Workday is the most robust platform, offering solutions to simplify almost any HR process. Its easy-to-navigate analytics dashboards and report creator, in particular, can help you move from purely operational HR processes to more strategic ones, such as improving employee retention and engagement.

Browse other solutions for large companies: Best HR Software for Enterprises

Rippling: Best HRMS for workforce management


Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface.
  • Lots of integrations.
  • Option to add finance and IT cloud software.

Cons

  • Quote-based pricing model isn’t transparent.
  • Payroll not fully automated.

Rippling originally started as an online payroll service and has since developed into a unique workforce management option that gives companies the ability to bring payroll, HR, finance, and IT all under one roof. However, businesses that are mostly interested in core HR functionality can select the payroll and HR package alone to avoid paying for unnecessary features.

While Rippling was US-only for many years, it expanded its international capabilities at the end of 2022 and now offers global payroll and HR management tools. If you previously eliminated it because your company needed an international HRMS, it’s worth revisiting to see if the new global HR tools will meet your business’s needs.

Learn more about Rippling →

Finance software

Rippling offers finance software in addition to its more traditional workforce management tools, which sets it apart from many other HRMS platforms. This module is focused on tracking expenses, managing company cards, and automating approvals and denials. 

However, the financial management capabilities are somewhat limited, so companies that want advanced features like financial planning and forecasting should look to competitors such as Workday.

IT management software

Rippling’s IT software module lets IT teams remotely set up a new employee’s computer in as little as 90 seconds. It also lets users deploy security features such as an SSO across devices and makes it easy to implement the security protocols required for GDPR and other compliance standards.

All HR, IT, and finance customers must purchase Rippling’s base platform, Rippling Unity, which starts at $8 per user per month. The rest of its modules are add-ons.

Rippling Product
PayrollUS and Global Full-Service Payroll; Global Employer of Record Services
OnboardingRipping Unity
Benefits administrationBenefits Administration
Time and laborTime & Attendance
Applicant trackingApplicant Tracking
Learning managementLearning Management
RecruitingApplicant Tracking
Performance managementNot available
Employee engagementPulse

New customers will receive one month free with their subscription.

Besides Workday, Rippling is the only platform in our roundup that offers solutions in disciplines outside of HR: finance and IT. This makes it an excellent option for managing a distributed or remote workforce because HR functions, expense management, and employee software and device management live in one system.

Plus, with Rippling’s expansion into global payroll, you can hire and pay employees compliantly in other countries, build up your talent base, and think strategically about remaining ahead of your competition.

TriNet Zenefits: Best HRMS for benefits administration


Pros

  • Transparent pricing plans.
  • Time and attendance alerts.
  • Automated onboarding.
  • Documentation database.

Cons

  • No payroll for international workers.
  • Payroll and recruitment are both add-ons.
  • Minimum 5 employees required.
  • No native ATS, unlike BambooHR.

As the name suggests, TriNet Zenefits started out as a benefits administration tool but has since expanded to become a comprehensive, well-rounded HR software. 

Zenefits offers various plans that are competitively priced and offer a good balance of features and costs that will work for businesses of many sizes. However, Zenefits isn’t meant for startups. All plans have a five-employee minimum charge, so a business pays the same base amount whether it has one employee or five.

Learn more about TriNet Zenefits →

Benefits administration

Zenefits offers multiple options for benefits administration in 49 states. Companies can bring their own plans and broker, shop for benefits on the Zenefits portal, or work directly with one of their broker partners.

HR administration

Zenefits’ HR administration features include onboarding, compensation management, performance management, and business intelligence reports. This allows businesses to manage almost every HR function within the Zenefits platform. However, HR teams should be aware that Zenefits doesn’t include a native ATS, so they’ll need to leverage its partnership with JazzHR or use third-party software for applicant tracking needs.

Standard tiers
  • Essentials: $8 per month, per employee.
  • Growth: $16 per month, per employee.
  • Zen: $21 per month, per employee.
Add-ons
  • Payroll: $6 per month, per employee.
  • Advisory Services: $8 per month, per employee.
  • Benefits admin using own broker: $5 per month, per employee.
  • Recruiting: starting at $35 per month.

TriNet Zenefits offers Zenefits-brokered benefits in each of its pricing tiers. Gusto provides this too, but Zenefits’ bring-your-own broker add-on is less expensive than Gusto, and its benefits offerings are more robust.

Thus, it’s a great option if you need an affordable benefits platform to ensure minimum ACA-compliant benefits coverage and comprehensive HR processes to manage a growing workforce.

How to choose the best HRMS software

HRMS systems come in many different configurations with features and pricing plans to suit businesses of all sizes. Choosing the best HRMS for your business depends on how many employees you have, where your business operates, and the specific features your team needs.

Gusto is a great solution for small businesses that are mostly looking for a payroll service plus some foundational HR management tools. For midsize companies, BambooHR is a well-rounded HRMS that includes an applicant tracking system and performance management.

Workday is an excellent human capital management software option for enterprise businesses, especially global ones with employees in multiple countries. 

Rippling is the best workforce management software for companies looking to combine HR and payroll with finance and IT solutions. Companies that want an HRMS with extra support for benefits administration should consider Zenefits.

If none of these vendors meet your needs, check out our HR Software Guide to browse other solutions.


Kara Sherrer Avatar

About the author


Featured HR software partners

1 Rippling

Visit website

Rippling is the first way for businesses to manage all of their HR, IT, and Finance — payroll, benefits, computers, apps, corporate cards, expenses, and more — in one unified workforce platform. By connecting every business system to one source of truth for employee data, businesses can automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.

Learn more about Rippling

2 Deel

Visit website

Deel is the all-in-one platform built to hire, manage and grow global teams. By bringing together cutting edge HR tools, payroll solutions, compliance and more, Deel enables companies to scale globally with unmatched speed and flexibility.

With Deel, you can hire and onboard any type of employee, compliantly, in 150+ countries in minutes. You can run payroll in 100+ countries and all 50 states in a click of a button. You can offer competitive benefits, equity, manage equipment and more.

Learn more about Deel

3 BambooHR

Visit website

BambooHR is an award-winning HR platform that helps your growing organizations automate, centralize, and connect your people data all in one place. It gives you a one stop shop to manage data, hire talent, run payroll, and help employees grow.

Learn more about BambooHR

Browse all HR software →

TechnologyAdvice is able to offer our services for free because some vendors may pay us for web traffic or other sales opportunities. Our mission is to help technology buyers make better purchasing decisions, so we provide you with information for all vendors — even those that don't pay us.
In this article...