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Vista is an integrated human resource, benefits, payroll, recruiting and self-service application that offers tools for administrative HCM and payroll processes. Functional elements include workflow, tax management, recruit...Read more about Vista

4.56 (16 reviews)

8 recommendations

Infor CloudSuite HCM

Infor CloudSuite HCM is a suite of human resources applications with several deployment options. Applications in the core suite include benefits management, absence and time entry, budgeting, employee safety, talent acquisition, o...Read more about Infor CloudSuite HCM

3.67 (3 reviews)


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. ...Read more about Ascentis

4.17 (52 reviews)

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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 about iCIMS Talent Cloud

4.27 (801 reviews)

9 recommendations

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Omniprise is an on-premise as well as cloud-based customer relationship management solution designed to provide companies a view of all customer interactions on a real-time basis. The solution is suitable for businesses of all siz...Read more about Omniprise

5.00 (2 reviews)

RUN Powered by ADP

The RUN Powered by ADP® (RUN) solution is designed to make your small business payroll quick and easy. With a streamlined process and powerful technology, you'll complete payroll in no time. Choose from basic payroll to a full sui...Read more about RUN Powered by ADP

4.47 (737 reviews)

38 recommendations

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ADP Workforce Now

ADP Workforce Solution is suited for businesses with more than 50 employees looking to streamline HR processes. ADP Workforce Now includes capabilities such as payroll processing and tax filing, performance management, compensatio...Read more about ADP Workforce Now

4.41 (6188 reviews)

4 recommendations

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ADP Vantage HCM

ADP Vantage HCM is an on-premises human capital management (HCM) solution suitable for large organizations with more than one thousand employees. ADP Vantage offers integrated tools to manage recruiting, talent management, time ma...Read more about ADP Vantage HCM

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PCRecruiter is an ATS/CRM hybrid SaaS solution for recruiting and sourcing professionals in executive search agencies, contract placement firms, and HR teams across a wide array of sizes and markets. PCRecruiter offers a comprehen...Read more about PCRecruiter

4.34 (386 reviews)

4 recommendations

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The Arcoro human resources (HR) management solution is the bridge to better HR. With over 10,000 customers and 360,000 daily users in 20 countries around the world, Arcoro offers configurable, easy-to-use, cloud-based HR software ...Read more about Arcoro

4.17 (99 reviews)

5 recommendations

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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 about ApplicantStack

4.39 (1396 reviews)

20 recommendations

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Small Improvements

Small Improvements is a cloud-based platform that enables users to administer and manage performance reviews and feedback as well as utilize 360-degree, continuous feedback. It can be used by small to midsize businesses in a numbe...Read more about Small Improvements

4.21 (33 reviews)

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FrontRunners 2022

BambooHR offers small and growing companies a human resource information system (HRIS) that includes an applicant tracking system (ATS), time tracking, payroll processing, employee engagement and employee satisfaction tools, autom...Read more about BambooHR

4.58 (1976 reviews)

46 recommendations

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JazzHR is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applicant tracking system. Founded in 2009, JazzHR provides recruiting and hiring software accessible to businesses of all sizes. JazzHR’s sourcing tools enable users to post jobs, mir...Read more about JazzHR

4.34 (442 reviews)

25 recommendations

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ApplicantPRO by JobMatch is a cloud-based applicant tracking (ATS) system designed for small to midsized companies that are working to stay in compliance with EEO/AA and OFCCP guidelines.. Its interface can be utilized by organiza...Read more about ApplicantPRO

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Oracle Taleo Cloud

Oracle Taleo Cloud is a cloud-based human resource (HR) management suite suitable for large and midsize businesses in all industries. Key features include candidate management and employee onboarding, especially for high volumes o...Read more about Oracle Taleo Cloud

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eTOTALplan is a cloud-based employee scheduling solution that helps to manage and track employees. The solution caters to different industries such as government, restaurants and charitable organizations. Key features include work...Read more about eTOTALplan

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Hively is a cloud-based customer feedback solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. Primary features include real-time feedback collection, rating collection, customer happiness alerts, team performance leaderboard and re...Read more about Hively

4.71 (28 reviews)

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HRweb, the maker of HRweb, offers employee information tracking, attendance, performance reviews or employee appraisals, self or 360 reviews, recruiting with applicant interface, training and more. HRweb helps organizations ef...Read more about HRweb

4.17 (44 reviews)

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Pilat HR

Pilat is a cloud-based human resource management (HRM) solution that assists HR managers to evaluate employee performance. The solution caters to businesses across industries such as real-estate, manufacturing, energy, logistics a...Read more about Pilat HR

5.00 (1 reviews)

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 24, 2022

What Is Online HR Software?

Online HR software is web-based human resources software that helps HR personnel manage regular HR operations (such as recruiting, hiring, and managing employees) through an internet connection and web-enabled devices (e.g., computer, tablet, and smartphone). Online HR software is hosted and managed by the software vendor.

UltiPro dashboard
Dashboard in UltiPro

As opposed to a one-time upfront charge, online HR software buyers typically pay a month-to-month or year-to-year subscription fee based on how many employees they have.

Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of online human resources software solutions on the market. But what makes one system better for your company over another? We’ve put together this guide to help you find the web-based human resources management system (HRMS) that’s right for you.


Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Online HR Software?
A Comparison of Top Online HR Solutions
Common Functionality of Online HR Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand

A Comparison of Top Online HR Solutions

There are many popular accounting solutions on the market, and it can be hard to know what distinguishes one product from another and which is right for you. To help you better understand how the top accounting systems stack up against one another, we created a series of side-by-side product comparison pages that break down the details of what each solution offers in terms of pricing, applications, ease of use, support and more:

Top Bamboo HR Comparisons Top IBM Kenexa Comparisons Top Kronos Comparisons
Namely vs. Bamboo HR SuccessFactors vs. IBM Kenexa Kronos vs. Workday
Top Namely Comparisons Top SuccessFactors Comparisons Top Workday Comparisons
Namely vs. Bamboo HR
Namely vs. Workday
SuccessFactors vs. IBM Kenexa
Workday vs. SuccessFactors
Kronos vs. Workday
Namely vs. Workday
Workday vs. SuccessFactors

Common Functionality of Online HR Software

From a simple payroll system to an all-encompassing human capital management (HCM) suite, online HR software products can have a wide range of functionality depending on buyer needs. Some of the core HR functionality you can find includes:

Personnel tracking Manage your employee roster with up-to-date personal information.
Payroll Automatically and accurately pay your employees every period.
Benefits administration Manage employee benefits, such as health and dental insurance.
Time and attendance Keep track of employee hours and PTO.
Applicant tracking Track job applicants and manage overall recruiting efforts.

These platforms can also have more advanced functionality to handle strategic HR needs, such as:

Performance reviews Track performance and facilitate performance reviews.
Employee training Manage digital training courses with customized assessments.
Succession planning Identify and groom future leaders within your business.
Compensation management Ensure competitive salaries, wages and bonus amounts.
Workforce analytics Identify trends to optimize workforce management efforts.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before evaluating Web-based human resources software, you'll need to determine what kind of buyer you are. We believe the majority of buyers in this market fall into one of these categories:

Core HR buyers. These buyers are looking for systems offering a solid solution for streamlining key facets of HR (personnel tracking, benefits and payroll etc). They may be updating an old system, or they may be purchasing for the first time. Either way, many Web-based HRIS systems offer scalable functionality in talent management and workforce management to meet the changing needs of an organization.

Enterprise buyers. These buyers work for organizations that are currently using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite. Because these systems are rolled out across such large organizations, seamless integration is usually more important than the specific features. As such, these buyers usually benefit most from solutions offered by ERP providers.

Small business buyers. These buyers want an online human resources management solution that is straightforward and easy to use. They are less concerned with frills as much as they are with automating their core processes. Many vendors are rolling out basic editions of their solution specifically for this type of buyer, with the option of adding best-of-breed, or standalone, applications as needed.

Best-of-breed buyers. These buyers are looking for applications to perform specific functions, such as online learning management, applicant tracking, performance management, workforce management, etc. For that reason, standalone, or "best-of-breed," applications are ideal for small and mid-sized businesses.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Online HRIS software provides an effective solution for organizations looking to better manage and automate their human resource processes. Because most online HRMS systems are offered on a subscription basis, fewer upfront expenditures are required. Furthermore, as these systems are hosted by the vendor, maintenance is the responsibility of the vendor, and updates are easily downloaded and installed without need for tech support.

Despite the benefits, taking HR to the cloud has been met with some speculation. Outages or disruptions in Internet service—though rare—are a concern for some users. In addition, some systems offer less customization of features than traditional, on-premise systems—although this is improving as SaaS HR solutions mature.

Market Trends to Understand

The online HR software market landscape is constantly changing. Here are a few trends you should know about:

  • Strategic human resources. Beyond core processes, the industry has seen a move towards more strategic functions focused on developing talent in an organization. Many Web-based HR systems now include functionality for things like performance management and succession planning.

  • Mobile workforce. It’s estimated that 30 percent of the workforce in the United States is now mobile, meaning they work on the road, from home or outside of a traditional 9 to 5 workday. Keeping these workers in sync with your organization is vital to its success. Web-based HR systems allow more flexibility with these types of workers, as they can access the software from any Web-enabled device (e.g., computer, tablet, smartphone).

  • Employee self-service. HR professionals have a lot on their plate with regards to managing employee records, benefits and payroll. To lighten the load, online HR software often includes employee self-service (ESS) portals so workers can do things like change their benefits or update their personal information themselves. This feature provides numerous cost- and time-saving benefits to HR departments.