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Workday’s fast facts

Pricing: Workday offers custom pricing only.

Key features:

  • Thorough automation for most HR management tasks.
  • Industry-specific solutions.
  • Payroll, reporting and workforce management add-ons.

Workday’s powerful human capital management software helps midsize to large businesses recruit, onboard, pay and manage employees in any industry. Along with its expansive workforce management capabilities, the cloud-based solution integrates with 600+ third-party software tools, tracks expenses and finances and streamlines employee payroll.

More than 9,500 companies currently use Workday HCM for people management, including global corporations like Chevron, AT&T, Comcast and KeyBank. Could it improve your business’s workforce management as well? Find out in our Workday review below, where we cover the HR software’s price, features, pros, cons and use cases.

Workday pricing

Workday logo
Image: Workday

Workday doesn’t list its prices online. However, since it’s an enterprise-level software solution with a full suite of HR, payroll and financial features, expect any Workday plan to cost quite a bit per month.

Workday features

Workday’s cloud-based, enterprise-level human resources software helps employers manage every stage of the employee life cycle with a series of outstanding HR tools and features.

People analytics

Workday excels at curating HR data and condensing it into straightforward, easy-to-parse charts and graphs. Companies can run automated reports that showcase real-time payroll data, employee metrics and more (Figure A). Workday also offers optional external benchmark reports so you can compare your company’s compensation, benefits and employee satisfaction to those of top industry competitors.

Figure A

Workday people analytics dashboard
Workday’s people analytics dashboard gives employers a top-level overview of crucial data with clear graphics and analytics. Image: Workday

Employee engagement

Workday Peakon Employee Voice is a data-driven, AI-based tool that helps employers quickly amass a wealth of information on employee engagement across complex organizations. Using Peakon, you can generate employee surveys, get predictive reports on employee turnover, implement leadership development courses for managers and better understand your employees’ needs.

Skills-based recruiting, hiring and employee development

Workday Skills Cloud is the AI-based system at the heart of Workday’s hiring, recruiting and ongoing employee engagement solution (Figure B). Employers can use it to find candidates whose experience closely matches company job descriptions, curate insights into their workforce’s skillset, schedule skill-based training to promote employee career growth and optimize workers’ skills to create a stronger company.

Figure B

Worday workforce planning dashboard
Workday’s skills-centric recruiting and employee development tools help business leaders understand which skills to emphasize when hiring, interviewing and creating career paths. Image: Workday

Cloud-based payroll

Workday’s payroll solution isn’t automatically bundled with Workday HCM. Instead, it’s an add-on product that you can include in your custom Workday package. While Workday only processes payroll in the U.S., the U.K., France and Canada, it works with third-party providers like ADP so you can process payroll internationally in 100+ countries. Companies can choose to outsource payroll to a third-party Workday party, or process payroll entirely in house.

Workday Financial Management

Workday HCM integrates with Workday’s other business solutions for enterprises, including its Workday Financial Management platform (Figure C). The comprehensive enterprise accounting system automatically updates your general ledger, generates in-depth financial reports and gives you actionable insights with predictive forecasting. Workday’s revenue management tool includes automatic bill pay, intercompany invoicing and expense tracking and categorization.

Figure C

Workday financial management dashboard
Workday’s financial management software syncs with its HCM and payroll solutions to completely remove time-consuming manual data entry and reduce the possibility of human error. Image: Workday

Workday pros

Excellent integration with third-party software: Workday has built-in integrations with more than 600 third-party software solutions, including with payroll providers like ADP. The company also offers a variety of tools that help customers bypass middleware and easily integrate software tools that currently lack a prebuilt Workday integration.

Industry-specific software solutions: Workday’s customizable HR software is easy to tailor to your company’s size and industry. It offers industry-specific tools for more than a dozen unique industries, including nonprofits, healthcare associations, manufacturers and retail companies.

Extremely user-friendly: Enterprise software isn’t often known for its user-friendliness, but Workday is an acclaimed exception. Workday users on nearly every review site highlight the platform’s ease of use, praising its intuitive setup, customizability, clear dashboard and straightforward navigation (Figure D).

Figure D

Workday HCM dashboard
Workday’s HCM dashboard is simple, straightforward and customizable so users can easily navigate to their most important tasks and tools. Image: Workday

Mobile apps for payroll, time tracking and HR tasks: Per user reviews, Workday’s employee self-service portal and mobile apps are just as user-friendly as its cloud-based interface. Workday’s app scores 4.7 stars out of 5 on Apple’s App Store (an aggregate star rating based on over 1 million reviews). On Google Play, users give it 4.4 stars out of 5 (based on over 143K reviews). Both iOS and Android users give the app high marks for user-friendliness and accessibility, though the iOS app generally performs better than the Android app.

Workday cons

No transparent pricing: Workday doesn’t list starting prices for any of its products online. Interested businesses must contact a Workday sales representative directly to schedule a demo and request a custom quote.

No free trial: Workday doesn’t give customers an option to use any version of its software for free before they commit to a plan.

Buggy Android app: Multiple Android users complain that Workday’s mobile app crashes frequently, especially its time tracking feature. Based on Google Play reviews, the issue has been ongoing all year and hasn’t yet been addressed.

Top Workday alternatives

Vendor name Oracle Fusion Cloud ADP RUN SAP Workday
Price Custom Custom Custom Custom
International payroll Yes (limited) Yes (third-party add-on) Yes Yes
Performance management Yes No Yes Yes
Learn more Visit Oracle Visit ADP Visit SAP Visit Workday

Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM

Oracle logo
Image: Oracle

Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM is an enterprise-level HCM system geared towards international corporations. As part of its global payroll solution, Oracle offers comprehensive compliance alerts in more than 200 countries and helps employers stay current with all benefits, union and workers’ rights laws. Along with payroll, talent management and workforce management, Oracle Fusion includes a full suite of HR tools like benefits administration and employee self-service portals for benefit enrollment.

Pricing: Custom quotes only.

ADP

ADP logo
Image: ADP

ADP’s all-in-one payroll and HR packages include enterprise-level solutions with global payroll plans and benefits packages. RUN Powered by ADP is the company’s popular standalone payroll software product, and while it includes several HR tools and add-on employee benefits, ADP Run isn’t a fully featured HCM solution. However, as one of Workday’s built-in integrations, ADP Payroll is a helpful add-on for companies that love Workday HCM but prefer not to use Workday Payroll.

SEE: 10 Tips for HCM Vendor Evaluation (TechRepublic)

ADP Run also syncs with ADP Workforce Now, the company’s HRIS solution. ADP’s international enterprise software doesn’t have as many features as competitors like Oracle and Workday, which makes it a solid alternative for midsize companies that prefer a less complex, more affordable HR and payroll software provider.

Read our full review of ADP for more information.

Pricing: Custom quotes only.

SAP SuccessFactors

SAP logo
Image: SAP

SAP SuccessFactors is a cloud-based HCM product tailored toward businesses with sales teams. Along with typical HCM, payroll and HR tools, SAP SuccessFactors’ sales performance management software helps you manage compensation, determine sales quotas and offer commissions. The software also includes sales agent-specific employee engagement tools, onboarding features and performance management options.

Pricing: Custom quotes only.

Who is Workday best for?

Workday’s complex solution works best for big businesses and enterprises that want to build an HCM system to manage talent on one unified, user-friendly platform. While some aspects of its system could work for companies with under 250 employees, its pricing and in-depth features are too much for most small and midsize businesses.

How we reviewed Workday

To evaluate Workday HCM, we spent hours delving into Workday’s thorough demos and spec sheets, reading verified user reviews on sites like Gartner Peer Insights, Google Play and the App Store, and reviewing online how-tos. We focused specifically on Workday’s ease of use, functionality, design, features, customer service, integrations and global reach to guide our research.

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