More than 100 vendors offer software to automate all or part of a business's HR management tasks. Another major trend is web-based software, an approach that often saves companies money at the expense of limiting your ability to customize the technology to meet special needs. With all the choices--many of them intended primarily for larger companies--it can be confusing even to narrow the field of candidates that can help you automate many of your HR functions. Here are some of the leading purveyors of HR software for small businesses, chosen by Jason Averbook, CEO of HR technology consulting firm Knowledge Infusion.
ADP Small Business Services, ADP
What It Can Do: Payroll, tax and compliance, time and labor management, employee screening and selection, benefits, workers' comp
What We Love: Help desk staff certified by Society of Human Resources Management can assist with all kinds of HR matters.
What We Don't: Modules cover many but not all of a company's HR needs.
Ceridian Small Business, Ceridian
What It Can Do: Payroll, time and labor management, taxes, employee information management
What We Love: Customers get an assigned support representative--not a call center.
What We Don't: Hosted solutions offer limited customization for special needs.
Paychex Premier Human Resources, Paychex
What It Can Do: Payroll and taxes, HR management and compliance, benefits administration
What We Love: An on-site HR partner answers questions, refers you to specialists and trains employees.
What We Don't: More advanced tools are only available in a product for big employers.
Sapien.HRMS Edition, Sapien Software
What It Can Do: Payroll, benefits, time and labor management, compliance, health and safety, company handbooks, succession planning, performance and skills management, and more
What We Love: More HR management modules than most competing solutions
What We Don't: Intended for firms with more than 50 employees