With so many different open source HR software solutions available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to provide a customizable and cost-effective solution for managing human resources tasks but need to figure out which tool is best. In this post, I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different open source HR tools with teams of all sizes—including my picks for the best open source HR software overall.
What Is Open Source HR software?
Open source HR software is a type of human resources management tool with its source code available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It allows businesses to customize their HR processes, including employee data management, payroll, recruitment, and performance evaluation, according to their specific needs. This software typically offers cost advantages and flexibility, supported by a community of developers and users.
Odoo is a full suite of open-source business applications. Odoo HR is a customizable app designed to help human resources with hiring, workforce management, expense management, appraisal management, and other human resource needs.
You can take advantage of the features offered in the Recruitment, Employees, Time Off, and Appraisal modules to create a fully-fledged, integrated HR system. The software is designed for ease of use, too.
Odoo costs from $31/user/month for all their apps. They also offer a 15-day free trial.
OrangeHRM is a scalable HRM solution designed to manage the whole employment life cycle, from employee onboarding to termination. Features include time and attendance, candidate recruiting, performance reviews, absence management, and benefits administration. The software can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud.
The user interface is intuitive and easy to follow so that HR managers can get things done faster. In addition, the admin features give a complete 360-degree view of people in the organization, facilitating better strategic decisions.
Employees can take advantage of their own portal and login, allowing them to track benefits and compensation, access training documentation, and view company org charts.
OrangeHRM costs from $6/user/month.
Bitrix 24 offers a free GR system that includes Intranet, HRIS, workflow, time management, and an employee self-service portal. More than 30 HR tools are included, ranging from employee directories and organization charts to leave requests and absence calendars. Bitrix 24 is available as both cloud-based or on-premise software.
Despite being open-source, the software has the look and feel of professional paid software. It can be set up without the need for specialist IT help. Employees will find the self-service option to be simple to use, too. Bitrix 24 is ideal for startups or smaller businesses.
Bitrix 24 offers a free plan for unlimited storage with up to 5GB of storage.
WRP ERP is a versatile open-source HR software that offers many functionalities to meet your company’s needs. It works best if your company uses a WordPress-based system. On top of core HR modules, you can add other modules that you need like employee recruitment, inventory, asset management, and payroll. You can also use WRP ERP to help boost your marketing and promotions efforts through its email marketing module. It also has a workflow management module to help you design workflows to help you and your employees optimize existing processes to make them more efficient.
If your company needs an open-source business software suite, you might want to try WP ERP because it has a wide variety of core modules you can use to manage your business, including HR, CRM, and Accounting modules. Being an open-source software means you have free rein to customize the software if you have specific business needs you want to address. It is also free, so you don’t have to worry about a monthly fee just to use the software. With the help of WP ERP, you can take care of employee needs like leave management and compensations and benefits in a centralized system.
WRP ERP is free software.
This open-source HR management software offers a wide range of features. These include an applicant tracking system, a centralized employee database, and HR processes administration.
The software offers transparent appraisal strategies for employees to increase engagement. The attendance management feature tracks leave and attendance in real-time.
The software is designed to be visually appealing and easy to use. Managers can quickly bring up a view of the core KPIs to stay on top of the most important metrics.
Open HRMS costs from $499/user/month. There is no free version.
MintHCM is a human capital management (HCM) system that grew out of CRM technology. This unique approach to development has created a unique approach to HR management. Yet due to the open-source nature of the system, there are no limitations on what is possible.
The suite encompasses 16 different HCM-related features. These include recruitment, onboarding, time management, analytics, and employee performance management. Together they offer a coherent, holistic approach to managing people.
Mint HCM is free for 1-10 employees. For larger organizations, a premium version is offered from $4/user/month.
Bazara HCM offers a comprehensive range of features and functions for managing human capital. These include employee management, casuals administration, project management, and arbitration. The system also supports performance appraisal, training, and development.
The strength of this suite is its extended scope. In addition to encompassing traditional, core human resource functions, it also incorporates key aspects of talent management. This makes it a great one-stop, open-source HR solution.
Bazara HCM costs from $20/feature/month. There is no free trial.
This is a cloud-based, open-source HR software system that offers performance appraisal, leave management, and time tracking features.
Managers can track employees' personal information and manage hiring decisions. The background check function helps improve the hiring process, allowing managers to check the status of checks as they move through the system.
Sentrifugo includes an employee self-service portal where staff can log in to access and update their details. They can also view policy documents, such as employee handbooks. Employees can also add self-appraisals and comments for managers.
Sentrifugo is open source and free to use.
Jorani is an excellent leave management system because it is simple and it won’t cost you anything. It has built-in reporting capabilities so it can easily view data like employee contracts and overtime figures. You can also generate a report that allows you to check available leave balances to know which among your employees are not utilizing their leaves and which ones have used up their allotted leaves for the year. Jorani can also help you map out your entire organization giving you a better idea of the hierarchy of your workforce. You can filter this organizational map to determine the leave balance for each department.
Proper leave management can help you anticipate staffing requirements and prevent instances when you are short-staffed, and Jorani is an excellent choice if you want a free leave management system to save money. Jorani helps by automating your company’s leave management, so an employee just needs to send a leave request that includes the name of the direct supervisor or manager. Jorani sends an email notifying the approving manager of the leave request, and the manager can approve or decline the leave request with a single click.
Jorani is free and open-source software.
IceHrm is a human resource management system that can be deployed on-premise or hosted in the cloud. It covers all primary HR needs, including leave management, time management, and managing employee data. Other features include timesheets, attendance administration, and travel management.
This application also provides you with an internal job portal. You can post ads directly to job sites and social media. Using the built-in features, it's also possible to create job ads that will get attention.
IceHrm costs from $0.90/user/month. A 45-day trial is available.
Need Expert Help Selecting The Right Human Resources (HR) Software?
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Best for ease of use
Free to use one app only
Best personnel information management
30-day free trial + free plan available
Best for small businesses
Free plan available
|From $49/month (5 users)||Website|
Best Wordpress-based HR software
Best for tracking KPIs
Free to use
|From $499/month (support package)||Website|
Best for a holistic approach to HCM
Best for HR with talent acquisition.
Best for an employee self-service portal
Free to use
|Free to use||Website|
Best leave management software
IceHrm Open Source Edition
Best internal job portal
45 days free trial
Here are a few more worthwhile open source HR systems that didn’t make it into my top 10 list. I didn't have room for a full review of each of these but they are still worthy of consideration:
Best free open source HR software
Best for compensation management
Best for data visualization
Free, open-source ERP & CRM solution that incorporates Human Relationship Management features for administering employees, expense reports, leave requests, timesheets, and recruitment
- ERP Next
Open-source HRMS software that covers recruiting, onboarding, managing, and appraising employees
This open-source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform provides a full suite of applications, including human resources and payroll management
Selection Criteria for Open Source HR Software
Are you wondering how I selected the best open source HR software for this list? I began by taking a look at open source HR software with an abundance of positive user ratings. Then, I explored each platform to gain an understanding of what features they had to offer and what made them different from the competition.
Next, to finalize my long list, I used the evaluation criteria below to further compare each of the long list nominees against each other. I also drew on my years of experience in HR to pick which solutions were most likely to provide the most value.
To satisfy your curiosity even further, here are the specific selection criteria I used to create this list:
User Interface & Usability
I selected HR systems with a clean, uncluttered, and easy-to-navigate user interface (UI) that all types of users (HR professionals, managers, and employees) would be able to learn and master easily. By picking a system that offers ease of use, you'll greatly improve your user adoption rates.
Usability is also closely tied to a software system's user interface. To assess each system's usability, I paid close attention to the details of their UI to see how their menus were organized and how easy it was to access key features.
Software integrations can save you a lot of grunt work, such as needing to transfer data manually, or via imports and exports, from one system to another. Instead, using native software integration, you'll be able to improve your team's productivity and help your HR professionals work more efficiently.
The specific integrations to look for will depend on the type of HR software you're after, however, integrations with email providers, digital calendars, payroll software, and work platforms like Google Workspace and Microsoft SharePoint are always welcome.
Sometimes it all comes down to price, and open source software is generally very affordable. In fact, in many cases, the software is available to use for free with the option to scale up to a paid version of the same software if you want to access more advanced features. Having that kind of flexibility is great as a user. It means you can download it and spend some time getting comfortable with it before making your decision. And if you really love it, and want to access more features, you can either scale up, or ask your IT department to try and customize it for your own unique business needs.
Other Key Features
When assessing which open-source HR software tools to add to my list, I dove into the following features to see how each system fared:
- Payroll & benefits: Managing calculations for regular pay, overtime, taxes, insurance, and related factors.
- Employee development & performance: Keeping track of progress and achievements to help plan career growth trajectories. Facilitate learning and professional development.
- Managing employee information: Keeping track of employee information relating to contact details, positions, rates, vacations, and benefits. Document management is also an asset.
- Applicant tracking system: Storing information about applicants for specific positions, results of interviews, salary expectations, job offers, etc.
- Salary & benefits administration: Managing employee salaries and ensuring they receive benefits they are entitled to.
- Absence management: Dealing with matters and calculations related to vacations, business trips, absenteeism, and sick leave.
When using open source HR software, you have the freedom to customize the code. However, if customization isn't your priority, explore these HR software platforms that offer out-of-the-box functionalities.
What does "open source" mean in relation to software?
What is the difference between HRIS and HRMS?
Other HR Software Reviews
If you're looking for HR software that works within a limited budget, you may also want to take a peek at these lists too:
- Open Source Employee Scheduling Software
- Free Payroll Software for Tight Budgets
- Free HR Software for SMBs on a Budget
- HRIS for Small Businesses
- Applicant Tracking Systems for Small Businesses
- Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Small Businesses
- Leave Management Software for Tracking PTO
Or, if you're looking for a lengthier list of options, take a look at this list of my 60 favourite HR tools as well.
Covering All Your Bases
Open Source HR software is a fantastic option for automating your human resources functions without breaking the bank. The proof is in the numbers: HR software is a $10 billion dollar industry. Might now be the time to find a tool that can help your organization?
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Related Read: How To Choose HR Software In 5 Easy Steps