The Best HR Software for Small Business

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BambooHR Screenshot

BambooHR

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(1)
BambooHR is a software with human resource management capabilities, especially in applicant tracking, employee onboarding, and performance management. It integrates with systems like NetSuite, Payroll Harmony, and TimeWorksPlus. BambooHR also provides a mobile hiring app, time tracking, and payroll features.
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$99/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Gusto Screenshot

Gusto

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(4)
Gusto is an online payroll and HR administration platform tailored primarily for startups and small businesses. The software simplifies payroll processing, benefits administration, and offers features like charitable giving, financial wellness tools, and a wallet for employee financial management.
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$40/month
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Xero Screenshot

Xero

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A contender against QuickBooks Online, Xero is a popular solution for its user-friendly interface, affordability, and unlimited users per subscription. It’s a cloud-based, double-entry accounting software that offers bank reconciliation, financial reporting, and basic invoicing and billing.
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$13/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
QuickBooks Online Screenshot

QuickBooks Online

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(46)
QuickBooks Online is the most popular financial software on the market. This cloud-based accounting solution enables tracking of sales and expenses, generating estimates, customer management, and seamless collaboration with external accountants.
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$30/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
JazzHR Screenshot

JazzHR

JazzHR is an applicant tracking and recruiting software for SMBs. The software lets you effortlessly streamline the entire recruiting process, from candidate sourcing, employer branding, interviews and assessments, compliance and reporting, and collaborative hiring. The software provides unlimited jobs and users—meaning you can say goodbye to a per user cost and limited channels. The solution can easily be used upon signup and is highly customizable. It can also integrate into other HR tools
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$39/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Namely Screenshot

Namely

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★★★★★
(3)
The Namely HR platform offers everything mid-sized businesses need to handle payroll, benefits, time tracking, and talent management. This software covers essential HR needs and compliance requirements in one place. Recruit, onboard, and manage employees; ensure they get paid; and offer perks to attract and retain them. With an open API, companies can pull all the employee data into the Namely platform, which means everything from an Applicant Tracking System to the 401(k) is in one place.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$9/employee/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Zoho People Screenshot

Zoho People

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(2)
Zoho People is a human capital management software offering essential HR functionalities and advanced features like performance and learning management systems. It integrates with the Zoho ecosystem and delivers customizable attendance, leave, and timesheet reporting. Zoho People also provides modules for time tracking, goal setting, and performance reviews.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$1.25/employee/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
EffortlessHR Screenshot

EffortlessHR

EffortlessHR is designed to provide HR software to small businesses. A complete HR management system in the cloud, this all-in-one web-based employee management solution offers everything you need to effectively run your small business. An employee portal makes it easier than every for employees to clock in and out while benefits and file storage make it easier to manage personnel. @youtube Online employee and personnel management; Employee portal; PTO tracking; Leave management; Online employee
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$39/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
TriNet HR Software Screenshot

TriNet HR Software

★★★★★
★★★★★
(2)
TriNet, formerly Zenefits, is an HR software. The platform allows businesses to manage the entire employee lifecycle, from recruiting to offboarding, and provides tools for HR compliance, people operations, and performance management. Key features include payroll, benefits enrollment, and employee onboarding. TriNet provides employees access to premium benefits typically available to larger organizations.
Client OS
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Freshteam Screenshot

Freshteam

★★★★★
★★★★★
(24)
Freshteam is an HR software that manages your hiring, onboarding, time-off, employee data, and HR workflows. This helps businesses find, interview, and hire great employees, connect and engage new hires, organize data, and track and approve time requests all from one platform. Applicant tracking helps create and post jobs, screen applicants, coordinate interviews, and collaborate over hiring decisions. Once hired, you can send out documents that need to be signed and distribute employee handbooks. Employee data can easily be input into the system and created into organizational charts.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$50/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ClearCompany Screenshot

ClearCompany

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(3)
ClearCompany is a talent management platform that provides applicant tracking, onboarding, performance management, and workforce planning and analytics. The complete HRMS and talent management software solution provides everything needed to hire, retain and engage more team players.
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
GoCo Onboarding Screenshot

GoCo Onboarding

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(2)
GoCo is an easy, paper-free new hire onboarding platform. This software automates your hiring and onboarding workflow so you can greet your next new-hire with a smile on the first day — instead of a stack of paperwork. By using GoCo’s employee onboarding software, you can send a customized offer letter with embedded e-signature and a benefits preview to potential hires to give them a clear view of their overall compensation and benefits package. Hiring and Onboarding : Start your new-hires off
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$5/employee/month
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
ADP Payroll Solutions Screenshot

ADP Payroll Solutions

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(2)
ADP Payroll Solutions provides better experience with HR and payroll in a modern, easy to use, all-in-one platform. Trusted by more than 900,000 clients, ADP has unmatched global experience in HR, payroll and compliance. From simple tools to full-service outsourcing, ADP offers a variety of solutions in accordance with your company size including: [[toc]] @youtube Automated payroll; Payroll tax filing; Deductions management; Employee schedule management; Compliance management solutions; Employee
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Paychex Flex Screenshot

Paychex Flex

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★★★★★
(3)
Paychex Flex is an online payroll software that provides quick and easy payroll processing. Paychex Flex is a cloud-based platform providing an integrated suite of services that manages payroll, reporting, and employee data. There is time and attendance, payroll, custom reports, and even HR benefits administration. Not only does Paychex Flex meet the needs of employers, but employees can manage 401k, view paystubs, and change details all from the mobile application. The software provides built-in safeguards, payroll tax calculations, a free mobile app, and reporting. The software lets users spend less time on data entry, improve accuracy, drive insights, and see the most important details about your payroll.
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Rippling Screenshot

Rippling

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★★★★★
(3)
Rippling is an all-in-one HR platform providing online payroll, benefits, and human resource management. The software helps unify employee data whether a business has 1 employee to 1,000 employees. It can also manage the IT involved with managing employees with app provisioning, single sign-on, passwords, and computer access.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$8/user/month
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Paylocity Screenshot
Paylocity is an online payroll and HCM solution. The single web-based platform can streamline payroll processes, automate daily HR tasks, improve the accuracy of time tracking, and more. Additionally, it offers a unified dashboard for handling HRIS, payroll, timekeeping, and admin tasks from a single location. Paylocity also integrates with various HR, business, or accounting systems.
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Paycor Screenshot

Paycor

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★★★★★
(3)
Paycor is a human capital management (HCM) software that provides cloud-based onboarding, HR, payroll, and timekeeping software capabilities. Paycor’s HCM platform modernizes every aspect of managing the people of a business, from the initial recruitment, retainment, and paying them via payroll. Paycor’s HCM software makes managing day-to-day operations easier via applicant tracking, reducing administrative tasks for open enrollment and benefits, to keeping an eye on payroll costs. It has modules offering custom reports, on-demand HR features, and timekeeping utilities.
Client OS
Web
Deployment
Cloud Hosted
Sage HRMS Screenshot

Sage HRMS

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★★★★★
(2)
Sage HRMS, formerly Abra, is an on-premise human resources management software. It streamlines HR processes by automating employee data management, ensuring compliance with government regulations, and providing decision support through analytics. Key features include payroll management, recruiting, compliance, time and attendance, benefits administration, paperless HR, and talent management.
Price Range
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   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
$1,600 (perpetual license)
Client OS
Windows, macOS
Deployment
On-Premises

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Buyer’s Guide

What is Small Business HR Software?

Large-scale human resource software is often meant to serve entire HR departments where each worker has specialized training and resources. Yet small businesses, from startups to decades old mom-and-pop shops, often have no dedicated HR staff. Instead, the owner handles everything from payroll to attendance tracking personally in addition to all their other duties.

Fortunately, small business HR software handles core features like employee record-keeping, regulatory compliance, time and attendance, payroll, and more. Some small business owners may feel their small number of employees means they can get by without human resource software. It’s understandable: if a company starts out with only 3 or 4 founders, why spend the limited budget on complicated software to cover what a spreadsheet can do? Yet there is no denying how valuable HR tools are in automating various HR processes, freeing up valuable time for business owners to focus on other aspects of running a company.

Of course, small businesses have different HR needs than enterprise-level corporations. For example, performance management systems are not as necessary if you don’t have to manage hundreds or thousands of employees. Small businesses will primarily want their software to focus on core HR functionality: payroll, time tracking, and benefits administration. Small business HR software offers exactly those features, along with some valuable add-ons for companies hoping to grow.

Features of Small Business HR Software

  • Employee information database: Build a directory of current and former employee profiles including personal information, job description, salary history, banking and tax details, contact information, and applicable benefits such as insurance enrollment, time off requests, and performance feedback
  • Recruiting: Instantly share job openings on various job board websites, then screen applicant resumes to find qualified candidates and use templates to send out official offer letters; use an applicant tracking system to organize CVs, resumes, and cover letters
  • Onboarding and training: Welcome new employees into the company with detailed training to familiarize them with all proper work procedures related to products and services
  • Time and attendance tracking: Report employee work time (either in real-time or after-the-fact) down to the minute for wage calculation; manage time off or vacation requests
  • Payroll: Manage employee compensation, including wage calculation and payroll tax management; then automate check printing or direct deposit for payday
  • Benefits administration: Streamline the employee enrollment process into benefit programs such as insurance; determine employee eligibility for select programs based on selected criteria

Best HR Software Benefits for Small Businesses

There are several useful benefits to utilizing an HR software at your small business. Learn how you can help your organization with:

More Time for Other Workflow

Running a small business is not easy, and often involves the owner wearing a lot of different hats to get the job done. Spending time on HR tasks can limit the time allocated for other, more important business processes. This is the key benefit for small businesses on the fence about paying for HR software: save time.

Another popular option among small businesses is to hire HR professionals, either as a full-time employee or a temporary consultant to clear up any HR-related backlog. While this can free up time, in the long run it will cost more money overall than installing a small business HR software which can automatically cover those processes.

For example, planning out employee vacations can take time when done manually. Double-checking each schedule to ensure there are no shortages takes time. And it’s actually harder when you only have a few employees who all want to take the same time off around certain holidays. Larger companies have enough workforce to cover these absences even at the last minute. HR software shows schedules simultaneously so it’s clear how much coverage your business will have even when employees are off work.

Faster Hiring Process

Many small businesses can experience high turnover, particularly if the work is seasonal. In order to stay ahead of hiring demands, HR software expedites the recruiting process so you can get new, qualified workers faster than ever before. Your job posting can detail exactly what you’re looking for in order to avoid wasting time on unqualified candidates.

HR software with recruiting tools helps you to reach more qualified candidates through online listings, social media, and job boards. As a small business, these online avenues can drastically widen your search parameters for the perfect candidate without increasing your outreach costs. Even if you are operating a single location in a small town, you can get your job openings seen by applicants in different cities or states.

JazzHR Recruiting Software
JazzHR lets you review multiple candidates simultaneously.

Better Onboarding and Training

Just because your corporate footprint is small doesn’t mean your workload is small. An owner or manager taking time out of their schedule to train new hires without a set plan can add up to big backlogs in other areas. Fortunately, HR software streamlines both onboarding and training so your new hires can start working sooner. From the moment an offer letter is sent to the first day on the job, you can control the entire process so new employees get the best experience possible.

These employee training and onboarding processes can make your workers more productive, allowing your small business to make a bigger impact. In fact, well-trained workers can directly lead to lower turnover, meaning you’re not scrambling to fill vacancies and can instead depend on your current employees for longer. If they feel like you care about their success beyond their basic job performance, they’ll care about the success of your business beyond earning a paycheck.

More Accurate Payroll

Another major advantage of small business HR software is the ability to accurately and efficiently calculate employee benefits, starting with payroll services. Time and attendance tracking modules allow you to know exactly how many hours an employee has put in during each pay period, leading to accurate payroll numbers for everyone on payday. Mobile apps accessible through self-service portals even allow the workers themselves to clock in and out from smartphones or tablets, useful for anyone who works outside of a traditional office setting. And individual employee data entered into the system can reflect different compensation rates based on factors like seniority.

For business owners, time really is money. Instead of wasting an entire day balancing employee payroll in a spreadsheet, let a software handle it. Simply input the necessary data taken from the time and attendance tracking module and let the software do the rest. Intuitive HR management software frees up even more time by being user-friendly and easy to navigate with minimal training for team members. As a bonus, digitizing your in-house HR processes cuts down on physical paperwork, freeing up more resources for other business needs.

Rippling Software
Control payroll with Rippling HR software.

Depending on where you live and operate your business, there are many different legal requirements for dispensing payroll and benefits administration. HR software helps you to keep track of these standards in order to remain compliant. For example, time tracking automatically records how many hours employees worked during a pay period. If someone is about to incur overtime, the system can ensure correct compensation based on legal guidelines. This goes beyond just payroll, as HR software can outline processes for handling employee terminations, family leave, and similar situations.

Use HR software to account for:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Then there are internal company policies to consider. Who qualifies for what benefits? A small business HR software can keep tabs on different policies to ensure the right employees are enrolled in the correct programs. Smooth running benefits administration keeps employees informed while waiting for insurance payments or work-related reimbursement.

Small Business HR Software Pricing

Due to limited budgets and financial resources, small businesses should look for HR software that makes them as efficient as possible at the most affordable price. Some SaaS plans charge per user, with options as low as $1 per month per employee. Others are charged monthly, with different payment tiers depending on the total number of employees. There are many customizable pricing options out there to best match your company’s budget and employee base.