It’s easy to overlook HR as a small-business owner. It’s not as interesting as business activities that focus on revenue or growth, and having an HR department isn’t required by law.
Even organisations with a small number of employees, however, have HR responsibilities.
And if you don’t do things efficiently, they can suck up a lot of your time.
HR software is quite beneficial. These solutions help you develop HR processes and automate important functions for a small monthly charge. You’ll spend a lot less time on them and a lot more time on the work you actually want to do.
The instruments are also effective. In a 2020 survey conducted by PWC, 74% of employers said they want to boost expenditure on HR technology. The most significant advantages they provide are increased productivity, workforce insights, and improved employee experience.
This post will cover ten of the most effective HR tools for small enterprises. I’ll also go over why you might need one and what to look for while making your decision.
The Best HR Software For Small Business
The best small business HR tools that I’ll explore in this article are listed below. Each tool includes everything you’ll need to get started.
I’ve included a lot of free solutions for small businesses that only need the essentials. Paid products, on the other hand, provide greater support, a cleaner interface, and more complex functionality.
Criteria for evaluating small business HR software
What criteria do I use to choose the best HR platforms for small businesses? The following is a list of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI): In any software, the user experience is critical. The best tools feature a simple user interface that is easy to use on both mobile and desktop.
Usability: Small business HR systems must be user-friendly so that anyone may utilise them. Documentation and excellent customer service might also be beneficial.
Integrations: Using other technologies to automate chores is a great way to save time.
When you create an employee profile, you might set up an integration that automatically adds users to a Slack channel. Alternatively, one that connects your payroll and accounting software.
Small organisations typically do not have large funds for HR software solutions. The tools on this list are either inexpensive or completely free.
Key Features of HR Software for Small Businesses
A complete set of complex human resources functionality isn’t required for small businesses.
Consider your business needs when selecting HR software, and select a product that excels in these areas. This allows you to acquire the workforce management capabilities you require without paying too much.
Payroll automation is the one HR function that every company must deal with. Payroll automation tools allow you to create procedures that collect information about hours worked and then make payments with a single click.
Self-service: Self-service allows your staff to do simple HR activities on their own. They can, for example, generate pay stubs without contacting anyone at your business. This allows your team members to rapidly obtain what they require, while you save time on these activities.
Attendance monitoring system: These capabilities allow you to keep track of who is working and when they are working. It can be linked to payroll tools to automate payment and provides visibility into future staffing concerns.
Hiring management: If your small business is rapidly expanding, hiring management tools are essential. These allow you to post job adverts on job boards and social media sites, collect applications, and manage candidates.
Onboarding and offboarding: Setting up automated employee onboarding and offboarding workflows is another useful tool for small but developing businesses. Simply make a list of everything employees need to accomplish before they begin, offer them a link to your tool, and they may do the tasks on their own.
The 10 Best HR Software For Small Businesses: An Overview
Here’s a quick rundown of each SMB HR software, including its greatest use case, notable features, and screenshots of the user interface.
The majority of the products operate on a SaaS model, which means you pay a monthly business to access them. There are also some free and self-hosted choices available.
1. Eddy – Best all-in-one HR software for local businesses with deskless workers
Monday.com is an excellent bargain for small businesses because it can automate a variety of data collecting activities, depending on what you require. It’s quick and easy to migrate your data to their system, with 200+ pre-built templates to pick from, including the ability to upload data from existing Excel spreadsheets. After you’ve completed the setup, you may view your data in a variety of graphic styles, including bar and line graphs, pie charts, and Gantt charts. Small firms, especially those with limited or no specialised HR help, will benefit greatly from their current templates for recruiting, onboarding, and HR service requests. It can, however, be used for a variety of additional tasks, such as arranging company events, tracking sales leads, managing external contractors, and tracking learning and development.
Monday’s system also offers configurable automations to decrease easy and repetitive administrative activities, as well as Forms that collect data and feed it into dashboards in real time.
Monday interacts with a variety of communication and productivity platforms, including Google Drive, LinkedIn, Slack, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, Zoom, Zapier, and others, to help you improve your internal procedures. Monday.com offers a free forever account (with limited functionality) for two users for very small organisations. Aside from that, their paid service levels start at $8 per user each month, with a free 14-day trial.
2. Open HMRS – Best open source human resources software
Eddy is an all-in-one HR suite designed specifically for small and local organisations.
Businesses may use Eddy to hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees with just one piece of software.
Eddy, which was founded in 2017 by Travis Hansen, a former professional basketball player who turned entrepreneur, has developed quickly thanks to its simple yet strong product, excellent customer service, and concentration on small businesses with deskless workforces.
Job posting administration, candidate tracking, and a full-fledged applicant tracking system are all key elements (ATS). HR managers may use the onboarding system to generate bespoke onboarding packages, assign assignments, and gather digital signatures quickly.
Users can browse company directories and save critical personnel documentation, performance notes, and training and certifications in employee profiles, which is a core component of Eddy. You can also use Eddy’s full-service payroll system, which includes support for multiple pay periods and end-of-year W-2 preparation, filing, and distribution, to create custom PTO policies and approve or deny requests; use their time tracking tool, which allows employees to easily clock in and out; and navigate payroll processes using Eddy’s full-service payroll system, which includes support for multiple pay periods and end-of-year W-2 preparation, filing, and distribution.
3. Bitrix24 – Best free web-based solution
Open HRMS is a piece of open source HR software with a lot of essential features for small enterprises. You’ll find tools to assist you handle things like attendance, vacation, transfers, payroll, and appraisals.
I like how the product is split into components so you may tailor it to your own needs.
This keeps you from being overburdened with features that aren’t necessary for your business’s size. Small firms have distinct HR needs than larger businesses, so organising the tool this way makes a lot of sense. You can always add more features later on if you require them.
The programme is free and open source. This means you can use it for free to download, install, and manage it on your own server.
4. HR.My – Best completely free HR software
Small firms can use Bitrix24, a web-based HR system. The software has a lot of capabilities that are handy for businesses who don’t have a huge HR department. An employee directory, time and attendance functions, and document management are also included.
The self-service HR site is one of my favourite features. Employees can utilise it to access basic HR functions without having to speak with an HR representative. Workflows for vacation requests and business travel permits, for example, are set up.
Bitrix24’s essential capabilities are free to use, which may be all that small enterprises require.
Pricing ranges from $0 to $159 per month if you require dedicated HR features. All options allow for an infinite number of users (also a bonus for SMBs).
5. SnapHRM – Best free solution for businesses with under 5 employees
Because it is absolutely free, mine stands apart. You get unlimited storage, access to all services, and the ability to add as many employees as you want without paying a price.
Because it’s a cloud-based application, you can use it from anywhere and don’t have to bother about upkeep or setup.
The catch is that the free edition is sponsored by advertisements. Although the commercials have no effect on functionality, they can be annoying. If you’d rather turn them off, you may do so by making a monthly $5 donation to the tool’s Kickstarter campaign. When you make this donation, you’ll also get an extra 3500 MB of file storage.
HR features are included in the software. You receive payroll, which keeps track of salaries and bonuses and generates payslips; a time clock and attendance system, which keeps track of when workers work; leave management, which ensures you’re never short-staffed; and expense reporting, which keeps track of how employees spend company money.
Many of the capabilities allow you to construct automated approval workflows to save time.
When someone files an expense, for example, the software will alert you so that you can accept or reject it.
6. Fingercheck – Best for HR automation
SnapHRM is a cloud-based HR management software that includes all of the essential HR functions you’ll need to manage your team. You can handle payroll, track attendance, manage vacation, and more by creating an employee database.
The recruitment management system is a fantastic feature. It enables you to create job posts that you can then share on third-party platforms in order to stimulate interest in your position. Then, by making shortlists and arranging interviews, you may take applicants through the hiring process. If your business is small but developing, this is a fantastic tool to have.
For organisations with fewer than five employees, SnapHRM is entirely free. This plan gives you full access to all features but no live support. Pricing for businesses with more than 50 employees is still reasonable, beginning at $8 per month.
7. Bright HR – Best vacation planner & PTO tracker
Fingercheck is an HR solution with a robust feature set that includes software for recruiting, payroll processing, scheduling, onboarding, and expenditure management.
Onboarding is critical to employee success, as any HR professional will tell you, and Fingercheck excels in this area. It allows you to construct onboarding sequences for new workers to follow when they start working for your organisation.
You can upload appropriate paperwork and the tool will generate all of the documents you need for compliance. The mobile app can be used to complete the entire onboarding process, including signing forms. You may also use the dashboard as a manager to keep track of progress.
Fingercheck works with QuickBooks and Gusto, two third-party accounting programmes.
This keeps your finances and HR in sync. The monthly cost is $8 per employee, plus a $39 subscription charge.
8. Sapling – Best for SMB scalability
Bright HR is a user-friendly human resource management software. It includes solutions tailored to the markets of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
A list of your employees can be found on the employee hub. It’s simple to establish new member profiles and assign them to the appropriate team. Each employee profile includes all relevant information, such as salary, role, yearly leave, and absences.
There’s also a useful calendar feature. You’ll be able to check who has upcoming leave in this section, allowing you to plan ahead. You may also make rotas for each employee to see who is working at what time. It’s simple to make the rota public, and the tool will notify relevant staff when you do so.
There’s also granular reporting, a free software that tracks and approves costs, and a free app that automatically reports when people clock in and out. The basic package for BrightHR starts at $4.08 (£3) per employee each month.
9. Gusto – Best for freelance payroll accountants
Sapling is an HR application that is ideal for small yet rapidly growing businesses. It can work with a variety of different apps, including Google Drive, Slack, Asana, and Xero. This implies that if you need to switch systems as your business grows, Sapling is likely to be able to handle it.
There are elements in the tool that allow you to construct procedures and workflows for many HR functions. You can, for example, develop an onboarding workflow for new hires to follow. Simply provide them the link, and they’ll be able to complete the entire procedure online without needing to contact HR. It saves time for your team and guarantees that employees complete duties on schedule.
Sapling also provides tools for tracking time off, payroll, employee administration, and offboarding. It doesn’t list prices, but you may get an estimate by contacting the company.
Sapling’s onboarding module starts at $4.92 per user per month, and the full core HRIS experience starts at $6.99 per user per month for 100 users.
10. Gusto – Best for freelance payroll accountants
Gusto is a user-friendly HR management software. It includes all of the necessary tools.
You can use time tracking software to track paid and unpaid absences, or you can set up payroll to rapidly arrange and authorise payments. Meanwhile, the benefits administration tools assist you in establishing employee savings, health, and pension plans.
The concierge service is a fantastic tool for organisations without specialised HR expertise.
This gives you phone or email access to a team of HR specialists. The plan also includes notifications and tips to assist you in remaining compliant with applicable rules.
Asana, Zoho, Bonusly, and Quickbooks are just a few of the HR, accounting, and general apps that the tool interfaces with. Gusto has a monthly cost of $6 per employee plus a base price of $39 per month. The concierge service version costs $12 per person per month in addition to the $149 base price.