Today’s workplaces are fraught with complexity for Human Resource professionals. In addition to recruiting, retaining, and developing a talented workforce, HR professionals must adhere to legal, regulatory, and compliance requirements.
Technology has the power to empower HR professionals and provide a streamlined path for managing and analyzing data, ultimately helping them execute on their objectives and improve HR processes across an entire organization.
In this guide, we are going to cover,
- What is HCM Software?
- What’s the Difference Between HCM and HRM Software?
- What are the Benefits of HCM Software?
- How to Choose the Best HCM Software
- 10 Best HCM Software Solutions
- Improve Your HCM Software Adoption and Training
Human Capital Management Software (HCM), sometimes called an HRIS (Human Resources Information System), or an HRMS (human resources management system), is a software application that allows HR and People Managers to strategically and operationally manage the entire lifecycle of their organization's employees, from hire to retire.
Their functionality can include resource management systems, learning and development systems, change management systems, labor force automation/management systems, alongside any other type of application designed to help businesses effectively manage their people.
What’s the Difference Between HCM and HRM Software?
Since HCM (Human Capital Management) and HRM (Human Resource Management) programs are both used to track organizational resources, it’s easy for people to think that the two are exactly the same.
However, there are subtle differences. Human Resource Management Software typically focuses on organizing and facilitating day-to-day HR tasks.
Human Capital Management Software takes this one step further by supporting the strategy behind your workforce management. This includes organizational development plans, change management, employee engagement, and leadership development.
We can therefore think of HCM software and HRMS software as a spectrum. HCM software is closer to the left-hand side (with its focus on strategic workforce management) and HRM software is towards the right (which supports the more operational level tasks).
What are the Benefits of HCM Software?
A. Improving Employee Engagement
According to the 2021 Microsoft Work Trend Index Report, 41% of employees are currently considering quitting or changing professions in a trend being dubbed the “Great Resignation”. Effective employee engagement is vital in attracting and retaining a businesses’ best staff, but according to Gallup, 85% of employees are not currently engaged in the workplace.
HCM tools such as pulse surveys, employee recognition schemes, and benefit programs are powerful HCM solutions to bridging the engagement gap.
The same tools can provide intelligence on which employees are at risk of becoming disengaged, allowing organizations to act quickly to retain top talent and understand where potential resource gaps may occur in the future.
B. Analyzing Employee Efficiency
Human capital management software collects valuable data on every aspect of employee efficiency. This allows organizations to analyze productivity across the entire business, alongside giving the ability to drill down into productivity and efficiency at a departmental, role, and even individual level.
Armed with an accurate understanding of efficiency and productivity, managers can use this information to see where processes can be improved and inform future workforce plans based on current utilization and capacity.
C. Increasing Learning and Development
Effective learning and development programs are a non-negotiable component of employee retention and increasing organizational capacity. Surprisingly, 82% of employees reported that they would quit their job due to lack of career progression, which highlights the importance of offering personal development opportunities.
Organizations inevitably need some sort of software to track individual training and development to ensure every employee has a personal progression plan. Alongside tracking this individual growth, Human Capital Management systems can also be used to provide information to employees on training programs and learning opportunities throughout the organization.
How to Choose the Best HCM Software
With so many Human Capital Management system vendors fighting for market share, it can be difficult to find the best solution from within the sea of top HCM software companies.
To help find the best system for your specific organization, we recommend you look at the following factors when comparing the best HCM software systems:
The hardest part of choosing an HCM solution is evaluating the usability of various systems. User-friendly design is certainly important, but there are other considerations as well. For example, how easy will it be for employees to learn the new system? How often is the platform updated with new features and new interface designs?
You should also look into how much support is provided by the vendor. Is there clear documentation? What are the support channels if things go wrong?
ii. Core features and functions:
Talent management systems help businesses manage recruitment, employee engagement, compensation, leadership development, and performance. Think of it as a CRM for your people, helping you recruit, promote and understand your workforce in detail.
A good HCM solution will include all the functionalities above alongside automation to help speed up tedious processes.
Workforce management systems help employers record, understand and plan workforce capacity.
If your organization also uses external resources, it’s also important to look for HCM systems that provide contingent workforce management features. This will allow managers to record details of non-core employees including freelancers and consultants.
HCM software can help streamline and automate performance management by allowing managers and reports to collaborate on shared performance records which are then stored in a single system.
Training and development
The best HCM software supports the learning and development strategy of an organization by allowing employees to self-select their training, alongside allowing managers to match their team members with suitable learning opportunities based on a personal development plan.
Your HCM solution shouldn’t just be for HR. All employees should be able to use the system to submit timesheets, expenses and interact with and update their personal information. Ideally, this should be possible on mobile and desktop devices.
You should be able to use the HCM system to easily analyze and manipulate compensation data, which can help with future compensation planning and ensuring your compensation levels are fair and inclusive across your organization.
The best HCM software should enable you to set up your own, personalized workflows for multiple HR processes. These workflows can then be used to automate repetitive tasks and ensure that processes are adhered to consistently.
Process and compliance
Speaking of processes, alongside defining what should happen and when you should be able to easily analyze the data held within your HCM solution to see when compliance breaches have occurred and resolve any issues quickly.
HCM software can provide valuable insight into business metrics relating to employee turnover, recruitment, and employee performance.
It’s important that this data is easily accessible within the system and that it can be displayed in clear dashboards that allow managers to see the state of their workforce at the click of a button.
As with any business-critical software, you need to choose an HCM system that is suitable for your organizational side. Typically vendors position themselves as either a small to mid-sized business (SMB) or enterprise solution, so it’s important to consider which side you fall on.
Alongside meeting your current needs, it’s also worth thinking about scalability and how the system will handle the growth of your team. Will you incur increasing costs per user? Does the HCM software vendor offer the growing set of features your organization might need over time?
Thousands of companies today are suffering from the cost and reputation damage inflicted by compliance failures. To prevent this, you should choose an HCM system that supports the procedures required in your particular region or internationally if required.
The information used in HCM software is typically extremely sensitive. Some of these pieces of data are protected by law, including social security or driver’s license numbers. Your chosen HCM system should provide appropriate protection from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access to ensure data integrity.
It's important that your chosen HCM platform integrates with other business-critical systems, including your ERP system and third-party payroll providers. Most vendors should have a substantial list of out-of-the-box integrations.
Used by leading organizations including Adobe and General Electric, Workday Human Capital Management is an HCM system built on a single data model.
It has a single-user experience and security model implemented with a single set of global capabilities. It’s ideal for mid-sized organizations to large enterprises that require enterprise features in the cloud.
Key Workday HCM features:
- Supports multiple languages and geographies
- Offers Cloud Connect for third-party payroll integration
- Includes strategic workforce planning functionality
- Includes career and development planning functionality
- Simple and highly intuitive user interface
- Safeguards against cyber attacks with secure data storage
- Brings financial, people, and operational data into one unified source of truth
- Supports real-time employee engagement to track employee sentiment
Workday offers a single system with one login and one set of security features so employees can use the same system for their pay, performance, learning and development, and training.
Some users report that the mobile app is easier to use than the web version. The reporting functionality is also limited for those looking for customized reporting.
No free trial available. Workday doesn’t publicly release their pricing information, so you have to contact them directly for a quote.
Looking to accelerate your Workday adoption? Support your team at every step with Apty’s real-time Workday guidance and training capabilities.
2. Oracle Human Capital Management
Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM helps mid to large enterprises manage all HR processes in their business from the time an employee is recruited to when they retire.
It provides a consistent experience across devices and allows users to edit data from one place, making it easier for them to make decisions and keep on top of their data and reporting.
Integrating with the wider Oracle family, Oracle has redesigned all of its ERP, HCM, and EPM applications for the cloud as part of its integrated SaaS suite.
Key Oracle HCM features:
- Provides comprehensive workflow management and advanced automation features
- Self-service portal available to employees on desktop and mobile devices
- Delivers a wide set of modules across HR, learning and development, payroll, compensation management, workforce analytics, and more
- Core HR module is especially suited to companies with multiple locations, helping streamline cross-border HR processes
- Oracle HCM solution allows companies to offer flexible benefits programs that are tailored to specific requirements
- Includes embedded social collaboration capabilities to increase employee engagement
With a full suite of capabilities, Oracle HCM solution is one of the most comprehensive solutions available. It can also be deployed in a number of different ways to suit different security needs via public cloud, private cloud, on-premise, and even in hybrid environments.
Oracle HCM Cloud is not suited for companies with less than 100 employees.
Free trial available. Global Human Resources starts from $13.00 per employee/month, Workforce Rewards is an additional $3.00 per user/month. Talent Acquisition starts from $5.00 per user/month.
Let Apty improve your Oracle HCM Cloud adoption and support your employees with real-time guidance and data validation to ensure complete compliance.
3. NetSuite SuitePeople HCM
Suitable for companies of any size, NetSuite's SuitePeople HR software makes it easier to streamline HR, payroll, and finance data into a single HCM solution. It also makes it easier to get data from other sources by eliminating the need to integrate different systems.
It is particularly well suited for smaller companies looking to manage their basic HR functions in robust and secure management.
Key NetSuite SuitePeople HCM features:
- Employees can update their profiles, manage their teams, and securely view HR information.
- SuitePeople Performance Management module provides a central place to easily administer the performance review process
- Comprehensive Workforce Management functionality incorporates workforce planning with compensation, benefits, and time-off management
- Brings together financial and HR data into a single source of truth
- HR Analytics provides role-based dashboards for HR and other authorized users
- Role-based security allows organizations to set permission levels for executives, managers, supervisors, and employees.
For organizations already using NetSuite’s wider ERP platform, SuitePeople is available as an add-on module that slots seamlessly into wider business tools and processes.
The UI can appear old and outdated when compared with other HCM platforms.
No free trial available. Users subscribe to NetSuite for an annual license fee which is available on request. This is made up of three main components: core platform, optional modules, and a number of users. There is also a one-time implementation fee for the initial setup.
Use Apty’s NetSuite training and adoption software to manage change, increase productivity, ensure compliance and maximize the ROI of your NetSuite implementation.
4. ADP Vantage HCM
ADP Vantage HCM is a cloud-based employee payroll and HCM application. ADP Vantage offers integrated tools including HR Payroll, Workforce Management, Benefits, Recruiting, Talent Management, and Employee Onboarding. It is an HCM solution well suited for enterprise organizations with over 1000 employees.
Key ADP Vantage HCM features:
- Employee Self Service available across web and mobile
- Extensive Performance and Talent Management capabilities
- Multi-channel support includes video tutorials, whitepapers FAQs, email support, and forums
- Robust analytics and insights powered by ADP® DataCloud
- Personalized support through a dedicated account manager
- Multi-language support across German, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified)
- Supports data required for Form 1094-C and Form-1095-C and also helps in streamlining ACA compliance requirements
ADP Vantage HCM is great for large organizations with complex processes that need all the functionalities and features provided by the platform.
This complexity may mean ADP Vantage is not suitable for small to medium size organizations. Users also report slow response times from the support team.
No free trial available. ADP Vantage doesn’t publicly release its pricing information, so you have to contact them directly for a quote.
Use Apty’s ADP Vantage training and adoption software to reduce training, onboard faster, and engage your global workforce.
5. Peoplesoft HCM
First released by PeopleSoft in 1995, and acquired by Oracle in 2005. PeopleSoft HCM is more effective for small, medium, and large organizations that have complex business requirements.
The tool provides comprehensive HR features and can be deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, making it a suitable candidate for security-conscious businesses who would like full control over their data hosting.
Key Peoplesoft HCM features:
- Global Core HCM provides self-service functionality for all users and includes multi-national support
- Supports Workforce Management including absence and resource management
- Workforce Service Delivery module helps streamline common HR tasks including benefits and pay administration
- Talent management module supports a range of tasks from recruitment and compensation to development and succession planning
- Offers a centralized, global and secure store of employee data
- Integrates easily with other third-party applications
One of the most popular features of PeopleSoft is its ability to manage large amounts of data/records with ease. There is also the ability to build custom queries within the system according to your requirements.
The software can be quite cumbersome and hard to teach to new employees. It is not very intuitive and requires lots of training to ensure employees are onboarded correctly.
No free trial available. Pricing is quote-based and available upon request.
6. SAP SuccessFactors
As part of the wider SAP product suite, SAP SuccessFactors provides a cloud-based HCM solution to manage various HR functions such as business alignment, people performance, recruitment, and learning activities.
It is suitable for all sizes of organizations and is used in more than 60 industries.
Key SAP SuccessFactors HCM features:
- Performance and Goals module makes it easy to track employee performance and development
- SAP Process Integration makes integrations between SAP and non-SAP applications easy
- Integrates with SAP ERP HCM and with easy data import into SuccessFactors
- Automates and simplifies global employee time tracking while meeting compliance regulations
- Drives global compliance with localized best-practice processes which are determined and enforced by SAP experts in supported countries
It is easy to integrate SAP SuccessFactors with all SAP applications so that you can extract data from across the entire organization and create a single source of truth for HR information.
While it is a great option for SMBs, the cost of implementing SAP SuccessFactors can be very high compared to other solutions targeting the same market.
No free trial available. Tiered pricing for annual subscriptions starts at $85 per user/month for companies with up to 100 employees, with a sliding scale after this.
peopleHum is the 2019 global Codie Award-winning, end-to-end people management and employee engagement platform that helps organizations make intelligent people decisions.
With new-age HR tech features such as Resume Parsing, Selection Probability Score, People Analytics, Performance Management Metrics, Leave Management, and more, peopleHum is the one-stop solution for all your people needs.
Key peopleHum HCM features:
- Automate workflows and approvals across departmental and system silos, resulting in faster transaction time, reduced manual data input, and a happier workforce.
- A unified platform with an integrated ecosystem to adopt and grow as your needs or your business grows.
- Easy to use, onboard, train, monitor & scale - simply easy to adopt. The power of simplicity with the elegance of technology.
- peopleHum platform comes built-in natively for localization and for multi-lingual support.
Reach your people wherever they are on a platform that works flawlessly on mobile and desktop.
- Read between the lines and gain rich insights into key drivers of engagement with AI-enabled HR analytics software.
- Role-based security allows organizations to set permission levels for executives, managers, supervisors, and employees.
peopleHum is an end-to-end AI and automation driven Hire to Retire HR software for Human Resources to drive business results. This cloud-based HR platform aims to create seamless employee experiences that go beyond the HR silos and whether it’s hiring, onboarding, or performance. peopleHum helps in centralizing data and automating transactional tasks in order for HR to keep pace.
peopleHum does not have an internal payroll system, they integrate with multiple local payroll vendors.
14-day free trial available. Contact them directly for a quote.
8. Kronos Workforce Ready® Suite
Kronos Workforce Ready is a cost-effective cloud-based Human Capital Management platform, which allows SMB organizations to manage their entire workforce in one place.
The integrated toolset gives businesses access to tools for full-time, part-time, salaried, and hourly employees. It also has a dedicated mobile app, Workforce Ready Mobile, which is available across iOS and Android and is included in the product suite at no extra charge.
Key Kronos Workforce Ready® Suite HCM features:
- Provides a single integrated solution for HR, payroll, talent, workforce management, and more
- Has modules specifically designed for SMBs
- Ensures organizations can set user levels for system admins, managers, and employees.
- System admins can adapt Kronos Workforce Ready's basic workflows and templates to ensure the entire business is aligned and compliant
- Provides single portal login that allows employees to self-serve and update their own information
- Includes significant benefits administration and management features
- Android and iOS apps support some (but not all) website functionality
Kronos Workforce Ready® suite offers enterprise-level functionality like payroll, performance review, and applicant tracking, at an extremely affordable price.
Its vast set of features can make it complex for some SMBs to use and the initial set-up can be complex for organizations without dedicated HR resources.
No free trial available. Pricing starts at $6 per user/month
9. PeopleStrategy eHCM
PeopleStrategy eHCM is an HCM solution that is ideal for companies with 50 to 500 employees but is designed with the flexibility to scale up or down. It is typically used by enterprise companies that can make the most of its expansive feature set.
The cloud-based platform allows organizations to combine data management and consistent workflows into one central system which streamlines the process of employee data entry and improves efficiency.
Key PeopleStrategy HCM features:
- Supported languages include English and Spanish
- Employees and managers have access to their own portals to update and manage information
- The platform’s Workforce Management solution includes an online scheduler that makes it easy to view information
- User experience is consistent across all devices
- Workflows can be customized to match compliance and company needs
- Supports easy data sharing across an organization to streamline reporting
PeopleStrategy eHCM utilizes an object-oriented database system that captures the relationships between data held across different records. This means that it is much quicker to create new application extensions and update records across multiple areas.
PeopleStrategy eHCM does not offer standalone modules, so you must buy the complete product suite. However, it is still modular and scalable.
Does not offer a free trial. PeopleStrategy's pricing model consists of two primary components - a per-seat fee for system access and ongoing support and a one-time implementation fee. Pricing starts at $10 per user/month.
10. Epicor HCM
Epicor HCM is a human capital management solution, which provides tools to support core HR functionality as well as additional modules. It is designed for businesses of all sizes, especially suited for those in the legal, non-profit, and healthcare industries.
Epicor HCM is available in three deployment options (public cloud, private cloud, and on-premise.
Key Epicor HCM features:
- Powerful Talent Management tools allow HR to gain actionable visibility into your skills, current talent, and gaps that must be filled
- Supports in-depth workforce insights with reporting and analytics that also help meet compliance requirements.
- Distinct Law Firm Package is designed for the unique needs of HR professionals in the legal industry
- Includes automated time-off processes to help control the impact and cost of employee absences
- Total compensation management allows you to increase employee satisfaction without drastically increasing costs
Epicor HCM provides out of the box customization tools which make it easy to create bespoke business processes and workflows
Epicor HCM is desktop only and does not currently provide mobile apps
No free trial available. Pricing is quote-based and available upon request.
Improve Your HCM Software Adoption and Training
Whichever HCM application provider you select, Apty's Digital Adoption Platform will help your employees effortlessly navigate through them, as it guides them at every step and ensures that they accomplish their task by being process compliant.
It provides in-app training, which reinforces their knowledge and helps them consume complicated concepts in real-time while doing their job. Moreover, the walkthroughs can be converted into multiple formats that cater to different learners.
All these aspects of Apty reduce the errors, empower the employee, save time and maximize the ROI of your HCM application by ensuring faster time to value.