The Best Cloud HR Software Solutions Compared In-Depth for 2024

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Discover the best cloud HR software with our comprehensive guide. In today’s remote work era, tools like these are essential for businesses to operate efficiently. Cloud-based HR software helps businesses with features such as payroll integrations, employe self-service portals, and ensures accessibility and data security.

Stay on top of your HR processes with the best cloud HR software.

Best Cloud HR Software 2024

The Best Cloud HR Management Software Reviewed

To come up with our shortlist of the best cloud HR management software platforms, we undertook a comprehensive evaluation of tens of providers, looking at factors like pricing, user-friendliness, integration capabilities, and how well each system boosted HR efficiency.

1. Paycor – Best for small and medium-sized organizations

Paycor Logo

Best For SMBs
Free Trial 30-day free trial
Price From Custom pricing
Top 3 Features Anytime pay, talent recruitment, industry-specific capabilities
Why We Picked It

Paycor is a powerful human capital management system that’s perfect for growing organizations that want an end-to-end HR and payroll solution. With features including advanced payroll, talent recruitment and onboarding, and industry-specific features for sectors like finance and healthcare, Paycor is a reliable cloud HR software platform that will undoubtedly help any HR team reach new levels of efficiency.

Features
  • HR dashboard: Paycor’s analytics-driven dashboard is crafted to assist HR leaders in automating labor-intensive tasks such as managing expenses, paperwork, and employee onboarding. We found the interface intuitive, though setting up the automated workflows requires some initial effort.
  • AI assistant: The AI assistant alerted us to trends like increases in employee absences and benchmarking performance against other organizations.
  • Payroll: You can fully automate the payroll process, making it completely no-touch. Additionally, Paycor integrates on-demand pay options for employees, a unique feature among providers on this list.
  • Time tracking: Organizations with hourly workers will appreciate Paycor’s robust time and attendance features, which seamlessly integrate with the payroll function to reduce manual calculations.
  • Recruitment: The AI-driven platform simplifies the creation of accurate job descriptions, posting to job boards, and managing candidates. Plus, it provides valuable insights like time-to-hire and lead sources, aiding in the efficiency of future recruitment efforts.
Pricing Plans

Paycor offers modular features, allowing you to pay only for what you use. However, this also means its pricing plan lacks transparency. Your monthly subscription fee will depend significantly on the number of employees you have and the modules you select.

The upside is that this modularity makes Paycor’s powerful features suitable for both small and large organizations.

Who's It Best For?

Paycor is ideal for ambitious small and medium-sized companies aiming to unify all HR-related data into one intuitive platform.

Pros pros

  • Holistic HR features
  • Customizable modular apps let you tailor your platform
  • On-demand payment options are available
  • User-friendly interface

Cons cons

  • Opaque pricing
  • Setup fees for each plan
  • Steep learning curve

Read our full Paycor review

2. Rippling – Best for global companies

Rippling Logo

Best For Global companies
Free Trial None
Price From $8/month per user
Top 3 Features Full suite HR, IT and finance solution, international payroll, powerful automations
Why We Picked It

Rippling is a solid solution with many features, encompassing everything from talent management to time tracking to expense management.

While the user interface isn’t as intuitive as Paycor or BambooHR, the features are also a cut above. This powerful software is brimming with capabilities, encompassing everything from talent management to time tracking to expense management.

Features
  • Payroll: Rippling’s global payroll service stands out for its top-notch features like localized benefits, country-specific holidays, and rapid international payment processing.
  • Compliance: It helps HR pros comply with international regulations by reminding them of local laws regarding sick pay and overtime.
  • Tax and benefits: It automatically handles payroll taxes at state and country levels and allows customized benefits based on local practices.
  • Integrations: With integrations like Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft 365, Rippling simplifies tasks like managing time off and approving payroll hours for both employers and employees.
Pricing Plans

It’s understandable to want to know the cost of a platform prior to committing. However, Rippling’s pricing model doesn’t allow for this. Rather than offering standardized pricing, Rippling adopts a bespoke approach like Paycor.

Essentially, each client can select the modules they want, meaning pricing varies widely based on individual customization.

Who's It Best For?

Rippling is a fantastic choice for international organizations seeking to unify payroll, HR, and IT management in one unified platform.

Pros pros

  • Great for international teams
  • Fantastic HR and IT features combined
  • Multinational payroll
  • Powerful automations

Cons cons

  • Features may be overwhelming for smaller companies
  • Opaque pricing
  • Takes time to configure the platform

Read our full Rippling review

3. BambooHR — Best employee mobile app

BambooHR Logo

Best For Employee mobile app
Free Trial 7-day free trial
Price From Custom pricing
Top 3 Features Easy payroll, Employee mobile app, Onboarding and offboarding
Why We Picked It

BambooHR is a fantastic HR system for organizations that want to put the emphasis on employee engagement. As well as great recruitment and HR features, BambooHR comes with an intuitive employee mobile app that helps with everything from booking time off to goal setting and eLearning.

Features
  • Employee management: Similar to Paycor, BambooHR facilitates seamless management of the entire employee lifecycle, spanning from hiring and onboarding to employee departures.
  • Mobile app: BambooHR comes with the best employee mobile app we tested. It covers everything from annual leave to goal performance setting.
  • Payroll: It’s extremely simple to set up and start using. However, it doesn’t offer features like any day pay like Paycor does.
  • Analytics: We loved BambooHR’s interface–both the HR and employee experiences. Reports are easy to access and understand, making it simple to turn data into insights that inform decision making around things like hiring, benefits and performance.
Pricing Plans

Like Rippling and Paycor, Bamboo HR requires you to request a quote to get an idea of the price for your organization, with the cost varying widely based on your size and the features you’d like to use.

Who's It Best For?

BamooHR is our top pick for businesses seeking to streamline HR and elevate the employee experience through an employee self-service app.

Pros pros

  • End-to-end HR and payroll tool
  • Great employee mobile app
  • Fantastic recruitment features

Cons cons

  • Opaque pricing
  • Payroll features not as flexible as other providers

Read our full BambooHR review

4. Connecteam – Best for remote organizations

Connecteam Logo

Best For Remote companies
Free Trial Free plan available
Price From Paid plans from $29/month
Top 3 Features Features for frontline workers, communications features, L&D
Why We Picked It

Connecteam is a suitable app for HR professionals within organizations that have a lot of workers who don’t work at a desk–sectors like manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. We love its range of thoughtful features, which unify operations, HR, and communications. That said, Connecteam doesn’t have native payroll features like the other providers on this list.

Features
  • Automated HR-tasks: Connecteam automates time-intensive HR tasks like employee onboarding, learning and development, and managing paid time off. While the automations aren’t as powerful as that of Rippling, they’re still valuable for SMBs and domestic organizations.
  • Rewards and recognition: It allows managers to reward employees with ‘tokens’ that can be converted to gift cards.
  • Integrations: Connecteam has its own chat app for private communication among individuals, teams, or the whole company. The platform includes features like liking messages, sharing GIFs, and using emojis to enhance communication.
  • Notifications: Connecteam uses automation to notify managers of late or missed clock-ins and provides real-time status updates on checklist completion, which Paycor and BambooHR do not.
  • Reporting: Connecteam offers reporting to track trends over time, though its capabilities are less robust than those of ADP or Rippling, which provide more detailed and strategic forecasting.
Pricing Plans

Connecteam’s pricing structure isn’t exactly straightforward. The platform is essentially made up of three separate offerings which are sold separately at the below prices. This means if you purchased all three components, you could easily end up paying almost $300 per month.

Plan Price
Small business plan Free
Basic $ 29 /mo
Advanced $ 49 /mo
Expert $ 99 /mo
  • The Small Business Plan – Free: Connecteam offers a free plan for small businesses (up to 10 seats) with features like geo-fenced time tracking, custom time-off policies, and a team chat suite. This plan is ideal for very small organizations, but you’ll need to upgrade if you exceed 10 users.
  • Basic Plan – $29 /month: The Basic plan includes time tracking and a chat platform but lacks automated reporting and advanced communication features like broadcast channels or message scheduling. HR functionality is limited, but it’s a good option if you need a simple time-clocking solution or messaging portal.
  • Advanced Plan – $49 /month: The Advanced plan offers greater control and visibility, including payroll period notifications, shift-specific chats, and manager permissions.

Although it lacks automated payroll reporting, you can integrate your payroll provider to run reports externally, making it a great value for money.

  • Expert Plan – $99 /month: The Expert plan provides access to all features, including unlimited automated reports, detailed employee location tracking, and advanced time-off request policies. It’s a significant jump in price, but the reporting and control capabilities are exceptional, though many organizations may find the Advanced plan sufficient.
Who's It Best For?

Connecteam is perfect for remote businesses. This intuitive and user-friendly app makes it easy for HR leaders and managers to manage deskless employees, build company culture, and gain control over scheduling, onboarding, and time and attendance.

Pros pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Free for small businesses
  • Great communications platform
  • Built for frontline workers and HR managers

Cons cons

  • No payroll or expenses
  • Combined features can be expensive
  • Pricing structure can be complex

Read our full Connecteam review

5. ADP – Best for established organizations

ADP Logo

Best For Large companies
Free Trial 3-month trial
Price From Custom
Top 3 Features Next-level data analytics, automated payroll, great employee benefits
Why We Picked It

ADP is an established platform for fast-growing businesses that want to gain in-depth insights from their HR data. With powerful data analytics, every HR feature under the sun, and accurate compliance support, ADP is a reliable solution for busy HR professionals in large organizations.

Features
  • Benefits offering: While most companies provide retirement plans and health insurance, ADP’s extensive network of insurance partners gives you a wide array of choices.
  • Time and attendance system: For example, the employee scheduling feature is perfect for hospitality and retail businesses, and the manager to-do list function makes it easy for corporate managers to review and approve PTO requests quickly.
  • HR Compliance updates: his feature is incredibly useful for HR teams managing changes in minimum wage laws, recruitment regulations, and more.
  • Auto-pay: This allows you to automate recurring payroll, eliminating the need for manual approvals each month.
  • HR support: Our experience with their customer support team was highly positive—they were professional and knowledgeable, making the platform feel like having an outsourced HR partner.
Pricing Plans

As with the majority of providers on this list, ADP’s pricing structure is opaque. You’ll need to contact the company to get a custom quote. As a nice aside, though, you’ll get a three-month free trial when you first use the platform.

Who's It Best For?

ADP offers an extensive array of features, powerful analytics capabilities, and outstanding compliance and tax automation, making it an excellent choice for large enterprises.

Pros pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Excellent range of features
  • Compliance capabilities
  • Next-level reporting

Cons cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Opaque pricing
  • Too feature-rich for small companies

Read our full ADP review

The Best Cloud-Based HR Management Tools Compared

Provider Best For Free Trial Starting Price Countries Covered Payroll ATS
Paycor Small and medium-sized organizations 30-day free trial Custom 180+ Yes Yes
Rippling Global companies N/A $8/month per user Not disclosed Yes Yes
BambooHR Employee mobile app 7-day free trial Custom 190+ Yes Yes
Connecteam Remote organizations Free plan $29/month 80+ No Yes
ADP Established businesses 3-month trial Custom 140+ Yes Yes
Paychex Flex Hybrid teams N/A Custom 140 Yes Yes
Deel End-to-end payroll management Free core HR up to 200 employees $49/month per contractor 150+ Yes No
ClearCompany Employee lifecycle N/A Custom 180+ No Yes
Zoho People Managing variable workforces 30-day free trial $2/user/month 150+ Zoho Payroll Yes
Kallidus Sapling Customized workflows Demo Custom Not disclosed No Yes
BrightHR Document management Free demo Custom Not disclosed Yes Yes
OrangeHRM Free cloud-based HRMS 30-day free trial Custom 100+ No Yes
bob Connecting hybrid teams Demo Custom Not disclosed No Yes
Methodology

How We Review And Test HR Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular HR products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Features: We examine each product’s features to determine what capabilities are offered, and how well it performs crucial HR management tasks, such as tracking a sick leave.
  • Integrations: We evaluate the integrations of each piece of HR software to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack, and whether its functionality can be expanded as required.
  • User Experience: Usability is paramount when it comes to HR software. That’s why we put ourselves in the shoes of a new user, testing each platform to gain a firsthand understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
  • Price and Value for Money: Our approach to pricing involves a thorough review of the structure and plans offered by each platform. Beyond just the initial cost, we delve into the details to assess affordability and value for money.
  • Security: We dig into the security policies of each company, interrogating the safeguards they have in place to ensure the software protects user data properly.
  • Compliance: A critical requirement for most HR departments, we assess HR software on whether it offers local compliance when it comes to payroll, taxes, and more.
  • Reporting and Documentation: We look at the reporting and documentation capabilities of each software to make sure they offer comprehensive data sets, takeaways, and collaboration options for documentation.

What is Cloud-based HR Software?

Cloud-based HR software is a type of digital tool that supports HR professionals in boosting efficiency, accuracy, and precision by aggregating data and using automation to support tasks like onboarding, employee engagement, payroll, and L&D. Cloud-based HR software, in particular, is accessible from any device with the right password and credentials, making it very valuable for HR professionals who work from home or on the go.

Amanda RajkumarHR Expert
EXPERT INSIGHT

“Cloud-based systems are a must - they centralise employee data and ensure that performance, compensation, learning and promotion data is aggregated smartly. Most companies are still existing with different databases with different datasets, meaning pulling together an employee report requires a lot of manual manipulation. It’s not efficient and it doesn’t allow for flexible, fast decision making”

Benefits of Using Cloud HR Software for Your Business

Using cloud HR software has numerous benefits, including:

  • Anywhere access – A cloud-based HR solution can be accessed anywhere, anytime, enhancing flexibility for HR professionals.
  • Turn data into insights – Software typically comes with analytics capabilities that help HR professionals gain strategic value from HR and payroll data.
  • Enhanced employee experience – Many HR software platforms come with employee-facing features that enhance the employee experience and work to improve overall workplace culture.
  • Improved accuracy – HR software takes away the manual burden on HR professionals to perform tasks like payroll and other calculations, improving accuracy while freeing up time.

How Much Does a Cloud HR System Cost?

Cloud HR systems vary widely in cost depending on the size of your organization, how many countries you operate in, and the specific features you would like to use. Some platforms offer free versions of their software to very small organizations, and certain providers–like Paycor and BambooHR–are more cost-effective for SMBs.

Undеrstanding thе Diffеrеnt Typеs of Cloud-Basеd HR Systеms

Undеrstanding thе diffеrеncеs bеtwееn the different types of HR cloud solutions is crucial for businеssеs sееking to optimizе thеir HR opеrations and еmployее managеmеnt. Lеt’s dеlvе into thе main typе of HR systеms, HRIS (Human Rеsourcе Information Systеm), HCM (Human Capital Managеmеnt), and HRMS (Human Rеsourcе Managеmеnt Systеm), to hеlp you makе an informеd dеcision:

Parameter HRIS HRMS HCM
Focus Basic data and workflow automation Management and analytics Strategy and planning
Definition A platform designed to manage and store HR-related data and information. A term often used interchangeably with HRIS, but it can encompass broader functionalities. Aligns HR strategies with business objectives, fostering employee engagement, productivity, and long-term growth.
Functionalities Core HR, Payroll and tax compliance, Benefit administration, Attendance, Personal tracking and self-service Core HR, Payroll and tax compliance, Onboarding, Recruiting, Performance management, Reporting Core HR, Payroll and tax compliance, Talent management, Workforce management, Service delivery, Workforce optimization, Business intelligence
Users HR professionals, Employees HR professionals, Employees, Managers HR professionals, Employees, Managers, C-suite

How to Choose a Cloud-Based HR System

Choosing the best cloud HR system for your business can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

Intuitive UIFeaturesSeamless IntegrationData SecurityCustomer ServicePrice

Ensure the HR system has a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate interface to simplify interactions for HR professionals and employees, reduce the learning curve, and save time on training and onboarding.

Align the system’s functionalities with your specific HR needs and organizational goals by looking for core features like:

  • employee data management
  • payroll processing
  • benefits administration
  • time and attendance tracking
  • performance management

Additionally, consider advanced features such as recruitment and applicant tracking, learning and development modules, employee self-service portals, and robust reporting and analytics capabilities.

Choose an HR system that integrates smoothly with your existing software (e.g., payroll, accounting, and time tracking systems) to ensure synchronized HR data across platforms, reducing errors and enabling better-informed decisions.

Opt for a secure HR system that employs robust encryption, multi-factor authentication, and access controls to protect sensitive employee data, while adhering to data protection regulations and compliance standards.

Select an HR system with reliable and responsive customer support available through various channels (e.g., phone, email, live chat) to assist with technical issues, system implementation, and questions, ensuring minimal downtime and faster issue resolution.

Evaluate the HR system’s pricing model (subscription-based, per-user pricing, or one-time licensing fees) to ensure it fits your budget and long-term financial goals. Consider potential hidden expenses like implementation fees, data migration costs, and additional charges for integration with other business systems.

FAQs

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Hannah Pisani
Tech Expert
Hannah Pisani
Tech Expert

Hannah Pisani is a seasoned writer with a keen focus on the intersection between technology and the evolving nature of work. Over the last five years, she has written content for numerous leading technology brands, including Microsoft, AWS and Oracle. She regularly contributes to international technology publications such as Silicon Angle, Cloudwards and Techopedia. Hannah's depth of knowledge encompasses HR software, cybersecurity, SaaS tools and marketing optimization. She thrives on leveraging her expertise to empower business leaders, guiding them towards informed decisions that optimize efficiency and drive productivity.