10 Best Free HR Software For SMBs On A Budget

Managing staff effectively is a top priority for every business, and human resources software can be a big help. But many of these solutions come with a hefty pricing tag attached.

Fortunately, there are some options available for smaller businesses who are watching the purse strings. In this article, I’ll take a look at the best HR software that’s available for free. You’ll learn about the most appealing no-cost tools and get details on what they offer. 

The Best Free HR Software List

Here’s the list of the best free HR software solutions that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. HR.MY logoHR.MY

    Best multi-lingual HR system

  2. QuikHiring logoQuikHiring

    Best free video interviewing platform

  3. Homebase logoHomebase

    Best free employee scheduling

  4. Freshteam logoFreshteam

    Best free applicant tracking software

  5. Zoho People & Recruit logoZoho People & Recruit

    Best for scalability

  6. HRLocker logoHRLocker

    Best HRIS database solution

  7. WebHR logoWebHR

    Best free HR iOS & Android apps

  8. Bitrix24 logoBitrix24

    Best free open source HR software

  9. Apptivo logoApptivo

    Best HR software for startups

  10. OrangeHRM logoOrangeHRM

    Best free performance management

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best free HR solutions? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for an interface that both HR staff and other team members can easily understand.
  2. Usability: I prefer to see clear navigation and features that do not require high tech skills.
  3. Integrations: I look for existing integrations with popular business software suites.
  4. Value for $: I like to see free plans that offer genuinely helpful features and functions.

Free HR Platform Key Features

Here are the core features I believe all HR software should cover:

  1. Recruitment & hiring: Using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help find the right new employees.
  2. Time tracking & leave entitlement: Managing tasks such as time worked and vacation time accruals.
  3. Payroll: Calculating and paying salaries while withholding the correct taxes and deductions.
  4. Employee portal: Self-service employee data, covering everything from compensation tracking and insurance plans to banking and tax details.
  5. Learning management: Managing employee development by enhancing skills sets and expertise.
  6. Performance evaluation: Keeping track of employee development and identifying candidates who are ready for promotion.
  7. Talent retention: Analyzing employee behavior to identify who is likely to quit and suggest possible solutions.
  8. Benefits administration: Dealing with non-cash compensation, ensuring that employees receive all the benefits they are entitled to.

Keep in mind that free HR software may only cover 1 or 2 of these items—for a more robust, scalable, comprehensive HR software solution, check out our list of the 10 best HR software solutions for paid, enterprise-grade options. 

Overviews Of The 10 Best Free HR Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the free HR apps to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the interface. 

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free to use

HR.MY - Best multi-lingual HR system

HR.my is a ‘forever free’ human resources tool with a full range of features.

HR.my is a cloud-based HR solution with payroll processing, time off and attendance management, announcements, and notice boards.

The software includes a self-service portal where employees can submit leave requests, check entitlements, and view their records. The document management feature makes importing existing timesheets, expense claims, or other paper-based documents easy.

In addition to the default English selection, HR.my supports an additional 66 languages. You can also translate all messages or filter by entering keywords into the Search field. Using the filter function, you can also search using both the original and translated languages.

HR.MY is free to use.
  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free to use

QuikHiring - Best free video interviewing platform

QuikHiring connects recruiters and job seekers through a single job app.

QuikHiring is a mobile app that connects recruiters with candidates over video. HR executives can conduct face-to-face videos with applicants using smartphones or tablets. Pre-defined Q&A templates for each role speed up the process so that interviews can be arranged promptly.

This app replaces the old-school resume/interview process with a fast, efficient video alternative. Video interviews of promising candidates can be shared with senior executives for approval. QuikHiring is an excellent choice when speed of hiring is a priority.

QuikHiring is free to use.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free for 1 location and unlimited employees

Homebase - Best free employee scheduling

Homebase gives a clear view of employee scheduling that’s easy to understand.

Homebase is a cloud-based talent management solution that’s focused on organizing schedules, timesheets, and payroll. This HR suite integrates with point of sale software such as Clover, Poynt, Talech, Square, Lightspeed, Breadcrumb, and Revel Systems. Homebase offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

A drag-and-drop interface makes building employee schedules a breeze. These can then be sent to employees by text message or email. Managers can get insights into labor costs by tracking employee hours and overtime.

Homebase is free for 1 location and unlimited employees.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free for up to 50 employees

Freshteam - Best free applicant tracking software

Freshteam allows you to track applicants through the hiring process.

Built by Freshworks, this free applicant tracking solution helps recruiters source, screen, interview, and hire candidates. They can also generate offer letters using email templates and send feedback reminders to hiring panel members. In addition, the suite offers leave management capabilities for existing employees.

Users can sync candidate conversations with the applicant tracking solution. The result is a consolidated view of conversations that senior hiring managers can view. In addition, HR managers can customize Freshteam by adding custom questions to the application forms.

Freshteam is free for up to 50 employees.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free for up to five users

Zoho People & Recruit - Best for scalability

Using Zoho People and Zoho Recruit, you can convert a new hire into an employee through a single window.

Zoho provides free HR software through two main applications: Zoho People and Zoho Recruit.

Zoho People features leave management, time tracking, attendance management, and form customization. There is also an employee self-service option, allowing workers to access, update and modify their own records.

Zoho Recruit offers an applicant tracking system covering resume parsing, automated job board posting, resume storage, and interview scheduling. The software can also build career pages that list job postings, then accept and process applications.

Both applications integrate with Zoho’s extensive portfolio of business suites. This allows the HR processes to scale into larger automation solutions as business needs grow and expand.

Zoho modules with limited features are free for up to five users.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free for up to 4 employees per month

HRLocker - Best HRIS database solution

The HRLocker database gives you space to store business documents like health & safety manuals, personal details, and work handbooks.

HRLocker allows customers to carry out human resources functionality and lets companies concentrate on strategic decisions and productivity. Tasks can be assigned to employees or departments, while managers can use the applicant tracking system for recruitment, candidate search, social referral, job boards, and screening.

This platform provides an employee database solution for human resources teams. It automates features like timesheets, holiday and absence management, training development, employee data, remote and dual working, performance reviews, and recruitment and onboarding. HRLocker database also allows users to record employee training courses and upload certificates of completion.

HRLocker is free for up to 4 employees per month.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free with some feature limitations

WebHR - Best free HR iOS & Android apps

WebHR allows employees to track hours worked anywhere, using their phones.

WebHR helps HR departments manage employment lifecycles, from the initial hire through to retirement. Features include personnel tracking, payroll, and benefits administration. In addition, the software also includes applicant tracking, applicant sourcing, onboarding, and performance review.

Mobile apps are available for both iOS and Android devices so that employees can quickly log time worked with geo-tracking. Managers can monitor employee hours using the time and attendance features. In addition, the software integrates with biometric devices such as card readers and finger scanners.

WebHR is free with some feature limitations.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free with some feature limitations

Bitrix24 - Best free open source HR software

Bitrix offers many HR features in an open-source software solution.

If you are looking for an open-source HR software solution, Bitrix24 is likely to be top of your list. This business suite includes many human resources tools, plus a wide range of additional management features.

Core HR features such as an employee directory, company structure, and company knowledge base are included in the free version. An unlimited number of users can use these. However, some essential functions such as leave management and time tracking are only available with a paid subscription.

You’ll get the most out of Bitrix24 with some additional tech/coding knowledge on your side, as the public source code access allows for near limitless customization and integration.

Bitrix24 is free with some feature limitations.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free for one user and allows access to up to 8 of their first-party apps

Apptivo - Best HR software for startups

Apptivo provides all the human resources features small teams need without a hefty price tag.

Apptivo is a suite of applications designed for managing small businesses. In addition to human resources, the suite includes everything from financial controls to supply chain management. The core of the HR management system is the Employees App, which allows you to create and maintain a list of employee profiles, grant employee access, or terminate employees and assign their roles to others.

Apptivo is ideal for startups, thanks to an appealing entry-level plan. A single user can get access to eight apps for free. With apps ranging from a CRM to project management, this makes Apptivo perfect for entrepreneurs on a tight budget.

Apptivo is free for one user and allows access to up to 8 of their first-party apps.

  • Unlimited free trial
  • Free with some feature limitations

OrangeHRM - Best free performance management

OrangeHRM gives you critical insight into company organization with ORG charts, employee profiles, and performance review tools.

OrangeHRM is a scalable HR solution for small to medium-sized businesses. The software manages the whole employment life cycle, from employee onboarding to termination or retirement. Core features include time and attendance, candidate recruiting, absence management, performance reviews, and benefits administration.

Performance management capabilities include 360° employee reviews, which give you a clear view of each team member’s contribution. Review questions can be customized as required to suit a particular role. Goal tracking features help to keep employees on track to succeed.

OrangeHRM is free with some feature limitations.

Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Human Resources (HR) Software?

People Managing People has joined forces with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the best tool for your needs. Crozdesk’s Human Resources (HR) Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.

It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:

The 10 Best Free HR Software Summary

Software USP Free Option Price Site
HR.MY HR.MY logo Best multi-lingual HR system

Unlimited free trial

Free to use Check out HR.MY
QuikHiring QuikHiring logo Best free video interviewing platform

Unlimited free trial

Free to use Check out QuikHiring
Homebase Homebase logo Best free employee scheduling

Unlimited free trial

Free for 1 location and unlimited employees Check out Homebase
Freshteam Freshteam logo Best free applicant tracking software

Unlimited free trial

Free for up to 50 employees Check out Freshteam
Zoho People & Recruit Zoho People & Recruit logo Best for scalability

Unlimited free trial

Free for up to five users Check out Zoho People & Recruit
HRLocker HRLocker logo Best HRIS database solution

Unlimited free trial

Free for up to 4 employees per month Check out HRLocker
WebHR WebHR logo Best free HR iOS & Android apps

Unlimited free trial

Free with some feature limitations Check out WebHR
Bitrix24 Bitrix24 logo Best free open source HR software

Unlimited free trial

Free with some feature limitations Check out Bitrix24
Apptivo Apptivo logo Best HR software for startups

Unlimited free trial

Free for one user and allows access to up to 8 of their first-party apps Check out Apptivo
OrangeHRM OrangeHRM logo Best free performance management

Unlimited free trial

Free with some feature limitations Check out OrangeHRM

Get the Latest HR Software Management News

According to Grand View Research, the human resource management market is worth $17.56 billion and growing at a rate of 12.2% per year. In such a fast-moving sector, you need to stay ahead of the curve—so be sure to sign up for updates. 

We’ll keep you up to date with the latest news in the world of people managing people. Get insights from top thinkers—and see how the field of free HR software is evolving. 

If you are also considering paid HR management tools, you should also check out the 10 best HRMS for human resource management In 2022. With the right software, you’ll be set to make the most of your human capital and take your business to new heights of success.

Related Read: How To Choose HR Software In 5 Easy Steps