Workday vs. BambooHR: Which HRIS Solution is Right for Your Business?

Workday vs. BambooHR: OutSail helps you choose the right HRIS. Workday suits enterprises with complex needs; BambooHR is ideal for small-medium businesses

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
July 4, 2023
User comparing Workday and competitor

Choosing the right HRIS solution for your business needs can be a complex and intimidating process. There are many different solutions on the market, and selecting one that best fits your company's size, budget, and specific requirements is essential.

Two of the most popular HRIS solutions are Workday and BambooHR. Both offer robust features and integrations with 3rdparty tools; however, they differ in scalability, cost structure, and overall user experience.

In this article, we will compare Workday vs. BambooHR to help you decide which suits your business needs. Let's get started!


Workday is a comprehensive HRIS platform that provides a comprehensive suite of solutions for businesses of all sizes. It is designed to be highly configurable, allowing users to customize the system to fit their specific needs. Its versatile and user-friendly interface also allows for advanced capabilities in Talent Management. Workday's greatest strength lies in its robust enterprise architecture, meaning it can be customized to any client's needs without disrupting the system as a whole. Not only is Workday highly customizable, but its user interface is straightforward, and it offers a range of sophisticated Human Resources/Talent Management features.

Bamboo HR

BambooHR has become a renowned provider of HRIS solutions over the last decade, serving small and medium-sized businesses with its comprehensive suite of performance, recruiting, and onboarding tools at an affordable price. Bamboo acquired Trax, a payroll firm. However, they still give customers the choice to use their own payroll and benefits management tools while using Bamboo for employee-oriented activities. In addition, the system provides a range of reporting and analytics capabilities to help customers gain insight into workforce performance. Bamboo is amenable to integrating with various external HR tools, making it the perfect solution for any business.

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Which is Right For You?

Now that you know more about Workday vs. BambooHR, it is time to decide which suits your business needs. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, such as:

1) Size Match & Scalability

Workday is an enterprise-level HRIS solution that caters to businesses with 1,000 or more employees. On the other hand, BambooHR is best suited for small to mid-sized businesses with less than 350 employees.

Workday's scalability makes it a great choice if your business is growing and you plan to expand. Its robust infrastructure and capabilities can support an expanding workforce, ensuring that your HR processes are optimized even as your business grows. However, if you're a smaller business, Workday might be overkill, and BambooHR's more straightforward, cost-effective solution might be better.

2) Integrations

Both Workday and BambooHR offer open API architecture that allows their systems to share data with 3rd party HR tools. They also have integration marketplaces with pre-existing integrations.

Integrations are an essential part of an HRIS solution. They help automate processes and reduce manual effort, ultimately increasing efficiency. It's crucial to ensure that your HRIS can integrate with other tools you use for HR processes, such as payroll software, benefits administration, or recruitment tools.

Workday has a more extensive list of integrations and is known for its comprehensive integration capabilities, making it a better choice for businesses with complex HR processes. However, if you're a smaller business, BambooHR's integrations might suffice.

3) Costs

One of the most critical factors in selecting an HRIS solution is cost. The cost can vary depending on the size of your business, the features you need, and the level of support you require.

Workday is an enterprise system that can be more expensive to buy and implement. Workday charges a one-time implementation fee that costs ~100% of the annual software fees. Annual software fees are around $100K for their smallest customers and $200-300K for most mid-sized organizations. In contrast, BambooHR is very cost-effective, with a nominal implementation fee and software fees that can be as low as a thousand dollars a month.

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

The cost of Workday might be justified if you're a large enterprise with complex HR needs. But, if you're a small business, BambooHR's lower costs might be more reasonable.

4) Ease of Use

Both Workday and BambooHR get positive reviews from employees for ease of use. Workday provides additional capabilities that allow advanced users to complete more complicated tasks in the system, while BambooHR is a simpler platform that is easier to learn but more limited.

Workday's user interface is more sophisticated, with a comprehensive dashboard that allows users to manage multiple tasks from one place. However, this also makes it more complicated to navigate, and it may take some time for users to get used to it.

BambooHR's user interface is intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for users to navigate without much training. Its clean and user-friendly design makes it a great choice for small businesses without an IT department or dedicated HR staff.

5) Global Capabilities

Both companies have many global customers, but Workday is much more capable of supporting localization, multiple languages, and global payroll. If your business operates in multiple countries, Workday's robust infrastructure can support your needs.

Workday's global payroll system handles multiple currencies and local compliance requirements. It also supports multiple languages, making it an excellent choice for global businesses.

BambooHR also has a global presence, but its global capabilities are more limited than Workdays. BambooHR offers localized HR support but doesn't have a global payroll system like Workday.

If your business has a global presence, choosing an HRIS solution that can support your needs is crucial. Workday's advanced global capabilities make it a better fit for businesses that operate in multiple countries.


Choosing the right HRIS solution can make a significant difference in the efficiency of your HR processes. Workday and BambooHR are two popular options in the market, but they cater to different types of businesses.

Workday is best suited for large enterprises with complex HR needs, while BambooHR is more appropriate for small to mid-sized businesses that need a simple and cost-effective solution. Workday's extensive list of integrations, advanced global capabilities, and comprehensive features make it a better fit for larger businesses. On the other hand, BambooHR's user-friendly interface, lower costs, and simplicity make it an excellent choice for smaller businesses.

In summary, assessing your business needs, budget, and growth potential is essential before deciding which HRIS solution to choose. Consider each platform's features, scalability, integrations, ease of use, and global capabilities. Ultimately, choosing the right HRIS solution can help you streamline HR processes, increase efficiency, and free up time for more strategic initiatives.

1. What are the main differences between Workday and BambooHR?

Workday and BambooHR are both popular HRIS solutions, but they differ in various aspects such as target market, scalability, cost structure, integrations, ease of use, and global capabilities. Workday is geared towards large enterprises with complex HR needs, offering extensive features, scalability, and advanced global capabilities. On the other hand, BambooHR is ideal for small to mid-sized businesses, providing a simpler, more cost-effective solution with user-friendly interface and limited global capabilities.

2. How does the size of my business impact the choice between Workday and BambooHR?

The size of your business is a crucial factor in determining whether Workday or BambooHR is the right choice for you. Workday is designed for large enterprises with 1,000 or more employees, offering scalability and robust features to meet complex HR requirements. Conversely, BambooHR is best suited for small to mid-sized businesses with fewer than 350 employees, providing a simpler, more affordable solution tailored to their needs.

3. Which platform offers better scalability?

Workday is more scalable than BambooHR, particularly for large enterprises with expanding workforces. Workday's robust infrastructure and customizable features allow it to support the growth of businesses without compromising performance or functionality. However, BambooHR may be more suitable for smaller businesses that do not require extensive scalability.

4. How do the integrations differ between Workday and BambooHR?

Both Workday and BambooHR offer open API architecture and integration marketplaces to connect with third-party HR tools. However, Workday has a more extensive list of integrations and comprehensive integration capabilities, making it a better choice for businesses with complex HR processes. BambooHR's integrations may suffice for smaller businesses with simpler needs.

5. What are the cost considerations when choosing between Workday and BambooHR?

Workday is generally more expensive than BambooHR, with higher implementation fees and annual software fees. Workday's cost structure may be justified for large enterprises with complex HR needs, but it may be prohibitive for smaller businesses. BambooHR offers a more cost-effective solution with lower implementation fees and software fees, making it a viable option for small to mid-sized businesses with limited budgets.

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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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