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Sage is probably one of the largest companies in the HR industry. They have been in business since 1983 and have more than 6.1 million customers around the world. There are multiple solutions available for different industries. Sage is used by the healthcare, construction, real estate, automotive, and manufacturing industries, to name a few. Sage is also an international company, with its headquarters in the UK.

We found two different products that work well for small- and medium-sized businesses. Sage 50 is the product for small businesses, and takes care of payroll processing for different-sized companies. Sage HRMS is targeted for medium businesses. Generally, Sage sells its products in modules, with tier pricing available for up to 3,000 employees.

Another thing to know about Sage is that they have several sponsorships, including Formula One racing, sponsoring the Marussia F1 team.

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Sage HRMS Logo Sage HRMS ›




The Good

Sage offers a scalable payroll service for its small business customers. Sage 50, which handles payroll for small businesses, is affordable and scalable. We also liked the features of Sage HRMS, which included powerful third-party apps to handle payroll, hiring, training, and more.

Here is what we liked about Sage 50:

  • An affordable and scalable solution for small business, from 1-10 employees to 100+ employees.
  • Even if your small business has 100+ employees, your monthly cost will not be more than $45.
  • Sage 50 processes all tax forms, including W2s for your employees.
  • Sage 50 has access to more than 260 federal and state forms for your customers.

We found the Sage HRMS features to include the following:

  • Payroll Management and Processing
  • Recruiting and Onboarding.
  • Risk Mitigation and Compliance.
  • Time Management
  • Employee Benefits
  • Paperless HR
  • Talent Acquisition and Performance Management
  • Decision Support.

Sage's recruiting and onboarding easily lets your top applicants become key players within your company. The onboarding process includes assessments, documents, employee handbooks, and other integration tools for new employees. Risk mitigation and compliance features also let your hiring team make sure that key equal opportunity employment criteria are being met by your business, in addition to better understanding the demographics of your applicant pool.

In regards to talent management, Sage provides some good numbers about employee retention. Companies that use Sage's HRMS solution report:

  • 40% lower turnover.
  • 2x more revenue per employee.
  • 38% higher employee engagement.

Sage also has unrolled a great benefits management library. The library has information, for both business decision makers and employees, about the latest reforms available through the Affordable Care Act. The library also has a very low monthly cost.

We really liked that Sage has really embraced Open API. If you have a large business, you can enroll your partners in the Sage Development Program. This lets your company IT specialist download the SDK. Sage 50 and Sage HRMS are included in the Sage Development Partnership Program.

The Bad

Generally, our experience navigating the many different products and features of the HRMS and payroll platforms was an exercise in confusion. We had a hard time finding prices for different products and services. We also struggled to understand the modular approach to Sage's HR approach, as well as the mobile integrations that were available with the company. Also, there are many add-ons through third-party apps. To find out which third-party apps integrate with different Sage HRMS products, you have to visit a different webpage and select the specific Sage system that you want to buy.

We noticed that many Sage point-of-sale products let you easily process payments on your iPhone or iPad, but to use Sage's other products as a manager, you must use the Applianz third-party integration. Also, employee self-service with Sage is a little bit clunky at this time. We found out that your employees have to use their mobile device browser, only with HTML and Java-Script functionality.

Overall, we had a hard time understanding Sage's modular approach because of the website layout. Here are some things that we struggled with on the website:

  • Sage 50 and Sage HRMS are different products, but Sage HRMS has payroll-processing add-ons.
  • On the product description page, there were footnotes that describe the Sage 50 payroll system, including the types of forms available through Sage 50.
  • We had to navigate to an outside web page,, to better understand the third-party integrations available with Sage's HRMS system.

Another issue that we found with Sage 50 and Sage HRMS is that the user interface is a little bit clunky. On the Sage application, you will find:

  • Several easy-to-navigate tabs, which is not a problem.
  • Confusing codes, which create a steep learning curve for payroll processing.
  • Multiple forms and boxes that are not easily explained.

Essentially, this translates into a very steep learning curve for your HR management department.

Finally, to round off our list, we feel that Sage is not very transparent in its pricing. We were able to find pricing for Sage 50, but Sage HRMS contains several modules and third-party apps that increase the cost of using this HRMS platform.

The Bottom Line

Due to the complexity of the Sage HRMS paradigm, we cannot recommend them as a solution for small- to medium-sized businesses. We feel that the complexity of their HR product creates a steep learning curve for a small business HR team. We had to phone-in to find the Sage 50 prices for small businesses that wanted to use the company's payroll services. We also couldn't find prices for the multiple layers of modules and third-party apps that can be added to the Sage HRMS system.

We do feel that Sage HRMS is a good investment for large- and enterprise-level businesses. Sage's powerful array of integrations and SDK development program can help construction, healthcare, and manufacturing businesses better streamline their recruitment, retention, and human recruitment efforts.


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