HR Software

Workday Reviews - Pricing, Pros/Cons, User Reviews

February 15, 2021
Brett Ungashick

Workday is arguably the most famous brand in the HRIS industry these days. Their enterprise customer base, omnipresent marketing and industry renown ensure that few are strangers to their brand. However, few know the ins-and-outs of what makes Workday a leading solution, and in what scenarios they aren't a fit. Keep reading to learn more!



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 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 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.

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


Workday charges companies on an annual subscription basis. Workday is almost always the most expensive option in the marketplace.  Workday 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)

Blog: How to Negotiate an HRIS Agreement

  • Workday 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 integrations with 3rd party 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 and succession planning.
  • 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)
  • 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.

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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.

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Global Capabilities

Workday 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

Modules Offered
  • Payroll
  • Benefits Admin
  • HR / Employee Files
  • Time & Attendance
  • Onboarding
  • Recruiting
  • Performance
  • Compensation
  • Engagement
  • Learning

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Brett Ungashick
Brett is the founder of OutSail. He spent the early part of his career selling HR software before switching sides and going to work for the people buying the software.

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