Best cloud HCM software of 2024

A secretary at a computer desk using the best cloud HCM software.
(Image credit: Claudio Scott / Pixabay)

Human capital management (HCM) is the bedrock of every organization. Every company’s success is powered by employees that work hard to fulfill various roles. Companies need to manage their employees effectively and empower them to perform well.

HCM deals with attracting, recruiting, training, and retaining employees. It involves many activities, ranging from screening to ensure you get to right candidates to onboarding the selected ones and training them regularly to perform their job optimally. The good thing is that we have various HCM software tools to help organizations.

HCM tools make it easy for businesses to manage their employees. There are a lot of HCM tools out there, and it can be difficult to choose an ideal one. We tested different platforms to select the best ones and save you the stress. We chose our finalists based on important factors including features, pricing, customer support, ease of use, performance, etc.

The HCM tools we selected have their respective pros and cons. But, overall, they’re some of the best HCM platforms that your organization can adopt to boost employee productivity. 

How to choose a Cloud HCM tool 

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1. Cost

Cost should be the primary consideration when choosing an HCM tool. You should pick something that you can afford in the long term to avoid issues. Many HCM tools charge according to the number of users, so it’s easy to estimate how much you’ll pay. Some tools don’t have standard pricing, so you’ll have to get a custom quote from the sales team.

Always read the fine print to see if there are any hidden costs. Use the free trial (where available) to test the platform’s features before making a payment.

2. Ease of use

You need a HCM tool that’s easy to use, especially for non-technical HR staff that are not well versed with software. The platform should offer a modern and intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate. Otherwise, it’ll frustrate your staff and may cause serious mistakes, e.g., payroll miscalculations.

3. Customer support

Things can go wrong at any time, and you might need external help to fix the problems. Hence, you need an HCM tool with a good reputation for customer support. Check user reviews to see what customers say about the platform. You should have access to experienced human support representatives whenever you need one. 

We've also highlighted the best HR outsourcing services.


The best cloud HCM software of 2024 in full:


(Image credit: Paycor)

1. Paycor

Best overall HR tool

Reasons to buy

+
User-friendly 
+
Excellent customer service
+
Broad features

Reasons to avoid

-
Steep learning curve
-
Limited customization

Paycor is a popular cloud-based human resource (HR) management platform. We consider it the best HCM tool because it offers a lot of features that you’ll hardly find elsewhere.

Paycor helps you with many HCM tasks, ranging from recruiting to expense management, payroll, time tracking, etc. You can use the Talent Management tool to simplify your hiring process; it enables you to communicate and stay engaged with prospects effectively. 

You can use Paycor's Workforce Management tool to track timing and work schedules effectively. It helps you reduce time theft, control costs, and create dynamic schedules for different employees.

Payroll is a critical part of human resource management, and Paycor helps very well here. Its platform allows you to calculate employee payroll accurately according to their work hours and related metrics.

The basic plan for this app is $99 per month plus $5 monthly for each employee. The Essential plan costs $149 per month plus $7 monthly per employee. The Core plan costs $199 per month plus $8 monthly per employee. The higher plans unlock more advanced features such as custom reporting templates. 

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(Image credit: BambooHR)
Best for ease of use

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive interface
+
Easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited customization
-
Limited third-party integration

BambooHR is a well-known HR management solution. This app is famous for its intuitive and user-friendly interface; user reviews will often highlight this as a pro. It provides features to help companies manage their HR processes efficiently.

You can manage your hiring & onboarding with BambooHR; the platform provides an applicant tracking system that makes it easy to solicit and screen candidates. You can easily manage your job openings and interviews with this tool.

BambooHR enables you to track the hours your employees work and manage benefits enrollment. It calculates payroll automatically with the work data to ensure that employees are compensated as required. BambooHR eliminates the risks of double data entry and other manual payroll mistakes.

This platform offers tools to help your company gather feedback from employees. You can create surveys to measure employee satisfaction and make changes according to their feedback.

BambooHR does not have standard pricing. You’ll have to contact the sales team for a quote, and pricing depends on the number of employees. 

Read our full BambooHR review.

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(Image credit: Workday)

3. Workday HCM

Best for large enterprises

Reasons to buy

+
Advanced analytics
+
User-friendly interface
+
Broad features

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Workday is a popular human capital management software vendor. Thanks to its sophisticated reporting and analytics features, it enables businesses to understand and manage their workforce effectively.

Workday’s Performance Management tool delivers real-time insights about your employees’ performance according to the metrics you have set. It gives you a dynamic picture of your employees, including cost, capacity, and capability. You can segment roles and positions according to these metrics and identify employees that need help to improve their performance.

Workday's onboarding tool makes it easy to manage recruiting and make new workers familiar with your company's processes. The Goal management tool helps your company define goals for workers and track progress toward them.

Just like other HCM tools, Workday helps you manage employee payroll and benefits. It calculates payroll data accurately considering data such as hours worked, leave period, bonuses, and tax laws across different American and Canadian jurisdictions. You can also connect it to third-party payroll tools that you already use.

In summary, Workday provides everything that you need for human capital management. The drawback is that it’s a very expensive tool that’s suitable for only large enterprises.

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(Image credit: Rippling)

4. Rippling

Best for unified HR & IT management

Reasons to buy

+
It combines HR and IT management 
+
Extensive automation and third-party integration 

Reasons to avoid

-
Customer support needs improvement 
-
Complex set-up process 

Rippling is a platform that combines human resource (HR) and information technology (IT) management. You can manage employees and also manage their devices and network access on the same platform, streamlining the work for your HR and IT teams.

Rippling provides a global workforce management solution that enables you to hire, pay, and manage employees from across the world. The payroll system lets you pay in local currencies and automatically file taxes based on a worker’s jurisdiction. You can make changes to your payroll process at any time, unlike many other apps that require advanced notice and make it difficult to change things on the fly.

Rippling offers tools to help you onboard employees and help them get familiar with internal IT processes. You can create a job board to source candidates, interview them, and onboard the selected ones easily. 

This platform has integrations with many third-party tools to add extra functionality. Rippling is also famous for its sleek interface that makes it enjoyable to use. 

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(Image credit: Oracle Cloud HCM)

5. Oracle Cloud HCM

Best for customization

Reasons to buy

+
Very customizable
+
Advanced reporting tools
+
Robust features and integrations

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
User interface needs improvement

Oracle is a well-known cloud software vendor, and its large product suite includes a human capital management (HCM) tool. This tool is famous for being very customizable. You can consult Oracle’s staff to customize it extensively to match your needs and requirements. However, it doesn’t come cheap.

Oracle Cloud HCM is very expensive. There’s no standard pricing, so you’ll have to negotiate with the sales team directly. The high price makes this platform only suitable for large companies with equally large software budgets.

We observed a lot of complaints about this platform being difficult to set up and use, especially for non-technical staff. Your team will likely face some challenges navigating it, but they can get used to it with time. Oracle provides good customer support when you need it, but note that you’ll have to pay extra support fees.

Oracle Cloud HCM is ideal for large organizations that need a custom-built solution. Otherwise, you’ll be better off with less expensive and more user-friendly alternatives. 

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Essential features of a Cloud HCM tool 

1. Recruitment and onboarding

Your HCM tool should provide features to help you recruit and onboard employees. You should be able to create job postings, receive applications, and sort through them to get the right candidates. How you choose the right candidates is up to your company, but the HCM tool should make the process easy. If a candidate is chosen, it should provide onboarding tools to help them become familiar with your company within a short time.

2. Payroll

Your HCM tool should be able to calculate and process payroll accurately. It should calculate payroll based on metrics such as hours worked, leave period, bonus allotments, etc. Preferably, you should be able to process payroll in multiple currencies and comply with tax laws in different jurisdictions. 

3. Feedback and analytics

Your HCM platform should allow you to solicit feedback from employees. Feedback can take the form of surveys or periodical testimonials about the organization’s direction. It will help you adjust your strategy to please employees and encourage them to perform optimally.

If you use surveys, your HCM tool should collect the data and present it in a visual format that you can easily analyze. 

Nate Drake is a tech journalist specializing in cybersecurity and retro tech. He broke out from his cubicle at Apple 6 years ago and now spends his days sipping Earl Grey tea & writing elegant copy.