ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Which is Better?


No matter how good a piece of software is, that doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. It’s important to understand a solution’s target market so you can make an informed choice.

ADP Workforce Now and

Workday HCM are both solutions that are favored by enterprises, but what about small businesses? Which one provides better pricing options? Which one helps you get up and running quickly? Which one provides better support?

This article aims to answer those questions and looks at which HR software better supports human resources for small businesses.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: An overview

Who is ADP Workforce Now for?

ADP Workforce Now is a rare beast in the software industry; it’s suitable for all business sizes. It’s easy to use and you can get up and running quickly, even if you’re not familiar with HR software. Its modular approach means you only pay for the functionality you need and can run your HR department on a budget.

Who is Workday HCM for?

Workday HCM is not suitable for small businesses. It’s a complex solution, which requires time and patience to figure out. It also has a huge roster of features, many of which small businesses won’t need or want.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Features

Both ADP Workforce Now and Workday HCM pack a ton of features into one solution. These features cover the entire employee life cycle, from attracting to retaining to training and offboarding workers.

What ADP Workforce Now offers

ADP Workforce Now is an all-in-one HR solution that provides functionality for:

Its talent acquisition module lets you create external and internal career sites to widen your candidate pool and attract applicants both externally and from within your company.

Pipeline management capabilities help you monitor candidates as they move through different stages and prompt you to take action to ensure your small business recruiting process is running smoothly.

ADP Workforce Now simplifies the onboarding process by populating the portal with the data you collected during the recruitment process. You can also tailor the onboarding process by role and location and reuse this process for other similar positions.

Its workforce planning capabilities provide real-time data to track company performance metrics and identify areas where you are overspending.

What Workday HCM offers

Is there anything Workday HCM can’t do (other than your laundry)? Let’s start with recruitment. You can handle all aspects of the hiring process, including:

  • Creating an on-brand job ad and application form
  • Sourcing applicants
  • Setting up interviews
  • Communicating with candidates
  • Collaborating with coworkers and external recruiters
  • Managing the recruitment pipeline

Its people management capabilities go above and beyond shift planning and managing overtime requests. You can also change pay structures, rearrange cost centers, and reorganize org charts.

Workday's workforce structure

Workday helps you better organize your workforce structure.

Workday HCM provides in-depth analytics and reports with easy-to-digest graphs and visualizations of this data.

This includes the total cost of your workforce; compensation per company, department, and project; and pay equity, which helps you understand where your compensation is outside average pay rates by country and gender.


It’s difficult to choose between these two solutions. They both offer everything you need to run your HR department, but Workday HCM goes that extra mile and takes this round.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Support

There is no one-size-fits-all support option; every business likes to deal with their software vendor in a different way. That’s why it’s important to be flexible and provide a wide range of help tools and options.

What ADP Workforce Now offers

ADP Workforce Now has excellent support options. Its self-service support lets you connect with its virtual live-chat assistant to find answers to common questions. Its automated phone service does the same job.

The ADP Resource Center provides documents, webinars, and how-to guides tailored to your business size. The ADP Tools section includes payroll and retirement calculators, plus tax and compliance resources. You can also meet ADP representatives in person at company events or trade shows.

ADP Workforce Now Resouce Center

ADP Workforce Now provides tailored tools and resources.

Its HR Assist — available with all plans apart from payroll only — provides a help desk staffed by HR professionals.

What Workday HCM offers

To get support from Workday HCM, you have to log in to their Customer Care Portal and submit a request. That’s the only way to get help. When submitting the request, you add a level of severity, and this determines how quickly a customer service agent will get back to you.

If it’s an urgent issue, Workday HCM promises to get back to you within an hour. You can choose whether you want an agent to phone you or email you back about the problem.

If you don’t want to contact Workday, you can ask for help in their community portal.


ADP Workforce Now provides a lot more support options and helpful resources than Workday HCM, so it wins this round.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Ease of use

ADP Workforce Now and Workday HCM both fall under the category of traditional HR solutions that have often been marketed at enterprises with large HR departments. These solutions are often much slower and less user friendly than their newer, cloud-based counterparts.

What ADP Workforce Now offers

Finding where each feature is located is the main challenge when using ADP Workforce Now. The menus have vague names, such as Resources, Process, and People. It’s not immediately clear where you should go to carry out different tasks or activities, such as talent management and benefits administration.

ADP Workforce Now’s main dashboard

ADP Workforce Now’s main dashboard helps you focus on your most important tasks.

That said, ADP Workforce Now’s main dashboard provides a snapshot of human resource planning activity and updates. You can easily access and complete tasks, prioritize your workload, and view workforce data, such as hours worked this week, and vacation or other upcoming time off.

What Workday HCM offers

It takes time to get to know Workday HCM, which is unsurprising given that it’s got so many features. You need time to navigate around the many different menus and submenus, to enter your data, and set up and customize the solution.

However, Workday HCM isn’t as complicated as other, more traditional human resource software such as SAP HR. It has a modern user interface and it’s organized in a logical way so that once you’re familiar with the software, you can find the processes you’re looking for much more quickly.

Workday HCM’s dashboard

Workday HCM’s dashboard provides easy access to common tasks.

Its main dashboard provides quick access to different strategic human resource management functions, so you can quickly access different tasks. You can customize this dashboard in line with your most common activities.


This round is a draw. It takes a while to get up and running with both solutions, and both require training, although they are easy to navigate once you know what you’re doing.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Pricing

ADP Workforce Now and Workday HCM take the same approach when it comes to pricing: They both choose not to make the details public. Instead, you have to contact the sales team for details.

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What ADP Workforce Now offers

While ADP Workforce doesn’t offer specific details of how much it costs to use its software, it does provide information about its different pricing plans. There are four different plans:

  • Payroll Essentials
  • HR Plus
  • Hiring Advantage
  • Performance Plus

The Payroll Essentials plan only includes payroll and tax and workforce management capabilities. The HR Plus plan also comes with onboarding, compliance, benefits administration, and analytics.

ADP Workforce Now's Pricing Plans

ADP Workforce Now has four pricing plans.

The Hiring Advantage plan adds on the talent acquisition module. The Performance Plus plan includes performance management and compensation management capabilities.

What Workday HCM offers

Workday HCM doesn’t provide any information on its pricing. There are no details on different plans or functionality included in those plans, on whether Workday provides pricing per user.

Workday HCM’s Contact Sales

To find out pricing information, you have to contact Workday HCM’s sales staff.

There is no pricing page on its website and no way to get information about pricing unless you contact their sales department. To contact sales, either fill out a form, email them, or call them on the phone.


Transparency is important, especially when it comes to pricing. This round goes to ADP Workforce now for at least providing details on the functionality available in its different pricing plans.

ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM: Integration with other software

HR professionals work with all departments across a business. That means that your HR software needs to integrate with your existing business solutions.

What ADP Workforce offers

ADP Workforce Now integrates with a range of business software, including:

  • Accounting solutions
  • Enterprise resource planning software
  • Time and attendance tools
  • Recruiting and onboarding software
  • Learning management systems
  • Benefits administration tools
  • Productivity and collaboration suites
  • POS solutions

You can use its API to build integrations with a wide range of different solutions or extend its HR functionality by using the add-ons in the ADP human resources Marketplace.

What Workday HCM offers

Workday HCM offers similar integration capabilities to ADP Workforce Now. It integrates with more than 170 solutions across business functions such as:

  • Accounting
  • Productivity
  • Learning management
  • Document management
  • Data privacy
  • Wellness
  • Content management

Workday HCM has different integration classification depending on how developed and advanced the integration is. A basic integration with limited functionality is classed differently than fully functional integrations that ensure smooth data flow with Workday.


There’s not much in it, but Workday HCM’s integration classification is helpful in understanding if it will work with your existing technology landscape, so it takes this round.

How they compare: ADP Workforce Now vs. Workday HCM

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