Top 10 HRIS Systems for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Top HRIS for SMBs include ADP, Paycom, and BambooHR, offering varying strengths in payroll, user experience, and support. Visit the OutSail HRIS marketplace to see live reviews & pricing data for each.

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

In today's digital age, managing HR processes has become more complex and challenging than ever before. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often struggle with managing multiple HR tasks and employee data, which can lead to costly errors and compliance issues. HR information system (HRIS) software is designed to help SMBs streamline HR processes and improve productivity, but with so many options available, it can be hard to choose the right system.

In this article, we will compare the top 10 HRIS systems. We will examine their features, Pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision for your business.

Get the Full Picture: Want more details on these HRIS options? Dive deeper into features, pricing, and user reviews in our comprehensive HRIS Marketplace.

1) ADP

ADP is a well-known and established HRIS provider that offers a strong core HR suite, including payroll, time and attendance, and benefits administration. It has a large customer base, including some of the world's largest companies, and is known for its expertise in payroll and tax services.


  • ADP offers a wide range of HR functions and can fully manage payroll, benefits, and compliance, which is ideal for companies that want to focus on strategic HR work.
  • Due to its large customer base, ADP's reporting can benchmark users against peers in their industry and size.
  • Recently revamped its mobile app, providing a better employee experience and increasing employee self-service.
  • Offers pre-built integrations with leading applicant tracking systems (ATSs), learning management systems (LMSs), and performance tools.


  • Customer support can be slow and less effective due to the company's size and numerous support divisions.
  • The system can be rigid and hard to customize, leading users to adopt ADP's processes and workflows.
  • Pricing is not always transparent, making it hard to understand monthly invoices and variable costs.
  • Offers four different HRIS platforms, leading to slower innovation cycles.

Overall takeaway: ADP is a safe choice for SMBs, particularly for core HR functions. However, its rigid system and poor customer support can be drawbacks.

2) Paycom

Paycom is a modern HRIS provider that offers a single database solution for end-users. It provides every module from hire to retire in its system and has a robust product roadmap for future innovation.


  • Paycom's single database solution provides a uniform experience for end-users and reduces manual data entry for admins.
  • A mobile app offers full functionality, and it's proactive about developing employee self-service practices to reduce administrators' burden.
  • Offers a single point-of-contact support model for clients.
  • Can be implemented quickly and has a strong product roadmap for the future of its platform.


  • Paycom's integration capabilities are basic, making it difficult to integrate with 3rd party HR tools.
  • Customer support is less experienced, and its pricing is higher than most of its peers.
  • Charges one-off fees, making its billing model less predictable.

Overall takeaway: Paycom is a true single database solution with a modern platform that can make end-users comfortable. However, its integration capabilities and pricing can be drawbacks.

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3) Paylocity

Paylocity is a market leader in the mid-market space and offers a strong core HR suite. It has invested heavily in technology acquisitions, making it well-positioned for future success.


  • Paylocity has pre-built integrations with many leading 3rd party tools.
  • Has invested in technology acquisitions to enhance its product and is well-positioned for future success.
  • The user interface is now much cleaner and more inviting.
  • Has a sister company, Blue Marble, which offers global payroll services.


  • Customer support hasn't scaled to the same degree as its customer base, leading to reports of failed implementations and customer service failures.
  • The talent management suite is not as robust as some of its competitors.
  • The system is still very US-centric, making it less suitable for global companies.

Overall takeaway: Paylocity is a strong platform for mid-sized companies with a robust core HR offering. However, its support and talent management suite may not be as strong as some of its competitors, and its system is less global in scope.

4) Proliant

Proliant is a leading HRIS provider for mid and large-sized businesses. It offers an all-in-one solution that combines core HR, payroll, talent management, and analytics into one platform.


  • A great solution for companies with large hourly workforces
  • Offers a natively built DailyPay feature that can be useful for hiring and paying employees quickly
  • Provides strong tax services with granular state and local knowledge
  • Takes a long-term relational approach to service and has 10 regional offices for support
  • Has strong integrations with leading accounting systems, including Sage Intacct


  • The solution is not unified at the database level
  • Recruiting, performance, and benefits modules are provided by 3rd parties, leading to a less unified user experience
  • Can have challenges with reporting and custom reporting tool
  • Limited ability to add new features and functionality due to its size
  • Potential acquisition candidate

Overall Takeaway: Proliant is a great choice for mid and large-sized businesses looking for an all-in-one solution. However, its lack of unified database-level integration, 3rd party modules, limited reporting capabilities, and potential acquisition could be drawbacks.

5) Paycor

Paycor is another mid-market provider offering a comprehensive suite of core HR, payroll, and talent management solutions. It seeks to provide an easy-to-use platform that makes the complex process of human capital management simple and efficient.


  • Offers a full suite of HR tools to manage the entire employee lifecycle
  • Strong talent management tools due to acquisitions of market-leading ATS and performance tools
  • Offers AI sourcing, recruiting dashboards, and custom workflows in their ATS
  • Strong scheduling and timekeeping functionality for the hourly workforce
  • Offers implementation fee waivers or steep discounts for customers that hire a 3rd party implementation firm


  • Reporting tools can be lacking in real-time data due to the growth by acquisition approach and multiple databases in the system
  • Support can be hit or miss, and they do not usually target global companies or have notable integrations with global payroll solutions
  • The desktop experience could use a more modern update
  • No implementation project managers for smaller customers
  • Scalability concerns for complex needs and reporting structures

Overall Takeaway: Paycor is a good choice for businesses that are not too big or small. It has good tools to help you manage your employees and payroll. However, it could use better ways to make reports and it might not be able to help if your company is very big or needs a lot of help.

6) HiBob

HiBob is an HRIS system designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It focuses on supporting the day-to-day operations of your business, such as onboarding, payroll, and attendance tracking.


  • Takes an employee-centric approach to the HRIS by putting engagement, recognition, and performance at the centre of the platform
  • Offers insightful reports that can help show executives the health of their employee population
  • Thoroughly modern user interface that appeals to a younger workforce and is easy to navigate
  • Pre-built integrations with leading vendors in the ATS and LMS spaces, including Greenhouse and Lever
  • Designed for global organizations and has offices in the US, Australia, the UK, and Tel Aviv


  • Does not provide payroll or ben admin modules, limiting its use as an end-to-end HRIS solution
  • May have limitations in the configurability of processes, roles, and workflows compared to some of its global peers
  • Recently increased its prices
  • Does not have deep integrations with global payroll solutions
  • May not be as scalable as some of its global peers

Overall Takeaway: HiBob is an employee-centric HRIS option that offers insightful reports and a modern user interface. They have pre-built integrations with leading vendors in the ATS and LMS spaces and are designed for global organizations. See a demo of HiBob

7) Namely

The Namely HRIS system is designed for mid-sized businesses to provide an end-to-end solution from onboarding to payroll. They focus on providing a powerful, yet simple, unified platform that allows managers and employees to work together more efficiently.


  • Offers a clean and inviting user interface
  • Strong reviews for employee self-service, especially in benefits enrollment and time off
  • Integration capabilities and a marketplace of pre-built integrations with many leading 3rd party HR tools
  • Offers a managed services model for outsourcing payroll processing and benefits administration
  • Customizable performance review module that facilitates more dynamic, ongoing performance conversations


  • Admin experience can be very manual at times
  • Limited capabilities around compensation or engagement surveys
  • The payroll module isn't as sophisticated as some other peers, especially for companies with large hourly/blue-collar workforces
  • Customer support can be hit-or-miss

Overall takeaway: Namely offers a sleek, modern interface that appeals to a younger workforce and helps greatly with employee self-service. However, there are concerns that Namely may not be robust enough to grow with companies as they scale.

8) Rippling

Rippling is a cloud-based HRIS system designed to integrate with other business apps. It offers a comprehensive suite of employee data management, payroll processing, and time-tracking tools that can help businesses save time and money.


  • Highest reviews in the HRIS space for their modern user experience
  • Offers onboarding modules that seamlessly sync IT and HR tasks, including an app management feature
  • Excellent at integrating with 3rd party software, with pre-built integrations with dozens of workflow tools and hundreds of 3rd party HR platforms
  • Dynamic workflow builder tool helps companies create automated actions and triggers using 3rd party data
  • Recently launched global capabilities, offering global payroll and EOR in the same system as their HRIS


  • Native time & attendance solutions may not be viable for businesses with complex workforce management needs
  • The system's scalability is a question, as the majority of their customers have below 200 employees
  • Customer support can be transactional for smaller companies
  • The founding team came from Zenefits, which had a tumultuous history

Overall takeaway: Rippling offers advanced technology in the HR space and integrates with just about any existing tool while simplifying onboarding, payroll, and benefits administration. However, their functionality is limited in some areas, and the scalability of the platform is uncertain. See a demo of Rippling

9) BambooHR

BambooHR is an HRIS system designed to help small and medium businesses manage their employee data. It provides a comprehensive suite of tools for employee tracking, onboarding, payroll, performance reviews, and more.


  • User-friendly HRIS with a broad range of modules at a competitive price
  • Great company culture leading to high employee retention and quality customer support reviews
  • Natively includes payroll functionality after acquiring a payroll vendor in 2018
  • Pre-built integrations with many leading 3rd party tools
  • Recently rolled out benefits administration platform, supporting the full suite of Core HR modules


  • More of an off-the-shelf solution designed for SMBs, so there can be limitations in how customizable the system can be
  • The new benefits administration system is still in its early stages and is unproven
  • Some modules, such as performance and time & attendance, are fairly basic and don't allow for much customization
  • Custom integrations are not easily supported and may require hiring a 3rd party

Overall takeaway: BambooHR offers easy-to-use HR tools for mid-sized companies at a fair price with industry-leading support. While some modules are lean or non-existent, they have pre-built integrations with market leaders to accommodate a best-in-breed approach. See a demo of BambooHR

10) Zenefits

Zenefits is a cloud-based HRIS system designed to simplify the initial onboarding process and streamline employee data management. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools including payroll, benefits administration, performance reviews, time tracking, and more.


  • Zenefits offers a nearly complete suite of Core HR functionality, including performance, compensation, time, onboarding, and benefits administration (excluding ATS)
  • The platform has a modern, intuitive user interface that can help with employee self-service
  • Zenefits offers a lightweight compensation tool that can benchmark against peers
  • Compared to their SMB peers, Zenefits offers a full suite of functionality to meet most companies' Core HR needs (payroll, time, benefits, and onboarding)


  • Zenefits is not known to be the most scalable option on the market and is typically best suited for companies with fewer than 150 employees
  • Setting up benefit carrier feeds can be challenging for some clients
  • Users have reported that Zenefits' customer support team can be slow to respond and not always able to solve their needs
  • The innovation cycles for the platform have slowed significantly since Zenefits stopped raising venture funding

Overall takeaway: Zenefits is a solid option for small to mid-sized modern companies that need a nearly complete HRIS platform. The platform's user interface is modern and intuitive, and the compensation tool is a nice addition. However, the software is not the most scalable option and the support can be hit or miss for clients.

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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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