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There are seemingly countless free HR software solutions available, so figuring out which is best for you is tough. You want to automate and manage employee-related tasks like recruitment, payroll, performance tracking, and benefits administration but need to figure out which tool is the best fit. In this post, I make things simple, leveraging my experience in HR and recruitment using dozens of different HR tools to bring you this shortlist of the best free HR software overall.

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The 10 Best Free HR Software: Quick Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes basic details about each of my top free HR software selections. View the pertinent details side-by-side to help you find the best option for your business needs.

Tools Price
Deel Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Connecteam From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)
Freshteam From $1.20/user/month + $71/month base fee
Zoho People From $1.50/user/month
Apptivo From $10/user/month
OrangeHRM From $6/user/month
Bitrix24 From $49/month (5 users)
WebHR From $3/employee/month
HRLocker From $6/employee/month
Beams Pricing upon request
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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How to Choose a Free HR Software

As you work through your own unique tool selection process, keep the following points in mind:

  • What problem are you trying to solve - Start by identifying the challenges you're trying to overcome. This will help you clarify the features and functionality the free HR software needs to provide.
  • Who will need to use it - To evaluate cost and requirements, consider who will use the tool and how many licenses you'll need. For free HR software, you'll likely want employee-level access for your entire workforce, with special access for your HR administrators and managers. Once that's clear, it's also useful to rank the needs of your different users to identify the key priorities for your power users, managers, and employees, to ensure they're all met.
  • What other tools it needs to work with - Clarify what tools you're replacing, what tools are staying, and the tools you'll need to integrate with, such as time tracking systems, learning management systems, or project management tools. You'll need to decide if the tools will need to integrate together, or alternatively, if you can replace multiple tools with an all-in-one free HR software.
  • What outcomes are important - Review the capabilities you want to gain or improve, and how you will measure success. For example, you may want a tool to automate portions of your payroll, scheduling, or performance management processes, so nothing slips through the cracks. You could compare software features until you’re blue in the face but if you aren’t thinking about the outcomes you want to achieve, you could waste a lot of valuable time.
  • How it would work within your organization - Consider the tool selection alongside your existing workflows and systems. Evaluate what's working well, and the areas that are causing issues that need to be addressed.

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.

Best free HR software for all-in-one management

  • Free demo available
  • Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Deel is a powerful HR software platform that’s perfect for small businesses on a budget. In fact, its HR features are completely free for businesses with fewer than 200 workers. With a range of essential features for effective HR management, it’s a perfect all-in-one tool to build and grow a startup.

Why I picked Deel: One of the key features of Deel is its comprehensive and accessible self-service platform. Employees and contractors can securely login to view their own information and make updates as needed. This is a convenient and time-saving feature that can help to streamline HR processes. You can make use of Deel’s integrations to automate many common HR workflows, from background checks to equipment management.

Deel Features & Integrations:

Features include comprehensive reporting and analytics tools so you can make quickly make informed decisions about your entire workforce. If you decide to run payroll with Deel’s in-house experts, Deel can take care of benefits and compliance administration for over 150 countries, so you can hire anywhere with confidence.

Overall, Deel is a great choice for small businesses looking for a reliable and cost-effective HR software solution. Its global support and comprehensive features make it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. 

Integrations are available natively with Ashby, BambooHR, Expensify, Greenhouse, Hibob, Netsuite, Okta, OneLogin, Quickbooks, SCIM, Xero, Workday, and Workable.

What's Free: Their free plan is available to organizations with less than 200 employees. Included are onboarding and offboarding tools, payroll processing, benefits, a time-off tracker, expense management tools, a document management system, and government declarations.

If you need more features you can scale up to one of their flexible paid plans. Deel offers clear, simple per-user pricing with no hidden fees or extensive contracts. You can also request a free demo through their website.

Best HR software for small businesses with non-tech savvy teams

  • 14-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $29/month for 30 users (paid annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Connecteam is a highly versatile, fully-featured HR software for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s designed to provide an all-in-one solution for crucial HR functions, including time tracking, scheduling, and employee management.

Why I Picked Connecteam: Connecteam's time tracking feature allows employees to easily clock in and out of work using their mobile phones. The feature allows managers to see which employees are currently working, their location, and the task they are working on at any given time. Connecteam's communication tools allow managers to send employees messages, notifications, and alerts throughout the day. It offers a chat feature enabling team members to communicate easily, whether remote, at a job site, or in the office. The HR hub includes somre great tools for small businesses, including document storage and tracking, a company news feed, directory, updates, chats, and peer-to-peer recognition.

Connecteam’s training and onboarding module ensures new hires know the company's policies, procedures, and operations. It also provides a practical and convenient way to train employees in new skills, processes, and technologies. This feature enables organizations to deliver customized training to employees with varying skill levels and learning styles. Connecteam provides an extensive directory that allows managers to store employee data, including their contact details, work history, and performance reports. The software enables SMBs to create forms and checklists specific to their business needs, improving workflow and streamlining processes. These customizable forms and lists can be used for a wide range of tasks, such as tracking employee progress, tracking completed tasks, and logging incidents.

Connectam Standout Features & Integrations

Features include training and onboarding, document storage, recognition and rewards, a timeline, employee quiz app, time off management, self-service knowledge base, social media-like company news feed with engagement tracking, survey tools, and live chat functions.

Integrations include Paychex, Xero, Gusto, QuickBooks Payroll (online + desktop), Zapier, Google Calendar, API access, and others.

What's Free: Connecteam's free plan contains a little bit of everything from each module. You'll get all basic functionality, like one time clock, unlimited projects, payroll integration, a shift schedule view, checklists and forms, task management, and 30 admin seats. Check out their pricing page for a complete list of what's included and what features are limited to paid plans. 

Best free applicant tracking software

  • 21-day free trial
  • From $1.20/user/month + $71/month base fee
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

Built by Freshworks, this free applicant tracking solution covers all phases of the hiring process.

Why I picked Freshteam: Their ATS 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 Features & Integrations:

Features include customizable career sites, integration with multiple free and premium job boards, and social media channels. The software also has the ability to listen to emails, making it easy for you to recognize emails from job boards or vendors to add them to your candidate base. Once the candidates are in, the recruiting team can collaborate with hiring managers to screen and interview them, share feedback and leave notes for each other, hire, and roll out offers to the best candidates.

Integrations are available with all sorts of tools such as assessment portals, video interviewing platforms, job boards, and productivity software.

What's Free: Freshteam offers a free forever plan for up to 50 employees. This includes 3 active jobs, a basic career site, a candidate pipeline, employee referrals, customizable hiring workflows, a shared recruitment team inbox, and team collaboration tools.

Best free HR software for scalability

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $1.50/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

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

Why I picked Zoho: 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.

Zoho Features & Integrations:

Features include a database for your employee information, time off tracking tools, job postings, and basic recruiting tools like interview scheduling and candidate management.

Integrations are available with Zoho's extensive portfolio of business suites. This allows your HR team to scale their processes into larger automation solutions as your business needs grow and expand.

What's Free: Zoho offers a basic free forever plan with limited features for up to 5 users. For Zoho People, their free plan includes an employee database and time off management tools. For Zoho Recruit, their free plan supports one active job posting, free access to job boards, candidate management, integrated email, and interview scheduling. Both products also offer a 30-day free trial as well.

Best HR software for customizable apps and workflows

  • 30-day free trial
  • From $10/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Apptivo is a suite of applications designed for managing small businesses.

Why I picked Apptivo: 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 Features & Integrations:

Features include integrated apps, customizable workflows, custom dashboards, customizable fields for each app, and 24/7 customer support.

Integrations are available with Asterix, Dropbox, Google Suite, Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive, PayPal, RingCentral, Slack, Stripe, Quickbooks, Xero, and several others.

What's Free: Apptivo no longer offers a free forever plan. However, a 30-day free trial is available to test out their software.

Best free HR software for employee performance management

  • 30-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $6/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

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.

Why I picked OrangeHRM: Their HRMS platform is available through cloud hosting or on-premise hosting, depending on your needs. The cloud version of their product called OrangeHRM Starter is available for free under an open-source license, making it an excellent choice for small businesses or startups.

Their performance management capabilities include 180° and 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 Features & Integrations:

Features include core modules for managing employee information, a corporate directory, attendance & time management, PTO & leave management, candidate recruiting (including an applicant tracking system), performance reviews, benefits administration, and reporting & analytics. They also have a mobile app that supports PTO requests, employee attendance, and clocking in and out.

Integration details are not mentioned on their website. However, they do have an API that supports them.

What's Free: Their OrangeHRM Starter product is free to use through an open-source license, and includes the features described above. They also offer a free demo or a 30-day free trial through their website.

Best free open-source HR software

  • Free plan available
  • From $49/month (5 users)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

Bitrix24 is a web-based HR system for small businesses. If you are looking for an open-source HR software solution, Bitrix24 is likely to be top of your list. The software packs in plenty of features useful for companies without a large HR team.

Why I picked Bitrix24: Their HR platform includes many human resources tools, plus a wide range of additional CRM and project management features. One of my favorite features is the self-service HR portal. Employees can use this to access basic HR functions without needing to speak to someone from HR. For example, you set up workflows for vacation requests and business trip permissions.

Their HR platform also includes everything you need to collaborate and communicate across your HR team. Each team member can access all company messages, documents, and calendars. You can also set permissions for specific content to ensure each team member only sees what they need to see.

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 Features & Integrations:

Features include core HR functions such as an employee directory, company structure, a company knowledge base, document management, and time & attendance features, which 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.

Integrations with numerous apps are available through their App Marketplace, or by taking advantage of their REST API.

What's Free: You can use Bitrix24’s core features for free, which may be all that small businesses need. If you need additional HR features, you can scale up to one of their paid plans easily.

Best free cloud-based HR software for iOS & Android apps

  • Free plan available (up to 4 employees)
  • From $3/employee/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

WebHR helps HR departments manage the employee lifecycle, from the initial hiring process through to retirement. Their all-in-one HR software includes core HR, payroll, recruitment, performance, and time & attendance modules, and is available in 30 languages.

Why I picked WebHR: 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 Features & Integrations:

Features include personnel tracking, payroll, benefits administration, an applicant tracking system (ATS), a learning management system (LMS), employee performance, goal management, onboarding, forms & surveys, background checking tools, and asset tracking tools.

Integrations are available with 24+ popular HR tools, including Asana, Bonusly, FreshBooks, Indeed, LinkedIn, Slack, Xero, Quickbooks, Zapier, Zip Recruiter, and others.

What's Free: Teams with less than 5 employees can use WebHR's software for free. For larger teams, they offer very affordable module-based pricing starting at $3/employee/month.

Best HRIS database solution for digital document management

  • Free plan for 6 months (up to 4 users) + 14-day free trial
  • From $6/employee/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

HRLocker is an integrated HRIS database that covers core human resources functionalities so companies can concentrate on strategic decisions and productivity.

Why I picked HRLocker: Their HR platform includes a digital document management system where you can publish an unlimited number of HR documents to create an easily accessible repository for your employees. Within that module, HR teams can also request digital signatures on training documents, as needed, and send out reminders to anyone who hasn't read or signed off on required documentation.

HRLocker Features & Integrations:

Features include modules for holiday and absence management, timesheets, training development, employee data, remote and dual working, performance reviews, and recruitment and onboarding. The HRLocker database also allows users to record employee training courses and upload certificates of completion. 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.

Integrations are available with 20+ other software systems, including CareerJet, Glassdoor, Google Calendar, Indeed, LinkedIn, Microsoft Office 365, Sage, SimplyHired, Trovit,

What's Free: HRLocker is free to use for 6 months for up to 4 employees. Their free plan includes all the features mentioned above. If you scale up to their first-level paid plan, you can also access customer support and a dedicated account manager.

Best free employee pulse survey and recognition software

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.9/5

Beams is an employee engagement survey and recognition software that helps you measure and improve morale at your SMB.

Why I picked Beams: This software is designed to me straightforward and easy to use. But it was also built in partnership with psychology experts, so you can be assured by the level of expertise behind it. The employee surveys measure factors like happiness, wellbeing, and more.

Employees receive pulse surveys to measure their engagement, and then they get automated, personalized recommendations based on their responses. The platform also has an employee recognition tool that can be used to show appreciation for people's work, success, and contributions.

Beams Standout Features & Integrations:

Features include survey anonymity, personalized employee recommendations, reporting and analytics tools, and employee recognition.

Integrations include email and Slack.

What's free: Beams offers a free-forever plan for up to 7 users, or you can try a paid plan free for 30 days.

Other Free HR Software

Here are a few more worthwhile options that didn’t make my shortlist for the best free HR software, but are still worth checking out:

  1. HR.my

    Best free HR software for multi-lingual organizations

  2. QuikHiring

    Best free video interviewing platform for recruiting

  3. Sentrifugo

    Best free HR software for an employee self-service portal

  4. Factorial

    Best employee well-being and feedback module

  5. Homebase

    Best free employee scheduling software for hourly workforces

  6. Remofirst

    Best free HR software for contractor management

  7. WaypointHR

    Best HR software for staff redundancy evaluations

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these other related tools that we've tested and evaluated:

Selection Criteria for the Best Free HR Software

Selecting the right free HR software involves a thorough understanding of your organization's needs, pain points, and the specific functionalities that will enhance efficiency and accuracy in managing employee-related processes. My criteria for evaluation stem from both personal trials and in-depth research into these tools, focusing on how well they cater to common HR tasks while offering unique features that set them apart from the competition. Here’s how I break down the criteria:

Core Functionality: 25% of total weighting score

To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best free HR software, a solution had to support common use cases. These include:

Additional Standout Features: 25% of total weighting score

  • AI-driven analytics for predicting employee turnover
  • Mobile apps that offer a comprehensive HR solution on the go
  • Customizable reports that cater to unique organizational needs
  • Integrations with third-party apps to streamline workflows
  • Advanced security features ensuring data protection and compliance

Usability: 10% of total weighting score

  • Intuitive design that simplifies navigation
  • Role-based access that's easy to configure
  • User interfaces that support drag-and-drop functionality for easy scheduling
  • Aesthetic appeal that enhances the user experience

Onboarding: 10% of total weighting score

  • Availability of training materials, such as videos and templates
  • Interactive product tours and chatbots for immediate assistance
  • Webinars and detailed documentation for deeper understanding
  • A straightforward setup process that allows teams to quickly realize value

Customer Support: 10% of total weighting score

  • Responsiveness and availability of support channels
  • Quality of assistance provided for both technical and user experience issues
  • Community forums or user groups for peer-to-peer support
  • The provision of dedicated account management for complex inquiries

Value For Money: 10% of total weighting score

  • A comparison of feature sets against the cost for premium upgrades
  • Evaluation of scalability options without significant price jumps
  • Assessing whether the free version meets basic needs without immediate need for upgrade

Customer Reviews: 10% of total weighting score

  • Overall satisfaction ratings from a broad user base
  • Feedback on specific features like ease of use and customer support
  • Reviews that highlight how the software has improved HR processes
  • Negative reviews to identify common issues and deal-breakers

Through this structured approach, I aim to guide software buyers toward free HR solutions that not only address the foundational aspects of human resources management but also introduce innovative features that stand out in the market. This ensures organizations can select a tool that truly aligns with their operational needs and enhances their HR practices.

In 2024, the landscape of HR software has been markedly shaped by technological advancements and evolving organizational needs. This reflects the broader trends in the way businesses approach human resources management, as well as trends in B2B SaaS offerings and product-led approaches that include freemium plans and extended free trials.

The updates, press releases, and release logs from the most rapidly evolving and popular free HR tools offer insightful indications of where HR technology is headed. These developments highlight a few key trends in the functionality, demand, and evolution of features within free HR software:

  • Integration with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML integration has become a significant trend, with software increasingly leveraging these technologies for predictive analytics, automated decision-making, and personalized employee experiences. This includes AI-driven recruitment tools that improve candidate matching and ML algorithms that forecast employee turnover rates, addressing the need for advanced data analysis in HR decisions.
  • Enhanced Employee Self-Service Portals: There's a clear trend towards expanding the capabilities of employee self-service portals. These now often include access to pay stubs, leave requests, and even performance management tools, allowing employees greater control over their HR-related tasks and reducing the administrative burden on HR departments.
  • Decline in Manual Data Entry Features: As automation and integration capabilities improve, the need for manual data entry and the features supporting it are becoming less important. This shift indicates a move towards more efficient, error-free HR processes.
  • Focus on Data Security and Compliance: With increasing concerns about data privacy and security, features that ensure compliance with global data protection regulations are becoming more crucial. This includes enhanced encryption, regular security audits, and compliance tracking functionalities.

These trends collectively illustrate a movement towards more intelligent, user-centric, and secure HR software solutions. By adopting these emerging technologies and functionalities, free HR software tools are not only improving the efficiency and accuracy of HR processes but also enhancing the overall employee experience.

What is Free HR Software?

Human resources (HR) software are digital tools for managing employee-related activities. They streamline various HR processes like hiring, payroll, performance management, and benefits administration. The purpose of HR software is to facilitate and automate certain human resource tasks, improving efficiency and accuracy in managing employee-related processes.

Free HR software does all or some of the above either completely free, or by offering an extended free trial. Many providers offer both free and paid plans, having certain feature limitations in freemium plans.

Features of Free HR Software

Free HR software provides a range of features and functionalities that can help small to medium-sized businesses streamline various elements of their HR processes. This might include hiring, payroll, performance management, and benefits administration.

Because of the broad scope of what these tools may support, I have a wide range of features I look for when evaluating them. Here are a few I keep my eye out for:

  1. User-friendly Interface: A software with an intuitive design simplifies navigation and reduces the learning curve for HR staff. This improves the overall efficiency of managing HR tasks.
  2. Employee Self-Service Portal: Employees can manage their personal information, benefits, and leave requests, significantly reducing administrative workload for HR.
  3. Payroll Integration: Seamlessly integrates with payroll systems to ensure accurate and timely payment processing. This feature is crucial for maintaining employee satisfaction and compliance with financial regulations.
  4. Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Streamlines the hiring process by organizing candidate information and stages of recruitment. This enables faster and more effective decision-making in hiring.
  5. Performance Management Tools: Facilitates continuous performance assessment and feedback, helping in aligning employee objectives with organizational goals.
  6. Benefits Administration: Simplifies the management of employee benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, ensuring employees receive their entitled benefits effortlessly.
  7. Time and Attendance Tracking: Allows for efficient tracking of employee hours, attendance, and leave, which is essential for payroll accuracy and labor compliance.
  8. Reporting and Analytics: Generates insightful reports and analytics on various HR metrics, aiding in strategic decision-making and identifying areas for improvement.
  9. Mobile Accessibility: Ensures that the software can be accessed from anywhere, providing flexibility for both HR staff and employees to perform tasks on-the-go.
  10. Data Security and Compliance: Guarantees the protection of sensitive employee data and compliance with relevant labor laws and data protection regulations, which is fundamental in maintaining trust and legal integrity.

Selecting a free HR software with the right combination of these features can significantly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of managing employee-related processes. So consider which features align most closely with your business needs.

Benefits of Free HR Software

Free HR software is a valuable tool for businesses looking to optimize their human resources management without incurring additional costs. Here are five primary benefits of leveraging free HR software for users and organizations:

  1. Cost Efficiency: Significantly reduces the financial burden on businesses. By adopting free HR software, organizations can allocate their resources to other critical areas, enhancing overall operational efficiency without compromising on HR functionality.
  2. Improved Data Management: Centralizes and simplifies employee information storage and access. This software provides a single repository for all HR-related data, making it easier to manage, update, and retrieve employee information, leading to better decision-making and compliance management.
  3. Enhanced Productivity: Automates routine administrative tasks. By automating processes such as payroll, leave management, and employee onboarding, HR departments can focus on strategic tasks, thereby increasing productivity and improving employee satisfaction.
  4. Scalability: Easily adapts to the growing needs of a business. Free HR software often comes with scalable features that can be customized to fit the evolving requirements of an organization, ensuring that the HR system grows in tandem with the business.
  5. Accessibility and Flexibility: Offers remote access to HR functions. With features that support mobile access, employees and HR professionals can perform HR-related tasks from anywhere, providing flexibility and ensuring continuous operation, regardless of location.

These benefits not only enhance the operational capabilities of the HR department but also contribute to the overall success and growth of an organization. By choosing the right free HR software, businesses can enjoy the advantages of advanced HR management tools without incurring significant expenses.

Costs & Pricing For Free HR Software

Many free HR software options provide a robust set of features to manage human resources tasks effectively. However, to access more advanced features and functionalities, there are often paid plans available. These paid options can cater to the growing needs of a business, offering more sophisticated tools for HR management. Understanding the different plan and pricing options is crucial for software buyers with little to no experience in using HR software, as it helps in selecting the most suitable package for their organization's specific needs.

Plan Comparison Table For Free HR Software

The following table outlines the pricing and plan structures commonly found in free HR software, providing a clear comparison to aid in your selection process.

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Employee self-service, basic reporting, leave and attendance tracking
Basic$2-7 per employeeEnhanced reporting, email support, payroll integration, additional storage
Standard$7-14 per employeePerformance management, onboarding tools, advanced security features, 24/7 customer support
Premium$14-30 per employeeCustomizable reports, API access, dedicated account manager, advanced analytics and forecasting tools

Each plan offers a different set of features and functionalities tailored to various business sizes and needs. When selecting a plan, consider both the current and future needs of your organization, ensuring the chosen software can scale with your business. Keep in mind that investing in a plan that aligns closely with your HR management requirements can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your HR operations.

People Also Ask

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions you may have about free HR software:

What is HR software?

HR software is a software solution specifically developed to help HR professionals streamline their core processes so they can manage their workforce efficiently. This type of software can include many different subsets, including employee management software, payroll software, time-off management software, talent management software, performance management software, and many others.

HR software is designed to automate many of the administrative tasks that HR professionals deal with frequently. Some examples of this include automated onboarding workflows for your new hires, org charts that build themselves based on your active employee information, and tools to advance candidates through each stage of your hiring process.

For a broad selection of the best HR software on the market, take a look at our 60 Best HR Software List too.

Why is some HR software free?

Very few HR software systems are free forever. Instead, most free HR software is offered as a reduced feature plan (also called a freemium plan). Software vendors offer these free options to give potential customers a chance to get to know their software and, hopefully, lure them into purchasing a paid plan when they’re ready. It’s essentially another form of a lengthy free trial.

If you’re running a startup or small business, you may be able to get away with using the free version forever. But chances are, you’ll want to access more robust features as your operation grows.

Are there other free or affordable resources for HR professionals?

There definitely are, and luckily for you, we’ve done a lot of the leg work for you already. To save you time, here are some link to our other top 10 lists for small business owners working with tight budgets:

Get the Latest News on HR Software and More

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're also up for considering paid HR management tools, you should also check out the 10 Best HRMS for Human Resource Management. 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

By Kim Behnke

Kim Behnke is an HR Tool Expert & Writer for People Managing People. She draws on her 9 years of human resources experience and her keen eye for systematic processes to support her analyses of the top HR tools on the market. She is passionate about maximizing efficiencies and streamlining workflows to ensure internal systems run smoothly. Kim's HR experience includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, policy development and enforcement, and HR analytics. She also has degrees in psychology, writing, publishing, and technical communication, and recently completed a Certified Digital HR Specialist program through the Academy to Innovate HR. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.