Best of Breed or HRIS: what to choose?

Best of Breed or HRIS: what to choose?

Regarding HR digitalization projects, the "Best of Breed vs. Global HRIS" debate regularly comes up, the scales tipping one way or another, depending on the season and the angle of view.

It is often difficult for companies to see clearly, especially as the range of HR solutions is exploding: it has doubled in the last five years! For example, the Capterra comparator now offers more than 1300 solutions in the HR Software category...

To help you make the right choice for your company, here are some elements that will help you identify the best solution according to your context and challenges.

To begin, let's recall the definitions of these two types of solutions: 

Best of Breed are literally "the best of their kind." It means that the software is dedicated to a single set of processes. You will find Best of Breed solutions specializing in recruitment or others dedicated to managing your teams' time, for example.

Conversely, global HRIS offer more comprehensive services and combine different modules in a single solution. Thus, they allow you to cover a vast functional scope that affects the various HR professions.


1. The benefits

By focusing only on one particular service (recruitment, time management, etc.), Best of Breed software can be more powerful and can offer more advanced functionalities than HRIS software.

Publishers of this type of solution concentrate their resources on developing their expertise in their field; they, therefore, offer solutions that can better meet the specific needs of certain companies linked to a particular sector of activity.

In addition, due to their less extensive coverage, these solutions often have fewer technical constraints; they can offer ergonomics that are easier for users to grasp. Finally, by targeting targeted and less complex processes, they appear more "user-friendly."

2. The disadvantages

Logically, if your company's needs are not limited to the coverage of a particular process, you will have to use several tools. The multiplication of these solutions presents many disadvantages, even some risks.

First of all, for each solution you choose, you will have to pay your subscription, finance its implementation, and interfacing with your other systems. You will also have to manage new contracts and establish relationships with each vendor.

Also, each solution will have to be maintained and managed individually: support will naturally be more complex.

Nothing assures that the different systems will be compatible, which could impact information communication and data integrity. By working on multiple systems, you risk not having access to aggregated data. As a result, information will not be shared or limited:

  • Your teams will work in silos.
  • The reports obtained will be incomplete.
  • It will be challenging to get a global view of your results.

Suppose the solutions do not use common baselines. It would become impossible for HR decision-makers to obtain a consolidated view, allowing them to build and support a global and coherent HR strategy.

Finally, in the event of non-compatibility between solutions, or partial interfacing, you will be faced with the obligation to re-enter information. As a result, the risk of data loss, alteration or duplication will increase exponentially, threatening the security of your data.


1. The benefits

Unlike the Best of Breed, HRIS are complete software, integrating several modules into a single system. In addition, many HRIS publishers offer à-la-carte solutions, allowing companies to choose only the modules they need while adjusting to the evolution of their challenges.

In the case of new projects, the relationship between the company and the publisher is already established. Both teams know each other: the implementation of new modules is facilitated. Software publishers can also support companies' projects and accompany them in their development: the relationship between an HRIS publisher and its customer is long-term.

Furthermore, by offering a single portal, global HRIS often allow for better adoption of the tool by employees by accompanying them throughout their career in the company, from the recruitment phase, and then during their various HR procedures (vacations, interviews, training, etc.)

Global HRIS also allow teams to save time. Everything is found in a single tool, from employment contracts to leaves, including work accidents, maintenance campaigns, or training. In addition, data is shared between the different modules, eliminating the need for re-entry.

The centralization of information from different teams also allows you to obtain a 360° vision of your performance. Your departments share this data and communicate more easily. You receive complete and quality reports with consolidated and up-to-date data, facilitating decision-making.

Finally, it is essential to note that global HRIS also reinforce the security of your internal data. All your sensitive information is stored and secured in one place, not in several individual databases. Since access rights are managed in a single tool, the teams' tools dedicated to data security are greatly simplified.

2. The disadvantages

As HRIS are complete solutions, offering a broad functional scope, some of their modules may not provide the most advanced functionalities on the market. Therefore, in certain sectors or for specific processes, the use of best-of-breed expert solutions may be necessary.

Moreover, HR digitalization is not only a technological project but also, and above all, an organizational project. Implementing a global HRIS often forces companies to harmonize processes, which can cause delays in your implementation project. On the other hand, this reflection naturally improves the coherence of the HR policy at the level of the entire company.

Also, the high level of customization offered can lead to delays in adaptation within your teams at the time of implementation. Remember to give your teams time to adapt, train them and do not hesitate to contact your editor to help you in this process.


Before choosing one of the types of solutions for your company, carry out a global strategic reflection on structuring your information systems.

The choice of your solution will depend on many criteria, including the size of your company, its organization, the complexity of your processes or the possibilities of expansion and evolution in the years to come.

To help you think strategically and choose the information system that offers the most benefits for your company, download the free guide HOW TO CHOOSE AN HRIS.