Vendor Reviews
8 min read

Workday Reviews - Pricing, Pros/Cons, User Reviews

Updated on
July 4, 2023
Brett Ungashick
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Workday 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 and learning. Workday is primarily an enterprise solution and they have become the vendor-of-choice for a large portion of the Fortune 500. The primary strength for Workday is their strong enterprise architecture which allows the system to be configured to meet any client's requirements, without sacrificing the continuity of the entire system. In addition to being a highly configurable tool, Workday also has a very approachable user interface and a number of advanced capabilities on the HR / Talent Management side.

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Market Segment

Workday is considered an Enterprise HRIS, which means the system works best for companies with more than 2,000 employees. Enterprise solutions, such as Workday HCM, are designed to be all-in-one HRIS's for companies with high degrees of complexity in their operations. Companies that operate in many states and countries, and companies with numerous entities and sub-divisions find a lot of value in working with Enterprise HRIS vendors. Enterprise solutions, like Workday HCM, typically take about 6-10 months to implement and often require external consultants to successfully implement and manage the solutions. Enterprise solutions have powerful rules engines and unmatched custom workflow tools, that enable them to meet any company's requirements.

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Workday pricing models can be complex. Workday charges companies on an annual subscription basis. Workday is almost always the most expensive option in the marketplace.  Workday HCM annual subscriptions typically start around $300K and can cost as much as $40-60 PEPM, even for larger employers.

In addition to the software fees, implementing Workday will require a one-time implementation fee. Workday (or one of their partners) will charge ~ 150-200% of the annual software fees for their implementation fees (i.e., $450-600K implementation fee on a $300K annual purchase)

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Workday Review - Strengths
  • Workday HCM is a cloud-native platform with a unified product architecture which allows the system to be highly configurable. Admins can create any custom workflow and IT can set infinite security permissions and rules
  • Workday's strong product architecture also makes it easy for them to build third party integrations with  systems that also have open APIs
  • Despite being a robust and powerful HRIS, Workday is also very approachable for end-users and can help drive employee self-service
  • Workday has acquired some leading technologies in the Talent Management space and provides robust functionality around performance management, employee engagement, compensation management, workforce planning and succession planning.
Workday Review - Weaknesses
  • Workday is often the most expensive solution in the marketplace and most buyers require full-time consultants or HRIS managers to help maintain the system
  • Workday has moved into the ERP / Accounting space and a significant portion of their product investment is now being diverted away from HR enhancements
  • Due to high costs and administrative burden, Workday is often not a good fit for mid-market companies (300-1,500 employees)
  • Workday's ATS is not their most robust offering and many talent acquisition organizations opt to use a 3rd party ATS
  • While Workday is a powerful HR and Talent Management platform, the system's Payroll and Time & Attendance modules are not their strongest area. Many buyers will replace these tools with ADP, Ceridian or UKG Ready, which offer more sophisticated time tracking tools and more robust tax filing services
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Integration Capabilities

Workday has a robust partner marketplace with many 'pre-built' integrations. Additionally, their strong product architecture allows them to build custom integrations with any 3rd party system that also has robust API capabilities.

Global Capabilities

Workday software is one of the strongest options in the market for global companies. Their system can serve as a global system of record and they provide language localization for dozens of languages. Workday does not own their global payroll network, but does have integrations with most leading providers in the space. Workday also has offices across the globe to support multinational companies

Blog: How Long Does it Take To Buy and Implement an HRIS

Modules Offered
  • Benefits Admin
  • Payroll Management
  • HR / Employee Self-Service
  • Time & Attendance + Time Tracking
  • Recruiting
  • Performance
  • Compensation Management
  • Engagement
  • Learning

Blog: How Much Does Workday Cost?

Considerations When Buying New HR Software

Still trying to decide if Workday HCM 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 an essential part of any HR systems, but it is especially important with an HRIS. 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.

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 system's usability—if employees can't find what they're looking for easily and quickly, they'll get frustrated and look elsewhere.

Blog: How Much Does Paycor Cost?

Pricing:  How do they charge their customers?

Pricing is an important consideration when choosing an HRIS. 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?

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

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: Will you be able to get every feature you need from one provider?

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.

Blog: The 8 Best Modern HRIS Systems for Small Businesses