Bambee. Zenefits. ADP Workforce Now. The specifics vary across HR platforms, but the promise is the same: Each of these subscription-based human resource information systems (abbreviated HRIS, among other acronyms) wants to be the HR tool of choice for your business. 

The million-dollar question, then: Can they? Can these HR platforms prove valuable to your operations and outcomes?  

Short answer: Absolutely! Most provide a slew of tools including: 

  • Document storage and organization databases
  • Payroll and benefits administration
  • Automation for tasks including employee onboarding, time-off tracking, and taxes
  • Employee self-service portals
  • Applicant Tracking System 

Drilling down further: Are all of their features valuable?


Can they handle HR in full?

Also no.

If your head is spinning, fear not. Below we’ll paint a clearer picture of HR platforms: Their high-level benefits, some light comparisons of three of the most popular options, and what it means to use them compared to using a fully outsourced HR firm like myHR Partner. But first, an overarching reminder:

Support, Not Wholesale Solutions

As software platforms become more robust and reliable, small and mid-sized businesses in particular are wondering whether HR platforms can eliminate the need for an in-house or third-party HR professional.

If you take one thing from this article, let it be this: 

HR software supports the humans who oversee HR. It makes their jobs easier (often by way of automation and organization), frees up time, and can improve processes and therefore outcomes. However, HR software to date is not a replacement for an HR professional. 

Part of the reason is that software doesn’t run itself. A person needs to input information on a rolling basis, manage and maintain settings, and make updates. Rarely do companies have individuals in non-HR roles willing or equipped to assume this key responsibility, which is time-consuming and requires critical thinking even when top-ranking HR software platform is optimized. 

The second reason software can’t replace humans comes down to that key word: human. Your business is comprised of human beings who will have unique and personal needs – needs no software can navigate. Swap an HR representative for a tech tool, and your greatest asset – your people – have nowhere to turn in the event of workplace conflicts, personal matters, or career development. Upper management is sometimes suggested as a substitute for HR; however, given HR’s delicacy and the nuance of related state and federal laws, this is a misguided and high-stakes move.   

Say No to Applicant Screening Software

Before we discuss three HR platforms’ respective merits, one more deeply-held conviction:  

Never use HR software to screen job applicants

As mentioned already, most HR platforms offer an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). ATS stores job applicant data and posts job postings to boards on your behalf – valuable features. However, most can also screen applicants in the hunt for right-fit matches. This is the feature to avoid. 

Here’s why: 

Because ATS scanning relies on predetermined words and phrases, it overlooks resumes by candidates who don’t use said words. This might include candidates who don’t know accepted phrasing (common among hourly-rate candidates and young professionals) or candidates who creatively worded their resumes. Bypassing these individuals is a risk few businesses can tolerate on today’s competitive hiring landscape. 

A Quick Look at Three Top HR Platforms

The three HR platforms we’ll introduce below are time-proven and at the forefront of this growing option pool. All of them simplify and streamline a variety of tasks. When optimized and customized, they’re quantifiably helpful. A little more on each – and how they compare to the fully outsourced HR alternative. 

1. ADP Workforce Now

A longstanding provider of payroll and HR management services, ADP’s ADP Workforce Now is a leading player in the HR software game. However, it epitomizes the impasse outlined above: To be effective, APD Workforce Now requires a dedicated human who can manage the software on all fronts, ongoingly – which, with robust software, is no small feat. Subscribe to ADP Workforce Now, and many of your HR representative’s manual tasks are replaced with a new one: Managing software. This is a seismic shift that should be considered carefully. 

2. Bambee

Bambee’s differentiator is its dedicated HR manager feature. Each client business is assigned an HR manager who can answer questions about both the platform and HR itself. On the flip side, Bambee offers no mobile app for employees or administrators. Even more, its employee benefits services are limited. Bambee’s HR manager can help your business craft compliant benefits policies; however, it doesn’t administer employee benefits – again pointing to the need for in-house or third-party support on this front.

3. Zenefits

A few years ago, Zenefits was on the rise as the go-to HR software. Its star has fallen some in the years since. While similar to ADP Workforce Now in terms of features, Zenefits’ customer support today – according to many user reviews on third party sites – is lacking. This is a detriment for businesses who move their payroll and HR administration onto this platform, only to face lengthy turnarounds for support when they desperately need it. 

In sum: HR software is helpful. However, it’s not comprehensively helpful – and can sometimes create problems in place of those it solves. Businesses looking for one solution that includes all possible benefits of software (without software’s drawbacks) and the critical human component of HR are wise to consider a one-stop solution, whether it’s an in-house HR representative or outsourced expertise like what you get with myHR Partner

To learn more about how myHR Partner’s approach to HR outsourcing differs from an HR platform, schedule a consultation today.