The Best Human Resource Management Systems buyers guide by Inspector Jones

We have reviewed over 50 of the world’s best HRMS systems, that help you manage your organization’s staff, including personnel information, employee self-service, absence management, time and attendance, payroll, benefits, and more. We reviewed over 50 HRMS solutions to manage your personnel - including positions, absence, payroll and benefits.

The Best Human Resource Management System


In our independent review, we selected Workday as the best option for Human Resource Management Systems (also known as HRMS or HRIS). We chose Workday because of great reported customer experiences and usability. Workday has solid functionality across all of the areas reviewed, and shows string investment in R&D, while remaining simple and flexible. We’ve also found that Workday offer excellent secuerity and support for the application.

The Human Resource Management System Shortlist

In our review, we looked at over 50 different Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS or HRIS) solutions on the market, primarily aimed at medium and large enterprises. This shortlist is our selection of 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 if you’re planning to conduct a more broad review, I recommend you look at the full list of HRMS vendors…

What To Look For

While many organizations conduct a comprehensive feature review of HRMS systems, we’ve found that can often be only half of the story. We recommrnd that you conduct a two-stage review of suitable products, to determine the best solution for your company. Firstly, we recommend a detailed feature-by-feature review, to ensure that the product you choose meets the features you need. Secondly, and probably more important, we recommend that you dive into the deatil to ensure that your selected product will integrate well with your organization’s people, processes and technology.


In reviewing various human resource management systems, we've found that most of the top systems offer very similar core features. However, products differ significantly when it comes to the details: for example, advanced features such as analytics, role-based security, matrix management, workflow and integration. I recommend you look for:
  • Manage personnel information - supporting different types of employees, contingent workers, and people of other working relationships
  • Employee and Manager self-service
  • Absence management - time off and planned leave
  • Time and attendance - document and track hours worked
  • 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
  • Personnel Scheduling
  • Manage positions - reporting lines, position descriptions, organisational charts, matrix management
  • Analytics for workforce, to predict future needs
  • Support for mobile devices

Fits your people, process and technology

We believe that the ability for a system to fit your organization will probably be the deciding factor for your human resource management system selection. I recommend that you review the following checklist:
  • Does it provide configurable workflow, automation and forms that meet your existing processes?
  • Your HRMS 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 that meets your needs?

Integrated With Talent Management

Most of the vendors on the HRMS shortlist also provide some great options for talent management - the features for attracting, retaining and developing staff. My strongest suggestion is to review Successfactors by SAP. If you are considering a talent management solution alongside a human resource management system, you might be interested in another two options for your shortlist.

SilkRoad Life Suite is a good fully-featured solution, that spans the entire Human Capital Management field. It includes SilkRoad HeartBeat - their HRMS solution - as well as other talent management features. I like the breadth of SilkRoad’s offering, and quality of service.

SumTotal have a very strong talent management solution, which is widely used by some of the world’s top companies. I rate SumTotal’s talent management very highly.

All Human Resource Management Systems