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ADP Workforce Now vs Workday Comparison 2021

by Arthur Zuckerman

Small and large companies alike have to deal with myriad human resource (HR) regulations and standards. This is on top of wage management, employee engagement activities, career mapping, and other duties. That said, many businesses can’t really manage their HR efforts without outsourcing processes to computers. 

That is why many drop their spreadsheets and word processing tools for more advanced HR software solutions and HRIS systems. Two of the most popular ones are ADP Workforce Now and Workday HCM. But, which one is better? Moreover, which one fits your company more? 

In this ADP Workforce Now vs Workday comparison article, we’ll provide you with a brief point-by-point analysis to give you a better idea of which software product suits you better. First, let’s get to know each of them. 

ADP Workforce Now Overview

ADP Workforce Now is an all-in-one HR management software. It helps users manage all their HR processes on the web. And, thanks to its reporting module, you can gain actionable insights from all of these too. Key modules are for workforce management, HR management, talent, benefits, and insights. 

It provides users with a single source of truth and a single space for work. Thus, collaboration is easier and miscommunication is lessened. It also has a self-service portal for employees as well. This helps save time for leave applications, career success planning, onboarding, and many more. 

ADP Workforce is ideal for all businesses of different types and sizes. It can scale up or down depending on your needs. For instance, you can use it for when you have a startup with 15 employees and you can scale it with you after you grow it to 50. 

Also, ADP Workforce integrates seamlessly with other business solutions like scheduling software. Furthermore, it has mobile versions so you can take your work on the go. Lastly, as it has flexible deployments, it is offered via quote-based plans. 

ADP Workforce Now dashboard

ADP Workforce Now is a flexible end-to-end HR software that can cater to small and big businesses alike.

Workday Overview

Workday allows users to manage HR processes easily. This is all thanks to its easy-to-use interface and dashboards. Key features include modules for talent management, global compliance, benefits management, people experience management, a talent marketplace, learning management, and reporting among others. 

The platform is ideal for mid-sized businesses and large enterprises because of its comprehensive feature set. It allows HR personnel to create, model, and execute reorganizations and policies quickly. With its collaboration tools, multiple users can work on a single issue simultaneously. Moreover, it provides users with analytics and reporting tools as well. This way, you can gain insights from your processes and plan accordingly for the future.

What’s more, like ADP Workforce Now, Workday has apps available for all devices. Thus, you can communicate and work with your employees on preferred devices. Also, this web-based software works seamlessly with other business systems including Salesforce Sales Cloud and even ADP Check Printing among others. Plus, it has compliance features to help you stay within regulatory range and avoid hefty fines and nasty legal repercussions. 

Lastly, like ADP Workforce, it is also offered in quote-based plans. 

To expand your options, check out our Workday vs SAP SuccessFactors comparison guide.

Workday dashboard

Workday is a best-in-class HR platform with sophisticated tools to handle more complicated processes.

ADP Workforce Now vs Workday Comparison 

In this section, we’ll analyze how both products stack up against each other on some comparison points. These are (1) feature set, (2) usability, and (3) customer support. Then, in the next section, we’ll give you our official ADP Workforce Now vs Workday comparison final verdict. 

1. Feature Set

Both ADP Workforce Now and Workday are comprehensive software products. They support HR processes from recruitment to career success planning. Also, both of their offerings are easily scalable. Plus, both products have mobile apps so you won’t lose touch with the capabilities they provide while you are on the go. 

ADP Workforce Now has four main tiers for their plan with corresponding feature sets. These are the Essential, Compliance, Talent, and Complete plans. 

The first one offers basic HR management needs including payroll and tax management features. Compliance, the second plan, includes other features such as federal and state compliance reporting. Thirdly, the Talent plan includes modules for recruiting, talent management, and benefits administration. Lastly, its Complete plan is a software suite tailored for companies that want enhanced analytics.

Workday, unlike ADP Workforce Now, has no tiered plan offerings. Each deployment can be different from the other as it is highly flexible. Plus, it is designed to meet the needs of global companies just like its ADP counterpart. It is also flexible enough to institute globally consistent policies and processes while allowing for local variation at the same time. 

One feature that stands out though is its internal talent marketplace. Here, employers can post projects and with machine learning, the software can produce matches with the right employees. For employees, this helps them make use of their hidden skills, pursue their interests, and contribute better to the company. 

The battle here in this point of comparison is a close one. And, we are split on which one is better. So, we’ll just settle with a tie. 

2. Usability

When it comes to ease-of-use, both products are highly rated however, there are still issues worth considering. Firstly, ADP Workforce Now’s employee pages design could be better. It is a bit of a task to find information like hire dates and others. Secondly, Workday has some issues with reporting like slow report generation for larger reports and report creation. 

Both have flaws with regards to the usability of some features. However, it might be useful to note that Workday’s user interface is just a bit better than ADP Workforce Now’s. The design is somewhat reminiscent of popular social media platforms. It has the right balance of casual and professional. This works well for many users. 

Thus, for this criterion, we would give the edge to Workday. ADP Workforce Now’s report module seems to be superior but the overall experience of being on and working on the software leans towards Workday. 

3. Customer Support

Both products offer online training and knowledge base materials. Also, both offer online training and webinars. For instance, ADP offers HR-related courses with credits. This includes sexual harassment prevention, the gig economy, and even COVID-19 response. On the other hand, Workday also offers virtual classroom sessions and video-based learning on-demand sessions. Plus, the company offers in-person learning in physical classrooms. 

Both companies take customer success seriously. However, ADP Workforce Now seems to edge out a narrow win against Workday when it comes to this front. This is because it offers great quality courses and resource articles are pretty clear and easily searchable. 

When it comes to traditional customer support, both companies seem to have well-trained customer representatives that have expertise when it comes to software use and account management. They respond reasonably quickly and provide friendly expert support. 

What’s the HR Product That Fits Your Needs? 

Unfortunately, we don’t really have a clear overall winner for our ADP Workforce Now vs Workday comparison 2020 article. Both provide great features and both products are highly usable. However, they kind of have different uses in terms of target segments. 

Firstly, Workday is designed for mid-sized to large enterprises. Sure, small businesses can use it. However, we don’t think that it is economical as subscription rates could reach up to $100 per employee. 

On the other hand, ADP Workforce Now has a plan designed for small businesses. Moreover, it can also easily be scaled when your business grows. 

It is really a toss-up between the products if you ask us. Workforce HCM’s interface is a tad better than ADP Workforce Now. However, the latter’s reporting features seem to be a bit superior. Workforce HCM has the internal employee marketplace feature but ADP Workforce Now also has the employee portal. 

To find out what really is best for you and your company, we recommend that you do a test drive with the products via their free trial offerings. 

Both products are top-of-the-line HR platforms so we believe you won’t be disappointed with any of them. Plus, both companies listen to their users and incorporate suggestions into newer product versions. They both are good contenders to make the top end of our list of HRIS software. In our humble opinion, you’ll be in good hands either way. 

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