Insight |

Why choose specialized HR software over all-in-one?

Why choose specialized HR software over all-in-one?

Why choose specialized HR software over all-in-one?

Insight |

Why choose specialized HR software over all-in-one?

Why choose specialized HR software over all-in-one?
Choosing new HR software can be daunting – especially when you're trying to solve specific workforce challenges you have today and future-proof your people and culture strategy for tomorrow. Not only will investing in new software affect your bottom line, but it's also going to have a major impact on the way you "do" HR, how your managers lead their teams, and various aspects of the employee experience.

That being said, when it comes to new HR software, how do you choose between one system that natively ‘does it all’ and multiple specialized tools that feed into one platform?

Best-of-breed demystified

Put simply, a best-of-breed HR system combines specialized tools (usually in the form of integrations through an API) into one HR platform – it’s easily tailored to your organization’s requirements so you get a best-fit solution for your workforce with the “best of the best” features you need (and none of those that you don’t).

Compare this to an all-in-one system that tends to include absolutely everything you could want from your HR software but is a more “one-size-fits-all” solution without the level of customization you get from best-of-breed.

The problem

Picture this: You’ve got many fires burning when it comes to your HR strategy, everyday processes, and leading business decisions from a people and culture perspective. You need help – and fast. Beyond drowning in onboarding and being swamped around performance review time – not to mention those reporting nightmares (you have how many spreadsheets open?) – there are daily challenges all the way through from recruitment to offboarding. With so many HR hurdles to overcome, you want to solve them all. Sound familiar?

The best place to start is finding a solution that actually solves each and every one of your problems. Otherwise, you’re just buying a big, fancy Swiss-army knife that’s great at cutting bread but useless at hammering nails.

We’re talking about finding the right tool for the job; one that makes it easier to get all of your work done – so you can focus on achieving your objective – without extra complications.

Choosing a system that “does it all” (without focusing on each unique challenge) means you might get stuck with even bigger problems; stuck with a behemoth of a new system that’s a “jack of all trades but a master of none”. Sure, it may be able to tick most of your boxes, but can it provide a comprehensive solution to your nuanced issues? And what’s the alternative to this all-in-one system?

Experts recommend the best-of-breed approach. Here’s what they have to say:

The solution

When Josh Bersin, Deloitte and almost all of the HR tech-experts agree on an approach, usually there’s a good reason. That approach? Best-of-breed HR.

All-in-one HR technology solutions have a secret; they often struggle to deliver on what they promise. The world’s biggest HR tech expert, Josh Bersin, who previously lead Deloitte’s elite HR Division and now operates as his own brand of HR technology and HR consulting, authored this article about HR Tech’s dirty little secret. In it, Bersin illustrates why Best of Breed HR Software is the strategy organizations are using today to successfully move forward. His words, not ours.

Why? The Big Redesign: From Process to Eexperience

We understand, it can be tempting to look at ‘1 system to do it all’; it feels like it should simplify things. In some ways, it probably would. Time and time again, we talk with HR teams who opted for a platform that ‘does everything’, but then found expectations and reality were oceans apart.

Why experts suggest a best-of-breed approach

Best of Breed vs All in One



Most all of one-in-one vendors are made up of different systems acquired over time and hobbled together = systems not made to talk with each other

This means ‘integrated’ often doesn’t work like advertised; their integrations require the same amount of work if not more than best-of-breed HR solutions. = integration process same for both approaches

Made-for-purpose Best-of-Breed integrations must work well – Best-of-breed systems can’t stand-alone and hence must integrate well to survive = better integrations

Best of breed prioritize integrations with the best HR technology in each space, ensuring they can work with diverse ecosystems via API’s = more flexibility of choice

Vendor Support

Doing everything means specializing in nothing; the support you get from all-in-one vendors can’t be as good as specialists = higher level of support

Best-of-breed tools mean best-of-breed support in each domain; like getting free, specialist consulting, rather than just a general consultant = specialty consulting

It’s in the interest of Best-of-breed vendors to empower your success; much easier to switch away from them than an incumbent, all-in-one solution. = better support


All-in-one solutions require long-staged implementations with one vendor =longer, more complex implementations

Best-of-breed implementations are smaller, more focused and can be plugged in when needed =on your timeline, not theirs


Best-of-breed solutions are much easier to swap out if they aren’t working = not locked into a system that is not delivering

Making sense so far? Check out this map below, we put it together so you can understand where intelliHR would fit in your Best of Breed HR Ecosystem.

Best of Breed Ecosystem

What does Best-of-breed mean for you?

We believe that technology should fit around you and your situation, not the other way around. That you should get solutions to problems, not systems for the system’s sake. Technology that drives tangible business outcomes and helps you perform your role better.

This means choosing tools that are best-of-breed, purpose-built. Tools that work.

intelliHR’s value comes from being a best-of-breed HR platform with long-term, strategic solution. This means you can keep intelliHR and plug in other tools you need as needs arise – knowing intelliHR will stay as your rock, your single source of truth for all people data.

And for the other systems? We’ll share our knowledge and help you find the right tool for the job. To build an ecosystem that works for your organization.

So how do I choose other systems?

Here are some expert guides to help you find systems that actually solve your unique challenges:

Recruitment – ATS –

Learning – LMS –

Payroll –

How intelliHR stacks up

Capterra comparisons
GatApp comparison


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