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As more and more companies hire outside of the United States, they need to identify a single source of truth for their global workforce. Here are the leading Global Human Resources Information System (HRIS) systems:
Due to the pandemic and our mass adoption of Zoom-like technologies, many companies have started to view geography differently. Companies are increasingly hiring contractors and employees overseas.
As workforces become more globalized, companies need global HRIS systems that can serve as a single source of truth for all employees.
While many companies can claim to support a global workforce, some nuance is required. Companies should know if global employees get access to the entire system or just limited parts of it. They should know if the company can provide language localization, in-country compliance advice, or has non-US support centers. They should know if the company can provide global payroll, contractor management, and global PEO services.
If you need further help sorting through the market, OutSail's free services can provide you with research and expertise to simplify the process. Contact OutSail
Below is an overview of the best global HRIS systems and what sub-categories they fall into:
Global Enterprise Human Resources Information System (HRIS)
This group of solutions is purpose-built to serve as global HRIS systems with full functionality available to employees all across the globe. These systems offer language localization and global support offices. These systems do not process global payroll aside from in 2-3 countries. However, they partner with several global payroll partners to provide that service.
Overview: Workday is a leader in the HRIS space for a reason. They create a robust platform to make power users feel confident, informed, and highly catered to. But Workday is also light enough that any frontline employee can easily navigate it. Workday's weakest features are its ATS and recruiting module. Still, the real drawback is simply the price, which includes not just software fees, but also a lot of ongoing consulting/headcount costs to maintain such a robust system.
Overview: SAP SuccessFactors is a full suite HRIS system that focuses heavily on Talent Management and Employee Experience. SuccessFactors is primarily an enterprise solution and works best for companies with large, complex, global workforces. They provide unique strengths around recruiting, performance, succession planning and employee data engagement. Their Core HR (payroll, time, benefits) tools are not their strongest area and are often replaced by 3rd parties.
Average Customer Size: 1,000+ employees
Typical Price Point: $30-40 PEPM
Oracle HCM Cloud
Overview: Oracle's HCM Cloud is a rising leader in the enterprise space. Oracle has put numerous development resources behind building an all-in-one HCM offering that can configure to any organization's complexity. Oracle's HCM Cloud gets solid reviews for the recruiting functionality and the employee experience, which can be strong on mobile and has some AI capabilities to simplify workflows.
Only a few companies can offer the full suite of global HRIS tools and a fully-owned global payroll network. The advantages of these companies are that they can truly serve as a one-stop-shop for all of your team's global needs, including a global system of record, global payroll, and global support. They can be a bit limited when it comes to global compliance, global PEO, and contractor management, however.
Overview: Ceridian Dayforce is a full-suite HRIS system that can be a one-stop-shop for companies, covering everything from payroll, benefits, and HR to recruiting, onboarding, performance, and learning. Ceridian Dayforce is utilized by companies as small as 100 employees and as hefty as 100,000 but has developed a strong presence in the Mid-Enterprise. Ceridian is known for its strengths in Payroll and Workforce Management. Ceridian has long been a top competitor to ADP in the payroll space, and in 2012, they acquired Dayforce, a leading Workforce Management platform. Since then, Dayforce has become their flagship offering and is an excellent solution for companies with complex payroll, time & attendance, scheduling, and tax needs.
Overview: ADP Workforce Now is a full-suite HRIS system that can be a one-stop-shop for companies, covering everything from payroll, benefits, and HR to recruiting, onboarding, performance, and learning. Workforce Now is utilized by companies of all shapes and sizes, but their most vital audience is in the Mid-Market. ADP is known for its strengths around payroll and tax filing and also provides expertise to support virtually any business scenario. ADP also has a unique outsourced service, Comp Services, allowing companies to put their payroll processing and benefits management on auto-pilot.
These solutions are not as expensive and intensive to implement as the first group (Oracle, Workday, and SAP). However, these systems can still offer a robust global HRIS platform that gives employees outside of the US full access. Each of these companies serves numerous global companies and has global payroll partners. They are, however, limited in their ability to support global PEO, global compliance, and contractor management. Some of these companies have global offices, but some do not.
Overview: UKG Pro is a full-suite HRIS system that can be a one-stop-shop for companies, covering everything from payroll, benefits, and HR to recruiting, onboarding, performance, and learning. UKG Pro is utilized by companies as small as 100 employees and as large as 100,000 but has developed a strong presence in the Mid-Enterprise. UKG Pro is known for it's strengths in HR and Talent Management. While many of their peers developed payroll first and HR after, UKG has made HR their core competency from the get go, providing strengths around recruiting, engagement and employee development. UKG also has a loyal following from many of their customers due to their 'partners for life' philosophy.
Average Customer Size: 350-5,000 employees
Typical Price Point: $24-36 PEPM
Overview: SagePeople is a scalable HRIS solution designed to be payroll-agnostic and best suited for global organizations. SagePeople is built on the Salesforce platform which makes it a very scalable, secure platform with high quality reporting. They do not offer a payroll module, but are experienced at integrating with a variety of leading payroll providers in the US and abroad. SagePeople can be a great fit for companies that need a single source of truth for a complex global workforce
Overview: Paylocity is a full suite HRIS system that can serve as a one-stop-shop for companies, covering everything from payroll, benefits and HR to recruiting, onboarding, performance management and learning. The system is designed for mid-market companies and gets above average reviews for ease of use. Paylocity is strong in integrations and can support companies with global workforces too.
Overview: Namely was built with the employee experience in mind and designed their HRIS from the ground up to be mobile-first, employee-centric and on-par with other consumer apps that younger workforces use outside of work. Their solution covers a large portion of Core HR functionality and, where they can't offer certain functionality, they have integrations with leading 3rd parties.
Overview: Over the last decade, BambooHR has steadily grown into a market leader in the SMB and Mid-Market. They provide a modern HRIS solution that covers a wide spectrum of functionality - performance, recruiting, onboarding - at a competitive price point. While Bamboo owns a payroll company, called Trax, many customers will use their own payroll / ben admin tools and use Bamboo for more employee-facing activities. Bamboo is also open to integrating with a variety of 3rd party HR tools
Overview: Bob is a great solution for companies that want performance, engagement, compensation and culture to be at the center of their organization. While many vendors add those tools later in their lifecycle, those features were foundational to Bob from the get-go. The emphasis on employee engagement leads to high usage from employees and better reporting for companies. Additionally, Bob is a global company and their solution is a strong fit for multi-national companies.
Average Customer Size: 50-500 employees
Typical Price Point: $7-13 PEPM
Overview: GoCo provides sleek, easy-to-use HR tools with some surprisingly robust capabilities under-the-hood. GoCo's strengths are around onboarding, benefits admin and leave management, but they have also developed unique expertise to facilitate payroll integrations and have rolled out a workflow builder tool that allows HR teams to build automated processes from scratch.
Average Customer Size: 5-250 employees
Typical Price Point: $5-10 PEPM
Overview: Rippling is the most recent company to join the global HRIS marketplace. Rippling announced a full suite of global employee management tools in October of 2022. These tools include the ability to process payroll globally, pay contractors around the world and the ability to serve as an employer of record. Rippling's global HR also takes place in the exact same platform as their US-HRIS platform, so users have one system for all of their needs. Rippling offers a best-in-class employee onboarding process that checks the box for not just HR processes and employee self-service but also for IT and finance. However, Rippling has more limitations around Workforce Management than many of their peers.
Still trying to decide which HRIS software is the right solution for your needs? Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when researching new HCM platforms, such as Workday HCM:
User Interface: Is it easy to use for employees and admins?
An effective user interface is essential to any HR systems, but it is especially important with HRIS software. A good user interface should be simple and easy to use. It should also be customizable, so that employees can see the information they need in the format that works best for them, driving high employee engagement.
Another important factor to consider is responsive design, which helps ensure that the system will work well on different screen sizes (tablets, phones, etc.) without compromising functionality.
Additionally, a good search function can make or break an HRIS software system's usability—if employees can't find what they're looking for easily and quickly, they'll get frustrated and look elsewhere.
Pricing: How do they charge their customers?
Pricing is an important consideration when choosing an HRIS software. How much it costs to add new employees, the modules you need and any additional customer support are all factors that should be considered in your decision. Ask the following questions:
How much does it cost to add new employees? What about existing employees who have left but need to be kept on file?
How transparent are they about pricing information? Is there an additional renewal cost?
What are the costs associated with adding new modules?
Is this the total cost, or are there additional fees outside of the software subscription that we should add to the total costs?
Are there free trials, a free version, pricing for small businesses?
Reporting: Does it prepare reports and can I create my own?
Reporting is a core component of the HRIS, and you should look for one that provides the features you need. If you are primarily interested in generating reports to share with others, make sure it has the capacity to export data to MS Excel or PDF format. Keep in mind that many systems also allow reports to be shared via email and/or exported directly into third party software. Ask the following questions:
Does your system come with pre-built reports?
Can we create our own reports in the system using data from all modules?
Can we do workforce planning and succession planning in the system?
Support: Do they Provide the support we need?
One of the biggest reasons why a company decides to leave their HRIS provider is because their current Human Resources system doesn't take great care of their customers. Finding a service provider that knows their system inside-and-out and is also willing to be responsive and supportive of their customers helps create a better experience. Here are some questions to explore:
What is their customer support reputation online?
Do they have a dedicated support team?
Are their support hours convenient for your business?
Can you get help via phone or email?
What is the response time to your questions?
Do small businesses get lesser customer support teams?
Do they provide tax filing services?
One-Stop-Shop: Can the system offer talent management too?
If you are looking for a new HRIS Saas solution, it can be important to ensure that your next system can provide most, if not all, of the functionality you're looking for.
The more features you get from one provider, the easier it will be to implement and maintain your program as well as train employees on how to use it. Additionally, there can be cost-savings found by bundling with one provider.
Many HRIS software options will offer Core HR tools, such as employee data tracking, payroll processing, benefits administration, etc. However, it's essential to ensure that systems can also offer talent management features, such as a performance management module, an applicant tracking system and employee engagement surveys
Scalability: Can the system optimize our hr processes?
Another factor to consider when shopping for HRIS software is how capable a system is at scaling with your HR processes and business needs. Finding a system that offers a configurable workflow builder for creating custom HR processes, automating those processes and ensuring that employee data is always available in real-time, is another important consideration with new HR software solutions.
Workforce Management: Can it support our workforce demographics?
Many systems that claim to be global HR software solutions are, in reality, just very lightweight databases capable of storing employee data across various regions. However, an advanced HR software platform should also offer companies workforce management functionality that is capable of supporting a business's needs from country-to-country
How to select the best HRIS for your needs
You’re finally ready to make a move from your current HR software and replace it with something better. But how do you know which new HR software is right for you? You’ve got a lot of factors to consider, which can make the whole process overwhelming. In this guide, we'll walk through each step of selecting and implementing new HR software so that you can be sure to get exactly what your business needs!
Assess your current HR processes.
Before you start shopping for new HR software, take some time to consider your current processes. The first step in selecting a new system is understanding your current processes and how they work. This will help you decide where the pain points are, what can be improved, and whether or not a new system would be worth it.
The following questions can help you assess your existing processes:
What are your current HR processes? Are there any gaps that need filling?
How does your company hire employees? Do managers handle recruitment themselves or does HR take over once candidates have been found? Is there any part of this process handled inefficiently or inconsistently across departments—for example if certain types of hires go through three rounds of interviews while others only require one? If so, then it may be worth investing in software that streamlines this part of the hiring process by automating certain steps (like setting up interview times) or sending out emails automatically when an offer has been made.
Identify stakeholders and get buy-in.
Identify and get buy-in from stakeholders.
Stakeholders will be affected by the new software you’re considering. They can include employees, managers, executives, and other team members. Getting buy-in from your stakeholders is crucial for adopting and succeeding a new HR software solution. You should identify these stakeholders early on in the process so that they can help guide the decision-making process and provide feedback on what they want out of their next HR software solution. Ask your stakeholders how involved they would like to be in the selection process and what concerns or fears they have about switching over to a new system so that you can best win them over before signing on the dotted line!
Consider your long-term HR goals.
Before you begin your search for new HR software, take stock of where your team is at and what it's looking to achieve. Knowing what problems you're trying to solve can help determine which type of software is best for your business. Some common goals include:
Talent management (including talent retention)
Culture development or process excellence
Choose your price point and deployment method.
It's important to understand the full range of available pricing options. You should compare the different proposals you see and explore the various payment terms—annual, monthly, quarterly—to see which work best for your business.
For example, if you have a large HR department with many users, it may be worth paying more upfront in order to save money on monthly or quarterly fees later down the line. Or perhaps there are no additional costs associated with using HCM software, so any price point is reasonable because it will not affect your overall budget.
Once you've identified the systems that align most closely with your business needs, then it's time to consider implementation methods and timelines:
Gather requirements from all stakeholders.
Before you begin your search, gathering requirements from all stakeholders is critical. This includes the HR team who will be the power users of the system and doing most of the reporting and process building; employees who will use the system on a daily basis for timekeeping, payroll processing and other talent initiatives; managers who will use the system to conduct performance reviews; IT who will help integrate the system and ensure it is secure; finance who will make budget for the system.
The information shared during this step should include:
What data needs to be collected? How often does it need to be collected? How are people currently inputting this data into current systems such as spreadsheets or word documents? Who uses what types of reports (HR, managers)? What types of reports do they want/need from this new software? What KPIs are tracked by each stakeholder group (finance)?
What tools or features would make their jobs easier (example: delegating tasks).
Rank vendor shortlist based on initial feature fit, and narrow to top three vendors.
Now that you know what key functionality each option has to offer, it’s time to rank the vendors based on your initial feature fit.
The most important thing here is to ensure you have a good idea of what you want before ranking software vendors. If you don’t know what features will be most important for your company or what kind of implementation approach makes sense for your business, selecting a new HR software vendor will be much more complicated than needed.
When narrowing down the list from 15+ vendors down to 3-5 top contenders, look at which options are missing key functionality (e.g., if there isn't an integrated automated onboarding tool included in the plan) and which ones look like they're designed for smaller companies than yours (i.e., not many features or overly complicated).
Request demonstrations and/or free trials of shortlisted vendors’ software.
Request demonstrations and/or free trials of shortlisted vendors’ software.
Meet with the salespeople to learn more about their system.
Ask for a demo account or free trial to play around with the system.
Ensure that all key stakeholders get their questions answered.
Request formal pricing proposals and contract term