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10 Best HRIS For Small Businesses To Manage HR Processes [2023]

The Best HRIS For Small Businesses List

Here’s the list of the best HRIS systems for small businesses that I’ll cover in this article:

  1. Deel

    Best HRIS with built-in onboarding + talent management tools

  2. Paycor

    Best for small businesses needing scalability

  3. monday.com

    Best for customized, task-based boards with built-in data visualization

  4. Rippling

    Best HRIS for small HR teams looking for time-saving workflow automations

  5. Zoho People

    Best all-in-one platform for shift-based, remote and mobile workforces

  6. Gusto

    Best platform for international contractor-based teams

  7. bob

    Best for fostering employee engagement through a fun, social media-inspired interface

  8. Rise

    Best all-in-one platform for Canadian companies with lean HR teams

  9. Collage HR

    Best for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

  10. Humi

    Best for Canadian startups needing support with benefits, corporate insurance, and asset tracking

As a former HR administrator, I can acknowledge first hand that investing in a human resource information system (HRIS) can be a game-changer for your business. These powerful tools are built to streamline common HR processes into repeatable and customizable workflows, getting you away from your filing cabinets and giving you more time to focus on higher-level HR tasks. 

For this article, I took a closer look at the best HRIS systems on the market that are appropriate for small to medium businesses (SMBs). By investing in one of these systems, you’ll improve the efficiency of your HR functions and your overall employee’s experience. 

HRIS Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best HRIS system? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria for HRIS systems: 

  1. User Interface (UI): I look for a visually attractive, clean, and colourful interface that makes it fun for staff to engage with the system. 
  2. Usability: I look for systems that are simple, straightforward, and intuitive, making it easy for users at all levels to complete tasks independently. 
  3. Integrations: I look for platforms that can be configured to sync with other common HR tools that are not custom-built into the system already. 
  4. Value for $: I look for platforms that offer a reasonable price per employee, with transparent details on how much it would cost to scale up and add more features over time. 

HRIS Key Features

While each HRIS system is unique in its own way, there are some classic components that you’ll find across the list of best HR software. The main features an HRIS should have are: 

  1. Core HR data management features - a single source of employee data management
  2. Payroll functions - integrated, tax-compliant payroll management software that removes the need for manual calculations
  3. Time Off & Attendance - tracking when your employees start and stop work, as well as their vacation and other leave requests
  4. Benefits Administration - a way to link your health benefit offerings to your core employee and payroll data
  5. Performance Management - a way to facilitate performance reviews and track employee performance and development over time
  6. Recruiting & Onboarding - an integrated applicant tracking system to screen candidates, streamline the hiring process, and turn candidates into new employees
  7. Training & Learning Management - a process for tracking employee qualifications and certification expiry dates, and hosting in-house training presentations
  8. Employee Self-Service - the ability for employees to update their own personal information and access other details self-sufficiently without relying heavily on HR staff

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Overviews Of The 10 Best HRIS For Small Businesses

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

1

Deel

Best HRIS with built-in onboarding + talent management tools

Deel is a cloud-based HRIS that enables businesses to manage employee data, payroll, and benefits in one place. The system includes tools for recruiting, performance management, and compliance. Its performance management module allows businesses to set employee goals and objectives and monitor their progress. The platform is user-friendly and easily accessible from mobile devices.

Deel's self-service portal provides a centralized location for storing all of a company's HR documents and files, making it easier to share information between different departments. Employee information can be accessed and updated by both employees and managers, allowing organizations to keep track or data like contact details, qualifications, and work history. The portal also provides various tools to help with HR planning, such as a holiday planner and annual leave tracker. Moreover, the self-service portal allows employees to request changes to their details or submit requests for time off.

Employee training trackers help managers identify which employees need to be trained on which topics and ensure that all employees are up-to-date on their training. Deel's dashboards and reports give users an overview of their project's progress, including deadlines, tasks assigned, and team members' workloads. 

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

Paycor

Best for small businesses needing scalability

Paycor’s HR platform is designed to help companies eliminate paper-based administrative tasks by automating common workflows. Their unified employee database acts as a single source of information for all employees, and eliminates the need to re-enter data manually.

While it’s technically an HCM (human capital management) platform, Paycor’s Basic service level includes self-service employee onboarding, in-product compliance tracking, document storage, in-house communication options such as a chat feature, company news and mobile push notifications, and a long list of payroll features. Their user-friendly mobile app also gives employees the ability to access their pay statements and tax documents, request time off, view their work schedules, and manage their employee benefits.

This platform is a great option for small businesses because you can start off with the Basic modules, and scale up to add more features when you’re ready, and your budget allows. Paycor embraces this approach and is happy to work with you to tailor their technology to your business needs rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution. With their more advanced service levels, you unlock features for talent management, workforce management, and a multitude of employee experience tools such as pulse surveys, goal tracking, and feedback and recognition tools.

Paycor can integrate with a handful of other HR and payroll tools including MyEnroll360, WorkforceHub, TimeDock, Global Shop Solutions, Glassdoor, GoodHire Background Checks, Hubworks, Workforce.com, Zip Forecasting, TimePilot and others.

Customers who enroll with Paycor receive one month of free payroll services. After that, pricing starts at $99 USD/month plus $5 USD employee/month. There is no free trial version, but a demo and a guided tour can be arranged.

Free demo available

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

3

monday.com

Best for customized, task-based boards with built-in data visualization

monday.com’s flexible Work OS system makes it easy to organize task-based information on customized boards, with built-in visualization tools. While it’s not a true HRIS system, the flexibility of their software means it can be tailored to support any workflows you want to track, including core HR functions like employee data, leave management requests, performance reviews, recruiting, onboarding, and learning and development, and much more. Once your boards are set up and organized into workspaces for teams, departments or tasks, you can easily visualize the data in many different types of graphs and charts for key stakeholders to review at a glance.

With over 200 HR-related templates to choose from and 30 column types, it’s a fast and low-cost way of organizing employee data and processes, especially for small businesses that are currently running their HR processes out of Excel spreadsheets. By migrating your task-based HR data to Monday.com, you can take advantage of their time-saving features such as customized automation and team collaboration features like the ability to assign co-workers to specific tasks. Their advanced search function and the ability to favourite boards make it quick to navigate information. As well, to keep your workflows uncluttered, you can also easily archive items or retrieve them anytime with zero limitations.

monday.com integrates with a wide range of productivity and communication tools including Dropbox, Excel, Google Drive, LinkedIn, Slack, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, Zoom, Zapier, and others.

Pricing for monday.com starts at $8 USD/user/month. They also offer a 14-day free trial, as well as a free forever plan with limited features for a maximum of two users.

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month

4

Rippling

Best HRIS for small HR teams looking for time-saving workflow automations

Rippling is an all-in-one HRIS that simplifies the complicated world of human resources management. Their cloud-based platform provides an easy way to manage onboarding, payroll, benefits administration, time tracking, and onboarding & offboarding, all in one place.

Rippling is an ideal system for companies with limited resources who still want to provide their employees with top-notch service as it saves time by automating many tasks that would otherwise take hours to complete manually. For example, it offers fully automated onboarding and offboarding processes, giving small businesses an easy way to manage these traditionally paper-heavy processes. You can easily customize forms to match your company's brand, store documents securely in the cloud, and automatically sync data across multiple departments, so everyone is updated on new hires automatically.

Rippling’s talent management feature identifies high performers within your organization and builds succession plans accordingly, helping you ensure that there's always someone ready to take on increased responsibilities when needed. When it comes to recruiting new candidates, Rippling allows managers to easily track the hiring progress from sending an offer letter to an employee's first day, ensuring a smooth transition into the company culture.

Rippling’s time-tracking feature enables employees to log their hours accurately and quickly. Their integrated expense management feature simplifies the expense reimbursement process by allowing employees to submit expenses electronically and capture approvals via digital signature. This reduces paperwork and streamlines the review process, making it easier for managers to monitor employee expenses.

Their reporting capabilities allow you to analyze key metrics related to employee performance and satisfaction, such as engagement or turnover rates. These reports can give you valuable insight into what’s working well within your organization, while also uncovering any areas for improvement.

Integrations are available with 1Password, Asana, DocuSign, Dropbox, GitHub, Google Workspace, LinkedIn, Microsoft 365, Netsuite, Sage Intacct, Slack, Typeform, QuickBooks, and many other popular software systems

Due to the modular nature of their HRIS system, pricing details are customized upon request. You can also request a free demo through their website too.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

5

Zoho People

Best all-in-one platform for shift-based, remote and mobile workforces

Zoho People is a cloud-based HR software platform that helps simplify HR operations and the employee experience. Their employee database scales easily and is used in over 45 countries. Their platform streamlines core HR functions such as employee onboarding, time off management, HR file management, and employee database management. Even at their lowest pricing level, users will benefit from module-based reports, workflow management tools, and “Zia” - their AI bot which answers employee questions and can be accessed from any screen within their system.

Technically an HRMS (human resources management system), this is a great choice for businesses with hourly, shift-based, field-based, or remote workforces due to the depth of their attendance tracking, shift-scheduling and mobile check-in features. By enabling Zoho People’s geo-fencing capabilities, companies can mark geographic locations such as client offices or field sites using GPS points. GPS-based attendance improves the accuracy of reported work hours by ensuring mobile staff can only log in when they arrive in the area, and log out when they leave.

Their full-feature mobile app is another bonus for mobile workers as they can access company information or connect with their colleagues in just a few clicks. As well, remote workers can check-in and out of their workday using People Kiosk: a digital version of the old punch-clock system that uses facial recognition to identify workers and track in and out times.

In addition to Zoho’s own apps (of which there are many!), further integrations exist for Google Workspace and Google Analytics, Office365, Slack, Zendesk, WordPress, Joomla, and payment gateways such as PayPal, WePay, WorldPay and more.

Zoho People starts at $1.25 USD/user/month for their Essential HR level. A free demo is available, and they offer a 30-day free trial as well.

30-day free trial

From $1.25/user/month

6

Gusto

Best platform for international contractor-based teams

Gusto is an all-in-one HR solution with scalable pricing and features that work for smaller businesses with simple salary structures all the way up to complex, sophisticated international teams. Their Core level functions primarily as a payroll system with hiring and onboarding tools, and insurance benefit management support included. Their platform really comes alive at the Complete level, which includes team management tools, performance reviews, PTO management, and employee engagement features.

Hiring teams can submit job postings directly to public job boards using the platform, and also send out personalized offer letters to top candidates. The onboarding process is also supported by a centralized onboarding checklist that streamlines the new hire experience, but can be customized with task delegations to other team members for added support.

In today’s work-from-anywhere world, it’s common to have a global workforce, rather than all employees residing in the same place. Gusto has you covered there too, as it supports payments to international contractors in over 80 countries. As well, it also has a built-in device management tracking system that helps with inventory control, network access, and keeping your company data secure.

The list of integrations for Gusto is very comprehensive, with over 135 options to choose from. Commonly used options include Asana, Bonusly, ChartHop, DropBox, GitHub, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Sage Accounting, Salesforce, Shopify, Slack, Webex, Zipbooks and Zoom.

For Gusto’s Core package, the pricing starts at $6 USD/month/employee plus a base fee of $39 USD/month. Several other pricing levels are available, as well as an option for contractor-only businesses who don’t have any W-2 employees - another great option for small international teams. If you sign up for a Gusto account, you’ll receive your first month of payroll services for free. A 30-day free trial is also available.

30-day free trial

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

7

bob

Best for fostering employee engagement through a fun, social media-inspired interface

Say “hi” to Bob, an HRIS platform designed to maximize the employee experience and link employees to your company culture. Their platform includes all the core features you’d expect in a robust HR system: employee data management and HR analytics, benefits management (beyond simply healthcare coverage), culture tools, a document hub with DocuSign built right in, streamlined time and attendance tracking features, digitized onboarding, a dynamic people directory with a linked org chart, and customizable workflows and reports. You can also add more advanced features, such as compensation management, a payroll hub, performance management, and people analytics depending on your business needs.

Their user interface is designed with a social media-like feel to get employees excited about engaging with the company. From a central homepage team members can view birthdays, work anniversaries, and interesting stats about other colleagues to help people make connections - an important feature in today’s work-from-home environment. Their Club View further deepens engagement by sorting the staff directory by hobbies, superpowers, gender pronouns, or other custom categories. Bob also supports company announcements, shoutouts, and emoji-based reactions to help teams maintain a positive vibe. As well, the homepage keeps a log of where staff are (i.e., working remotely, in the office, sick, or on vacation), which is a useful feature for companies with remote or hybrid workforces.

Bob has a long list of 40+ integrations with commonly used programs, including many applicant tracking systems, Azure Active Directory, Google Suite, 360Learning, Jira, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zapier and others. They also have an iOS and Android mobile app.

Bob does not advertise prices on their website, but you can contact them via their website to request a customized quote. A free demo and a free trial are also available.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

8

Rise

Best all-in-one platform for Canadian companies with lean HR teams

Rise’s People Management platform touts itself as the #1 all-in-one option for Canadian businesses, and it’s easy to see why. Their system is easy to customize depending on what you need, and they offer a full suite of core HR modules including people management, payroll, recruiting, onboarding, time-off management, performance management and self-service mobile app access. Add-ons are also available for benefits administration, and scheduling & time-tracking, regardless of which plan you choose.

The thing I like the most about this platform is how functional it is for companies with lean HR teams, or no HR support at all. Platform administrators can easily control which details employees can view and update themselves, eliminating data entry bottlenecks. As well, typical time-draining processes like onboarding and orientation training can be automated using checklists and custom workflows, with self-service functionalities to collect new hires personal information even before their first day.

The simplified workflows continue in their recruitment process, which supports custom pipelines and applicant funnels with drag-and-drop capabilities to move candidates through the process in a snap. Another feature small HR teams will appreciate are the pre-loaded questions in the performance management module, which are proven to generate useful and actionable feedback and support employee growth. Capitalizing on recent performance review trends such as 360 degree reviews, the system also incorporates feedback from peers, direct reports, managers and the employee themselves in the review cycle, with the freedom to customize as you see fit.

One feature I have not seen with many other HRIS platforms is the integration of benefits management within the platform. With Rise, employees can enroll, view their coverage details, and update their personal information without ever leaving the portal. Another exciting bonus is the fact that the benefits management module can be unlocked for free for any Canadian companies using Sun Life as their benefit provider.

Rise integrates with commonly used accounting software including FreshBooks, Xero, Intuit Quickbooks, and Wealthsimple, which allows employees to file their taxes for free using Wealthsimple Tax. As a bonus, for every tax return filed, users will receive a $15 credit to their Wealthsimple Cash account, and Rise will donate a meal to someone in need through Second Harvest.

Rise starts at $6 CAD/employee/month for the basic People Management + Payroll configuration. To unlock additional features, custom pricing plans are available. Also worth noting: new clients can try out their top tier Optimize level for 3 months for free, which is essentially a 90-day free trial of their full-feature model. A free demo is also available.

90-day free trial of their full-feature model

From $6 CAD/employee/month for the basic People Management + Payroll configuration

9

Collage HR

Best for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

Collage is a great HRIS choice for Canadian businesses as it comes pre-set to Canadian employment standards. Their platform includes all the typical components you’d expect in an HRIS, including self-service employee modules, a time-off management system, performance management features, a recruiting portal with an applicant tracking system, and robust HR reporting across all employee data. The performance management module includes modern, continuous feedback elements like 360-degree reviews, check-ins and customizable survey tools.

Managers and employees will appreciate the simplicity of the time-off management system, which can be accessed via their mobile-friendly app as well. Collage automatically tracks time off accruals and balances and syncs vacation requests with a company calendar so teams always know when co-workers will be away. Vacation requests can also sync with payroll depending on how you configure your platform.

Payroll functions are not included in their Core HRIS package, but a data sync with other payroll software can be added for an additional $3 CAD/user/month. Customers can also outsource their payroll functions to Collage’s team of CPA-approved payroll managers who provide full payroll management services that are fully compliant with Canadian tax laws. This is a helpful option for small companies that don’t already have payroll expertise in-house. HR professionals will also appreciate the system’s ability to streamline benefits administration by syncing directly with your benefits provider for an additional fee of $2 CAD/user/month.

Software-specific integration details are not included on their website, though their HR platform can integrate with common payroll systems and benefit providers.

For Collage’s Core HRIS features, the price starts at $7 CAD/user/month, but add-ons to sync with benefits or payroll programs are available for an additional fee. They have a 10-user minimum, but volume-based pricing is available for companies with over 100 employees. A free demo is available, and a free trial can be arranged via their website.

Free demo available

From $8/user/month

10

Humi

Best for Canadian startups needing support with benefits, corporate insurance, and asset tracking

Humi is another HR software tool made by Canadians, for Canadians, and it’s available in French too. Their system includes all the classic HRIS functions you’d expect, such as employee profiles and data management, recruiting, onboarding, time-off, performance management and payroll. The features that distinguish them from the rest are how they integrate actual employee benefit plans, as well as corporate insurance support, directly into their system.

The insurance world can be very confusing - especially for startups that don’t have a lot of experienced HR or benefit professionals in-house. Humi’s platform adds a lot of value in this area since they have in-house insurance advisors that can help you find the best coverage for your business needs, including cost-effective plans that are administered directly by Humi themselves. By unifying your benefits with your payroll system, you’ll save a lot of time avoiding typical problems like manually adjusting payroll deductions for healthcare each time your benefit costs change. Humi customers can also gain access to other non-health-related benefit providers via the Humi Marketplace.

Startup companies will also be happy to hear that Humi can help with business insurance as well. Through their in-house team of experienced business insurance advisors, they can help you find insurance solutions for general liability, employment liability, product liability, data liability, and director and officer protection against lawsuits.

In today’s work-from-home world, asset management has become a new concern, as tracking things like computers, monitors and chairs can quickly balloon to a big job without a proper asset tracking system. Humi solves this problem as well, with their Asset Tracker module that links serial numbers to key assets, and tracks their historical migration between users over time.

Humi integrates with Indeed’s job board, as well as the applicant tracking systems (ATS) Workable and Greenhouse. They offer single sign-on (SSO) and their calendar can be synced to integrate with your existing Google, Apple or Outlook calendars.

Humi does not advertise prices on their website as they believe in customizing their software depending on what your company actually needs. You can contact them directly for a free demo or custom quote. They also have an interesting evaluation tool on their website that lets you determine how much money you could save by switching over to their HRIS.

Free demo available

Pricing upon request

Need Expert Help Selecting The Right HRIS 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 HRIS 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 HRIS For Small Businesses Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Deel

Best HRIS with built-in onboarding + talent management tools

Free demo available

From $49/user/month Visit Website
2
Paycor

Best for small businesses needing scalability

Free demo available

From $99/month + $5/employee/month Visit Website
3
monday.com

Best for customized, task-based boards with built-in data visualization

14-day free trial + freemium plan available

From $10/user/month Visit Website
4
Rippling

Best HRIS for small HR teams looking for time-saving workflow automations

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
5
Zoho People

Best all-in-one platform for shift-based, remote and mobile workforces

30-day free trial

From $1.25/user/month Visit Website
6
Gusto

Best platform for international contractor-based teams

30-day free trial

From $6/employee/month + $39/month base fee Visit Website
7
bob

Best for fostering employee engagement through a fun, social media-inspired interface

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website
8
Rise

Best all-in-one platform for Canadian companies with lean HR teams

90-day free trial of their full-feature model

From $6 CAD/employee/month for the basic People Management + Payroll configuration Visit Website
9
Collage HR

Best for small to medium-sized Canadian companies

Free demo available

From $8/user/month Visit Website
10
Humi

Best for Canadian startups needing support with benefits, corporate insurance, and asset tracking

Free demo available

Pricing upon request Visit Website

Other Options

Here’s a few more HRIS options for small businesses that didn’t make the top list:

  1. IntelliHR

    Best HRIS platform for employee engagement, wellness and satisfaction

  2. BambooHR

    Best for intuitive, employee self-service features

  3. Sapling

    Best for standardizing processes across a distributed workforce

  4. Eddy

    Best HRIS for digitally onboarding deskless workers or training-heavy industries

  5. OnPay

    Best HRIS for entrepreneurs and start-ups needing payroll support

  6. Ceridian Dayforce

    Best platform for industries with complex scheduling and compliance management needs.

  7. Homebase

    Best HRIS platform for managing hourly workforces using time clocks.

  8. Zenefits

    Fully functional HRIS platform with integrated HR, benefits, payroll and time scheduling options - available as a free trial.

  9. ADP TotalSource

    Scalable HRIS system that offers full PEO (professional employer organization) services if you need it.

  10. SAP SuccessFactors

    Cloud-based human capital management (HCM) platform with a visionary outlook towards expanding human experience management (HXM) beyond supporting transactional HR processes - available as a free trial.

What Is The Difference Between An HRIS, An HRMS And An HCM Platform? 

You’ve likely heard human resources software described as being either an HRIS, HRMS or HCM platform. While often used interchangeably, those abbreviations mean: 

  • HRIS = human resource information system
  • HRMS = human resource management system
  • HCM = human capital management [system]

So what exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, they are synonyms for different levels of HR software that help companies streamline their internal HR processes. The difference between these types of platforms can be found in the level of service they offer. 

Different Levels Of HR Software Graphic

Out of all three options, an HRIS typically offers the core HR capabilities for the lowest cost. That’s why it’s a great fit for small and medium sized businesses and startups. The nice thing is, many tool providers build in the ability to add more software modules over time. Therefore, starting with a scalable HRIS is a budget-friendly way to streamline your business processes without wasting money on features you won’t use, while still keeping your options open for future improvements.  

Not sure which type of system you need? Check out our comparison of HRIS vs HCM systems for a five-point guide on making that choice. 

Are you looking for something bigger? Take a look at our review of the best HRMS platforms on the market. 

New to the idea of using an HRIS? To dive deeper into these features, check out our article on the core functions of an HRIS you should consider. 

Related Read: HR Software: What It Costs And How To Decide What’s Best For Your Company

What Do You Think About This List?

If you made it this far, I hope you have a more well-rounded view of how the right HRIS can act as a powerful HR solution for your typical in-house processes. 

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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. When away from her desk, she can usually be found outside tending to her ever-expanding garden.