The Best Human Capital Management Suites buyers guide by Inspector Jones

We reviewed the biggest, most comprehensive suites for Human Capital Management, to find out who is the best. These cover traditional HR management, succession planning, recruitment, performance management and more. And our pick is…

The Best Human Capital Management Suite for Talent Management

Successfactors by SAP

Our independent review for Human Capital Management software selected Successfactors as the best option for businesses focusing on Talent Management, because of its leading functionality across-the-board, strong track record globally, and strong investment in R&D. Successfactors has excellent security and support behind the application.

I recommend Successfactors, as it has some of the most comprehensive talent management functionality, with an additional focus on business execution and enterprise social and employee profile functionality.

The Best Human Capital Management Suite for HR Administration

Workday Human Capital Management

Our independent review for Human Capital Management suites selected Workday Human Capital Management as the best option for businesses focusing on Human Resources Administration. Workday is a modern application, with excellent usability and customer feedback. Workday has solid functionality across-the-board, strong investment in R&D and is appealing because of its simplicity and flexibility. Both security and support behind the application is excellent.

The Human Capital Management Suite Shortlist

We’ve reviewed the dozens and dozens of different human capital management solutions on the market, for medium and large enterprises. This shortlist is the best-of-the-best - enterprise-grade solutions that are proven, well-maintained, and being actively developed. If these vendors don’t fit your specific niche, or are too pricey, I recommend you look at the full list of Human Capital Management vendors…

What To Look For

First, be sure that you really do want to look for a full Human Capital Management (HCM) suite. There are many excellent solutions that don’t attempt to do everything, but focus on specific functionality - like recruitment, HR administration, or performance management. The Human Capital Management market is crowded, with many different vendors. This review focuses on full suites - those solutions that do “everything”.

I recommend that you review Human Capital Management suites in two stages. First, a feature review, focusing on the areas that are most important to you. Secondly, a review of how the software will integrate with your people, processes and technology.


I've found that the top human capital management suites offer very similar features, but with a different focus depending on the vendor's history. The Inspector Jones shortlist is based on the following features, and I recommend that you look for:
  • Time and attendance, to collect data about attendance, shifts and absence schedule, automate overtime and pay calculation
  • Absence management, managing time off and planned leave
  • Recruitment functionality, including posting to job boards, a branded careers website, employee referrals and social sourcing, prospective employee screening and assessment, great search functionality, and onboarding
  • Performance and goals management which includes performance appraisals, 360 degree feedback, a journal or record of performance, and alignment with organisational goals
  • Career and development planning, including competency management and Job description management
  • Compensation or Pay for performance
  • Succession planning, including identifying and managing internal talent pools
  • Manage personnel information – supporting different types of employees, contingent workers, and people of other working relationships
  • Manage positions – reporting lines, position descriptions, organisational charts, matrix management
  • Benefits administration – monitoring and configuring programs like healthcare, pension and insurance
  • Payroll – including calculations for leave/absence, hours worked, overtime, bonuses and commissions, contributions, deductions and taxes
  • Learning management - online course content, registration, social collaboration, compliance and evaluations
  • Social - share expertise, recognition, performance
  • Workforce planning and analytics

Fits your people, process and technology

Organisation fit for a Human Capital Management suite is likely to be the deciding factor between one vendor and another. I recommend that you review the following checklist:
  • How well integrated is the suite? Many HCM vendors have acquired other companies to piece together an HCM offering, which might impact usability or the level of integration between modules. Some major acquisitions over the past few years include Oracle (acquiring Taleo), SAP (acquiring SuccessFactors), Ceridian (acquiring Dayforce), IBM (acquiring Kenexa) and Infor (acquiring Lawson)
  • Self-service ability for employees, managers and job applicants
  • Support for different devices used by your staff - desktop computers (Windows, Apple, or other operating systems) and mobile devices
  • Does it provide configurable workflow, automation and forms that meet your existing processes?
  • Your HCM suite will probably be heavily integrated with other systems – does it offer robust and flexible integration options?
  • Will it integrate with enterprise social software and employee surveys? How easy is it to use? Usability is so crucial! Make sure you review the application from a manager’s point of view, and an employee’s point of view.
  • Is it compliant with your legal and regulatory needs?
  • Does it provide role-based security?
  • Does it offer relevant reporting and analytics that meets your needs?

Other Contenders for Human Capital Management

I recommend looking at 3 other vendors for Human Capital Management. While these three might not compete as a comprehensive suite, they may be the best option for you based on price or the specific functionality that you need.

Ceridian Dayforce provides a good quality modern solution, with strength in workforce management.

SilkRoad Life Suite is a full Human Capital Management suite, and I believe is best suited to mid-sized organisations.

SumTotal provides very good Talent Management functionality.

Focus on Talent Management

See the Inspector Jones Talent management rundown for a full list of talent management vendors, and how to shortlist.

The clear leader for human capital management with talent management functionality is Successfactors. Successfactors includes great across-the-board functionality, and is very secure with good feedback from end users.

We also recommend looking at Oracle Fusion and Workday Human Capital Management.

Focus on Recruitment

See our Recruitment rundown for a full list of recruitment functionality to look for, plus all of the recruitment vendors. My recommendation for the best three Human Capital Management suites with strong recruitment functionality are:

Successfactors is an excellent Human Capital Management suite, which includes good recruitment functionality.

Oracle Talent Cloud (Taleo) which you can expect to see better integrated with the Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management suite in the future.

SilkRoad Life Suite also includes OpenHire - their recruitment platform.

## Focus on Human Resources Administration ## See the Inspector Jones Human Resources Administration (HRMS/HRIS) rundown for full details, including the best HRMS/HRIS systems plus functionality to look for. My recommendations for the best HCM suites with a focus on HR Administration is:

Workday Human Capital Management is my recommendation for the strongest HCM suite with a focus on HR administration. Workday has a modern technology platform, class-leading security and excellent customer and user feedback.

Ultimate Software UltiPro is a great option for medium-sized companies (1,000-5,000 employees) based in North America.

Oracle Fusion goes beyond HCM, and provides approximately 200 modules spanning many enterprise applications. Fusion is Oracle’s strategic direction, and has a huge amount of investment behind it.

ADP Vantage HCM provides medium and large business HCM. ADP also have an option called Workforce Now, which is slightly simpler and more suitable for smaller businesses.

SAP ERP HCM, who also own Successfactors.

All Human Capital Management Suites