Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of HR departments choose the right HCM software so they can engage employees and drive talent development.

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Breeze 360

Breeze 360 is a cloud-based employee time and attendance software system that manages employee time and/or attendance workflows for companies in all industries. Breeze 360 enables companies to automate time and attendance processes.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 81 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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TimeWorksPlus

TimeWorksPlus is a cloud-based time, attendance, and leave management system for small to mid-size businesses. This software can capture time data from web-based clocks or physical clocks for employees onsite, mobile, and working at... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 79 recommendations

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UZIO

UZIO is a SaaS-based online marketplace that provides cloud-based HR, payroll, and benefits management software and services. It is built for businesses of all sizes. This integrated solution offers local/regional brokers, employers,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 74 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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BambooHR

BambooHR is a cloud-based HR management software solution for small and midsize businesses. BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 69 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Zira

Zira is a cloud-based employee scheduling and performance management system designed to automate complex team processes. Zira tools include a web-based manager and admin application that is ideal for creating and publishing schedules,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 61 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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RUN Powered by ADP

RUN Powered by ADP (RUN"), 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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Recent recommendations: 55 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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UKG Ready

UKG Ready (formerly Kronos Workforce Ready) is a flexible and seamless HR solution that provides a connected people experience to easily manage the entire employee journey, from a single solution. Designed for flexibility and ease... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Dayforce HCM

Dayforce, provided by Ceridian, is a cloud-based solution for Payroll, Benefits, Workforce Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Document Management, and Analytics. As a single application, Dayforce provides organizations... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Infinity HQ

HQ Platform is an all-inclusive software as a service, system designed to meet the human resource needs of small, medium, and large sized Construction, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Production plants, Factories, and Workshops that... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 43 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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PurelyHR

PurelyHR is a cloud-based leave management solution for small to midsize businesses. The system’s core modules allow HR departments to track staff leave requests and approvals as well as manage diverse time off policies and hierarchies.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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eddyHR

EddyHR’s mission is to help small and midsize businesses move out of paper and spreadsheets, and into an intuitive, modern, all-in-one HR platform. EddyHR is unique because of its seamless combination of hiring, onboarding, and people... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 42 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Now is a comprehensive solution for managing HR, payroll, talent, compliance, and employee benefits. This workforce solution is suited for businesses with more than 50 employees looking to streamline HR processes. ADP... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 33 recommendations

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Workful

Workful is a cloud-based payroll and employee management solution designed to help small businesses automate processes for internal communication, time tracking, onboarding and more. Key features include direct deposit, geo-fenced... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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UKG Pro (Formerly UltiPro)

UKG Pro (formerly Ultimate UltiPro) is a powerful, global HCM solution. Transform your business with a truly connected global workforce experience delivered through resilient and mindful HR technology. From payroll, to talent, to service... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 26 recommendations

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TimeClock Plus

TimeClock Plus is a cloud-based workforce management solution designed to make the day-to-day of your organization more efficient. TimeClock Plus also offers dynamic scheduling and job costing features that can be configured to an... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Ascentis

Ascentis offers a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) suite designed for midsize companies of all industries. It includes HR and benefits, recruiting and onboarding, talent management, time and attendance and payroll. Ascentis... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

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ClockInEasy

ClockInEasy is a cloud-based timesheet management and location tracking solution designed for organizations of all sizes. It offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices with built in GPS tracking, face recognition, automated timesheets... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

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CloudBiometry

CloudBiometry is a cloud-based employee timekeeping application that can be accessed from any browser. With no software installation necessary, CloudBiometry can also be run on a free Android app. CloudBiometry helps businesses immediately... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 20 recommendations

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TimeSimplicity

TimeSimplicity makes employee scheduling easier for small to mid-size businesses. This software guides schedulers through shift-building based on business need, certification rules, labor laws, and employee preferences. TimeSimplicity... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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Viventium

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, business intelligence, and time and attendance. A mobile Employee... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: November 14, 2020

What Is Human Capital Management Software?

Human capital management software is a type of software that provides features for strategic planning of available workforce. The software fits into the broader category of general HR software and offers overlapping features such as personnel and time and attendance tracking. The informal distinction is that human capital management software includes data visualization and analytics capabilities to predict requirements and optimize workforce.

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.

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

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

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 HR analytics models to help the 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: