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The 10 Best HR Software for Small Business

By Christopher Jan Benitez Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Christopher Jan Benitez Reviewed By Mike Lucas

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to use human resource (HR) software for small business. Not only does it make life more convenient for your employees, it helps you focus on other aspects of the business by automating routine tasks that take up most of your day.

This software can even reduce your overhead costs since you won’t need as many employees handling your HR needs.

Whether you go for free HR software for startups or paid alternatives, it only makes sense to subscribe to an HR platform.

Let’s take a look at the importance of HR applications for small business. We’ll also list the 10 best online HR software available today.

A tablet screen shows the profiles of several employees.

What Is HR Management Software?

What are the key functions of HR software?

It can do several things. It can store employee data, create workflows and handle time tracking. It also does employee onboarding and offboarding. You can use it to administer benefits and track the performance of individuals.

More importantly, the software should generate reports that you could use to analyze your progress. You need this information to assess what your next steps should be.

If you’re using web-based HR software, it should store all of your data online. This means less paperwork to store in the office.

Aside from automation, there are other benefits to using cloud HR software: 

  • It prevents human errors. 
  • Your analytics will be more consistent. 
  • You’ll have better employee documentation. 
  • And it makes it easier to comply with government regulations.

In a case study released by Diceus, a company saw a 50% increase in employee satisfaction after using  HR management software. The business also reduced its paperwork burden by 3 times.

How to Choose the Right Small Business HR Software

There are different factors to consider. More than price, you should take a closer look at any bottlenecks that may affect how you run your HR department.

If your traditional, internal HR system starts getting disorganized, then it’s time to upgrade to a software solution. The same can be said if you’re still using spreadsheets to manage your employees.

Here are some important points to consider when choosing HR systems for small business:

  • Make sure it’s user-friendly. Can your HR personnel handle the system? Have your team test it before purchase.
  • Ask your team what it needs. They know what’s best for your company as far as HR requirements go.
  • Figure out how accessible the software is. You never know when you’ll need access to certain information. Having the ability to view records while on the go is important.
  • Find customizable software. Every company is different. So, you want software that you can configure based on your needs.
  • Look for cloud storage. While it’s good to store important documents locally, there are advantages to storing data in the cloud. Look for software that can do that.

What Is the Best HR Software for Small Business?

Here’s our roundup of the 10 best human resource management software for small business.

1. BambooHR

BambooHR is a simple-to-use human resources software program.

BambooHR is a simple-to-use software program that provides administrators the tools they need to keep your office running while enabling your employees’ self-service features. Having self-service access means your people can file leave requests, access company documents, and edit their personal information in your database.

This software also is great for finding applicants, thanks to its Applicant Tracking System (ATS). It lets the HR department collaborate with all concerned parties in your company. You can receive inputs at every stage of the hiring process. And when you’re ready, you can send offers through the system.

There are 2 plans to choose from BambooHR: Essentials and Advantage. The former includes HR management, employee self-service and customer support (email and Customer Success Webinar Library only) services. The Advantage plan has everything the Essentials plan has plus hiring and onboarding, advanced components and employee satisfaction services.

Pros

  • It’s very inclusive as it lets you collaborate with other team members when hiring new employees.
  • It’s effortless to use.
  • It allows you to manage your employee’s leave requests.

Cons

  • The mobile app that comes with BambooHR isn’t as good as some competitors.
  • It’s got a limited reporting feature.
  • There’s no in-house payroll processing.

2. CezanneHR

CezanneHR is a great fit for companies that are on the verge of expanding their teams.

CezanneHR is a great fit for companies that are on the verge of expanding their teams. There are built-in features for training and development. You can file disciplinary actions..

More importantly, there are tools available that will help with your payroll.

Because CezanneHR is modular, you can set what tools you need. And this platform abides by local laws and compliance regulations. It’s the ideal HR solution for companies that want to expand their teams in other countries since it can handle multiple languages.

This HR software requires you to pay for an adjustable monthly subscription depending on the modules you’ve used and your headcount from the previous month. It’s best to get a quotation with its customer support to get a better understanding of how you’ll be billed every month.

Pros

  • It can handle employee files and organization charts.
  • It can support up to 10 languages.
  • It’s great for managing benefits and payroll.

Cons

  • The user interface is rigid and difficult to customize to match your brand.
  • It lacks flexibility in some cases, such as in its filtering options.
  • There are reports that the server can be slow at times.

3. Deputy

Deputy is the solution if your main problem is scheduling and timesheets.

Deputy is the solution if your main problem is scheduling and timesheets. It lets you manage your employee time-off requests, track attendance and synchronize timesheets and payroll.

Its simple user interface means anyone in your office shouldn’t have any issues using the software. There also are different customization options and integrations. If you ever run into issues, there is 24/7 support available.

There’s an app for both Android and iOS users so you can do HR tasks from anywhere.

If you wish access to the software’s employee scheduling and auto-scheduling, sign up for its Scheduling plan. On the other hand, the Time & Attendance plan lets you use the timesheets and payroll integration features.

Each plan costs $2.50 a month. But if you want to use both, sign up for the Premium plan at $4.50 a month.

Pros

  • It has a pleasant user interface.
  • It’s got apps so you can work while on the go.
  • It has third-party integrations available.

Cons

  • It lacks some features that prevent it from being an overall HR solution.
  • There is no support for other languages.

4. GoCo

GoCo might be the best HR platform for small businesses.

GoCo might be the best HR platform for small businesses. It’s got everything that a small business might need to improve your workflow and documentation. You can enter your employee records, look at scheduled vacations and create timesheets. There are onboarding features as well.

If you’re using an existing payroll software, you can sync it with GoCo. If you’re using an existing payroll software, you can sync it with GoCo or Execupay. You also can enable notifications of upcoming birthdays of team members and holidays by integrating it with Slack.

If you’re looking for a simple HR tool or a first-time HR software user, GoCo might be the right platform for you. For $5 a month per employee, you also give workers the ability to manage and apply for benefits and convert documents into online forms, among other matters.

Pros

  • It’s got a great onboarding feature.
  • You can customize your plan based on your needs.
  • It’s easy to set up an account.

Cons

  • It lacks features like payroll management.
  • The document templates aren’t as customizable as some users would like.

5. Gusto

Gusto is one of the best HR software programs for payroll.

Gusto is one of the best HR software programs for payroll. It can handle direct deposit and check payments for all of your employees.

But that isn’t all. It also does insurance, 401(k), commuter benefits and more. It’s also a company that is open about its pricing. There are 4 plans to choose from, with the most affordable being the Core plan at $6 a month per employee in addition to the $39 base price.

There’s a feature called Gusto Wallet in which employees can track, save and access their money using an app.

Pros

  • It’s a fantastic solution for payroll management.
  • It’s got a really clean interface.
  • It can run in all 50 states.

Cons

  • There’s no time tracking in the cheapest plan offered.
  • It could use more software integrations.

6. JazzHR

JazzHR is really good at recruitment matters.

JazzHR is really good at recruitment matters. It’s focused on tracking applicants and interview management. You can use it to publish job openings on sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor. And when you’re ready, you can manage the scheduled interviews through the platform.

With JazzHR, you can perform candidate sourcing, employer branding, interviews and reporting. It also has a collaborative hiring feature so all concerned parties can get involved.

When you sign up for an account, you get unlimited jobs and users — meaning you don’t have to pay on a per-person basis. With prices starting at $39 a month for posting 3 jobs max (additional jobs cost $9 each) and syndication, JazzHR is ideal for big teams looking to streamline their recruitment process.

Pros

  • It lets you publish jobs on multiple platforms.
  • You can customize the roles of employees.
  • It has an auto-reject feature for candidates that don’t meet your requirements.

Cons

  • Some features are complicated to use.
  • It doesn’t have a mobile app.

7. Namely

Namely is a great HR software for midsize companies.

Namely is a great HR software for midsize companies. It streamlines your payroll services and can help you with HR labor law compliance. If you’re migrating from an existing HR system, Namely will be more than happy to assist you with the whole process.

Employees should get a kick out of logging into Namely because of its social media-like interface. There’s no learning curve. They can get started right away. While logged in, they can request time off and interact with other users.

For employers, Namely automates most of the work like maintaining payroll and benefits. It also promises that it won’t force users into upgrading since there is only a single version of Namely, and it gets updated frequently. Meaning all of its users get access to the same software.

Pros

  • It’s supported by a great community.
  • It has a comprehensive system in place.
  • Employees like logging into the system.

Cons

  • It isn’t ideal for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • It can be expensive for large businesses.

8. Paycor

Paycor is ideal for small businesses that need help streamlining their HR and payroll processes.

Paycor is ideal for small businesses that need help streamlining their HR and payroll processes. Its main selling point is its human capital management (HCM) software. This system can handle payroll, talent management (recruiting and onboarding), workforce management (time and attendance), employee experience (surveys and career management) and benefits.

It’s got everything you need in a small package.

Pros

  • The payroll feature is included in all plans.
  • Newbies won’t struggle while using this tool.
  • It’s a good option for companies with fewer than 40 employees.

Cons

  • Gathering data for time and attendance for reporting sometimes needs to be done manually.
  • The benefits administration features are limited.

9. Zenefits

Zenefits caters to employers who want great flexibility in their HR software.

Zenefits caters to employers who want great flexibility in their HR software. It has all the features that a small business might need. You can set onboarding and offboarding tasks. It can handle all of your HR-related paperwork. You can even perform background checks if necessary.

You can use a third-party payroll provider or use  the Zenefits payroll portal. You also can integrate apps such as Asana and Salesforce.

Zenefits is transparent in its pricing. The cheapest option is $8 per employee. If you want more functionality, you can purchase add-ons.

Pros

  • It’s packed with features.
  • The user interface is visually appealing.
  • Good onboarding process.

Cons

  • Customer support takes long to respond and doesn’t always provide straightforward answers to questions.
  • Some integrations need improvement.

10. Zoho People

Zoho People is an offshoot of Zoho Books, the company’s accounting software. It’s great at employee recordkeeping.

Zoho People is an offshoot of Zoho Books, the company’s accounting software. It’s great at employee recordkeeping. You can use it to track billable hours. There also is a tool that lets you manage employee shifts. That makes this software ideal for contractors and hourly workers.

It is basic, but if all you’re looking for is a simple tool to manage your employees, it’s more than up for the task.

You don’t get payroll management, though. That’s because Zoho has another product for that, the aforementioned Zoho Books. So, you’d have to invest in the whole ecosystem to get the most out of Zoho.

Pros

  • Organizes employee information effectively.
  • A good time tracking feature.
  • Works great for managing contractual employees.

Cons

  • Not ideal for onboarding tasks.
  • User experience could use some tweaks.
Christopher Jan Benitez Contributing Writer for Fast Capital 360
Christopher Jan Benitez is a contributing writer for Fast Capital 360. With over 13 years of writing experience, Chris specializes in the digital landscape and how it affects our experience. His work can be seen on Monitor Backlinks, DFY Links, Niche Pursuits and more.
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