Top 10 Alternatives to ADP for Mid-Sized Companies

ADP is one of the leading HRIS & Payroll providers in the mid-market today, but some ADP users will find themselves looking for alternatives that can provide a different value prop. Here are some alternatives to consider:

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

ADP is perhaps the most well known payroll company in the market, but not every company is a perfect fit for what they offer.

When users of ADP are looking to move to a new system, it is often because there are specific outcomes that they desire and might be able to find more easily with a different provider.

Below is a list of the main ADP alternatives and what alternative strengths they can provide:

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ADP's Primary Peers

These three companies share quite a few similarities with ADP. They are all large, public companies with a long history in the payroll industry. They all have tens of thousands of customers and thousands of employees. Additionally, they all serve the mid-market and can provide an all-in-one solution from hire-to-retire.


Paylocity has steadily become one of the most popular HRIS & Payroll solutions in the mid-market. Their system started off as a payroll engine, but has added quite a bit of HR and Talent Management functionality over the years. Paylocity continues to acquire leading platforms, including a global payroll partner, as they try to serve larger and more complex organizations.


Paycom is the company most often evaluated against ADP and there are some large differences in the two companies' philosophies. Paycom is a closed ecosystem and every module in their platform has been built internally which leads to a more unified system and less manual re-entry from admins. This can contrast with ADP's open architecture which can lead to some module-to-module clunkiness, but also an easier time integrating with 3rd parties


Paycor is the most recent company of this group to go public and has taken a growth-by-acquisition strategy. This has led Paycor to acquire a leading ATS tool in Newton and a leading performance and engagement platform in 7Geese. These tools allow Paycor to offer the most advanced talent management functionality in the mid-market, but can also lead to a less unified experience from an admin perspective.

Modern Alternatives

These three solutions are all founded in the 2010s and offer users a more modern user interface and employee experience. Because these solutions are cloud-native, they are also built with open integrations at the core of their offerings. However, these systems generally can't offer all of the functionality that the previous tier can and may not be configurable enough for growing companies


Namely grew like a rocket ship in the mid 2010s but ran into some challenges as they added more customers and tried to scale up-market. Over the last few years, they've settled in as the most complete and mature HRIS offering in the modern segment. Namely leverages leading 3rd parties for their timekeeping and recruiting, which makes the all-in offering stronger, albeit less unified. Additionally, Namely can provide outsourced benefits and payroll services that only ADP can match.


Rippling is the newest name in this group and the fastest growing too. Rippling has brought to market a few things that no one else can match at this point, including their no-code automation capabilities, their integration marketplace and their IT management tools which allow for device and app management from your HRIS. Rippling's functionality is still developing and they cannot offer performance, engagement or a robust timekeeping system at this time.


BambooHR has been one of the darlings of the HRIS industry for the last decade. They provide cost-effective, user friendly software that drastically simplifies HR management for companies in nearly every industry. Bamboo's product offers a wide degree of breadth including recruiting, performance management and employee engagement, but some of their modules are limited in how configurable they are. Additionally, Bamboo's payroll is provided by a 3rd party which they own, called Trax, and doesn't have a benefits admin module.

Boutique Alternatives

These two companies are less well-known in the mid-market but each one has a full suite HRIS platform and a growing customer base. Although these companies don't have the R&D budgets of the ADP's and Paylocity's of the world, they still provide very solid technology solutions that emphasize different strengths. However, the real difference with these companies is the service model, which is much more handheld, personalized and responsive than working with the large, public providers.


PrimePay is a support–driven organization that can offer a support model with fewer layers and more personalization. PrimePay acquired SyncHR’s HRIS platform in 2021 and can offer a modern architecture that is flexible and open to integrations. SyncHR's technology is especially dynamic around org charts, reporting and budgeting. The platform covers the entire lifecycle, but some of the system is provided by 3rd parties, rather than being fully built internally.


Proliant has a few verticals that they are particularly well suited for, and they have some differentiated features that can make hiring and paying hourly employees easier on businesses. Proliant clients experience a higher level of service than they would tend to get from one of the large, national competitors, and that service extends to tax support which Proliant is strong in. The user experience with Proliant isn't as seamless as it is with more modern or more unified competitors

More Scalable Alternatives

These two companies are similar to the ADP's of the world in that they can provide all-in-one HRIS functionality to cover the hire-to-retire lifecycle. However, these companies are much more scalable than the mid-market options, which means the system can configure to your team's needs and workflows more easily. The flip side of this scalability is that these systems can take more effort to administer and can be more costly.


UKG is one of the most well-known companies in the HRIS industry and provides an all-in-one system that caters to every member of the HR department. UKG can provide strong Core HR management, leveraging Kronos's timekeeping tools, while also providing leading talent management tools that make recruiting, performance reviews and employee engagement easier to administer. UKG can be one of the more premium priced options in the market, however.


Ceridian offers very advanced and unified Core HR tools that allow companies with complex workforce management needs to easily track time and pay employees. Ceridian has one of the most unified product architectures which can lead to more accuracy and more speed when it comes to calculating pay, making employee changes and creating reports. The system can take longer than any on this list to implement, however.

1. What is a global HRIS (Human Resource Information System)?

A global HRIS, or Human Resource Information System, is a software solution designed to streamline and automate HR processes across multiple countries and regions. It typically includes features such as employee data management, payroll processing, talent management, compliance management, and reporting functionalities tailored to meet the requirements of diverse regulatory frameworks.

2. Why is choosing the right global HRIS important for multinational companies?

Choosing the right global HRIS is crucial for multinational companies to effectively manage their workforce across different countries. A robust HRIS can help standardize HR processes, ensure compliance with local regulations, improve employee experience, and provide insights into global workforce data, ultimately contributing to increased efficiency and productivity.

3. What are the key features to look for in a global HRIS?

When evaluating global HRIS vendors, consider the following key features:

Localization: Support for local currencies, languages, and holidays to provide a personalized experience for employees in each region.

Global Support: Availability of customer support centers in different regions to address regional nuances and compliance requirements.

Global Employment: Ability to support various types of employment contracts, including full-time employees, contractors, and freelancers, across multiple countries.

Compliance Management: Tools and functionalities to ensure compliance with local labor laws, tax regulations, and reporting requirements in each country of operation.

Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with other HR systems, payroll providers, and third-party applications to streamline data exchange and workflow automation.

4. What are some standout features of leading global HRIS vendors?

Some standout features of leading global HRIS vendors include:

Hibob: Emphasis on employee experience with features for performance reviews, employee engagement, and compensation management.

Rippling: All-in-one platform combining HR, payroll, benefits, IT, and security management with extensive integration capabilities.

Darwinbox: Advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, voice bots, AI-powered analytics, and built-in integration studio for customization.

Workday: Comprehensive HR and financial management software with advanced analytics, reporting, and talent management tools.

SAP SuccessFactors: Cloud-based HR software with robust talent management features including advanced recruiting, performance, and compensation tools.

Ceridian Dayforce: Single-database platform offering powerful, accurate, and automated payroll, time & benefits management, and comprehensive HRIS features.

5. How can OutSail assist in selecting the right global HRIS vendor?

OutSail provides free services to help companies find the right global HRIS vendor tailored to their specific needs. By leveraging OutSail's expertise and industry knowledge, companies can access a curated selection of top global HRIS vendors, compare features, pricing, and user reviews, and make informed decisions that align with their business objectives and requirements.

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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.

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