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Kronos Workforce Ready logo
 
Workforce Ready by Kronos is a human resources (HR) platform that combines workforce management with human capital management (HCM) capabilities and is suitable for businesses of all sizes.  Kronos Workforce Ready is a single cloud-based... Read More
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Workforce Ready by Kronos is a human resources (HR) platform that combines workforce management with human capital management (HCM) capabilities and is suitable for businesses of all sizes.  Kronos Workforce Ready is a single cloud-based... Read More
 
Sage Payroll logo
 
Sage offers web-based payroll solutions designed for small and midsized companies in many industries.  For companies with 10 employees and 5 departments or less, Sage Payroll Essentials is a straightforward platform can be accessed... Read More
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Sage offers web-based payroll solutions designed for small and midsized companies in many industries.  For companies with 10 employees and 5 departments or less, Sage Payroll Essentials is a straightforward platform can be accessed... Read More
 
BambooHR logo
 
BambooHR is a cloud-based human resources (HR) software service for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS)... Read More
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BambooHR is a cloud-based human resources (HR) software service for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS)... Read More
 
RUN powered by ADP logo
 
RUN, powered by ADP, is a web-based payroll solution designed for small businesses. The solution can be deployed on either iPhones, iPads or on any touchscreen device. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software... Read More
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RUN, powered by ADP, is a web-based payroll solution designed for small businesses. The solution can be deployed on either iPhones, iPads or on any touchscreen device. RUN can integrate with multiple third-party accounting software... Read More
 
Viventium logo
 
Viventium is a cloud-based payroll and human resources (HR) solution for small to mid-size businesses. Key features include payroll, HR, talent acquisition, ACA tracking and business intelligence. A mobile Employee Self Service (ESS)... Read More
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Viventium is a cloud-based payroll and human resources (HR) solution for small to mid-size businesses. Key features include payroll, HR, talent acquisition, ACA tracking and business intelligence. A mobile Employee Self Service (ESS)... Read More

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Vibe HCM logo
 
Vibe HCM is a human resources platform that combines core HR, payroll and benefits, onboarding, communications, talent management, analytics and real-time AskHR functionality. Vibe HCM has been deployed for midsize to large companies... Read More
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Vibe HCM is a human resources platform that combines core HR, payroll and benefits, onboarding, communications, talent management, analytics and real-time AskHR functionality. Vibe HCM has been deployed for midsize to large companies... Read More
 
Ascentis logo
 
Ascentis offers a web-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed to find, hire and onboard suitable candidates. Built-in features include career portals, social sharing, candidate data analysis, onboarding and more. With... Read More
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Ascentis offers a web-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed to find, hire and onboard suitable candidates. Built-in features include career portals, social sharing, candidate data analysis, onboarding and more. With... Read More
 
ADP Workforce Now logo
 
ADP Workforce Now is a human capital management solution for companies with more than 50 employees. The core capabilities of the solution include human resources management, payroll, benefits, talent management, compliance, time and... Read More
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ADP Workforce Now is a human capital management solution for companies with more than 50 employees. The core capabilities of the solution include human resources management, payroll, benefits, talent management, compliance, time and... Read More
 
Sage People (formerly Fairsail HRIS) logo
 
Sage People enables mid-sized to enterprise companies to manage their workforces through its cloud HCM system. It allows organizations to transform how they acquire, engage, manage and develop their people, from a local to multinational... Read More
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Sage People enables mid-sized to enterprise companies to manage their workforces through its cloud HCM system. It allows organizations to transform how they acquire, engage, manage and develop their people, from a local to multinational... Read More
 
AsureHCM logo
 
Asure People Success Platform is a workforce and workspace management software for small to midsize businesses, and enterprise corporations. The HCM platform empowers clients with information about the productivity level of employees.... Read More
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Asure People Success Platform is a workforce and workspace management software for small to midsize businesses, and enterprise corporations. The HCM platform empowers clients with information about the productivity level of employees.... Read More

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UltiPro logo
 
Ultimate Software’s UltiPro® is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution designed to help organizations manage their HR, payroll, and talent needs. A configurable solution, UltiPro has functionality for recruiting and... Read More
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Ultimate Software’s UltiPro® is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution designed to help organizations manage their HR, payroll, and talent needs. A configurable solution, UltiPro has functionality for recruiting and... Read More
 
BizRun logo
 
BizRun is cloud-based human resources (HR) software with an emphasis on the visual. Managers and employees interact with a living org chart to accomplish daily HR tasks and view the entire organization’s structure.  Core features... Read More
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BizRun is cloud-based human resources (HR) software with an emphasis on the visual. Managers and employees interact with a living org chart to accomplish daily HR tasks and view the entire organization’s structure.  Core features... Read More
 
Precedent HR ATS logo
 
Precedent HR offers a cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include job posting and management, resume searching and skill matching. The ATS enables users to post jobs to... Read More
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Precedent HR offers a cloud-based applicant tracking system (ATS) suitable for small to midsize businesses. Key features include job posting and management, resume searching and skill matching. The ATS enables users to post jobs to... Read More
 
Epicor HCM logo
 
Epicor HCM is a global HRMS offering integrated talent management and human capital management solutions. These applications provide intuitive and adaptive HR functionality for core HR processes, as well as additional modules for Performance... Read More
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Epicor HCM is a global HRMS offering integrated talent management and human capital management solutions. These applications provide intuitive and adaptive HR functionality for core HR processes, as well as additional modules for Performance... Read More
 
Infor HCM logo
 
Infor CloudSuite HCM is a suite of human resources applications with several deployment options. Applications in the core suite include benefits management, absence and time entry, budgeting, employee safety, talent acquisition, onboarding,... Read More
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Infor CloudSuite HCM is a suite of human resources applications with several deployment options. Applications in the core suite include benefits management, absence and time entry, budgeting, employee safety, talent acquisition, onboarding,... Read More

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PeopleStrategy eHCM logo
 
PeopleStrategy eHCM® is an enterprise-level, cloud-based human capital managment (HCM) solution. It features integrated payroll, HRIS, employee and manager self-service, applicant tracking, benefits administration, workforce management,... Read More
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PeopleStrategy eHCM® is an enterprise-level, cloud-based human capital managment (HCM) solution. It features integrated payroll, HRIS, employee and manager self-service, applicant tracking, benefits administration, workforce management,... Read More
 
Collage logo
 
Collage HR is an all-in-one HR and benefits platform. The system is suitable for small to mid-size companies in a variety of industries including accounting, construction, healthcare/medical, non-profit, real estate, retail, and software/technology. Key... Read More
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Collage HR is an all-in-one HR and benefits platform. The system is suitable for small to mid-size companies in a variety of industries including accounting, construction, healthcare/medical, non-profit, real estate, retail, and software/technology. Key... Read More
 
BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite-Performance logo
 
The BirdDogHR Talent Management System offers cloud-based applicant tracking and performance management software for organizations in all industries, especially construction, manufacturing, engineering and skilled trades. The Talent... Read More
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The BirdDogHR Talent Management System offers cloud-based applicant tracking and performance management software for organizations in all industries, especially construction, manufacturing, engineering and skilled trades. The Talent... Read More
 
Vista logo
 
Vista is a cloud-based integrated human resource, benefits, payroll, recruiting and self-service software application that offers tools for administrative HCM and payroll processes.   Functional elements include workflow, tax management,... Read More
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Vista is a cloud-based integrated human resource, benefits, payroll, recruiting and self-service software application that offers tools for administrative HCM and payroll processes.   Functional elements include workflow, tax management,... Read More
 
DATABASICS Time logo
 
DATABASICS Time is time and attendance software for companies of all sizes. DATABASICS has been operating in the software space since 1997 and the company has offices in both the U.S. and Canada. DATABASICS Time provides real-time... Read More
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DATABASICS Time is time and attendance software for companies of all sizes. DATABASICS has been operating in the software space since 1997 and the company has offices in both the U.S. and Canada. DATABASICS Time provides real-time... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: September 1, 2017


Human capital management (HCM) software could be thought of as the next step in the evolution of human resources (HR) software. Rather than managing employees as if they’re static resources with finite skills and limited capabilities, HCM software manages employees as “human capital” that can be grown, leveraged and strategically deployed.

This might sound like an insignificant shift in perspective without a substantive difference, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! The shift in perspective behind HCM software brings with it a selection of new tools and applications—discussed in detail below—that improve the ability of organizations to leverage and grow their human capital investments.

As a “next step” in a long line of HR software, tools and strategies, many companies have questions about HCM software. An increasingly large portion of these companies are small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Below we examine and explain core aspects of HCM software, paying particular attention to the functionalities and use cases most relevant to SMBs.

In this HCM software Buyer’s Guide we look at:

What Is Human Capital Management Software?
Common Functions of Human Capital Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is Human Capital Management Software?

Technically, HCM software fits into the broader category of general HR software and as such, it can include some or all of the following core HR functionalities:

  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding
  • Personnel tracking
  • Time and attendance
  • Payroll

The informal distinction between HCM and general HR software is that HCM includes tools useful for more strategic workforce planning and analysis, while core HR software is typically more focused on the nuts and bolts of employee management. This is discussed in more detail in the final section below.

Of course, this standard warning applies: Vendors market their software differently and have a tendency to blur distinctions and descriptions. While the distinction above may not hold in all cases, it’s still useful to keep in mind as you read reviews and move closer to a purchase decision.

Common Functions of Human Capital Management Software

The following are generalized descriptions of the functionalities commonly included in HCM software. While they may be described differently by different vendors, the essential functionality will be similar across the board.

Core HR administration These are the functionalities associated with traditional HR software, such as: benefits and payroll administration, employee life cycle process management and organization of employee data.
Talent management These applications help manage recruiting and onboarding processes, compensation, management of employee performance and training and education programs.
Workforce management These tools help manage day-to-day workforce activities by tracking time and attendance, activity and task tracking, scheduling and absence management.
HR service delivery These tools are provided largely for the benefit of employees, offering direct (online) access to important records and information regarding their employment.
Workforce analytics These functions include reporting and data visualization features as well as predictive analytics models to help the HR department predict and plan for likely future scenarios and challenges.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Core HR buyer. Your company has grown and it’s time to graduate from your spreadsheet-and-email methods of managing employees. Core HR platforms provide the essential, must-have HR functions such as personnel tracking, absence management, payroll, benefits administration and recruiting. Core HR platforms can be purchased for on-premise installation or as online software.

Best-of-breed core HR buyer. You already have a system for managing human resources. It’s an older system and doesn’t have much fancy functionality, but it’s integral to your operations and would be costly to replace. But, you’ve found you need some additional functionality, maybe something to help you better track applicants or update your appraisal and review processes. Often, HCM applications can be purchased as best-of-breed solutions, letting you add new HR functionality without much capex or system downtime.

Strategic HR buyers. If you’re in this group, then you probably have loftier HR goals, like workforce optimization and strategic workforce planning. These goals require better analytical tools that can help with forward-looking projections and planning. To the average (core) HR buyer, some of these tools would be considered “nice to have.” But for companies that want to amp up their HR strategy and are looking for tools to help with, for example, performance management, succession planning or compensation management, then HCM software is usually the best choice.

Recent Events You Should Know About

SAP using SuccessFactors for improved employee acquisition (August, 2016). As more and more companies learn to adapt their hiring practices to an increasingly millennial-centric workforce, SAP is finding success with its own HCM platform, SuccessFactors. In an article in ITbusiness, the software giant describes how its HCM platform helps the company attract and retain the best available talent from a younger population.

Applebee’s franchisee using UltiPro to improve onboarding, payroll processes (September, 2016). RMH Franchise Corporation, which operates over 175 Applebee’s locations, announced it was switching to cloud-based HCM platform UltiPro to improve its onboarding and processing of payrolls. The company expects the move to greatly reduce the workload for office staff, by automating many repetitive processes involved with accounting and tax reporting for the company’s 10,000-plus employees.

Walmart automating 7,000 back-office accounting and invoicing jobs (September, 2016). After completing a successful trial run in some 500 stores this summer, Walmart announced it will continue moving ahead with the plan to automate certain back-office roles. The move comes as Walmart faces continuing pressure from slowing sales and is actively trying to leverage new IT to improve operational efficiency.

Related HR and HCM Software Categories

There’s a variety of stand-alone HR applications and full HR and HCM platforms on the market, and buyers are encouraged to examine all of their options before making a purchase decision. Depending on if you’re a core HR buyer, a best-of-breed core HR buyer or a strategic HR buyer (see explanations above) you might find the perfect HR tool on one of the related pages below:

Free Download:
Core HR Software Pricing Guide

Free Download:
Ten Steps Guide to Selecting the Right
Human Resources (HR) Software

 

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