Criterion HCM Review

Criterion HCM
Norwalk, CT
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Criterion HCM At A Glance

Good: Self-service portal can be accessed via mobile apps and supports integration with time-management and biometric devices.
Bad: Criterion HCM doesn't focus on large or enterprise-level customers.
Bottom Line: Cloud-based, all-in-one platform targeting mid-sized companies with extensive modules and features.

Product Overview

Criterion HCM is a comprehensive human resource management system (HRMS) that simplifies and organizes the entire employment lifecycle with a single, unified database. Targeting mid-sized companies (200 to 2,500 employees), the vendor offers tools to help HR departments focus on strategy instead of administrative issues. Criterion HCM includes four modules:

  • Human resources
  • Talent engagement
  • Time and attendance
  • Payroll

Criterion HCM has several benefits, such as:

  • Improved accuracy, timeliness and integrity of workforce data
  • Reduced costs due to simplified, streamlined and automated HR tasks
  • Greater efficiency in recruitment, performance reviews, and learning and development
  • Expanded applicant pool and identification of higher-quality candidates
  • More strategic, data-driven HR decision making by managers and employees

One element of Criterion HCM that stands out is its employee self-service portal, which is accessible online or through iOS and Android apps. Employees can:

  • View messages, communities, attendance history, payroll, and assigned tasks and coursework on their personalized dashboard,
  • Enter their own start and finish times,
  • Allocate time to a specific department or job, and
  • Request time off.

In addition, the self-service portal supports automatic data entry from timecards, key fobs, kiosks and biometric time-clock devices without any additional software to install.


Criterion HCM has four modules with the following features:

Human resources

  • Centralized database of employee contact information, benefits, compensation, performance reviews and payroll
  • Benefits management, tracking and letter creation tools that automatically sync with payroll
  • Ability to generate reports on training costs per employee, financial planning and EEO-1
  • Employee self-service portal
  • Administrator dashboard to view and control employee records and settings, upcoming events and responsibilities, payroll, workflows, coursework, performance, approvals and key performance indicators

Talent engagement

  • Applicant tracking tools, such as an online career portal and job postings
  • Onboarding modules that can create and distribute employee records, define organizational units and update positions
  • Customizable forms that fields that employees can autofill with information from the database
  • Tools to assign, track, notify and verify workflows and business processes
  • Learning management software that can be integrated with live or on-demand training courses and certifications
  • Performance review templates that offer rating scales, review periods, weighted competencies and goals, assigned workflows, required signature, approval and rejection, and assessment functions

Time and attendance

  • Scheduling tools to manage employee shifts
  • Reports with detailed job and labor distribution information
  • Mobile application with secure login, GPS and access to the self-service portal


  • Automatic identification of employees to be paid and mass entry of payment information
  • Ability to post hours by multiple job categories, including job type, job class, department and group
  • Tax automation and electronic filing on the federal, state and local levels
  • Integration with time clocks, networked card swipes, key fobs, kiosks and biometric devices

Target Market

Criterion HCM targets mid-sized companies internationally, especially in the finance, legal, technology and government sectors. Several of its customers include:

  • Bank Hapoalim
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Delta Constructors
  • Elevanta
  • HIV Alliance
  • Idaho Supreme Court
  • Lebanese Red Cross
  • Oregon Research Institute
  • Pepper Construction Group

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Because Criterion HCM is a cloud-based platform, implementation time is shorter than traditional on-premise solutions. Its modules can be integrated with existing HRMS and payroll management systems and white labeled with a customer’s designs and logos.

The platform can also be integrated with time clocks, networked card swipes, key fobs, kiosks and biometric devices without any additional software to install.

Customer Service & Support

Users can reach customer support through an online support portal or on the phone between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.


Criterion HCM doesn’t publicly disclose pricing information. Please contact the vendor directly for a quote.


The vendor targets mid-market customers and may not be the best choice for large or enterprise-level customers.


Criterion Screenshot 1
Criterion Screenshot 2
Criterion Screenshot 3


Criterion has been focused on the needs of mid-sized companies since it was founded in 1984. The company is committed to delivering the best software user experience, functionality and value for its clients.

In 2014, the vendor rebranded from PerfectSoftware to Criterion. In the past, it’s received awards from the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 and Connecticut Innovation Summit.

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Excellent Program for HR Teams and Employees

on 2020-12-12 09:20:56

We have been using CriterionHCM as our HRIS since October 2017. We selected the software for four main reasons:
1. Value for the money. The price fit our budget, but we don't feel we've sacrificed features and value.
2. It is built for HR needs versus what we were using, a payroll system with some HR components.
3. Features such as carrier-connect, ACA reporting, open enrollment, workers' compensation case tracking, and employee job history, to only name a few.
4. User-friendliness. We wanted a system that is user friendly and mostly intuitive. In general, CriterionHCM provides that.

After over three years of using the program, here are some observations on it:
1. It provides one-stop shopping for the information we need on our employees.
2. We can give our organization's leaders ready access to information they should have access to by creating tailored security settings that allow us to create profiles for each leadership level.
3. Criterion is responsive to consumer input. We have made suggestions for improvement, which they have either implemented or have planned for future implementation.
4. They have not "nickeled and dimed" us on special requests we've made. They worked with our payroll provider and us on integrating our PTO request feature with our employees' timesheets. They did so with no charge to us. They also created an Annual Benefits Statement that we send to our employees to show them the true value of their compensation package. We can initiate this statement with the click of a few buttons. When we used to do this manually, it took roughly 80 labor hours to complete. It now takes only minutes to produce it. They charged us a nominal fee to program this for us, but it was less than a quarter of the labor hours' cost to produce the report only once.
5. The Employee Self Service feature works very well for the needs of our employees.
6. Compared to other software programs we use, the support is very good. Their online support request system is easy to use and follow. We have an individual assigned to work with our support requests. That is helpful because the continuity of having someone already familiar with your needs helps with getting it solved sooner.

1) It has been three years since we implemented the system, so this may have improved. We didn't always understand what they were looking for in the upload data spreadsheets. Our implementation specialist was very patient with some reworks that had to be done because we didn't understand how it all fit together.
Even though they did not rush implementation, the initial training for our HR staff felt rushed. They did compensate for that by recording each session for us to go back to. The current online knowledge base provided for the different features is a plus and has improved quite a bit since we first started using the program.
2) They have made great strides in the reporting features. Many ready-made reports can be tailored to your needs (e.g., leave off SSN or other columns that don't apply). However, when one has a unique report one wishes to build, he/she can use the Data Grid feature. It works very well for most reporting needs. If one needs to cross information from other modules, the only way to build a report is by using SQL. If you know SQL, it isn't a problem. If you don't, you need to get their support team to build it for you. This is where their support is excellent. Thus far, they have built those reports for me quickly and without charge, but I do not have immediate access because of my lack of SQL writing abilities.

Julie Kellman
Rating: 5
5 /5 stars

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    User: 50%
  • Ease of Use
    User: 50%
  • Ease of Implementation
    User: 50%
  • Support
    User: 50%

Flexible, Accommodating and Responsive and the Software Works, too.

on 2020-12-07 18:23:54

My organization needed a special integration and Criterion was the only vendor who would help us. Mind you, I considered 23 vendors including all the major players and was turned down 22 times. Every time we have an issue we get to call or email with a real person, and we get a prompt response from that real person every time. Their continuous improvement process is wonderful because they actually listen to their customers and respond accordingly. To date they have delivered everything we requested. By the way, the system works well, too, and is rarely down so my end users never have any issues accessing what they need. They are small AND mighty.