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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ClearCompany

Since 2004, ClearCompany has empowered thousands of companies to attract, screen, and hire better talent, engage their team, and use strategic insights to keep their recruiting competitive.The ClearCompany Talent Management Platfo... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 118 recommendations

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Rippling

Rippling makes it easy to manage your company's Payroll, Benefits, HR, and IT—all in one, modern platform. It brings all of your employee systems and data together, and helps automate your busy work. Take onboarding, for exa... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 103 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, employe... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 87 recommendations

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WorkforceHub

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 ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 87 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: 82 recommendations

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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), t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 81 recommendations

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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: 77 recommendations

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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 s... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 67 recommendations

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HQ Platform

Infinity is a cloud-based construction management solution that helps small to large enterprises manage HR operations, field layouts and building information modeling (BIM) services. Users can configure role-based access across pr... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 62 recommendations

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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 organization... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 49 recommendations

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UKG Pro

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 ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 46 recommendations

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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 pe... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 46 recommendations

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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 schedu... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 40 recommendations

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Deluxe Payroll

Deluxe's online payroll solution provides your business with comprehensive, full-service payroll and HR solutions with dedicated customer service. ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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iCIMS Talent Cloud

Support the entire candidate experience from start to finish with a unified recruitment platform. iCIMS offers best-in-class recruiting products for your hiring life cycle, available as part of one unified talent cloud platform, o... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 37 recommendations

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Collage

Collage is a cloud-based human resources (HR) and benefits management platform built for the needs of small and midsize businesses. Collage also digitizes group benefits enrollment and can sync with any insurance provider in Canad... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 33 recommendations

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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 hierar... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 31 recommendations

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ApplicantStack

An applicant tracking system is the foundation of strategic talent management. ApplicantStack capably empowers all stakeholders: internal recruiters, hiring managers, administrators and—most importantly—applicants. ApplicantStack ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

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Buddy Punch

Buddy Punch is a cloud-based time clock solution suitable for businesses of all sizes. Key features include overtime calculating, GPS tracking, PTO accrual, time card approval and job costing. Buddy Punch enables employees to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Powerpay

Powerpay by Ceridian is a cloud-based payroll and HR software for small businesses in Canada. This solution is designed to help eliminate the need for manual processes and paperwork when managing employee information. Powerpay can... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 28 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 20, 2021

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 Buyers Guide we look at:

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.

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: