The Software Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 HR Software Companies of 2021. This year’s awardees each bring their own spin on human resources facilitation to the table, and enjoy the rarified air of exceeding in a rapidly-developing segment of the software industry that has seen increasing demand of late.
Quality in talent acquisition and management has perhaps never been more imperative than now, over a year into a drawn-out pandemic that has driven a rapid adoption of remote work for many organizations. Workforce governance can be daunting at times, and purely digital business interactions, now commonplace, can compound the issue. These 25 companies have continually and successfully adapted their staff management resources to cater to the needs of businesses of all sizes, even notwithstanding the COVID-19 situation.
In our awards and rankings, it is not uncommon to find major players intermixed with upstarts and fresh faces; this year, in human resources, a wide variety of platforms are being recognized. Some have already been enlisted by the most-recognizable leaders in business, and others are well on their way to achieving breakthrough triumphs. We invite you to join us in celebrating the achievements of The Top HR Software Companies of 2021.
1. First Advantage
Location: Atlanta, GA
First Advantage is a leading global provider of technology solutions for screening, verifications, safety, and compliance related to human capital. The company delivers innovative solutions and insights that help customers manage risk and hire the best talent. Enabled by its proprietary technology platform, First Advantage’s products and solutions help companies protect their brands and provide safe environments for their customers and their most important resources: employees, contractors, contingent workers, tenants, and drivers.
The company maintains its main offices in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Its services are live in 26 locations, with 4,200 employees completing background checks in over 200 countries and territories for around 35,000 organizations. Many of its employees have worked in the screening industry for more than 25 years and have held leading positions with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association. Joelle Smith, Chief Experience Officer of First Advantage, was recently recognized by Constellation Research’s 2022 Business Transformation 150.
Location: Santa Monica, CA
With 20 offices around the globe, Cornerstone is a people development company that believes people can achieve anything when they have the right development and growth opportunities. Cornerstone’s people development solutions include comprehensive recruiting software, a personalized learning platform, modern training content, development-driven performance management, and holistic employee data management and insights. Approximately 6,000 organizations of all sizes use Cornerstone’s software, spanning more than 75 million users across over 180 countries and 50 languages.
In 2020, Cornerstone acquired one of its largest competitors, Saba Software, and announced a new strategic vision to accelerate innovation to help organizations thrive through unprecedented change. Over the past year, Cornerstone completed its strategic transformation with Chief Executive Officer Phil Saunders at the helm. The company has announced new leadership appointments, including Chief Product Officer Ajay Awatramani, Chief Marketing Officer Theresa Damato, and Chief Financial Officer Chirag Shah. Cornerstone also renewed its focus on product innovation, and is leveraging AI-technology and a deep pool of talent data to help organizations and their people adapt and succeed through change. Cornerstone had a strong start to 2021, with Q1 revenue of $209.3 million representing a 39.4% increase year-on-year.
Location: Holmdel, NJ
Having the right talent is critical to an organization's success, especially as employers across the world continue to recover and rebuild. iCIMS is the talent cloud company that empowers organizations to attract, engage, hire, and advance the right talent. With more than 20 years of experience and over 2.4 million global users, iCIMS accelerates talent transformation for over 4,000 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 100, providing innovations that meet evolving business and talent needs. The world's best brands—including Target, CVS, Ford, Lockheed Martin, and L'Oréal—trust iCIMS to power their talent acquisition, hire at scale, and provide top-notch experiences.
The company introduced the iCIMS Talent Cloud in 2020 and refreshed its brand to support employers as they build strong teams for the future. iCIMS also acquired three organizations—Opening.io, EASYRECRUE, and Altru Labs—to guide customers through the new world of work. iCIMS previously acquired Jibe and TextRecruit. iCIMS is #1 in global recruitment technology market share (source: Acadian Advisory), and has more than 700 global partners and 300 product integrations supported by workforce of about 1,100 people worldwide. iCIMS has built a culture shaped by its values: purpose, innovation, accountability, velocity, customer obsession, and inclusion.
4. Symphony Talent
Location: New York, NY
Symphony Talent is a recruitment marketing technology company that helps recruitment teams automate tasks for efficiency and empower smarter candidate interactions. Its SmashFlyX platform unifies CRM, career sites, and programmatic advertising for the most comprehensive talent campaigning and marketing in the industry. SmashFlyX’s intuitive design and dynamic features enable talent acquisition teams to control and analyze their entire recruitment marketing strategy, from job advertising to referrals to talent network nurture, recruitment events, and more. The centralized recruitment marketing platform empowers employers to benefit from less administrative time, lower implementation costs, robust talent pipelines, better qualified candidates, and a reduced time to hire.
As an employer brand and creative partner, Symphony Talent has won prominent awards for EVP strategy, employer brand campaigns, career site design, and more. The company supports more than 600 customers across the globe, with headquarters in New York, London, Bangalore, and Belfast.
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Workday has been in the HR solutions business for nearly 20 years. Today, it is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, helping customers adapt and thrive in a changing world. This company's software provides businesses with helpful analytical insight, along with information-backed support for decision-making. In addition to its platform, Workday also provides application programming interfaces for web services along with packaged connectors and integrations. Workday applications have been adopted by thousands of organizations around the world and across industries—from medium-sized businesses to more than 45% of the Fortune 500. Some of the company's most notable customers include Amazon, Netflix, Bank of America, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
A global leader in SaaS management, Workday’s data centers are located in places such as the U.S., Ireland, Amsterdam, and Georgia. Revenue for their 2021 fiscal year exceeded $4.3 billion. In 2020, Fortune magazine ranked Workday at #5 on their Fortune List of the Top 100 Companies to Work For. On top of that, Workday was named one of Ethisphere’s 2021 World’s Most Ethical Companies, which recognizes companies with a commitment to advancing business integrity.
Location: Bengaluru, India
Empuls (formerly Empuls by Xoxoday) is an employee engagement platform that helps employees appreciate and reward their team members with points that can be redeemed with gift vouchers and experiences. The platform helps HR leaders, CHROs, and CXOs to effortlessly execute key activities such as award workflows, budget automation, industry-endorsed surveys, and OKRs. With key features such as communication feeds, messaging, groups the software equips employees to engage meaningfully with their peers, and proactively participate in building a culture of collaboration while staying motivated and aligned.
Empuls has a stable of 1000 clients who use the technology to run their rewards & recognition programs for over 2 million end-users. The company has earned a sterling reputation through the numerous successful implementations of its platform. The company was also ranked #20 in Deloitte's growing technology companies in 2020, and won the India SME Award in 2018.
7. Engagedly, Inc.
Location: St. Louis, MO
Engagedly is a fast-paced growth provider and an award-winning performance management solution provider. Built upon best practices and decades of research, Engagedly's People + Strategy platform is evolving performance management to drive successful organizational outcomes across the globe. Engagedly's E3 unified platform combines the power of business strategy execution, talent enablement, and employee engagement into one easy-to-use software solution. The company’s Performance Management approach simplifies the implementation of a comprehensive employee performance management system that incorporates real time feedback, public praise, and peer feedback. It has easily customizable templates, flexible rating scales, and many innovative features that ease the process of the review itself and help HR teams easily manage performance reviews.
The company recently won the Overall Performance Management Solution of the Year award in the 2021 RemoteTech Breakthrough Awards, conducted by RemoteTech Breakthrough. Engagedly serves more than 400 customers worldwide, continuing to empower high performance organizations through its “people + strategy” alignment.
Location: Edinburgh, U.K.
Administrate is a cloud-based, configurable learning tech platform designed to manage 100% of enterprise training operations. Administrate provides a flexible framework for enterprise learning tech that empowers rapid growth, responsive change, and data-driven decision-making. Control course catalogs, documents, complex scheduling, automated learner communication, engagement tools, resources, multimodal training delivery, and more, all in one place, with the company’s infrastructure solution.
Leveraging an open API and robust, native integrations, Administrate brings diverse learning tech stacks together, streamlining operations while creating a fully available data source on training programs. Administrate doesn’t replace LMS or legacy systems; it brings them together. Integrations with key business systems, including HRIS, ERP/MRP, and Finance software, provide an efficient, automated connection between training and other core business functions. All data in Administrate is completely reportable, featuring drag-and-drop report construction, as well as customizable KPI alignment. Scale, efficiency, alignment, and momentum are the cornerstones of Administrate’s approach.
9. Ultimate Software
Location: Weston, FL
Ultimate Software has made a name for itself as a top provider of strategic end-to-end HR, payroll, and talent management. Its award-grabbing UltiPro®, a hosted HR/payroll service, has revolutionized budget and resource management for many businesses. Around 1,600 customers acting for over 3 million employees have found that Ultimate Software’s UltiPro is the most adaptable, all-encompassing solution to manage their payroll, HR, benefits, and talent management functions strategically.
Well-known industry analyst groups and technology research firms including Gartner, IDC, and Forrester Research have championed Ultimate Software as a preeminent industry leader. The company has office locations spread throughout the globe, with a network of more than 12,000 employees serving customers across 165 countries. In 2020, Ultimate Software landed at #1 on Fortune magazine’s Best Workplaces in Technology, making it the fifth consecutive year that the company has earned this honor. It is also celebrating a fourth consecutive year at #1 on Computerworld’s list of 100 Best Places To Work in IT.
Location: Oklahoma, OK
Paycom provides payroll and HR technology, enabling companies to effectively streamline employment processes, from recruitment to retirement. With a robust suite of products including payroll, time and labor management, talent acquisition, HR management, and talent management, Paycom lowers labor costs, drives employee engagement, and reduces compliance exposure. Its cloud-based software solution is based on a core system of record maintained in a single database for all human capital management functions, providing the functionality that businesses need to manage the complete employment life cycle.
Paycom has the ability to serve businesses of all sizes and in every industry. As one of the leading human capital management providers, Paycom serves clients in all 50 states from offices across the country. Based in Oklahoma City, OK, the company was founded in 1998 and is supported by nearly 3,000 employees.
Location: Blue Bell, PA
HRSoft is a trusted leader in compensation, rewards, and goals-based performance management solutions. The company offers an all-in-one software suite designed to meet today’s agile management environment and help organizations keep budgets, employees and communications on track. Solutions include COMPview™, the leading compensation management system for enterprise clients; PERFORMview™, performance management software that helps connect organizational goals and brings transparency to the performance review process; and REWARDview ™, which gives teams full visibility into rewards and allows managers to make meaningful, data-driven compensation decisions that benefit the workforce.
HRSoft’s proprietary low-code development platform allows the company to quickly create or configure client specific features, functions, and workflows within its products, and the software can easily integrate with existing HCIS/HRM suites. Enterprise businesses use HRSoft to transform complex HR processes into seamless digital ones. The company was founded in 1996.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Xceleration is a client-focused, full-service rewards and recognition agency, built around the industry-leading RewardStation® technology. The company has grown its business on the foundation of providing strategic insight and creative reward solutions to help clients drive performance and create a culture of recognition. Xceleration forges strong relationships with some of the largest private and public companies in the U.S. and around the world, partnering with them to drive employee engagement, sales performance, and customer loyalty.
Its programs focus on the science and cycle of motivation, utilizing proprietary technology and meaningful rewards to support clients’ corporate values and drive the behaviors they want to see repeated. The RewardStation® platform enables peers and managers to immediately acknowledge the work of the team or the individual, encouraging the reinforcement of praise that boosts morale, enhanced by unique rewards and experiences that appeal directly to employees’ personal preferences. RewardStation’s mobile-friendly user design, modular functionality, robust reward system, and dynamic reporting make it ideal for companies looking for multiple ways to engage and reward their participants. Clients value Xceleration because it continues to offer innovative, motivating programs that drive results. The company is confident that its solutions deliver, and that Rewarding Works®.
Location: Atlanta, GA
QGenda is the leading innovator in enterprise healthcare workforce management solutions, delivering solutions for provider scheduling, on-call scheduling, room management, time tracking, compensation management, and workforce analytics. QGenda serves more than 3,500 organizations in over 45 medical specialties. Leading physician groups, hospitals, academic medical centers, and enterprise health systems use QGenda to advance provider scheduling, optimize capacity, and improve access to care. Its 2020 launch of clinical capacity analytics tool QGenda Insights was designed to facilitate strategic labor decisions within health systems to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other health crises.
The company was founded in 2006 and today is led by Chief Executive Officer Greg Benoit and Chief Customer Officer/CFO Harrison Hellner, who are supported by nearly 400 employees. QGenda solutions are employed by companies working in anesthesiology, cardiology, emergency medicine, hospital medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, pathology, radiology, and urgent care, among others. QGenda is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Baltimore and Burlington, Vermont. Out of Becker’s list of 100 Greatest Hospitals, 90 of them use QGenda.
Location: New York, NY
In 2012, Namely was founded to create an HR platform as intuitive as social media, but powerful enough to support the complexity of today’s workforce. Namely specializes in solving the biggest HR challenges that mid-sized companies face—from talent management to time management, benefits administration to payroll—and has a major focus on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Delivering and streamlining the complexities of recruiting, onboarding, time and attendance, performance assessments, compliance, and analytics from a single platform, Namely also offers Managed Payroll and Benefits services. The company further differentiates the client experience through personalized service and easy-to-use applications.
From engaging remote workforces to evolving compliance and legislative requirements, its clients faced a unique set of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, to keep employees connected and informed, Namely offers a combination of software solutions and services to help HR teams manage effectively during the ongoing health crisis.
Location: Denver, CO
Loxo is a leading Talent Intelligence platform. The company’s AI-driven Recruiting CRM and best-in-class ATS offer the most advanced recruiting and sourcing technology in the marketplace. The platform includes a talent graph of over 1.2 billion people, with contact information including verified mobile phone, personal and work emails. The instant AI sourcing, ranking and matching, and multi-channel drip campaign solution makes identifying, engaging and hiring the very best possible talent easier than ever before. More than 4000 recruiting organizations and talent acquisition teams across the globe are using Loxo to become hiring machines.
For its clients, Loxo has generated outstanding results. The platform has led to a 74% decrease in cost across the entire talent lifecycle including cost to source and hire. Sourcing and workflow automation has drastically increased speed and reduced time to hire by around 80%. Customer satisfaction surveys have revealed Loxo has earned plaudits from 98% of its client base.
Location: Boston, MA
WeSpire is an employee experience technology platform that helps forward-thinking global companies engage their workforce in ESG initiatives, including sustainability, wellbeing, social impact, and inclusive culture. Using cutting-edge behavior design tools and WeSpire’s award-winning behavioral programs library, companies can deliver unified, customized and targeted digital impact engagement activities, drive higher participation rates, and effectively measure the positive environmental, social, cultural, and business value of their efforts. WeSpire also integrates with existing enterprise communications tools, rewards and recognition platforms, and HR systems of record.
WeSpire has worked with 100 companies who collectively have nearly 5 million employees from 146 countries. The company has won numerous awards, including the Red Herring 100 in 2020, an Edison award, Fortune Great Green Idea, and Environmental Leader 100. Founder Susan Hunt Stevens was named an emerging tech EY Entrepreneur of the Year for New England.
17. Sage HR
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sage offers all-in-one HR software that transforms how small businesses pay, manage and engage their people, helping to improve how they manage and engage their workforce by streamlining and automating HR processes in a single system. It offers features across the end-to-end employment journey, including absence management, timesheets and scheduling, performance, expense management and recruitment. Unlike other solutions that involve multiple and disparate systems, Sage allows businesses to access and manage everything they need from a single digital platform, delivering amazing work-life experiences for everyone in the process.
The user-friendly and mobile-ready software enables employees to access information and manage key tasks themselves, reducing the time spent on admin. Sage’s mission is to support every business in achieving their dreams and ambitions, empower every employee to love what they do, and create amazing work-life experiences. Other benefits include increased compliance and improved workforce insights, thanks to the single source of employee data. Sage HR is targeted as small to medium businesses and is a cloud-native solution.
Location: Göppingen, Germany
Global technology company TeamViewer is a leading provider of a connectivity platform that facilitates remote access for controlling, managing, monitoring and repairing devices of all kinds—from laptops and mobile phones to industrial machines and robots. In addition to the significant number of private users to whom the software is offered free of charge, TeamViewer has over 550,000 paying customers and assists companies of all sizes and from all industries to digitize business-critical processes through its seamless networking of devices.
TeamViewer aims to proactively shape digital transformation and continuously use new technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and IoT for product innovations. Since the company’s founding in 2005, TeamViewer’s software has been installed on more than 2.5 billion devices around the world, and its employee base has grown to include more than 1,300 people worldwide. In 2020, TeamViewer recorded billed revenues of around €460 million.
19. Sparta Systems
Location: Hamilton, NJ
Honeywell subsidiary Sparta Systems provides leading-edge, high-quality management solutions to regulated industries. With nearly three decades of experience in the industry, Sparta provides enterprise and cloud-based QMS software solutions that allow companies to go to market more quickly while mitigating product risks and ensuring compliance. The company is turning heads with first-of-its-kind AI-enabled quality solutions. By applying the latest and greatest digital technologies, its product line simplifies the processes of quality management and leads customers toward proactive quality.
Sparta’s TrackWise, a web-based software application, is used by quality, manufacturing, and regulatory affairs professionals to manage quality and compliance issues across their enterprises. The dream team of Sparta Systems and Honeywell unites Sparta’s quality management leadership with over 100 years of industrial and software expertise from Honeywell. Sparta is seeking to shape the future of digital quality and operational excellence for the life sciences industry.
Location: New York, NY
Honey is a reinvention of the corporate intranet, designed specifically for fast-growing teams. With Honey, companies are able to maintain a highly-engaged employee culture, even as headcount grows exponentially. Founded at an award-winning design agency in Brooklyn in 2012, Honey gives employees a simple, central location to search and find all of the company information and resources they need, and a homebase to build meaningful connections with their colleagues. Every company is assigned a dedicated Account Manager for the entirety of its relationship with Honey. They will be on hand to help get intranet set up, think through content strategies, train your team, and offer product and strategic support, whether it be day one or day one thousand.
Honey reflects the way companies already love to share information, integrating with popular tools like Slack, GSuite, and Microsoft. Honey embraces user-focused design, believes in empowering every workflow, and knows that great teams grow from simple, democratic communication.
21. Sapience Analytics
Location: Plano, TX
A common presence in many worldwide Fortune 100 companies, Sapience Analytics provides an unparalleled level of operational visibility around enterprise resource investments in people, processes, and technology. Based on Sapience’s extensive experience in working with medium to large global enterprises, Sapience Vue is an advanced analytics platform powered by machine learning and business intelligence that generates a fully-automated, multifaceted view of Enterprise Effort.
Sapience’s services have been tapped by more than 90 companies in 18 countries worldwide; more than a trillion work hours have been analyzed to date. The company’s own Chief Executive Officer, Bradley Killinger, said that when using Sapience’s surveillance software, he’s been able to see a number of employees operating at 145% capacity for a period of up to six weeks. Sapience is fundamentally changing the way businesses operate and manage workflows, enabling them to build an improved version of their organization day-to-day with optimized agility and a competitive advantage.
Location: Reston, VA
BizMerlin is the AI-powered HCM system for quickly-growing mid-sized enterprises. Boasting an open API, rich data integrations, and a highly configurable platform, BizMerlinHR allows businesses to pick top candidates, easily onboard new employees, track their performance, and retain all of the prized talent in the workforce. The company’s platform is entirely cloud based, and readily available via the most familiar web browsers, native iOS, and Android mobile apps.
BizMerlin has enabled more than 100 integrations with the likes of JIRA, Salesforce, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Slack, and many more. Since its launch in 2013, the company has deployed its services to customers across several industries and in multiple territories, such as North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific. Its platform is available in more than 15 languages and dedicated staff are always standing by to provide 24/7 support. BizMerlin was recently named the 2021 Gartner Cool Vendor for Human Capital Management.
23. Blue J
Location: Toronto, Canada
A major market leader in cultivating predictive legal technology powered by machine learning, Blue J is constantly helping tax practitioners gain unparalleled visibility into challenging areas of tax and finance law. Using a loyal customer base as a touchstone, the company is fomenting the next generation of legal research in order to produce a faster, better-targeted analysis database to support judicial positions and arguments in tax law.
This cutting-edge startup is equipped with an inclusive and high-performing team of high-profile law professors and practitioners, management consultants, engineers, and data scientists. From its beginning in 2015, the Blue J team has swelled to include 65 employees, and earned contracts with over 200 organizations, many of which are notable North American law firms, global accounting firms, and agencies of the Canadian federal government. With offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and its home base Toronto, Blue J Legal is completely revamping legal reference technology with its innovative solutions. The company was recently able to score $9M in a Series B funding.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Lever is a leading talent acquisition suite that makes it easy for talent teams to reach their hiring goals and to connect companies with top talent. Lever is the only platform that provides all talent acquisition leaders with complete ATS and robust CRM capabilities in one product, LeverTRM. The Lever Hire and Lever Nurture features allow leaders to scale and grow their people pipeline, build authentic and long-lasting relationships, and source the right people to hire. Lever Analytics provides customized reports with data visualization, which detail offers completed and interview feedback, as well as strategic decisions between hiring managers and executives alike. Features include a browser extension for sourcing, bulk emailing capabilities, archiving or tagging candidates, and email scheduling.
The company was founded in 2012 by Sarah Nahm, Nate Smith, and Randal Truong to tackle the most strategic challenge that companies face: how to grow their teams. Lever has raised over $73 million in funding and currently has been used over a million times to hire applicants. Lever’s platform also enables companies to hire with inclusivity in mind, helping eliminate any hiring bias. To this end, Lever boasts a 50:50 gender balance on its executive team. Lever supports the hiring needs of over 3,500 companies around the globe, including the teams at Netflix, Atlassian, KPMG, and McGraw-Hill Education.
Location: London, U.K.
At a time when the “talent market” is high both in volume and quality, recruitment and hiring technology is in desperate need of upgrading within many companies. Enter Beamery and its comprehensive “Talent Operating System” that helps manage sourcing, hiring, and retaining of a highly skilled workforce, as well as visualizing the bigger human capital picture through its “talent graph,” all in an end-to-end, all-in-one service. As organizations manage the recent boom in remote working, Beamery hopes to enable those enterprises to streamline the recruitment, application, hiring, and retention processes of HR. The company has reported a significant uptick in business since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping its clients fill at least a million roles during the preceding year.
Beamery is led by co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Abakar Saidov, formerly a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs, who touts the company’s ability to consolidate workflows as a key advantage sought by its clientele. Beamery raised $138 million in its latest round of fundraising at an estimated valuation of $800 million, with investments coming from Canadian pension fund operator Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board as well as the investment arms of Microsoft, Accenture, and Workday.