Best Human Resource Software 2021

Human Resource Software Comparison

With several high-quality options to choose from, it can be hard to find the best human resource software for you. We've spent over 100 hours researching the best systems and have published our insights in the resources listed below.

As the human resource space continues to grow, comparing the best solutions becomes more time-consuming and challenging. This is particularly true if you aren’t familiar with the latest HR software tools.

We've spent dozens of hours hand-testing the leading human resource software platforms, and interviewing businesses to understand their experiences with the top solutions. The details of our research process can be found on our article covering the best human resource platforms.

Below, you'll find several resources that provide in-depth analyses comparing human resource platforms.

Table of Contents

How To Compare Human Resource Software

There are seven human resource platforms that you should consider. As you learn about each tool, it's helpful to focus on how advanced the platform is and its price point.


As you can see, there are intermediate, affordable platforms and advanced, more expensive platforms. All the top systems offer the same core features. Some systems, however, feature additional applicant tracking features. Sage HR, BambooHR, and Zoho People all offer applicant tracking features such as job post distribution and candidate pipelines.

The primary features in human resource software are:

  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding and offboarding
  • Payroll
  • Time tracking
  • Compliance support
  • Benefits
  • Performance management
  • Expense management
  • Analytics and reporting

In terms of price, you can expect to pay between $50 and $500 per user per month for your human resource software. Pricing is primarily based on how many employees are using the software.

Human Resource Comparison Overview

Our analyst rating is based upon four main criteria: features, usability, pricing, and customer support. A SoftwarePundit Analyst rating over 85 is above average, and above 90 is excellent.

Software CompanyAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Zoho People908.59108
Sage HR8998.57.59.5
ADP RUN8388.588.5

For more details, you can read our review methodology.

The Most Popular Human Resource Solutions Vs. Competitors

If you know the human resource tool that you're most interested in, it's also useful to see how it stacks up against its top competitors. Here are analyses that compare the most popular human resource tools against their top competitors.

Justworks Competitors & Alternatives

Justworks is one of the most popular human resource solutions on the market. It received the second highest rating of all products in our human resource category. Its unlimited payroll for full-time and contingent employees, as well as its robust compliance management features are very helpful for small businesses.

Read our Justworks Review.

Gusto Competitors & Alternatives

Gusto is the most affordable payroll solution for small businesses. It does not offer the hiring and onboarding features that alternatives do. However, its payroll and custom report creators are user-friendly and designed for newer businesses. Note, however, that Gusto does not support benefits management in 11 states.

Read our Gusto Review.

Zenefits Competitors & Alternatives

Zenefits is the most advanced human resource solution we’ve analyzed. It is a robust solution that can help you run unlimited payroll, automate important onboarding processes, and manage your company’s benefits in one centralized system. It is also one of the more affordable solutions in the human resource software category. It’s for these reasons that we highly recommend Zenefits for any small business.

Read our Zenefits Review.

BambooHR Competitors & Alternatives

BambooHR is one of the most popular human resource solutions with recruiting features. It offers user-friendly job posting features alongside basic time tracking and reporting. We ultimately recommend considering more affordable alternatives like Zenefits or Zoho People before making your purchase decision.

Read our BambooHR Review.

ADP RUN Competitors & Alternatives

ADP RUN is effective for small businesses in need of payroll and benefits management. However, we felt that it does not have the same breadth of features as alternatives such as Zenefits or Gusto. Its time tracking and onboarding are particularly limited.

Read our ADP RUN Review.

Comparing Popular Human Resource Solutions Against Each Other

One of the best ways to understand the differences between human resource software tools is to compare one solution against another. We've written in-depth guides comparing the top human resource tools against each other.

Justworks vs. Gusto

Justworks and Gusto are similar in usability but ideal for different user types. Justworks is best for businesses in need of a powerful all-in-one solution that supports benefits management in all 50 states. Gusto, rather, is ideal for businesses interested in a more affordable solution centered around payroll. Note that Gusto only supports benefits in 39 states.

Justworks vs. Zenefits

Justworks and Zenefits are the closest alternatives to one another in regards to features. Although both solutions can help your company accomplish your HR needs, Zenefits is more affordable and therefore our recommendation. However, choose Justworks if compliance support features such as free training courses are important to you.

Justworks vs. ADP RUN

We recommend Justworks over ADP RUN for nearly all small businesses. This is because Justworks is more accessible and feature-rich than ADP RUN. It also features more robust expense management and time tracking features than ADP RUN. Still, consider ADP RUN if you need to purchase business insurance plans such as general liability insurance.

Zenefits vs. Gusto

Overall, Zenefits is more powerful than Gusto when it comes to its features. Both solutions are similarly priced as well, especially if you have under 10 employees. Additionally, Zenefits offers benefits management in 49 states, while Gusto only supports 39. We do, however, recommend considering Gusto if you have more than 10 employees and are in need of a more affordable payroll solution.

Zenefits vs. BambooHR

Zenefits is a more robust and affordable alternative to BambooHR. BambooHR’s only advantage over Zenefits is its recruiting features such as job post distribution and candidate pipelines. Even then, we recommend considering alternatives such as Zoho People or Sage HR which also offer applicant tracking features.

Zenefits vs. ADP RUN

Overall, Zenefits is a stronger application for small businesses than ADP RUN. It is more affordable and more advanced feature-wise. ADP RUN can be leveraged successfully by small businesses strictly looking for payroll and benefits management. However, Zenefits is more user-friendly for newer businesses. ADP RUN also lacks features like performance management and offers more limited time tracking capabilities

BambooHR vs. Gusto

Similar to its comparison with Zenefits, BambooHR is less robust and less affordable than Gusto. However, it offers recruiting features which Gusto does not. Gusto’s user-interface, however, makes payroll, benefits management, and time tracking easier to accomplish than BambooHR.

Gusto vs. ADP RUN

Gusto and ADP RUN are direct competitors in regards to features. Both solutions are centered around payroll, but Gusto is more user-friendly. It also offers more helpful benefits management, compliance assistance, and performance management features. However, note that Gusto only supports benefits in 39 states while ADP RUN supports all 50. ADP RUN also comes with business coverage services such as general liability insurance.

Bottom Line

When comparing human resource platforms, you should first narrow your shortlist to the solutions we've covered above. From there, you should consider your budget, and how advanced of a platform you need. Here are some of the top solutions that we recommend for your business:

  • Zenefits is best for businesses in need of a robust and affordable all-in-one human resource solution.
  • Justworks is ideal for businesses in need of software similar to Zenefits, and want stronger compliance assistance features.
  • BambooHR is ideal for businesses primarily interested in recruiting features.
  • Gusto is best for businesses in need of an affordable payroll solution.
Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software

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