Kronos Workforce Ready Review for 2019: Features, Pricing, Alternatives

Brian O'Connor

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Brian writes about finance, business strategy, and digital marketing. He has worked at Morgan Stanley, Foreign Affairs magazine, Student Loan Hero, and as a partner of a small consulting firm, too. Combined, these experiences allow him to offer a unique perspective on the challenges small business owners face.
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Owning your own business is an exciting endeavor, complete with new challenges and opportunities for any entrepreneur to take on new skills. Some of these challenges, however, are a little less glamorous than others. Take, for example, managing your company’s human resources and payroll efforts. These are two full-time jobs in their own right—but for you, they’re additional work on top of the vital business of, well, running your business. Thankfully there are programs like Kronos Workforce Ready that help automate many of these tasks, and let you focus on the big-picture strategy.

Kronos Workforce Ready is among an increasing number of software providers that make it easier to oversee your company’s human resources needs. Plus, with Kronos Workforce Ready’s automation tools, small business owners can even manage their workforce and personnel operations without having to take on additional staff devoted to the task. Or, if your company already has someone in one of these functions, Kronos Workforce Ready can make it easier for them to manage these tasks in one centralized database.

Either way you slice it, Kronos Workforce Ready can help you make the business of managing your business simpler. But if you’ve been wanting more specifics on the platform, you’ve likely longed for a comprehensive Kronos Workforce Ready review. If so, you’re in luck: Our comprehensive Kronos Workforce Ready review spells out exactly what the program does, where it excels, and where it falls short. Plus, we’ll provide a few Kronos Workforce Ready alternatives to consider as well, just to help you go into your decision-making process as well-versed as possible.

What Is Kronos Workforce Ready?

Kronos Workforce Ready is a unified human capital management (HCM) platform that manages a company’s workforce from recruiting all the way through retirement or termination. Kronos Workforce Ready allows small businesses to work smarter and leaner through integrated human resources management, payroll administration, as well as talent recruiting and staff management. The platform updates in real time, providing an at-a-glance look at the company’s HCM-related vital signs.

There are several HCM platforms like Kronos Workforce Ready, but few providers have as long a history in the space. Kronos began in 1977 (way before cloud computing was even a possibility!) as a time clock manufacturer. Back in the day, punch cards and time clocks were the go-to tools in order to track employee timesheets and shifts. But as workforce management evolved, so too did Kronos. Now, Kronos offers a wide variety of solutions for managing employee timekeeping, recruiting, and benefits across several professions.

Kronos Workforce Ready is one of the company’s newest tools, designed to be a competitor to newer startups that have designed HCM tools specifically geared toward small businesses and startups. The HCM industry has grown significantly in the past five years, and competition has never been fiercer. This means that Kronos Workforce Ready is one of many robust HCM tools out there to help you make talent management simpler and more affordable.

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Kronos Workforce Ready Review: The Details

Kronos has an outsized presence in the human resources information system (HRIS) space due to its tenure and stature within the industry. This means that Kronos Workforce Ready includes a suite of tools and features that are comprehensive, customizable, and time-tested to be user-friendly. The company’s 40 years of experience helped design the cloud-based platform designed for small businesses and startups.

What helps set Kronos Workforce Ready apart from decentralized (or even pen-and-paper) human resources management is how it stores employee records and HR administration. The software keeps all employee records in a single database, which makes it easier to keep track of vital information and access it quickly.

Kronos Workforce Ready is also customizable for HR administrators and business owners. For example, administrators can create bespoke processes for new hires, job changes, salary changes, and employee terminations. Individual employees can also manage their own information, access their own records, request time off, and enroll in benefits—all without needing an administrator to do the heavy lifting. Last but not least, Kronos Workforce Ready can also support employee training and development efforts, as well.

Kronos Workforce Ready Pricing

Since Kronos’ cloud HCM platform offers a fairly robust toolbox of features (more details on what the platform offers to follow), the first thing most Kronos Workforce Ready reviews focus firstly on price. After all, having a bevy of tools at one’s disposal sounds like a great opportunity for time-strapped entrepreneurs and small business owners. The biggest sticking point is, well, sticker shock: The more features you get, the more you have to pay. This is true for HCM platforms just as much as it rings true for other products.

If you’re looking for more information on Kronos Workforce Ready pricing, you may have found that it’s pretty hard to come by. Some newer, upstart HRIS providers give upfront information about their pricing. Kronos Workforce Ready, however, does not offer pricing details on its website.

It’s unclear why Kronos Workforce Ready doesn’t provide pricing information online, but there are a few potential reasons behind this decision. First, Kronos Workforce Ready is highly customizable, which makes it difficult to offer flat-rate pricing for all prospective customers. Other providers tend to offer tiered services, which works better for less robust platforms. The Kronos Workforce Ready platform offers such a wide variety of different plugins and add-ons that this would be challenging to replicate. Another reason why Kronos Workforce Ready might not provide pricing information could be due to the wide range of company sizes within Kronos’ market. Most HRIS platforms charge a baseline monthly price on top of pricing for each individual employee in the company’s system. This makes it tough to offer the same pricing for a company of five versus a company of 500.

Kronos Workforce Ready Add-ons and Features

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Kronos Workforce Ready platform is a hefty one. Some HRIS systems cover only the basics of managing your employee records and performance. Others may dive into deeper waters by offering broader analytics information, automation, and dedicated human support on top of their software. But in terms of add-ons and functions, Kronos Workforce Ready towers above its competition. Here’s a bit more about the specific components available within the Workforce Ready family.

Workforce Ready People Analytics

Workforce Ready People Analytics tracks data about your team’s functions as well as which departments may need increased or reduced headcount in the future. This tool can help business owners make decisions with a wealth of information at their disposal.

Workforce Ready Talent Acquisition

This portion of the Kronos Workforce Ready platform makes it easy to find the right candidates for your company’s open positions. With Workforce Ready Talent Acquisition, you can monitor applications, track candidates through the interviewing process, and seamlessly integrate new hires into your HRIS environment after they’re hired.

Workforce Ready HR

As Workforce Ready Talent Acquisition focuses on finding the right people for positions within your company, Workforce Ready HR helps manage and retain the staff you already have on board. This tool helps empower your team to keep on top of their employee records and understand the broader objectives of your organization.

Workforce Ready Performance Management

Kronos Workforce Ready Performance Management makes it easy for management to cultivate top talent and help measure employee performance—all while keeping track of KPIs, goals, and success metrics in the cloud.

Workforce Ready Compensation Management

Workforce Ready also includes a tool to help manage compensation for companies of all sizes. The Compensation Management platform automates the compensation issues and helps provide transparency across senior leadership.

Workforce Ready Time Keeping

Workforce Ready Time Keeping gets to the roots of where Kronos began, albeit with a modern twist. This tool helps businesses keep track of time and attendance, all while offering data and employee analytics for business owners.

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Workforce Ready Accruals

You can also manage accruals and enforce policies through Workforce Ready Accruals, which allows you to streamline otherwise manual processes and saves you time in the long run.

Workforce Ready Attestation

Employee attestation is increasingly important in many industries, even despite it being a typically manual process. Workforce Ready Attestation makes the process faster and easier by moving it into the digital realm, and providing business owners with responses in real time.

Workforce Ready ACA Manager

Speaking of compliance, adhering to Affordable Care Act stipulations can be a nightmare for companies that don’t take these processes online. Kronos Workforce Ready ACA Manager helps move these requirements into the cloud, which reduces your paperwork in the process.

Workforce Ready Leave Manager

Kronos’ history as a timekeeping company influences its tools across a variety of implementations. That also includes time-tracking for paid time off, vacations, and other kinds of leave. This module makes it easy to oversee employee absence and vacation policies.

Workforce Ready Scheduler

Workforce Ready Scheduler rolls Kronos’ scheduling tools into a robust, information-driven method of managing schedules and staffing requirements.

Workforce Ready Payroll

Payroll doesn’t have to be a time-sucking task. Workforce Ready Payroll simplifies the payroll process, automating common procedures and moving the entire payroll operation onto the cloud (goodbye paperwork!).

Workforce Ready Payroll Services

Workforce Ready Payroll Services takes payroll administration a step further, including solutions for tax filing, garnishments, and check distribution.

Workforce Ready Data Collection

Keeping on top of productivity and employee use of telecommunications is important for many companies. Workforce Ready Data Collection makes it easier for organizations to keep tabs on what their employees are doing while on the clock.

Workforce Ready Mobile

Kronos Workforce Ready Mobile rolls all of these amazing features into one intuitive mobile interface, which allows you and your team to access the HR data they need from wherever they might be.

Summary of Kronos Workforce Ready Reviews

The vast amount of services and tools within the broader Kronos Workforce Ready environment gives users plenty to talk about in terms of reviewing the platform. Some users have little more than the basics for their business; others may run the gamut in terms of functionality for their companies. The good news is that the plurality of implementations out there means that Kronos Workforce Ready reviews can cover a ton of ground when helping you decide whether or not it’s the right platform for you.

Positive Kronos Workforce Ready Reviews

Kronos Workforce Ready gets pretty high marks across the board from most reviewers. Several users point out how easy the platform’s mobile app is to use on either iOS or Android devices. The app provides a fast, intuitive way for employees and managers to keep on top of their HR-related requests and tasks, which is a nice change of pace from the procedures of yore.

Praise for Kronos Workforce Ready doesn’t stop at the mobile app, either. Reviewers also commend the platform for being on top of trends within the HRIS space, as the software receives frequent updates and can keep pace with regulatory and compliance changes. The Kronos Workforce Ready customer support team also earns high marks for being attentive and accessible.

All told, the positive Kronos Workforce Ready reviews paint a compelling picture of the software as a good tool for companies looking for a robust, multi-dimensional HRIS tool.

Negative Kronos Workforce Ready Reviews

Although many Kronos Workforce Ready reviews are fairly positive, that doesn’t preclude the platform for getting negative marks in some areas. Most notably, some reviewers chide Workforce Ready for being inflexible or difficult to use when it comes to onboarding, recruiting, and benefits administration. Setting up time off requests, and feeding them through the compensation tools properly, can trip up some users.

Another area where some reviewers express dissatisfaction is a lack of training on the tools within the platform. These reviewers suggest that there isn’t as much of a learning portal as they’d like, and they would prefer to be able to solve problems without having to consult the Workforce Ready customer support team. There is also no development sandbox for companies to try out new workflows and procedures, which means changes to protocol have to happen in the live environment.

Kronos Workforce Ready Alternatives

Kronos Workforce Ready has more than a few rivals in the HR software space—many of whom beat the timekeeping giant to the punch in terms of user friendliness and digital-first implementation. These platforms each have a number of features and capabilities that are comparable to what Workforce Ready does (or includes at a higher price). Today the HRIS sector is quite crowded, with plenty of choices to integrate into your business, be it based on headcount or budget.

For Basic Payroll Management: Gusto

Gusto is significantly narrower in terms of focus than Kronos Workforce Ready. This tool centers on payroll management and tax form production, and less so on the other components of HRIS. Gusto centers on getting your workforce paid, rather than managing the ins and outs of your daily and long-term HR needs.

That being said, the Gusto is a great choice for payroll and tax management, which Kronos Workforce Ready certainly handles (but as a subsection of the platform, and for what is likely to be a higher price). Gusto costs $39 per month, but charges more or less per user in the system based on the level of service you want to purchase. For example, Gusto Core costs an additional $6 per user every month, while Gusto Complete and Gusto Concierge is an additional $12 per user monthly. This platform is an affordable solution if your end goal is to automate your payroll processes, rather than handing over your entire HR operations to an HRIS platform.

For a (Nearly) Full-Scale Alternative to Kronos Workforce Ready: Justworks

Justworks is another major HRIS player that aids companies’ efforts to streamline their personnel management operations. The platform is one of several HR software offerings out there that assists you with essential human resources functions, all while safely controlling your data in the cloud. This means you can keep track of your staffing, employee contact information, benefits programs, health care enrollment, and even payroll from anywhere and on whichever device you have handy.

The entry-level option, Justworks Basic, costs $59 per month per individual. This plan provides you with the fundamental elements you’d expect from an HRIS platform: payroll management, compliance support and human resources management tools.

Justworks Plus, the more feature-packed tier, extends far beyond the scope of the basic plan. This package avails you to 24/7 support, compliance support, HR tools, and automated payroll. You can also take advantage of Justworks’ contractor payment tools, payroll tax filing portal, and assistance with insurance questions and claims.

The Bottom Line on Kronos Workforce Ready

Whether you decide to go to with Kronos Workforce Ready or one of their rivals, you have to know your own requirements first before you embark on finding the right HRIS solution for your business’ specific needs. For some, a platform like Workforce Ready might be too expansive (and expensive) for their needs. For others, a robust platform is the only thing that will do the trick. Be sure to know what your needs are, what your budget is, and how you plan to implement the HRIS provider you choose within your existing operations.

Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.

Brian O'Connor

Contributing Writer at Fundera
Brian writes about finance, business strategy, and digital marketing. He has worked at Morgan Stanley, Foreign Affairs magazine, Student Loan Hero, and as a partner of a small consulting firm, too. Combined, these experiences allow him to offer a unique perspective on the challenges small business owners face.

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