BambooHR vs. ADP Workforce Now: Which HRIS is best for your company?

Discover the perfect fit for your HR needs with our in-depth comparison of BambooHR and ADP Workforce Now. Uncover the distinct features, strengths, and weaknesses of each platform to make an informed decision

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
user comparing HRIS systems

In this article, we’ll look at how each system stacks up in terms of HRIS features, scalability, payroll management, employee self-service capabilities, customer service support options, and pricing plans to help you make an informed decision about which HR software vendor is best for small businesses like yours.


BambooHR has become a leader in providing modern HRIS solutions to small and mid-sized businesses. Their software covers various HR activities such as performance management, recruitment, and onboarding and is competitively priced.

While they also have a payroll company called Trax, many customers prefer to use their payroll and benefits administration tools alongside BambooHR. The system is open to integrating with other 3rd party HR tools.

BambooHR is specifically designed for SMBs, catering to companies with less than 300 employees. While it may not offer all the functionalities an HR team needs, it covers most activities and has open APIs for easy integration with other tools.

Implementation is relatively quick, takes around 6-12 weeks, and requires minimal input from an administrator. However, the system has limited rules engines and custom workflow tools, which may affect scalability. Overall, BambooHR is a user-friendly, modern, and affordable option for SMBs seeking HRIS solutions.

Blog: How Much Does BambooHR Cost?

ADP Workforce Now

ADP WorkforceNow is a comprehensive HRIS system with many features, including payroll, benefits, HR, recruitment, onboarding, performance, and learning. It is a cloud-based platform suitable for businesses of all sizes but is most popular among mid-market companies.

ADP WorkforceNow is highly regarded for its payroll and tax filing capabilities, and it also offers outsourced services to automate payroll processing and benefits management. Additionally, the system provides in-depth analytics and tracking dashboards that allow companies to measure and report on critical metrics. ADP can also conduct compensation benchmarking for customers to show how similar companies pay their employees.

ADP WorkforceNow is explicitly created for companies with 50-500 employees and simplifies specific HR needs. The system can be implemented in just three months, so there's no need to hire a consultant or outsource help - and it's utterly scalable without sacrificing quality! However, since this platform lacks custom workflow tools and rules engines, its scalability may become limited.

Blog: The 10 Best HRIS Systems for Mid-Sized Companies

Which HRIS is best for your company?

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at both systems let’s review the key differences between BambooHR vs. ADP Workforce Now to help you decide which is the best HRIS for your company.

Ease of Use:

BambooHR's user-friendly system requires minimal training and no technical experience, making it an excellent choice for small businesses that need a comprehensive HRIS solution. The platform offers an intuitive and straightforward interface that simplifies uploading employee information, configuring payroll settings, and managing benefits. Additionally, BambooHR is open to integrating with other 3rd party HR tools, allowing companies to get the most out of their software.

On the other hand, ADP Workforce Now also offers a user-friendly interface but is more complex than BambooHR due to its scalability and advanced capabilities.


ADP Workforce Now offers excellent scalability, making it a great choice for mid-market companies looking for an HRIS solution. The platform can quickly scale up to encompass additional HR departments, and it offers comprehensive analytics and tracking dashboards that help companies measure and report on critical metrics.

While BambooHR is also scalable, it may need to be better suited for larger organizations that require advanced HR functionalities.


ADP Workforce Now provides advanced payroll capabilities, allowing businesses to automate payroll processing and manage taxes. The platform offers compensation benchmarking services, so companies can better understand how similar companies pay their employees. ADP Workforce Now's payroll capabilities are especially beneficial for companies that require complex payroll processing.

In comparison, BambooHR's payroll capabilities are more straightforward and may need to be more suitable for companies that require advanced payroll processing.

Customer Support:

BambooHR offers excellent customer service, with 24/7 support via phone or email. Their team is knowledgeable and works hard to answer any questions you may have about the system quickly and accurately. Additionally, the platform provides comprehensive training materials to help you get up to speed quickly.

ADP Workforce Now also offers customer support, with 24/7 access to their team via phone or email. However, their level of service may not be as comprehensive as BambooHR's.

Blog: Rippling vs ADP vs Paylocity- The Best Payroll Systems for Growing, Mid-Market Companies


BambooHR offers several pricing plans based on the number of employees and features. Companies can pay a monthly or quarterly subscription fee. The platform is often reasonably priced, costing $6-12 per monthly employee (PEPM). As the organization grows more prominent, BambooHR's pricing will decrease accordingly.

Aside from the software fees, you must also pay a one-time implementation fee to use BambooHR. This implementation cost is typically 5-15% of your yearly software costs - for example, if you spend $100K annually on software, the installation fee would be between $5K and 15K.

Final Verdict

Both BambooHR and ADP Workforce Now offer comprehensive HRIS features, but the two systems have some critical differences. BambooHR is best for small businesses that need a user-friendly system without sacrificing scalability. It offers excellent customer service and competitive pricing.

ADP Workforce Now is an ideal choice for mid-market companies that need comprehensive payroll capabilities and scalability. It provides robust analytics and tracking dashboards for measuring key metrics, but its customer service may not be as comprehensive as BambooHR's.

Ultimately, your company's best HRIS system depends on your needs and preferences. To make an informed decision, assess each platform's features, pricing, customer service, and scalability. It's also important to consider the cost of implementation so you can determine which HRIS will provide the most bang for your buck. With careful research and a clear strategy, you can choose the right HRIS system to help your business succeed.

We hope this comparison of BambooHR vs. ADP Workforce Now has been helpful to you! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or feedback. Good luck with finding the perfect HRIS for your business!

2024 HRIS 
Landscape Report
Read OutSail's 2024 HRIS Report with write-ups on 30+ leading vendors
Thank you! You can download your report at this link
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Unsure about your software needs?
Use our HRIS Requirements Builder to quickly identify your must-have & nice-to-haves
Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Accelerate your HRIS selection process with free support
Thank you! Our team will reach out to you shortly
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.


Everything you need to know about OutSail
What is OutSail?
OutSail is the first-ever broker of HR Software. We offer market insights, evaluation tools & advisory services to help organizations research, evaluate and select the right HR software. And best of all - OutSail is free!
How is OutSail free?
OutSail is free due to our one-of-a-kind software broker model. When a company makes a purchase through OutSail, the winning vendor owes us a small fee for making the introduction.

No Hidden Fees - You don't pay for our services and the vendors don't pass our costs along either
Vendor Agnostic - OutSail partners with 220+ HR Tech vendors including every market leader
What are the benefits of OutSail?
1.) Market Insights: Access the industry's most trusted data. Read user reviews of every leading HRIS vendor. Access verified pricing data. Use proprietary tools to sort & filter by your selection criteria.
2.) Evaluation Tools: Access to project plans & timelines. Customize your own scorecard tools. Leverage expert-generated demo questions. Collaborate with your team
3.) Advisory Services: Work with HRIS industry experts. Assistance during proposal review and guidance for negotiations. Implementation readiness
What if I'm a broker, consultant or vendor?
We love partnering with brokers & consultants and bringing innovative vendors to our customers. Follow those links to learn more about how we can partner together and bring OutSail's benefits to your customers.

The Future of Software Buying

See why modern buyers prefer OutSail's broker model when buying their next HRIS