Compare the best HR software companies

While the CIPHR Connect HCM platform is an excellent choice for mid-size and large organisations in the UK, it’s important for HR teams to explore alternative options to make sure they choose the best HR software for their needs.

The crowded HR software market and profusion of vendors all claiming to offer similar solutions can cause confusion when HR teams and organisations are looking for the right platform. CIPHR’s HR software comparison table, which shows a selection of the best HR software providers in the UK, aims to help simplify your selection process.

Download HR software buyer’s guide

While many HR software comparison sites attempt to show the functionality available from each solution, CIPHR’s HR software provider comparison table summarises the profile of each software vendor, their focus, background, and size of organisation, which are important considerations for buyers.

  CIPHR IRIS Software Group Access Bamboo HiBob Namely Sage Cezanne HR Breathe

HR software known as

CIPHR Connect Cascade HR Select HR Bamboo HR Hibob Namely Sage People Cezanne HR Breathe

Integrated HR and payroll for UK?

Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No

Year founded

1982 1978 1991 2008 2015 2012 1981 2013 2012

Country HQ

UK UK UK USA Israel USA UK UK UK

Overseas offices?

No No Yes – New York No Yes – London, New York No USA, France, Poland, Dublin Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil No

Glassdoor reviews

4.8 / 30 reviews 3.7 / 280 reviews 4.2 / 300 reviews 4.5 / 333 reviews 4.7 / 102 reviews 3.6 / 260 reviews 3.7 / 2,153 reviews 4.7 / 9 reviews 5 / 17 reviews

Software advice rating

4.2 / 19 reviews 4 / 13 reviews 4 / 1 review 4.5 / 1,263 reviews 4.6 / 50 reviews 4.2 / 405 reviews 4.3 / 18 reviews 4.5 / 82 reviews 4.5 / 26 reviews

Approx. customers

650 TBC 32,000 22,000 TBC 1,400 TBC TBC 9,000

No. of employees

220 1,524 1,658 1,119 312 331 TBC 71 63

Typical customer size

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

< 50 ees

51 – 200 ees

201 – 500 ees

501 – 1,000 ees

1,001 – 5,000 ees

5,001 – 9,999 ees

10,000 ees +

What you should look for when selecting an HR software provider

When you choose an HR software provider, you’re entering into a partnership, so be prepared to ask challenging questions – our comparison table is a starting point. For example, if your main market is in the UK you may look to align with UK-based vendors, and you may also consider those of similar size in terms of the number of employees and/or customers.

Our table also highlights how each vendor is perceived by their employees and how their products are rated by review sites. Poor reviews on Glassdoor can show that there is a lack of direction and low engagement in the organisation. At the same time, an HR software vendor with thousands of reviews on Capterra, for instance, can show that the vendor has extensive market reach.

What you should look for when selecting HR software

With so many options, it’s important to focus on the features and functionality that will help you meet your challenges. Pick HR solutions that offer clear benefits, including the following:

Ease of use

Usability should be high up on your requirements list to ensure that your people carry out their duties easily and seamlessly. Choose HR systems that are straightforward to log into and intuitive to use, so employees can quickly find the information and tasks that they need. For today’s remote, hybrid, and deskless teams, consider HR software with mobile-friendly user experiences.

Scalability

Select HR software that grows with you, so that in periods of change you’re always ready for the next challenge. This includes elements of automation, to streamline your hiring process with consistent and automated workflows, and the ability to onboard new starters digitally, offering must-know documentation and a glimpse of your organisational culture before their first day.

Accessibility

HR software today needs to be user-friendly and accessible for all. When you’re looking for new HR software vendors, ask them if they’re using accessible fonts and imagery, and the extent to which the platform can be customised. Ensure that your new HR system works seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop, so your people can carry out tasks anywhere and on any device.

HR software key features

Cloud-based HR software, which cuts down on overheads and allows for more rapid updates than on-premise platforms, usually comes with various add-ons, which enables you to be flexible when creating a solution that is right for you.

To cater to all the different stages in the employee lifecycle, consider HR software that incorporates recruitment functionality, to attract and retain the best talent, and onboarding, to engage your new starters with the right information at the right time. To help your people flourish, you’ll also want to look for HR software with talent management functionality.

Payroll

Automate your payroll and pay your people accurately and on-time. Payroll software can also help you stay compliant with failsafe workflows, and reminders, and the ability to download tax notices from HMRC. Integrating payroll with HR software can mean you avoid manual duplication of effort and errors by having one source of truth for all your people data.

Recruitment

To discover the best candidates, you’ll want the ability to auto-filter applications, cutting down on time-consuming manual labour. Ensure that your recruitment software can be fully customised with your branding and features video screening, offering your candidates a more personal way to introduce themselves.

Onboarding

A great onboarding experience sets the tone for employees’ careers at your organisation. Choosing HR software with inbuilt onboarding functionality will help you create a smooth and engaging onboarding experience for all new starters, ensuring they get access to crucial documentation before their start date, and are able to gain an insight into your organisation’s ethos and culture.

Performance management / talent management

Performance management is just one aspect of talent management, enabling HR and line managers to set targets and align them to key performance indicators (KPIs). With talent management functionality within your HR software, your employees can update their records with their latest achievements while managers can measure success using the nine-box grid and discover new rising stars.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What should I look for when searching for a new HR system?

A cloud-based HR system that can grow and adapt to your needs, saving you time, money and streamlining your processes. If you’re looking for best-of-breed software, you’ll want to make sure that your new HR software can be easily integrated with your other tools.

Is it easy to switch HR systems?

It depends on your people data and your current systems. Where is your data? Does it need to be cleaned or updated? An HR software vendor should have consultants to guide you every step of the way. Changing your HR system will require an investment of time and money, but should pay dividends when it comes to efficiency, time savings, and improved engagement with your HR solution.

What is self-service HR?

Self-service HR is the ability for HR users and employees to enter and change information in their HR system themselves. This includes being able to submit and approve time off, holiday, and sick leave.

Is training required to use an HR system?

Most HR software vendors will train HR administrators and users on their new HR solution as part of the launch project, with the option to undertake additional training to develop more expertise. End-users and employees, on the other hand, will, in most cases, be able to get to grips with a new HR solution straight away – especially if you’ve chosen one that is very user friendly.

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