FrontRunners 2020 Year-End Report: Top HR Software

By: on December 8, 2020

As 2020 (finally!) comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on the unique challenges faced by individuals and businesses since March, and to understand exactly how those challenges were overcome.

As the saying goes, past behavior is the best indicator of future success. If we can analyze what factors helped small businesses survive this turbulent year, then it stands to reason businesses will be better prepared for any major market disruptions in the future.

And it’s an understatement to say the one thing that made a huge difference between survival and closure for a lot of small businesses was the right software.

How software saved employers in 2020

We all remember the sudden and drastic changes implemented at the beginning of the year due to COVID-19—including social distance mandates, mask requirements, indoor capacity limits, and stay-at-home orders, just to name a few.

But even with all these important safety measures, the fact remained that people still needed to live their lives. The question then became how to go about those daily tasks like working and shopping while minimizing risk of infection.

Answer: Technology.

As the preferences of consumers changed according to risk tolerance, so too did the way businesses interacted with their customers. For most small businesses, that meant taking huge steps in their digital transformation journey.

Hundreds of employers faced the very sudden need to manage a remote workforce without infrastructure in place to support that transition. In fact, traffic to our directory for online meeting software increased by more than 470% in March over February of this year. When sharing a conference room became too dangerous, companies had to turn to collaboration tools like video conferencing and project management.

For a lot of employees, working from home is actually preferable, with better work-life balance and job satisfaction, so many companies may find themselves continuing to utilize these remote work tools even after the pandemic has passed.

With all of these new challenges and software solutions in mind, and considering the huge variety and number of software providers out there, we thought it would be helpful to create a shortlist of software companies that users and reviewers found the most valuable this year.

How we chose these companies

Our methodology for creating this shortlist started with identifying which market categories to focus on. We believed looking at market clusters would prove more valuable to buyers than a market-agnostic approach would have been, so with that in mind we looked at one market for which we see the highest demand from the buyers we talk to:

Human resources.

With the market focus identified, we then moved on to our FrontRunners data to help compile our shortlists.

We started by creating a master list of all the products that appeared in all of our FrontRunners within the HR category this year. Next, we highlighted the software companies with products in multiple FrontRunners reports, and finally we narrowed that list down to the companies with products in at least 4 HR FrontRunners reports in 2020.

Top HR software providers

We’ve listed the software providers according to the number of appearances their products had in FrontRunners reports this year and then alphabetically.

To gather the reviews information included for each software company on our list, we pulled reviews from each vendor’s top products to provide an overview of what users appreciate about each provider.

Here are the top HR software providers according to 2020 FrontRunners.

Paycom

Paycom offers cloud-based payroll management solutions to help employers automate processes as well as store and maintain employee data. Client specialists are always available to users to assist with any issues, so customers always have access to support.

Types of HR software: Payroll, Workforce Management, HR, Onboarding, Talent Management, Time Clock

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 6


Ceridian

Ceridian’s Dayforce HR software solution is a cloud-based system with modules supporting important processes like payroll, benefits, workforce management, talent management, document management, and analytics.

Types of HR software: Payroll, Workforce Management, Onboarding, Talent Management, Recruiting

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 5


Cezanne HR

Cezanne HR is a cloud-based HR platform for mid-sized businesses that features integrated modules to support absence, performance, timesheets, recruiting, onboarding, and goal tracking.

Types of HR software: HR, Performance Appraisal, Onboarding, Talent Management, Recruiting

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 5


Kronos

Kronos offers a number of HR and workforce management suites to cater to different business sizes and needs, with support for important functions like payroll, time and attendance, absence management, scheduling, and more.

Types of HR software: Payroll, Workforce Management, Onboarding, Talent Management, Employee Engagement

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 5


Paylocity

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

Types of HR software: Payroll, Workforce Management, Onboarding, Talent Management, Employee Engagement

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 5


ADP

ADP is a robust HR software provider catering to businesses of all sizes and supporting a large number of processes, including payroll, employee benefits administration, HR policy and compliance, time tracking, employee scheduling, workplace safety, and more.

Types of HR software: Payroll, Performance Appraisal, Talent Management, Human Capital Management, Time and Attendance, Leave Management

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


ClearCompany

ClearCompany offers HR software solutions to help businesses of any size manage recruiting, new employee onboarding, performance management, and other functions.

Types of HR software: Video Interviewing, Performance Appraisal, Onboarding, Talent Management, Applicant Tracking, Workforce Planning

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


HR Cloud

HR Cloud is a cloud-based human resource management platform catering to businesses of all industries, from leisure and tourism to healthcare and retail.

Types of HR software: HR, Performance Appraisal, Applicant Tracking, Employee Engagement, Time-off Management, Onboarding

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


Impraise

Impraise is a cloud-based feedback management system designed to help businesses manage employee performance through goal management, real-time feedback, and performance reviews.

Types of HR software: Performance Appraisal, Employee Engagement, OKR, 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Management

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


Instructure

Instructure’s Bridge software is an employee development platform that offers a variety of features for both employees and managers, including peer-to-peer practice, live in-person training, external learning modules, online courses, mentorship programs, goal tracking, and peer assessment.

Types of HR software: LMS, Performance Appraisal, Talent Management, Employee Engagement

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


Lattice

Lattice offers cloud-based performance management tools to help HR professionals across a variety of industries and businesses of all sizes better manage core HR processes such as performance review and goal management.

Types of HR software: Performance Appraisal, Employee Engagement, OKR, 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Management

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software’s UKG Pro system is a powerful global human capital management platform that supports large-scale workforces with payroll, talent, service delivery, surveys, and many more modules.

Types of HR software: Employee Scheduling, Performance Appraisal, Talent Management, Employee Engagement, Payroll, Onboarding, Recruiting, Compensation Management

Number of appearances in 2020 FrontRunner reports: 4


Learn more about FrontRunners

Software Advice’s FrontRunners data served as the foundation for this report. In order to rank products in our FrontRunners reports, we compile and analyze recent, published user reviews to score products. The data we collect for these reports falls within a defined time frame and is not updated after publication, so FrontRunners reports should be considered 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.

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