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10 Best HR Software For Small Business In 2023

The Best HR Software For Small Business

Here’s the list of the best small business HR tools that I’ll cover in this article. Each of the tools has all you need to get started.

I’ve included plenty of free options for small companies that want the basics at no cost. But there are also some paid tools that offer better support, a cleaner interface, and more advanced features.

  1. Deel

    Best for managing contractors & freelancers

  2. Oyster HR

    Best HR software for hiring international employees or contractors

  3. monday.com

    Best for customized data dashboards, forms and automations

  4. Paycor

    Best for its free setup and available features in lower plans

  5. Rippling

    Best small business HR software to centralize employee management

  6. Eddy

    Best all-in-one HR software for local businesses with deskless workers

  7. Remofirst

    Best HR software with global payroll options

  8. GoCo

    Best customer service

  9. Paylocity

    Best for employee self-service

  10. Gusto

    Best for freelance payroll accountants

As a small business owner, it’s easy to neglect HR. It’s not as exciting as business functions that focus on growth or revenue, and it’s not a legal requirement to have an HR department. 

But, even businesses with just a small number of employees have some HR duties. And these can quickly eat into your time if you don’t perform them efficiently. 

HR software is a huge help. For a small fee each month, these tools help you build HR processes and automate key tasks. You’ll spend far less time on them and far more time on work you want to do. 

And the tools are effective. 74% of companies surveyed by PWC in 2020 said they plan to increase spending on HR technology. The biggest benefits they bring are increasing productivity, providing workforce insights, and improving the employee experience.

This article will focus on 10 of the best HR tools for small businesses. I’ll also explain why you might need one and what to look out for when choosing.

My Small Business HR Software Comparison Criteria

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

  1. User Interface (UI): User experience is vital in any software. The best tools have a clean UI that is easy to navigate on mobile or desktop. 
  2. Usability: HR tools for small businesses need to be user-friendly so anyone can use them. Documentation and good customer support can also help.
  3. Integrations: Integration with other tools helps automate tasks. You could set up an integration that automatically adds people to a Slack channel when you create an employee profile. Or one that links your payroll software with your accounting software.
  4. Value for $: Small businesses don’t tend to have big budgets for HR software solutions. The tools on this list are either affordable or free. 

Small Business HR Software: Key Features

Small businesses don’t need a complete set of advanced human resources features. When choosing the right HR software for your business, think about your business needs and choose a tool that excels in these areas. This will help you get the workforce management features you need without overpaying.

  • Payroll automation: Payroll is the one HR function that all businesses have to deal with. Payroll automation features let you set up processes that gather data about hours worked and then process payments with a click. 
  • Self-service: Self-service functionality allows your employees to perform simple HR tasks independently. For example, they can generate pay stubs without contacting anyone at your business. This helps your team members get what they need quickly while you spend less time on these tasks. 
  • Attendance tracking system: These features help you track who works and when. It provides visibility into potential staffing issues and can link up with payroll features to automate payment. 
  • Hiring management: If your small company is growing fast, then hiring management features are a must. These let you create job ads to share on job boards or social media sites, collect applications, and manage applicants. 
  • Onboarding and offboarding: Another helpful feature for small but growing companies is setting up automated employee onboarding and offboarding workflows. Just create a list of all the things employees need to do before starting, send them a link to your tool, and they can work through the tasks independently. 

Overviews Of The 10 Best HR Software For Small Businesses

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

Most of the tools have a SaaS business model, which means you pay a monthly subscription to use them. Although we also have some free and self-hosted options.

1

Deel

Best for managing contractors & freelancers

Deel is an HR software that offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help small businesses manage their HR needs, from tracking employee time off to managing payroll and benefits. Deel also offers a mobile app that employees can use to access their HR information. Deel can create custom approval workflows and integrate them with other business applications.

Its invoice and payments feature streamlines the invoicing process for freelancers and contractors. Users can easily create and send invoices directly from the Deel platform. Businesses can securely pay employees or contractors via various payment methods like PayPal or direct deposit. Deel’s built-in accounting tools let users easily reconcile accounts and ensure that everything is accurate. Deel helps users provide employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, time off, and brand discounts. It also offers tools to help users manage their benefits programs, including a benefits enrollment portal, a communication center, and a document library.

Deel includes a centralized employee database, making storing and managing employee information easy. The software makes it easy for businesses to give employees the feedback they need to improve their performance. Managers can set goals and objectives for employees and then track their progress over time. They can also give employees ratings and reviews and provide feedback on their work. Deel's compliance management feature helps organizations keep track of their obligations. It allows users to create and manage compliance records, set up reminders for upcoming deadlines, and generate reports on compliance activity, helping organizations avoid penalties and fines.

Integrations include Quickbooks, Xero, NetSuite, Bamboo HR, Ashby, Greenhouse, Bob, and more with the Deel API.

Pricing for Deel starts at $599/employee/month and comes with a free demo.

Free demo available

From $49/user/month

2

Oyster HR

Best HR software for hiring international employees or contractors

Oyster is a comprehensive HR platform that enables companies to recruit, hire, onboard, pay, and provide employee benefits for staff or contractors across the globe. Using Oyster, you can create and manage employee profiles, track holiday and sick leaves, and monitor absences. The software can generate payslips and tax forms and keep track of employee insurance coverages. Oyster also offers a variety of templates and tools to help businesses create custom HR forms and procedures. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that don't have the time or resources to develop their HR protocols.

Before agreeing to an international hire, you can obtain a cost estimate using Oyster's employment cost calculator, allowing you to set budgets and plan expenses accurately. Once you're ready, Oyster also helps you create, manage, and store contracts for new hires. You can use Oyster to post jobs and oversee recruitment too. Their system allows you to track candidate responses, create interview guides, and even offer conditional job offers. It streamlines the process of onboarding new staff, from creating new accounts to uploading documents and setting up payroll. Oyster also tracks employee roles, responsibilities, and contact information too.

You can configure contracts based on the employee's location and local labor laws, and pay employees in over 120 currencies, including multiple payment methods. The software provides a central platform for users to consolidate invoices and generate detailed reports on payroll costs. Oyster's built-in expense management feature allows users to approve and reimburse expenses for remote workers.

In addition to its onboarding and payroll systems, Oyster offers an Oyster Health add on to simplify the process of creating benefit packages for international employees. Small businesses can save time and money by outsourcing their HR needs to Oyster HR while maintaining compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Oyster integrates natively with other programs like ATS, HRIS, and ERP applications. Key integrations include BambooHR, Bob, Expensify, Greenhouse, Oracle Netsuite, QuickBooks, Workday, and Xero.

Pricing for Oyster starts at $499/employee/month or $29/contractor/month. They also offer a free demo.

Freemium plan + free demo available

From $499/employee/month

3

monday.com

Best for customized data dashboards, forms and automations

monday.com offers great value for small businesses since it can streamline many different types of data collection processes, depending on what you need. With 200+ pre-built templates to choose from, it’s fast and easy to migrate your data to their system, including the ability to upload data from existing Excel spreadsheets. Once you’re all set up, you also have the option to view your data in many different visual formats including bar and line graphs, pie charts, and Gantt charts.

For small businesses—especially those with lean or no dedicated HR support—their existing templates for recruiting, onboarding, and HR service requests will add a lot of value. However, it can also be used for other functions too, like planning company events, tracking sales leads, managing external contractors, or tracking learning and development. monday’s system also includes Forms that collect details and feed them into dashboards in real-time, and configurable automations to reduce simple and repetitive administrative tasks.

To further enhance your internal processes, monday integrates with a wide range of communication and productivity tools, such as Google Drive, LinkedIn, Slack, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, Zoom, Zapier, and others.

For very small teams, monday.com offers a free forever plan (with limited features) for two users. Beyond that, their paid service levels start at $8/user/month, and a free 14-day trial is available too.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month

4

Paycor

Best for its free setup and available features in lower plans

Paycor provides a platform that helps small businesses manage all aspects of HR, payroll, benefits administration, and compliance. In addition to its core HR offerings, Paycor provides a range of services, such as employee onboarding, performance management, and time and attendance tracking.

The cloud-based platform lets you streamline HR processes and manage employee data in one central location. Paycor also provides tools to help you manage employee onboarding with time tracking, job costing, and new-hire reporting. You can confidently pay your employees on time and accurately track labor costs. The platform helps users manage expense reports and mitigate risk with compliance tools. Managers can also set up automated reminders for their employees to submit their timesheets and review their vacation requests.

Paycor helps you identify talent gaps and create succession plans. Tracking employee performance, it provides you and your managers with data-driven insights into which employees are thriving and which ones may be struggling. This information can then be used to provide targeted training and development resources. Additionally, its tools for reviewing and providing feedback help managers ensure that their team members are on track and meeting expectations. Paycor also allows employees to view their records and track their progress, empowering them to take control of their careers and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals.

The platform integrates with apps like Instant Pay, Goodhire, WEX, bswift, Humana, Indeed, and LinkedIn. There are dozens of other integrations available through its marketplace.

Pricing for Paycor starts at a flat fee of $99 per month and requires additional payment per user.

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month

5

Rippling

Best small business HR software to centralize employee management

Rippling is an all-in-one HR software that helps small businesses manage all aspects of employee management from one centralized location. With features such as automated onboarding, digital document storage and retrieval, and complete payroll processing, the software provides an efficient way to handle the most important HR tasks.

The payroll feature automates time tracking and paychecks. This eliminates the need for manual entries and ensures that employees get paid on time and accurately every single pay period. The onboarding tool helps employers automatically set up employee accounts with all necessary information, such as tax forms, benefits packages, and company policies, which saves time and energy while ensuring accuracy. The offboarding feature allows employers to quickly terminate employee accounts and access all relevant documents in one place—making it easy to track who is currently employed by a company at any given time.

IT & security management features offer complete control over employee access points, such as email accounts and applications, without requiring manual intervention from IT staff or administrators. It provides a single-sign-on solution that allows employees to easily access multiple applications without remembering individual usernames or passwords. The platform also offers time tracking and expense management so that users can easily keep track of employee hours worked and expenses incurred while on the job. Lastly, the software integrates with popular accounting programs like QuickBooks Online to quickly sync financial information between both systems without hassle.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

6

Eddy

Best all-in-one HR software for local businesses with deskless workers

Eddy is the all-in-one HR Suite built for small, local businesses. With Eddy, businesses can hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees with one easy-to-use software.

Founded in 2017 by former professional basketball player turned entrepreneur, Travis Hansen, Eddy has grown rapidly due to its simple but powerful product, highly-rated customer service, and focus on local businesses with deskless workforces.

Key features include job posting management, tracking incoming candidates, and a full-scale applicant tracking system (ATS). The onboarding system lets HR managers create custom onboarding packages, assign tasks, and easily collect digital signatures.

A core function of Eddy is people management—users can access company directories and store important employee documents, notes on performance, and training and certifications in employee profiles. You can also create custom PTO policies and approve or deny requests; tap into their time tracking tool, which allows employees to easily clock in and clock out; and navigate payroll processes using Eddy’s full-service payroll system that includes support for multiple pay periods and end-of-year W-2 preparation, filing, and distribution.

Eddy starts at $8/employee/month plus a $49 base fee, and offers a free demo.

Free demo available

From $8/employee/month + a $49 base fee/month

7

Remofirst

Best HR software with global payroll options

Remofirst is a cloud-based HR software solution that helps small businesses and startups comply with tax regulations and labor laws. It automates the tax and payroll process and offers a compliance guarantee, which protects businesses from potential penalties. Furthermore, it provides support and resources to help companies comply with changing regulations.

Remofirst's self-service portal allows employers to view and update their employees' information, including contact information, job titles, and salary data. You can use Remofirst to enroll employees in health insurance, dental insurance, and other benefits programs. Employees can use the tool to view their benefit options and make changes to their coverage. Remofirst also offers a mobile app that allows users to access their accounts from anywhere. The app makes it easy to keep track of employees' hours and vacation days, as well as calculate payroll taxes. It provides a convenient way for employees to view their pay stubs and W-2 forms.

Remofirst's payroll reporting feature makes it easy for businesses to keep track of employee payroll information. The report includes detailed information on employee salaries, deductions, and contributions. The report can generate tax reports and evaluate employee benefits and compensation packages. This information can verify that employees are being paid correctly and ensure that deductions are being withheld correctly. Data is stored securely in the Remofirst cloud, making it easy for businesses to access and use when needed. Remofirst provides 24/7 customers with a live chat feature, giving access to its team of experts to help with troubleshooting problems.

Pricing for Remofirst starts at $199/employee/month.

Free forever plan with limited features

From $199/employee/month

8

GoCo

Best customer service

GoCo is an employee management software with a wide variety of features for running your human resources department. You can use GoCo to automate your onboarding checklist and ensure that new employees have a memorable first day at work. GoCo has a self-service option allowing employees access to track and manage their time offs. Employees can also use the self-service option to make changes to certain details like their benefits and dependents to empower them while promoting self-sufficiency.

Small businesses don’t often have their own IT departments, which makes handling software issues challenging. If you want HR software that provides excellent customer service, then GoCo is an excellent choice because they assign a dedicated Customer Success Manager for every GoCo subscriber to ensure that you have somebody attending to your software concerns. GoCo is flexible and ensures that its software will work great with the other software you use. Instead of replacing your trusted software platforms like payroll or benefits, GoCo integrates with them to ensure that you can continue using software that works great for you.

GoCo pricing starts at $5/employee/month.

Request a free demo

From $5/employee/month

9

Paylocity

Best for employee self-service

Paylocity is a suite of payroll and HR tools. The solution for small businesses is focused on making performing HR tasks as simple as possible.

For example, the self-service tool gives employees all they need to answer simple HR questions independently. They can access pay stubs, PTO balances, and direct deposit information on their own. This can seriously cut down the amount of time you and your team spend on HR.

There are also payroll automation features that will cut down the amount of time you spend on this task. HR managers can automatically track time and attendance, so payday is always on time and the right amount.

Paylocity has a robust app marketplace with over 300 integrations. It doesn’t provide pricing information upfront, but you can request a demo on the website.

Free demo available

From $45/month plus an added $4/user/month

10

Gusto

Best for freelance payroll accountants

Gusto is easy-to-use HR management software. It comes with all the tools you’d expect. You can set up payroll to quickly set and approve payments, or use time tracking tools to track paid and unpaid absences. Meanwhile, the benefits management tools help you set up employee savings, health, and pensions.

A cool feature for businesses without dedicated HR expertise is the concierge service. This provides access to a team of HR experts via phone or email. The plan also comes with alerts and guides to help you stay compliant with relevant regulations.

The tool integrates with plenty of other HR, accounting, and general tools like Asana, Zoho, Bonusly, and Quickbooks. Gusto costs $6 per employee per month, plus a $39 per month base price. The version with the concierge service is $12 per person per month plus a $149 base price.

30-day free trial

From $6/employee/month + $39/month base fee

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 HR Software For Small Businesses Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Deel

Best for managing contractors & freelancers

Free demo available

From $49/user/month Visit Website
2
Oyster HR

Best HR software for hiring international employees or contractors

Freemium plan + free demo available

From $499/employee/month Visit Website
3
monday.com

Best for customized data dashboards, forms and automations

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month Visit Website
4
Paycor

Best for its free setup and available features in lower plans

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month Visit Website
5
Rippling

Best small business HR software to centralize employee management

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
6
Eddy

Best all-in-one HR software for local businesses with deskless workers

Free demo available

From $8/employee/month + a $49 base fee/month Visit Website
7
Remofirst

Best HR software with global payroll options

Free forever plan with limited features

From $199/employee/month Visit Website
8
GoCo

Best customer service

Request a free demo

From $5/employee/month Visit Website
9
Paylocity

Best for employee self-service

Free demo available

From $45/month plus an added $4/user/month Visit Website
10
Gusto

Best for freelance payroll accountants

30-day free trial

From $6/employee/month + $39/month base fee Visit Website

Other Small Business HR Solutions

Are none of the above tools a good fit for your organization? Then here are some options that didn’t make our top list but might be a good choice for the right business. You can also check out our article on the overall best HR tools for more advice.

  1. BrightHR

    Best vacation planner & PTO tracker

  2. Bitrix24

    Best free web-based solution

  3. CuteHR

    Best for remote teams

  4. Open HRMS

    Best open source human resources software

  5. Fingercheck

    Best for HR automation

  6. HR.my

    Best completely free HR software

  7. SnapHRM

    Best free solution for businesses with under 5 employees

  8. BambooHR

    Best for measuring employee satisfaction

  9. Sapling

    Best for SMB scalability

  10. TriNet

    Best for outsourcing HR

Do Small Businesses Require HR?

Small businesses need some form of HR. Even if you don’t have a dedicated team, someone at your company needs to process payroll, find and onboard new employees, and manage your staff. 

HR software can simplify all these processes. And many tools will also guide you around compliance and employment law, which is challenging if you aren’t an expert. The key for small businesses is finding a solution with the features they need, without having to pay for unnecessary extras. 

Related Read: 10 Best HRMS For Small Business In 2023

What Can You Do If Your Company Doesn’t Have An HR Department?

Many small businesses won’t have a dedicated HR department. This isn’t a problem as there’s no legal requirement to have one. 

But, you will need to educate yourself about HR functions or have someone else in your team be in charge. If you find that managing HR is taking up too much of your time, use software or hire extra help.

What Do You Think About These Tools?

Have you used any of these small business HR tools? Then let us know what you think about them in the comments. And if you want to learn more about HR and managing people in your small business, be sure to sign up for the People Managing People newsletter.

Further Reading: 10 Best Contact Management Software In 2023

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

Related List of Tools: HR Software List to Boost HR Functions

By Tim Reitsma

Tim is the co-founder and General Manager of People Managing People, an online publication focused on building a better world of work. He is experienced with people & culture, leadership, business strategy and operations with a focus on building great teams who are excited about their craft and their organization. With over 15 years of leadership experience, Tim has always been guided by his core values: faith, family, curiosity, and fun. He is a coach, mentor, speaker, advisor, and an active volunteer in his community. Tim loves spending time outdoors with his wife and two kids as well as mountain biking in the north shore mountains.