Skip to main content

Choosing the right software for your human resources department can help you manage your team efficiently while simplifying those day-to-day HR tasks. Need help finding the right tool? I've got you! Drawing from my years of experience using various HR software in different startups, I've put together a list of tools that cut down on manual data entry, eliminate payroll mistakes, and negate compliance issues. Here are my picks for the best HR Software for startups.

Why Trust Our HR Software Reviews

We’ve been testing and reviewing HR software since 2019. As HR experts ourselves, we know how critical and difficult it is to make the right decision when selecting software. We invest in deep research to help our audience make better software purchasing decisions. We've tested more than 2,000 tools for different HR use cases and written over 1,000 comprehensive software reviews. Learn how we stay transparent, and take a look at our software review methodology.

Best HR Software for Startups: Pricing Comparison Chart

This comparison chart summarizes pricing details for my top HR software selections to help your business find the best software for your budget and startup needs.

Tools Price
Deel Flat rate user pricing, with a free version for businesses with up to 200 people
Rippling From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Gusto From $40/user/month
OrangeHRM From $6/user/month
Bitrix24 From $49/month (min 5 users) + free plan available
Zoho People From $1.25/user/month
Paychex From $39/month + $5/employee/month
ADP Pricing upon request
Charlie Pricing upon request
BambooHR From $7/user/month
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.

Compare Software

How to Choose HR Software for Startups

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

  • Scalability: Startups often experience rapid growth, and your HR software needs to keep pace. Look for solutions that can easily scale with your business, adding new users and features as needed. 
  • Ease of Use: Startups typically have limited time and resources to dedicate to training. Choose software that is intuitive and user-friendly, minimizing the learning curve for your team. 
  • Integration Capabilities: Your HR software should seamlessly integrate with other tools and systems you already use, such as payroll, accounting, and project management software. This ensures a smooth flow of information and reduces the need for manual data entry. 
  • Customization Options: Every startup has unique needs and processes. Look for HR software that offers customization options to tailor the system to your specific requirements. This could include custom fields, workflows, and reporting capabilities. 
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Startups often operate on tight budgets, so it's important to find HR software that offers good value for money. Consider the total cost of ownership, including subscription fees, implementation costs, and any additional charges for support or upgrades. This could mean sacrificing certain features like customization when opting for more affordable plans. 

Best HR Software for Startups Reviews

Here are my detailed reviews and analyses of various HR software options for startups, including the advantages and disadvantages of each tool, its features, and optimal use cases.

Best for automating global hiring and compliance

  • 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 simplifies the process of hiring international talent and managing international payments. It handles compliance, payroll, and HR admin, allowing startups to hire the best talent in 150 countries without worrying about legal issues.

Why I picked Deel: I chose Deel for its focus on automating global hiring and compliance, which is crucial for startups looking to expand internationally. Deel simplifies the complexities of international hiring by ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations (which can be quite complicated without the right software tool.) In that respect, its automation features and ease of use stand out from other HR tools.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include automated onboarding, compliance management, payroll processing, and expense management. It also provides support for various currencies and payment options. 

Deel integrates natively with QuickBooks, Xero, Gusto, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Dropbox, Zapier, and Trello

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Supports multiple currencies
  • Ensures compliance
  • Simplifies international hiring

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Pricing details are not transparent

Best for integrated HR, IT, and finance management

  • Free demo available
  • From $8/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.8/5

Rippling combines payroll, benefits, and personnel management on a single platform. It automates administrative procedures to ensure smooth onboarding, compliance, and HR operations, all while interacting with a variety of third-party services.

Why I picked Rippling: I chose Rippling for its integrated approach to HR, IT, and finance management, making it a unique choice for startups needing a unified system. Its comprehensive feature set and ease of use make it stand out from other software. Rippling is best for integrated management because it consolidates multiple functions into one platform, reducing complexity for startups.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include payroll, benefits administration, device management, and app provisioning. The software also offers time tracking and employee onboarding. 

Rippling integrates natively with QuickBooks, Gusto, Xero, Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Trello, Salesforce, and Zoom.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Wide range of integrations with third-party services
  • Automates administrative procedures for onboarding and compliance
  • Integrated payroll, benefits, and personnel management

Cons:

  • Limited advanced analytics
  • Higher cost for small teams

Best for affordable, automated payroll and HR for startups

  • Free demo available
  • From $40/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

Gusto focuses on simplifying payroll, benefits, and human resource management. It automates tax returns, payroll processing, and benefits. administration, allowing startups to manage these essential tasks efficiently and in compliance with legal requirements.

Why I picked Gusto: I chose Gusto for its affordability and automation capabilities, making it an excellent choice for startups needing efficient payroll and HR solutions. Its user-friendly interface and simplified tools make it stand out from other software. Gusto is best for affordable, automated payroll and HR because it offers cost-effective solutions that simplify payroll and HR tasks for startups.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include payroll processing, benefits administration, and compliance management. The software also offers time tracking and employee onboarding. 

Gusto integrates natively with QuickBooks, Xero, Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Trello, Zapier, Greenhouse, and Lever.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Compliance management
  • User-friendly interface
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Limited basic analytics
  • Limited customization

Best for customizable HR administration and employee management

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

OrangeHRM provides adaptable and scalable solutions for HR administration and personnel management. It offers capabilities for everything from recruitment and onboarding to performance tracking and employee engagement, all to streamline HR operations through an easy-to-use interface.

Why I picked OrangeHRM: I chose OrangeHRM for its robust customization options and comprehensive HR management capabilities. It stands out from other HR tools due to its flexibility in adapting to various organizational needs. I believe it is best for customizable HR administration and employee management because it allows startups to tailor their HR processes to fit their unique requirements, ensuring optimal efficiency and employee satisfaction.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include custom user roles for varied access levels, a mobile app for managing HR tasks remotely, an audit trail for tracking system changes, asset tracking for managing company assets, and a news and HR policy publisher to communicate updates and policies, along with automated notifications for reminders on key tasks and events.

OrangeHRM integrates natively with the following tools: PayDay, ZKTeco, PayPros, Nitso Technologies, hSenidBiz, MC Systems, Google Calendar, ICS Calendar, GoodCloud, and various job boards.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Mobile app access
  • Comprehensive HR features
  • Customizable user roles

Cons:

  • Limited integrations
  • Mobile app access No native payroll

Best for all-in-one team, project, and client management

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

Bitrix24 stands out as an HR software tool for startups as it integrates various business tools into a single platform. Beyond conventional HR management, Bitrix24 combines task management capabilities and CRM functionalities so startups can simplify internal communication and workflow processes.

Why I picked Bitrix24: I chose Bitrix24 for the list because it stands out as a comprehensive solution that combines various business tools into one platform. This makes it different from other HR software by offering extensive features beyond just HR management. I believe Bitrix24 is best for the all-in-one team, project, and client management due to its ability to centralize multiple business processes, making it easier for startups to manage their operations efficiently.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include task management with Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and Scrum tools, project management with roles and access permissions, and collaboration tools like chat, video calls, and file storage. It also includes CRM functionalities, marketing tools, and an AI assistant called CoPilot.

Bitrix24 integrates natively with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, MS Office, Office 365, MS Outlook, MS OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and Mailchimp.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • AI assistant
  • Multiple integrations
  • In-depth CRM functionalities

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Beneficial with technical expertise

Best for comprehensive HR management and employee experience

  • From $1.25/user/month

Zoho People is a cloud-based HR software for startups that offers a suite of scalable tools for employee management, from onboarding to performance evaluation, all on a customizable platform.

Zoho offers features such as core HR management, time and attendance tracking, personal time off (PTO) requests, performance management, learning and development, and employee analytics. It is flexible and scalable, catering to businesses of all sizes and industries.

Why I picked Zoho: I chose Zoho for its HR management capabilities and focus on employee experience. Its wide range of features and integrations make it a versatile tool which is great for startups with budget constraints. With a holistic approach to HR, Zoho covers all aspects of employee lifecycle management from onboarding to performance management.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include core HR management, time and attendance tracking, performance management, learning and development, and employee analytics. It also emphasizes data security and privacy. 

Zoho People integrates natively with QuickBooks, Zapier, Office 365, Zoho CRM, Adobe Sign, Zoho Recruit, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and Dropbox.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong data security
  • Scalable for all business sizes
  • Comprehensive feature set

Cons:

  • Only offers basic support options
  • Limited customization

Best for HR insights and needs assessment

  • Free demo available
  • From $39/month + $5/employee/month

Paychex provides solutions for HR teams by managing payroll, benefits, and compliance with ease. It offers a full package of solutions to help companies automate important HR activities and stay current with regulatory obligations, all via a centralized platform. Plus, Paychex delivers proactive HR guidance and insights, uncovering workforce and hiring blindspots.

Why I picked Paychex: I chose Paychex for its user-friendliness, strong compliance support, and unique HR expert support. Insights and advice from experienced HR experts can help startups in needs assessment, action plan customization, and navigating relevant employment laws. 

Paychex is best for HR support because it offers a full suite of HR tools and a team of experts that are not only helpful for assessing your HR needs but also ensure compliance with regulations.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include payroll processing, benefits administration, and HR compliance. The software also offers time tracking and employee onboarding. 

Paychex integrates natively with QuickBooks, Xero, Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Trello, Zapier, Greenhouse, and Lever.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Strong compliance support
  • Functionalities such as time tracking

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Pricing details are not transparent

Best for simplified payroll and HR for small businesses

  • Free demo available
  • Pricing upon request

ADP offers scalable solutions for human resources management, payroll, and tax services. It enables startups to optimize crucial HR tasks, assuring compliance and efficiency through automated processes adapted to the needs of small businesses.

Why I picked ADP: I chose ADP for its ability to simplify payroll and HR tasks, making it an ideal choice for small businesses needing efficient HR solutions. Its comprehensive feature set and ease of use make it stand out from other software. ADP is best for simplified payroll and HR because it offers straightforward solutions that streamline payroll and HR tasks for small businesses.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include payroll processing, benefits administration, and compliance management. The software also offers time tracking and employee onboarding. 

ADP integrates natively with QuickBooks, Xero, Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Trello, Zapier, Greenhouse, and Lever.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong compliance support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Comprehensive feature set

Cons:

  • Limited customization
  • Pricing details are not transparent

Best for automating HR tasks and building engaged teams

  • Pricing upon request

Charlie offers features such as onboarding, time off requests, performance reviews, engagement surveys, and HR advice. It aims to streamline HR tasks, save time on admin, and help build highly engaged teams.

Why I picked Charlie: I chose Charlie for its focus on automating HR tasks and team engagement features. Its user-friendly interface and niche features make it stand out from other HR tools. Charlie is best for automating HR tasks and documentation which not only simplifies HR processes but allows startups to focus on team engagement and performance.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include onboarding, time off management, performance reviews, engagement surveys, and HR advice. It also provides tools for employee recognition and document management. 

Charlie integrates natively with Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Dropbox, Zapier, Trello, Asana, QuickBooks, Xero, and Gusto.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Automated HR processes
  • Performance and engagement tools
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Slight learning curve
  • Limited advanced features

Best for rapid growth and modern employer branding

  • 7-day free trial
  • From $7/user/month
Visit Website
Rating: 4.4/5

BambooHR is best for rapid growth and scaling startups because it simplifies HR tasks, making them routine and easy to manage. It allows startups to focus on growing their operations while building a strong brand and internal company culture. 

Why I picked BambooHR: I chose BambooHR for its user-friendly interface, professional onboarding experience, and comprehensive features that meet the specific needs of rapidly growing startups. BambooHR is ideal for fast-growing teams and enhancing employer branding, as it provides tools that help startups attract and retain top talent while building a strong employer brand and internal culture through ongoing employee engagement features.

Standout features & integrations:

Standout features include an applicant tracking system, onboarding tools, performance management, time tracking, and payroll integration. The software also provides employee experience tools to help create a positive workplace culture.

BambooHR integrates natively with the following tools: QuickBooks, Xero, Slack, G Suite, Microsoft 365, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Offers workplace engagement tools
  • Includes an applicant tracking system and onboarding tools
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Limited customer support options
  • Limited customization options

Other HR Software For Startups To Consider

Below is a list of additional HR software for startups that didn’t make it into my top 10 list, but are still worth checking out:

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 HR Software For Startups 

Selecting HR software for startups requires evaluating functionality and specific use cases crucial for this type of software. The criteria address buyer needs, pain points, and effective software use. Based on my research and experience with these tools, I can highlight the most important features.

Core X Functionalities (25% of total score): To be considered for inclusion in this list, each solution had to fulfill these common use cases first:

  • Employee onboarding
  • Payroll management
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • Benefits administration
  • Performance management

Additional Standout Features (25% of total score): To help me find the best software out of numerous available options, I also kept a keen eye out for unique features, including the following:

  • Integration with other business tools
  • Customizable workflows
  • Advanced analytics and reporting
  • Mobile app accessibility
  • AI-driven insights

Usability (10% of total score): To evaluate the usability of each system, I considered the following:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Drag-and-drop scheduling
  • Easy navigation
  • Role-based access configuration
  • Minimal learning curve

Onboarding (10% of total score): To get a sense of each software provider's customer onboarding process, I considered the following factors:

  • Availability of training videos
  • Interactive product tours
  • Chatbots for instant help
  • Webinars for in-depth training
  • Pre-built templates for quick setup

Customer Support (10% of total score): To evaluate the level of customer support each vendor offered, I considered the following:

  • 24/7 support availability
  • Multiple support channels (email, phone, chat)
  • Dedicated account managers
  • Comprehensive help center
  • Fast response times

Value for Price (10% of total score): To gauge the value of each software, I considered the following factors:

  • Competitive Pricing
  • Transparent pricing models
  • Flexible subscription plans
  • Cost vs. feature comparison
  • Discounts for startups

Customer Reviews (10% of total score): Evaluating customer reviews is the final element of my selection process, which helps me understand how well a product performs in the hands of real users. Here are the factors I considered:

  • Overall satisfaction ratings
  • Feedback on ease of use
  • Comments on customer support quality
  • Reviews on feature effectiveness
  • User testimonials on ROI.

Using this assessment framework helped me identify the software that goes beyond basic requirements to offer additional value through unique features, intuitive usability, smooth onboarding, effective support, and overall value for price.

Here are some trends in HR software for startups and their potential impact on the marketing industry. I analyzed numerous product updates, press releases, and release logs to identify the key insights.

  • AI-Powered Recruitment Tools: AI is being used to screen resumes and match candidates to job descriptions. This reduces the time spent on manual screening. It also helps in finding the best fit for the role.
  • Remote Work Management: Tools for managing remote teams are becoming more sophisticated as Gen Z is entering the workforce and the demand for work-life balance is increasing. They offer features like time tracking and virtual collaboration which will be essential for remote work and increasingly more common.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: HR software is leveraging data analytics to inform decisions. This includes insights on employee performance and retention, forecasting hiring needs, identifying potential talent gaps, and predicting employee turnover rates. 
  • Wellness and Benefit Prioritization: With an increasing focus on employee well-being and long-term retention, HR software solutions now integrate features such as wellness apps, stress management tools, and platforms promoting work-life balance, alongside remote 1:1 check-ins and continuous performance management.

What Is HR Software For Startups?

HR software for startups is designed to manage and automate various HR functions, aiding HR professionals, managers, and business owners with recruitment, onboarding, payroll, benefits, and performance management. Key components include applicant tracking, employee databases, payroll processing, benefits management, and performance evaluation, all aimed at streamlining HR processes, ensuring compliance, and improving efficiency in managing a growing workforce.

Features Of HR Software For Startups

When selecting HR software for startups, focus on features that support growth, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Here are the most important features to consider:

  • Employee Onboarding: Simplifies the process of integrating new hires into the company. This ensures new employees are productive from day one.
  • Payroll Management: Automates salary calculations and disbursements. This reduces errors and ensures timely payments.
  • Time and Attendance Tracking: Monitors employee work hours and attendance. This helps in managing workforce productivity and compliance with labor laws.
  • Performance Management: Tracks and evaluates employee performance. This aids in identifying top performers and areas needing improvement.
  • Benefits Administration: Manages employee benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. This ensures employees receive their entitled benefits without hassle.
  • Employee Self-Service: Allows employees to access and manage their personal information. This reduces the administrative burden on HR staff.
  • Recruitment and Applicant Tracking: Streamlines the hiring process from job posting to candidate selection. This helps in attracting and hiring the best talent efficiently.
  • Compliance Management: Ensures adherence to labor laws and regulations. This minimizes the risk of legal issues and penalties.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Provides insights through data analysis and reporting. This supports informed decision-making and strategic planning.
  •  Integration Capabilities: Allows the software to work seamlessly with other business tools. This ensures a cohesive and efficient workflow across different departments.

Benefits Of HR Software For Startups

Leveraging HR software tools is a great way to support and alleviate administrative tasks for your HR team while also managing your workforce efficiently. Here are several benefits that HR software offers for startups:

  • Time Savings: Automating routine HR tasks such as payroll, attendance tracking, and employee onboarding saves significant time, allowing HR teams to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Improved Compliance: HR software helps ensure that startups adhere to labor laws and regulations by providing timely updates and maintaining accurate records, reducing the risk of legal issues.
  • Enhanced Employee Experience: By streamlining processes like leave requests and performance reviews, HR software improves the overall employee experience, leading to higher satisfaction and retention rates.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Access to real-time analytics and reporting enables startups to make informed decisions about their workforce, from hiring to performance management.
  • Scalability: As startups grow, HR software can easily scale to accommodate an increasing number of employees, ensuring that HR processes remain efficient and effective.

Investing in HR software gives startups the tools to manage their workforce effectively, ensure compliance, improve employee satisfaction, and support growth.

Costs & Pricing For HR Software For Startups

Selecting the right HR software for startups is crucial for streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Understanding the costs and pricing options can be challenging, especially for those new to HR software. This guide breaks down different plan options and their pricing, helping you make an informed decision.

HR software for startups typically comes in various plans tailored to different needs and budgets. Below is a table summarizing common plan types, their average prices, and typical features.

Plan Comparison Table for HR Software for Startups

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Basic employee records, limited user access, and basic reporting
Basic$30-$50/month + $5-$10/employeeEmployee records, payroll processing, basic compliance tools, and limited support
Mid-Level$50-$100/month + $5-$15/employeeAdvanced payroll, benefits administration, compliance support, and employee self-service portals
Premium$100-$250/month + $10-$25/employeeComprehensive HR management, advanced analytics, AI-driven features, extensive integrations, and 24/7 support
EnterpriseCustom PricingFull customization, dedicated support, extensive integrations, and advanced security features
A breakdown of plan types, costs, and features for HR software for startups.

Each plan caters to different needs: free and basic plans suit small teams, mid-level and premium plans offer advanced features for growing businesses, and enterprise plans provide extensive customization and support for larger startups with complex requirements.

HR Software For Startups FAQs

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about HR software for startups:

Can HR software help with compliance and legal requirements?

Yes, many HR software solutions include features to help ensure compliance with labor laws and regulations. These features may include automated updates to reflect changes in legislation, gathering insights from employee data, tools for tracking employee documentation and reporting capabilities to help with audits and legal requirements.

How can HR software improve employee onboarding?

HR software can automate many aspects of the onboarding process, such as sending welcome emails, providing access to necessary documents, and setting up initial training sessions. This can help new employees get up to speed more quickly and reduce the administrative burden on HR staff.

What kind of support and training is available for HR software?

Support and training options vary by provider but often include online resources such as tutorials, webinars, and knowledge bases. Some providers also offer live support through phone or chat, as well as on-site training sessions for an additional fee.

How secure is HR software in terms of data protection?

Security is a critical consideration for HR software. Look for solutions that offer robust security features such as data encryption, regular security audits, and compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR or CCPA. Additionally, consider the provider’s reputation and history with data security.

Can HR software help with employee engagement and retention?

Many HR software solutions include features designed to improve employee engagement and retention. These may include tools for conducting employee surveys, tracking performance and feedback, and offering recognition and rewards programs. Using these features, startups can create a more positive and engaging work environment.

What are the options for customizing the HR software to fit our startup's unique processes and workflows?

Many HR software solutions offer customization options such as configurable workflows, custom fields, tailored reporting, and integration with third-party tools. This flexibility allows you to adapt the software to meet your business needs.

Can the HR software be customized to match our company culture?

Many HR software solutions offer customization options such as branded interfaces, customizable onboarding processes, and flexible workflow settings to better align with your company culture and processes.

Is the HR software regularly updated to include new features and improvements?

Yes, reputable HR software providers frequently release updates to introduce new features, improve functionality, and ensure compliance with changing regulations. Users typically receive notifications about these updates.

What’s Next? 

To remain up to date on all the latest in people management, subscribe to our newsletter for leaders and managers. You'll receive insights and offerings tailored to leaders and HR professionals straight to your inbox.

Faye Wai
By Faye Wai

Faye Wai is a HR Technology Analyst and contributor to People Managing People, with a background in branding, public relations, and content marketing. She has vet vendors as an end-user in both consultancy and in-house capacities, providing her with a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities within the people operations sector.