Small and medium businesses use human resource software to improve the management of employee data by streamlining and automating human resource and administrative processes through a centralized location. Good HR software for small business must cover most spectrum of tasks associated with Human Resources departments.
In our search for the best hr software for small business, we looked for solutions that are affordable and easy to use. We also consider those features cover complex processes and functions of the HR department from the time an employee is recruited through his or her entire life cycle, such as storing employee data, managing payrolls, recruitment processes, and keeping track of attendance records.
- Best HR Software for Small Business
Best HR Software for Small Business
To choose the best human resource software to suit a business’s needs, successful companies establish a process to determine the stakeholders, identify the critical requirements, evaluate the options and select the alternative that fulfills the criteria.
In addition, cost is a big factor for most small businesses. However, choosing the cheapest product available may not be the best option. The cheaper the HR software, the more manual work the system requires, in most cases.
HR software that cost slightly more may save money in the long run. Greater accuracy may save money on payroll, tax, and compliance errors and potentially, on penalties resulting from those errors. Companies may also save labor dollars as aspects of the payroll process are automated. In addition, HR professionals and managers no longer have to manually enter data or export data from one system to another.
In this article we will go over the best HR software for small business chosen by our team to help you find the right fit for the needs and budget of you and your company.
BambooHR is an American technology company that provides hr software for small business. In general, BambooHR is a very good tool that will be useful to any company. It’s also have friendly user interface (UI) that is the best in its class. The quality of the functions and the result is simply overwhelming. This product is convenient, it is reinforced by good help from the support service and is somewhat underpriced.
Founded in 2008, BambooHR is the one of leading human resources software that have more than 10.000 active clients. With BambooHR, tracking employee records and information has never been easier. From standard categories like personal and pay info to as much custom data as you want, you can manage all of your key data in one secure HRIS database. Plus, it’s accessible from anywhere at anytime (including a mobile app), so you’ll always have the information you need.
BambooHR provides HR process automation tools that are accessible in several languages and multiple currencies. It’s offers two packages: Essentials and Advantage.
Essential Package Features
- HR management – Includes Employee Records, Benefit Tracking, Reporting, Document Storage, Access Levels, Workflows & Approvals, and Email Alerts.
- Employee Self-Service – Includes Time-Off Management, Employee Directory & Org Chart, Company Calendar, Mobile App, and Single Sign-On.
- Customer Support – Includes Email Support and access to Webinar Library.
Advantage Package Features
Everything in Essential Package plus:
- Customer Support can be reached by phone.
- Hiring & Onboarding – Includes Applicant Tracking System (ATS), Onboarding, Offboarding, Electronic Signature, and Training Tracking.
- Advanced Components – Includes Advanced Reporting, Tailored Workflows & Approvals, Custom Access Levels, Custom Email Alerts, Custom Tabs & Fields, Company Branding, and Audit Trail.
- Integrations / Data Sharing – Includes BambooHR Open API and access to BambooHR Marketplace
BambooHR Mobile App
Bamboohr provides mobile app that allows you take some of those most important functions with you, and makes your most common tasks in BambooHR simple and fast. In BambooHR Mobile App you can:
- See colleague’s information and call, email, or message them with a tap. You can also quickly add someone’s info to your phone’s contacts
- Plan and Manage Time Off – Request time off when you’re out and about. Leave requests can be submitted in the app, and if you’re an approver, you can approve them there as well.
- And more..
In addition to email and phone support, BambooHR has a community support feature where users can communicate about the product and get answers, help with troubleshooting, etc.
BambooHR pricing isn’t readily available on their website. According to G2 Crowd, pricing is between $6 and $8 per month (per employee). Users are allowed to cancel their subscription anytime, and a free 7-day trial is also available.
Emphasis on employee self-service and is affordable for smaller businesses. The idea of on-boarding a new employee electronically is a huge plus. It engages employees before they start and makes it so that they come in with paperwork already filled out and spend their first day doing more than just paperwork. BambooHR also has one of the easiest and most intuitive interfaces
Many people who used BambooHR wish there was more flexibility for integration with other Systems. Learning management feature isn’t offered.
Paycor is a cloud-based integrated platform of payroll and other human capital management (HCM) services. This is the one of the best HR software for small business that offers functionality to encompasses the entire employee lifecycle – from the way you recruit, onboard and develop talent to the way you pay and retain them, and build a company culture.
Since 2005, Paycor has been known to provide integration and scalability to their solutions while continuously innovating to address the changing needs of their users. This dedication has made Paycor become a trusted partner of more than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses, providing the needed solutions that helped them save time and money.
- Recruiting and Onboarding – Streamline the recruiting & onboarding process, reward employee referrals, create a full-branded careers site that matches your webste, and more.
- HR, Benefits & ACA – Manage all aspecs of the employee experience with modern, intuitive people management. Automate benefits adminstration and simplify open enrollment.
- Learning Management – Accelerate learning and reach employees anytime, anywhere with award-winning LMS. Build, devliver, and track courses quickly and easily.
- Payroll and Tax Compliance – With nearly 30 years of payroll expertise, Paycor truly offers “payroll perfection” from the flexibility to make real-time pay changes to powerfull reporting and analytics.
- Time & Attendance – Track, manage, and optimize your labor spend. Eliminate costly errors with a unified HCM System of record across timekeeping and payroll.
- Reporting – Spend less time searching and organizing, and more time analyzing the data you need to make critical business decisions.
With Paycor’s Mobile App, employees can access all of their most important information. Paycor Mobile gives you access to payroll, time and attendance, and HR features wherever you go, includes: Pay stub access; punch in and out; view time off balances; request, view and cancel time off requests; view time card and work schedules; access benefit information; view company directory; manage company learning.
Paycor offer a dedicated team support model, in which a group of experts understand your unique business and industry. In paycor, you can access a complete knowledge base of HR resources including forms, templates, quick guides and alerts. Plus, certified HR professionals are just a call away.
Paycor pricing starts at a basic fee of $49 per payroll cycle for 10 employees. Every employee in excess will cost an additional $3 each per payroll cycle. For more personalized pricing, including any additional monthly or yearly fees, users need to call for a custom quote.
Paycor is rich in functionality, it offers broad coverage of HR needs, including tracking time and leave, payroll processing, access to legal forms and employee files, etc. Many customers said that Paycor have a friendly and very helpful customer services.
A reviewer from capterra said that learn how to do something new in the Help Feature is not easy. When you search a feature, most of the questions from other users and even if you are very specific on what you are searching for, you often have a few pages to find your solution.
A few Paycor users said that they have to take the time to build each report, even to make very simple report such as employee list. Too time consuming as compared to the other HR software.
ADP Workforce NOW
ADP Workforce is a cloud-based HR Software for small business that provides expert support and analytics for data-driven insights. ADP has all of the tools needed to be able to provide you with a Single Source Solution that is fully integrated. It offers services for managing payroll and tax filing, benefits, bonuses, commissions, time and attendance, employee health statistics, and talent management.
Introduced in October 2009, ADP Workforce NOW is a leading provider of HR, payroll and benefits administration services to over ±6,000 companies.
- Payroll – ADP WorkForce Now offers similar payroll and tax features as the RUN Small Business solution, such as quick payroll processing, tax filing services and direct deposit.
- Time & Attendance – The software allows you to improve productivity with automated time tracking, reporting features, and employee self-service that is accessible on mobile devices.
- HR Management – ADP Workforce Now automate and streamline these following key needs: Employee record keeping, New-hire onboarding, Policy acknowledgement, Workforce reporting, Employee status changes, Compliance tracking and reporting, Tracking awards, licenses, skills and certifications.
- Talent Management – Talent management help employees take their natural ability and potential even further. These feature includes: Performance Management, Learning, Leadership Development, Compensation, and Succession.
- Benefits Administration – You can streamline the process of managing benefit plans. Plus, you can get ACA compliance support and enhanced enrollment capabilities.
- Executive and manager insights – ADP’s artificial intelligence identify and push relevant, location-based insights to executives and managers about their teams through ADP® Mobile Solutions.
With ADP Workforce Now, clients also receive self-service tools for employees and manager, such as the widely used ADP Mobile app, to clocking with geo-fencing, access paychecks, timecards, benefit information and more.
ADP offers different support sites for employees and client administrators. The employee support site has several resources, including answers to common questions, guides on troubleshooting year-end form issues, and phone numbers and links for issues related to payroll or benefits. The client administrator support site has similar content, but specifically targets administrative issues.
Depending on the product package, ADP’s expert staff provides support on benefits administration and payroll (including contacting the IRS on the client’s behalf), gives HR resources to clients’ employees (HR help desk or forms library), or offers consultations on HR strategy or day-to-day issues.
ADP Workforce Now’s pricing structure isn’t readily available on their website, but according to a third party website, pricing starts at $62 per month. Potential users are encouraged to contact their sales team to get a custom quote.
The one of the good thing about this software is the ability to scheduling and allowing your employees get notification both the night before along with before their shift so that they know when they work without having to check their schedule daily. It also is the one of the most best payroll software that provides Payroll and tax filing services for companies who want to outsource these functions.
Overall ADP Workforce Now is good software to automate and streamlines HR business processes.
The software still has some features that need to be upgraded to make a more efficient system. Plus some of the features that are not as good require you to buy add-ons to be more efficient.
Gusto is a cloud-based integrated platform of payroll and hr software for small business. It combines payroll, benefits administration, HR and compliance functionalities in a single, simplified package. Designed to serve mainly small businesses across the United States, Gusto provides tools to manage core HR needs such as time tracking, hiring, onboarding and training, and more
This software is the one of most popular HRIS in the United States. Founded in 2011, Gusto serves over 40,000+ businesses nationwide.
- Payroll Automation – Gusto is capable of automating the calculation, payment, and submission of a company’s local, state and federal payroll taxes (All 50 states) on behalf of the business. It also has the ability to paying and generating year-end w-2 forms and 1099 forms. Payments can be made via direct bank deposit or through check. Your employee will also be able to access paychecks and W-2s even after leaving the company.
- Benefits Administraton – Gusto has the ability to work with Gusto’s brokers to select the best benefits plan. It also provides employee self-enrollment in health insurance plans via individual Gusto accounts, and automatic deductions for health insurance and other benefits each time payroll is run. The system is fully compliant with HIPPA, ACA, and ERISA standards.
- Streamlines HR – With Gusto, you can consolidate all your employee data. All info from emergency contacts to new hire documents to anniversaries is organized in one place, where employees can access it, modify it, or download it for their needs. This also helps comply with HIPAA standards, and makes HR management much more transparent.
- Compliance – Apply for and pay workers’ compensation insurance.
- Integration with Other System – Gusto was developed to blend easily within every software architecture, and works in synergy with several accounting, time and attendance, and expense systems. On the list of integrations, you will discover names such as Xero, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, TSheets, When I Work, Nimble, Homebase, Receipt Bank, Bamboo HR, and many more.
Access from Mobile or Table Device
Gusto is accessible from any web-enabled device. You don’t need to download an app — just sign into Gusto on your web browser.
Gusto provides an online Help Center for users to browse through articles and FAQs on payroll, taxes and other topics. They can also leave a message via the Help button. In addition, Gusto works with the IRS on the company’s behalf if there’s any payroll tax problems or other issues.
Gusto provides three pricing tiers.
- Core – The Core plan has a base rate of $39 per month plus $6 a month per employee.
- Complete – The Complete plan has a base rate of $39 per month plus $12 a month per employee.
- Concierge – The Concierge plan has a base rate of $149 per month plus $12 a month per employee.
Gusto offers additional options for employee benefit and insurance.
- 401(k) retirement plans – There is a $40 a month minimum to participate in this option, plus $8 per participant per month. There is a $500 set up fee.
- 529 college savings plan – There’s no set up fee required, but there’s a $18 a month minimum, plus $6 a month per participant.
- Pre-tax spending accounts – Gusto offers an annual $200 service charge that covers health spending accounts (HSA), flexible spending accounts (FSA) and commuter benefits. However, for companies that rather purchase each plan individually, HSA is $2.50 a month per participant, and FSA and commuter benefits each has a $20 a month minimum and $4 a month per participant.
Gusto has the ability to handle contractors and off-cycle payroll. Gusto has good UI and easy to navigate. The one of the best thing about gusto is the ability to makes payroll as simple as possible. The another best part of this app is the Customer Support.
Not intended for large businesses, benefit features only available in 23 states but plans to provide them to additional states is in the pipeline.
Zenefits is an All-in-One HR software for small business based on the United States. The platform make HR simple for employers and employees by integrating HR systems, payroll, and benefits into a simple, connected experience. The result is a dramatic reduction in administrative busy work and employees who feel more empowered.
This HR software solutions can integrate with payroll, health insurance and other systems, and users can also set up new payroll, insurance, retirement plans and more. Zenefits partners with a wide range of providers all over the U.S. to ensure coverage for every industry, everywhere.
Zenefits software was serving 10,000+ customers in 2018 (down for 20,000 in 2015). Zenefits is now seeking to acquire greater distribution of its software product to manage human resource issues for small businesses.
- Online Dashboard – The online dashboard is a central location allowing easy access and quick retrieval of all employee data within a company.
- Self-Service Portal – Employees can view and update their own information by logging in from their computer or through the Zenefits Mobile app and doing what they need to do — from requesting time off, to updating their benefits elections, to checking their pay stub. Managers will also be able to request employee-level changes such as hiring, promotions, transfers, and terminations.
- Reports and Analytics – All employee data is linked to the main HR platform, allowing users to easily run reports in real-time based on information like turnover rates, paid time off, new hires and more.
- Employee Onboarding – Once your new hire completes self onboarding, Zenefits sync their info straight to payroll, add them to the appropriate pay schedule, and prorate their first check – no action needed.
- Benefits Administration – Zenefits specializes in simplifying benefits management through an online portal. Find resources and quotes, update information, minimize compliance risks and keep up to date with the latest legislation all in one spot.
- Vacation & Paid Time Off (PTO) – With zenefits, managers will be able to track and manage employee paid time off easily. Employees can quickly request time off and report sick days.
Zenefits Mobile App
Your entire team can easily stay connected from anywhere — at work, at home, or on the go through the Zenefits Mobile app. With zenefits mobile app you can:
- Easily connect with your co-workers – find teammates, view departments and roles, and call, text, and email co-workers with a mobile directory.
- Schedule time off – check your time-off balance and submit requests in a few swipes
- Clock in and out – Log your time and keep tabs on your hours each pay period
- View your insurance details – see what’s covered, and quickly access your policy number, deductible, and more
- Track your flex benefits – check account balances for FSA, HSA, and commuter benefits, and replace lost benefit cards in seconds
- Review your pay stubs – track income, deductions, and taxes by pay period or year-to-date
- View your inbox notifications – complete tasks with ease, straight from your app
From an online Help Center covering numerous topics to telephone support, Zenefits offers various support options to fit a customer’s needs. If a company chooses to manage its benefits through Zenefits, a representative will be assigned to the company for a consistent point of contact.
Zenefits offers two plans: Standard ($6/employee/month + $40/month base fee) and Advanced ($12/employee/month + $40/month base fee). The payroll feature is an add-on that costs an additional $6/employee/month. The main differences between the plans are the inclusion of additional features such as time-off tracking, ACA compliance, and more.
Zenefits is the most affordable hr software for small business that provides most spectrum of tasks associated with HR departement, such as boarding/offboarding, automated payroll, time and attendance, insurance, aca compliance, reporting (standard and custom) and a multitude of integrations.
Many customers said that the Zenefits support is very bad. But Zenefits has also been working hard to improve their customer service, which has been a sore point for quite a few customers in the past.
Zoho People is part of Zoho’s full suite of applications for small and medium businesses. It’s a basic HR software for small business designed to streamline a company’s HR and administrative processes. Before you choose Zoho People, you need to know that Zoho People provides HR management at a very basic level – which is good if you don’t need too much customisation or complexity.
Basically, all those administrative jobs like Leave management, attendance management, time tracking, employee data maintenance, form customizations, etc, has been simply automated.
Zoho People provides all the tools you need to help your HR staff and employees stay efficient, up-to-date, and productive, even on the go.
- Core HR – In Zoho you can set your organization’s hours, track your employee attendance, and handle shift schedules. It’s also provides check-in and check-out options both on web and mobile.
- Integrates with biometric devices – Integrate your Zoho People account with the API from Zoho, and you can capture employee check-in and check-out using biometric or other attendance devices.
- Performance – It’s a continuous feedback system and evaluate employees with customized performance appraisal methods.
- Case Management – This feature will help you sort and organize questions, track their status, and reply promptly.
- Employee Self-service – With Self-Service, employees can submit their personal details, apply leave, log time and do a whole host of other actions through the web or mobile app.
- Document Management – Zoho People provides File Cabinet that stores all your documents in a single, central, secure location. For the myriad documents that need to be signed and filed, Zoho People integrates with Zoho Sign, Docu Sign, and Adobe Sign.
- Customization – With this HR software you can automating your daily HR processes like mail alerts, tasks, approvals and schedulers. It’s also provide workflow automation tool that automates all your HR processes, by eliminating most of the manual administrative work.
- Analytics – Zoho People integrates with Zoho Reports to help you know the details that matter the most. It’s provides quick view of each department’s early turnover rate, hiring vs attrition trends, employee performance based on estimated and logged hours, effective growth report, tasks dashboard, and more.
Zoho People Mobile App
Zoho People’s provides native apps for iOS and Android keep you connected. With mobile app, you can apply for leave, log time, clock-in/out, from anywhere. If employees have a query, they can go ahead and ask their HR team. HR agents can pick up the questions, assign tasks, and answer on the go.
Zoho Corporation offers a globally available, 24/7 phone support system. The Zoho People Help Page includes a database of FAQ’s that can be searched, so that users can view common questions from other organizations. A series of documents, apps, and forums are also available as resources for customers that need assistance.
Zoho People has a free option and four paid plans: Essential HR ($1/employee/month), Professional ($2/employee/month), Premium ($3/employee/month), and Enterprise ($5/employee/month). The main differences between the plans include storage capacities, number of forms, call limit, and access to advanced features like attendance tracking, biometrics integrations, shift scheduling, time tracking, and more.
Zoho People has a lot of very useful features for automating the HR management process. It’s also enables great collaboration and effective communication between employees. Another good thing about this product is the ability to integrate with attendance devices for capture employee check-in and check-out.
There is a steep learning curve and it is not that intuitive, so it takes some time to navigate your way around.
Deputy is a cloud-based human resource management system (HRMS) solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals and provides them employee management and scheduling functionalities. As a employee scheduling and shift planning solution, Deputy is the best software in that category.
The platform is easy for both administrators and employees to use and has a comprehensive feature set for setting up your schedule and communicating with your staff. It features automated scheduling, facility scheduling, task management, time clock and timesheets, payroll system integration, and more.
With over 270,000 users, it has grown to be a trusted and dependable second-in-command that effectively tackles matters in the workplace.
- Schedulling Software – Scheduling is easy to use that they can easily notify everyone with just one click, across multiple locations. Users can accurately cost full schedules and integrate POS data and live weather feed to identify peaks and troughs of sales/foot traffic and create a schedule efficiently. Overtime and time off management is also available to set up.
- Time & Attendance – Deputy easily captures when employees start and stop shifts. It also easily review and approve timesheets prior to export. In addition, you will also be able to export to your preferred payroll platform.
- Collaboration – The platform give your staff an easy way to stay informed, share important messages and contribute to the workplace conversation.
- Tasking – With Deputy you can create and assign tasks to your staff and get notified when they’re done.
- Auto Schedulling – Auto-Scheduling takes the guesswork out of building your shift structure. Accurately forecast how many people you need working at any time using multiple demand signals (like sales, foot traffic and bookings).
- Performance Management – Deputy allow you to build customized reports to get a clear overview of how your team are tracking on performance. You will also be able to add a simple rating or comment on employee performance directly to their timesheets as you approve them.
- Forecast labor using multiple demand signals – Accurately forecast labor demand and build AI optimized shift structures using multiple demand signals, including POS and third party data like weather, traffic and movement patterns.
- Manage Time & Attendance with biometric Timeclock – Manage time & attendance across every location and any device, with Deputy’s on-site iPad Kiosk providing biometric and geolocation validation for total piece of mind.
- Open API – Open API and extensive network of integration partners provide endless opportunity to build your connected business. And if it doesn’t exist, Deputy teams will build it for you, configured to the requirements of your business.
- Integration – Deputy can be integrate with other popular systems such as Gusto, ADP, Xero, Sage, Intuit Quickbooks, and more.
Deputy Mobile App
Deputy’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android give you full visibility of what's going on in your workplace, from the palm of your hand. With deputy mobile app you can:
- Deputy on Mobile iPhone App – Run your work life on your iPhone. As a manager you can oversee your workplace remotely whilst employees are able to check work schedules, communicate with colleagues and supervisors, and see upcoming shifts & tasks.
- Deputy on Android App – The Android application provides extensive features for employees and high level functionality for managers. Manager can post to newsfeed, view schedules, create and assign tasks, and Journaling. Employee will also be able to view newsfeed and comment, start & stop Shifts, view upcoming shifts, request leave, view and check off tasks.
Customers get 24/7 support, lots of Help prompts, how-to videos on all major functions, and a user Help forum.
Deputy offers three paid plans: Starter, Premium, and Enterprise. Starter and Premium cost $2 and $3 per user per month, respectively. You need to contact the company’s sales team for the pricing of their Enterprise plan. The main difference between plans is the availability of advanced features like automatic scheduling, configurable reporting and analytics, integration options, and more.
Deputy gives both the manager and the staff the flexibility to control their shifts and it gives the employees a sense of ownership – they are almost responsible for their own time management. The platform is very affordable for small business. It also can be integrate with other system that related to workforce management, such as Gusto (payroll software), Quickbooks, Xero (accounting software), and many more.
The Android app doesn’t provide as many features as the IPhone app.