2021 Midyear Top HR Software FrontRunners

By: Software Advice on August 6, 2021

Human resources (HR) software is an indispensable part of the tech stack of any business. It helps manage critical HR functions such as recruitment, applicant tracking, employee onboarding, and payroll management.

As a business, it’s important to select an HR software platform that best suits your needs. But due to the many products available on the market, it can be challenging to decide which software to choose. To help you shortlist the right tool, we’ve created a list of HR software solutions that have been rated well by real software users like you.

Products on the list are featured in our HR FrontRunners reports, which use reviews from real software users to highlight top-rated products, released over the first half of 2021. (Learn more about FrontRunners.)

The list will help you identify products that have consistently performed well across diverse HR software categories, including 360 degree feedback, applicant tracking, benefits administration, employee engagement, employee recognition, employee scheduling, HR, learning management, OKR, onboarding, payroll, performance appraisal, recruiting, talent management, time clock, video interviewing, volunteer management, and workforce management.



4.37/5 (595 reviews)

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Paycom is an HR and payroll software platform that enhances the entire employee lifecycle. It helps businesses streamline their employment processes—from recruiting to retirement—using a single centralized tool.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 7

FrontRunners reports: Time clock, onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, HR, workforce management, talent management


Paycom user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “The fact that everything is all together on one database, no moving between platforms for information. The same information for payroll is available for HR and vice versa.”

  • “I love that it allows employees the ability to access and change their profiles and be responsible for their timecards.”

  • “The employee self-service feature and timecard management are fantastic. Their core philosophy is that employees enter, manage and approve their own time.”


  • “This software is limited in the sense that when you are trying to do bulk uploading for time cards it will not let you do it if it’s towards the end of a pay period.”

  • “I would like to see a few minor changes like dropdown menus and quick links utilized more. Stuff to simplify navigating the software.”

  • “Not easy to find download documents about benefits description. Passwords need to be renewed very often.”



4.3/5 (552 reviews)

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Paylocity is a cloud-based human capital management system that helps users better manage their HR and payroll functions, from payroll processing and benefits administration to talent management and data insights.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 7

FrontRunners reports: Employee engagement, workforce management, talent management, payroll, benefits administration, onboarding, performance management


Paylocity user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “I love the Paylocity platform! It’s intuitive and I like how you can send hires in the recruiting function over to the onboarding function and then over to payroll.”

  • “I like that I can easily track hours in the tool and copy and paste work hours from one day to another.”

  • “We use Paylocity at work and it is easy to access on the computer as well as the phone.”


  • “The tool can be challenging to navigate because there are different ways to get to various places. Some UI improvements could help.”

  • “I wish the mobile app function allowed you to clock in and out.”

  • “I wish we had the option to change Pay Types for employees that punched in and out on their Employee Time Card.”



4.61/5 (38 reviews)

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Eddy is an all-in-one HR tool designed for small and midsize businesses. It helps streamline tedious HR processes such as application tracking and employee onboarding. It also assists in improving the employee experience by allowing businesses to move away from paper- and spreadsheet-based tasks.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 6

FrontRunners reports: Talent management, time clock, HR, onboarding, applicant tracking, recruiting


Eddy user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “We really enjoy the ability to configure different levels of PTO/Sick Time. Additionally, it’s fairly easy to adjust the missed/incorrect time punches.”

  • “This software has helped us tremendously with our hiring and onboarding procedures. Much easier to use than the onboarding software we were using.”

  • “One of the features I like most about the software is the onboarding for new employees. I like that I can track how far along the new hire is, in the onboarding experience.”


  • “I wish it had a scheduling function and a way to break down bi-weekly payroll reports by each week instead of reporting for the whole period.”

  • “While it’s easy to adjust someone’s punches, you can’t do it until after the employee clocks out. It’s a bit cumbersome.”

  • “It’s a little annoying that in order to go from one employee’s profile to another that I have to go all the way back to the list of employees and search for the next.”


ADP Workforce Now

4.38/5 (5,082 reviews)

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

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners reports: Performance management, HR, workforce management, talent management, payroll


ADP Workforce Now user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “I liked how easy it was to navigate this program and how simple it was. Whether you are tech savvy or not, this thing is amazing.”

  • “The Dashboard and ease of use for vacation and time off requests. Very smooth transition from request approved to requests to be approved.”

  • “I like that it is easy to login and take a detailed look at my pay stubs. No paperwork needed, just a quick login and – BOOM!”


  • “Although it is available online, the system is not optimized for mobile use and can be very difficult to use.”

  • “The schedule of employees is unusable, if you try and set up a set schedule and the employee clocks in early it doesn’t auto correct.”

  • “ADP can improve on the timeout and login issue along with the improvements on the customer support troubleshooting for a smoother experience.”



4.61/5 (598 reviews)

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APS is a comprehensive platform for managing payroll, HR, attendance, hiring, onboarding, applicant tracking, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance. It’s suitable for small and midsize businesses and helps manage employee workflows such as recruiting and performance management.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners Reports: HR, applicant tracking, benefits administration, payroll, talent management


APS user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “The reporting features and the payroll audit summary are so helpful and convenient when pulling metrics or finding important information in a snap.”

  • “This is a total HRIS solution that is inexpensive and easy to use. You can choose what services to add and use and they all work together.”

  • “This product is easy to use. Support is very timely and helpful in their responses to questions. Makes payroll very easy to complete.”


  • “Being that it’s a smaller platform, it does not integrate with other software platforms where data pull is needed from our payroll HRIS.”

  • “Would like to be able to customize reports better, so that they are easier to read and follow.”

  • “A bit cumbersome when adding new pay types, such as bereavement pay. They don’t cover worker’s compensation.”


ClearCompany HRM

4.37/5 (268 reviews)

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ClearCompany is an HR software solution designed for businesses of all sizes. It helps manage recruiting, employee onboarding, applicant tracking, and performance management, among other HR functions.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners reports: Talent management, onboarding, applicant tracking, video interviewing, performance management


ClearCompany user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “I like the fact that I can create a post and it feeds into 5 other job boards. This saves money and time signing up with other job boards.”

  • “The ease of use, and how it integrates with ADP. Also the Customer Service and response time are top notch.”

  • “The ease of using, uploading candidates, and adding comments to candidate’s profile.”


  • “The only thing I would prefer to have is on the email section of the database having spell check. It highlights the misspelled words but doesn’t have an option to make corrections.”

  • “Notes don’t transfer to new applications for candidates, no notifications on actions from managers.”

  • “If the same candidate applies for 10 different positions, you will actually have to open each application.”


Dayforce HCM

4.26/5 (655 reviews)

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Dayforce is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) system with modules supporting processes such as payroll, benefits, workforce management, talent management, document management, and analytics. Its unified platform provides access to real-time data and results from all HCM domains.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners reports: Onboarding, workforce management, talent management, benefits administration, recruiting


Dayforce user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “I like that it keeps track of messages, forms, creates a working calendar; it just organizes everything for me and I think it’s great.”

  • “This software helps manage everything from time and attendance and payroll to employee training and learnings.”

  • “The one feature I absolutely love is the license/certification field.”


  • “The interface is clunky and I feel like I have to relearn how to do things several times if you don’t do them regularly.”

  • “The evaluation tool could be enhanced. It seems a bit basic and I wish the report was also enhanced for better compliance.”

  • “There are not any “help” pages or chats, you just have to fish around and figure out which pages give you the actual options you are looking for.”



4.71/5 (295 reviews)

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isolved is a cloud-based HCM software suite that includes payroll, HR, benefits, and time management. It helps manage everyday tasks, including those related to HR, payroll, and benefits, in a way that increases productivity, boosts engagement, and accelerates results.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners reports: Employee engagement, workforce management, talent management, employee recognition, benefits administration


isolved user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “The ease of processing our bi-weekly payroll is great. The reporting features are excellent. Customer support is excellent.”

  • “Ease of use and functionality. All employee data in one place. Easy to maneuver in the system. HRIS and payroll in one format.”

  • “Having a mobile application and a web-based front-end to clock in and out makes it easy to remember to do so.”


  • “The only downside is when there is something out of the ordinary with a payroll transaction. I always need to contact customer support.”

  • “It cost more money to have iSolved than it would (including risk) of having paper time cards.”

  • “I do not like the pay stub feature and how paycheck stubs are generated/printed. Wish you could switch between profiles without having to log in/out.”



4.15/5 (399 reviews)

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Namely is a cloud-based HR system designed for companies seeking to manage their human capital and compliance processes. It helps streamline various functions, including payroll, benefits, and talent management.

Number of appearances in 2021 FrontRunners reports: 5

FrontRunners reports: Employee engagement, talent management, payroll, onboarding, performance management


Namely user reviews on Software Advice:



  • “If you’re a small company with limited HR Initiatives then this is great software. Low price for very usable software. Easy for new employees to navigate.”

  • “What I like most is the ease of use for our employees. It is a very intuitive system to use and an employee’s profile, performance management, PTO and onboarding tasks are visible to them.”

  • “It has a great UI that makes it easy for employees to update information, access resources and complete processes like requesting time off.”


  • “Not so great for annual reviews and more in depth items and reporting.”

  • “The build out for open enrollment and feeds is extremely lengthy and pricey.”

  • “We have had difficulty with the Namely Time feature, it gets confusing for employees and sometimes there are issues with information syncing between the two systems.”

Learn more about Software Advice FrontRunners

To come up with this list, we looked at all the products placed in our HR FrontRunners reports released over the first half of 2021. Then we ranked the products based on the number of reports each appeared in.

For qualification, each product must have been featured in at least five of the following categories: 360 degree feedback, applicant tracking, benefits administration, employee engagement, employee recognition, employee scheduling, HR, learning management systems, OKR, onboarding, payroll, performance management, recruiting, talent management, time clock, video interviewing, volunteer management, workforce management. In the event that two or more products were featured in an equal number of categories, we listed them alphabetically.

We relied on Software Advice’s FrontRunners data to create this report. To create our FrontRunners reports, we consider recent, published user reviews for individual software products in order to score and rank them.

The data we collect for FrontRunners reports falls within a set time frame and is not updated after publication. For that reason, FrontRunners reports should be interpreted as a snapshot of reviews data.

To learn more about FrontRunners methodology, you can find our current version and explanations for inclusion criteria and scoring here.

Disclaimer: Product ratings and no. of reviews are as of July 27, 2021. User reviews have been captured as is; they have not been edited for conciseness, clarity, or grammar.