January 8, 2021

Workday vs. SAP SuccessFactors: Enterprise HCM Solutions

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Tags: HR

Any enterprise organization looking for a human capital management (HCM) solution should compare Workday and SAP SuccessFactors. These vendors are titans of the cloud-based HCM space. And given the mission-critical tasks you’ll need such a system to perform, you shouldn’t skimp when it comes to researching an HCM purchase.

If you’d rather speed up your research process without forgoing quality research, we’re here to help. Use our HR Product Selection Tool to receive five personalized HCM software recommendations, delivered straight to your inbox. It’s free to use our tool, and it takes less than five minutes to get your vendor shortlist. Get started by clicking the banner below. 

Which HR Software
is right for your business?


Table of contents

  1. Top HR software
  2. What is Workday?
  3. What is SAP SuccessFactors?
  4. Comparison table of Workday vs. SuccessFactors
  5. Human resource management
  6. Payroll management
  7. Compliance
  8. Learning and development
  9. Which is right for you, Workday or SuccessFactors?

Key Takeaways:

  • HR solutions generally include various key features including compensation and pay management, performance management, staff onboarding, analytics, auditing, compliance, and other staff management capabilities.
  • While these top HR solutions may contain overlapping features, their unique aspects may influence their suitability for your organization.

Top HR software

Workday and SuccessFactors are both great HR software options, but they may not work for every business. To find the right fit for you, here’s a list of the top HR software.

1 Rippling

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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 Kudos

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Discover how recognition improves employee engagement and productivity.

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3 Bob

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Meet Bob, the modern HR platform for modern business. With Bob, HR teams get everything they need to operate efficiently and engage employees in one HRIS. Use automation and workflows to save hours on HR admin time. Connect employees from anywhere with a social media-like homepage that drives culture with communications, kudos, and recognition. Centralize all people data in one place for a holistic view. Share accurate reports for stronger insights and better decision-making.

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4 GoCo

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GoCo is modern HR, benefits, and payroll, built for flexibility and ease-of-use in mind. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more all in one place. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Unlike other HRIS platforms, GoCo is built to be flexible enough to support existing processes, policies, and providers, so you don't have to change the way you work just to adopt a modern HR system.

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5 TestGorilla

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TestGorilla provides you with the best tools to screen your candidates so you can make better hiring decisions faster. Using multiple test types in an assessment gives the best predictive value, so we have a growing test library including: cognitive ability tests, programming tests, software skill tests, personality tests, culture fit tests, language tests, and much more. Start predicting real-world job performance today with our library of 225+ scientifically validated tests.

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6 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

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7 Darwinbox HR Software

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Darwinbox is a unified HRMS platform that lets you manage the complete lifecycle of your employees – from hire to retire. Built for large enterprises, Darwinbox is used by 2M+ users across 700+ global companies such as Mahindra, Tata AIA, More Retail, Adani, Sembcorp, Kopi Kenangan, and more. It is a mobile-first platform that offers self-service capabilities and a great user experience to all your employees.

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8 Wrike

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Wrike's human resources software is used by more than 20,000 companies across 140 countries. Plan, manage, and report on your HR projects with Wrike's easy-to-use HR software. Keep track of recruitment, payment, onboarding, and management using ready-made templates, powerful workflows, and shared team dashboards. Automate your HR processes using approvals and requests. Enable your teams to share and check real-time updates. Start your free trial now.

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9 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is the flexible, no-code Human Resources software that allows HR managers to manage the entire employee lifecycle in one place. Track the recruitment process, onboard new employees with the help of pre-made templates, safely store personal information, plan team-building activities, and use automations to speed up and simplify all these workflows and many more.

Learn more about monday.com

What is Workday?

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Workday is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5

Workday is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software provider that describes itself as a “single system for finance, HR, and planning.” 

Workday is a publicly-traded company and is trusted by major brands such as National Geographic, Netflix, and Airbnb. Its software works best for medium and large enterprises.

The company offers many different products including Workday Financial Management, but we’ll focus exclusively on the Workday HCM solution, which performs functions like human resource management (HRM), reporting and analytics, talent management, compliance, paysheet management, and learning and development.

What is SAP SuccessFactors?

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ERP software company SAP comes SuccessFactors, a cloud-based HCM solution for organizations of all data-lazy-sizes.

TechnologyAdvice rating: 4/5

From the massive ERP software company SAP comes SuccessFactors, a cloud-based HCM solution for organizations of all sizes.

Inside the SAP HCM system, you’ll find many of the same features offered by similar products in the HCM space: a human resources information system (HRIS), time and attendance, recruiting and onboarding, learning and development, workforce management, and workforce planning and analytics. 

SAP ERP customers and organizations from around the world trust SuccessFactors as their HCM, from the San Francisco 49ers in the United States to Jaguar Land Rover in the United Kingdom. SuccessFactors can also be connected with SAP S/4HANA Cloud to enable users to leverage machine learning and predictive analytics in their business processes.


Comparison table of Workday vs. SuccessFactors

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Official logo for Workday. Official logo for SAP SuccessFactors.
Workday SAP SuccessFactors
TechnologyAdvice rating 4.5/5 4/5
Works best for Medium and large enterprises Any sized business
HCM features
HRIS Yes Yes
Analytics Yes Yes
Global compliance Yes Yes
Audit and internal controls Yes Yes
Workforce planning Yes Yes
Visa and permits management No Yes
Recruiting and onboarding Yes Yes
Talent management Yes Yes
Learning and development Yes Yes
Benefits Yes Yes
Compensation Yes Yes
Payroll management Yes Yes
Time-off requests Yes Yes
Travel and expense management Yes No
Employee experience management Yes Yes
Languages supported 35 40+
Global payroll 4 countries 40+ countries
Regulation library Yes Yes
On-premise No No
Cloud-based Yes Yes
iOS Yes Yes
Android Yes Yes

Human resource management (HRM)

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At the heart of any HCM system is an HRIS that performs basic core HR functions like managing benefits, time-off, compensation, and org charts. Both the SuccessFactors and Workday human capital management solutions include an HRIS, but they function a little bit differently for each vendor.


Workday presents users with a dashboard view when they access the system’s HRIS tool. Here, HR pros can see quick stats such as new hire turnover rate, headcount by country, and employer cost by country. Workday’s HRIS includes task management tools for HR professionals, workflow management, and simple org charts for visualizing the company’s hierarchical structure.

Also read: UltiPro vs. Workday: HCM Software For Global Companies

For staff members, there’s a self-service portal for submitting time-off requests, logging sick days, and updating contact and banking information among other functions. Overall, this HRIS is intuitive and easy to use while still giving HR pros access to powerful insights about better managing talent.


SAP SuccessFactors also features an employee self-service portal for submitting time-off requests and updating personal information. This portal can be accessed through SuccessFactors’ web-based app or through its mobile apps for iOS and Android.

HR pros using SuccessFactors can view and edit company org charts, track and analyze turnover based on employee tenure, ensure legal compliance with automatically updated local and global regulations, administer benefits around the world, and customize dashboard views to get a quick overview of company operations.

The system also allows for task management, compensation management, and rewards and recognition.

Key Takeaways

  • Workday presents HRIS features through a dashboard for HR professionals and a self-service portal for staff members.
  • SuccessFactors has a self-service portal for staff that is accessible through web-based or mobile apps. HR professionals can edit and interact with HRIS features within the system’s customizable dashboards.

Payroll management

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Accessing the payroll financial management feature in Workday opens up a dashboard overview of all payment processes. Here, HR pros can view stats like headcount by pay group, income taxes by month, and more.

Workday bills itself as a global solution, and while international payments can be processed, it’s currently limited to four countries at the time of publishing: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France.

If payments in other countries are needed, Workday can be integrated with a third-party payroll provider to generate payment reports.


SuccessFactors might be a better fit for those needing to run payroll in more countries than Workday supports. The platform lets HR staff run payroll in over 40 countries, and it stays up-to-date on local payment processes and regulations.

HR pros can view paysheet analytics in real-time with reports like total employer taxes, total net and gross comparisons of earnings by period, and total employee taxes. Alerting is another useful feature that notifies users of payment issues or anomalies.

Key Takeaways

  • Workday’s international payroll processing is limited to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France. SuccessFactors enables users to run payroll in over 40 countries.
  • Workday provides an overview of payment processes through a dashboard.
  • SuccessFactors offers real-time paysheet analysis and reporting and notifies users of payment anomalies.


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Workday helps to keep HR teams compliant around the world by letting them set location, date, time, and privacy preferences unique to each location where they do business.

The software encrypts data and automatically translates apps and data into 35 languages. Users can control the level of visibility other personnel have into the system based on their geographic location.

For regulatory updates, Workday offers a global library of regulations for users to review, and the system automatically notifies users of new legislation that might affect their business.


SAP SuccessFactors also supports global compliance through time zones, date formats, currencies, and custom fields by geographic location.

The SAP SF system lets users collect all of the necessary employment information from new hires depending on local regulations and local best business practices, and the software even displays information differently based on local customs to make staff members feel at home.

For translation of apps and data, SuccessFactors works with over 40 languages and various dialects. And for new regulations, the software keeps track of legal changes and notifies users accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • Workday’s compliance features are equipped with security aspects like data encryption and visibility permissions based on geographic location.
  • Both Workday and SuccessFactors provide their users with notification of new legislation and legal changes.
  • SuccessFactors collects necessary staff employment information based on local regulations and local best business practices and displays information based on local customs.

Learning and development

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Workday’s learning module presents workforce members with curated content and learning paths to help them stay sharp on new practices, technologies, and ideas in business. The Workday HCM software can tailor articles specifically to each worker’s career path interests, but employers can also recommend certain learning materials and make others required.

Video and peer-generated content is included with Workday, and users can access third-party offerings that would normally be gated thanks to Workday’s partnerships with LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, and Udemy for Business among others.


SAP SuccessFactors also offers a learning management system (LMS) within its HCM. This includes educational articles and videos, recommended learning, and required learning, but it also includes learning paths for succession and development to help employers fill management and more senior-level positions internally.

SuccessFactors lets users source from its Open Content Network of e-learning sites, which includes Harvard Business Publishing, edX, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and more. If third parties are needed to complete the learning curriculum, SuccessFactors also lets users share access with other groups such as contractors or partners.

Key Takeaways

  • Workday’s software contains features and capabilities focused on each individual worker’s career goals and development and provides learning content and access to third-party offerings, so staff members can advance their skills.
  • SuccessFactors provides educational resources to assist workers in progressing in their careers to obtain higher internal positions.

Which right for you, Workday or SuccessFactors?

Ultimately the decision to go with Workday or SAP SuccessFactors lies with you, but based on what we’ve covered in this comparison, we recommend the following:

  • If you’re an enterprise that operates in a few different Western countries and in-depth reports and visualizations about your company data are important to you, the Workday HCM solution might be your best bet.
  • However, if you do business outside the U.S., the U.K., France, or Canada, consider SAP SuccessFactors. The user interface isn’t as clean and modern-looking as Workday, but it’s a powerful system that supports operations in many countries all over the world.

If you’re still not sold on either of these solutions, we can help. Use our HR Software Product Selection Tool to get a free list of HR tool recommendations tailored specifically to your business needs. It takes less than five minutes to tell us about what you’re looking for and to receive your vendor shortlist.

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