Employee self-service portals are a way for your employees to manage a range of HR-related tasks. Our guide helps you find the right HR employee self-service software for your business.

HR processes aren’t always smooth sailing. Whether your department is working through time-off requests, keeping employee information up-to-date, or answering the same questions over and over, manual tasks and a high workload can slow you down.

Fortunately, you can use employee self-service portal software to boost your HR department’s efficiency and increase data accuracy. ESS software allows your employees to access and manage personal and employment-related information through a web-based portal or mobile app. 

This can include personal information, benefits information, pay stubs, time-off requests, and more. A great employee self-service portal also gives your employees more control over their information and allows them to take a more active role in their employment.

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one employee self-service portal

  2. Good for small to medium businesses with uncomplicated payroll needs

  3. Good for businesses of all sizes

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What to Look For in a Employee Self-Service Portal

The ESS features that are most important to you will depend on your industry and workforce, but most companies can benefit from: 

  • Easy navigation and intuitive design to quickly access information
  • Real-time access to information to stay current on announcements and data
  • Integration with other systems, if you aren’t using an all-in-one solution
  • HR processes automation to free up your HR staff to focus on high-value activities
  • Easy communication, so all team members can stay in touch
  • Training and development to encourage career development
  • Mobile optimization for front-line and diskless workers 

The 7 Best Employee Self-Service Portals of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one employee self-service portal

    performance management application showing yearly reporting on each employee

    Connecteam is an employee self-service portal that allows companies to manage their workforce efficiently. The platform offers many features designed to streamline communication, improve productivity, and enhance employee engagement.

    Advanced internal communication

    Connecteam allows companies to communicate with their employees in real time through various channels such as chat, video, and voice calls. Managers can create and distribute company-wide announcements and alerts, ensuring that all employees are informed and up-to-date.

    Tailor Made Knowledge Base

    Connecteam’s Knowledge Base feature is a powerful tool that helps companies organize and share information with their employees in an easy and intuitive way. With Knowledge Base, businesses can create a centralized hub for all their training materials, procedures, and policies, making it simple for employees to access the information they need to perform their jobs effectively. This feature also allows businesses to keep their information up-to-date, ensuring that employees always have access to the latest information. 

    Training and Development

    With Connecteam’s built-in employee training app, you can easily create an engaging library of training and development resources, such as videos, articles, and quizzes, to help employees improve their skills and advance in their careers at their own pace. Managers can also use this feature to assign training materials, track employee progress, and identify areas for improvement to ensure employees have the necessary skills to do their jobs.

    Time Tracking and Management

    Connecteam’s time-tracking feature allows employees to clock in and out, track their hours worked, and request time off. Managers can approve or reject time off requests and view real-time data on employee attendance. Time tracking will help managers keep track of employee attendance and schedule and make sure they are paid accurately.

    Task Management

    Connecteam allows managers to create and assign tasks to their employees, set due dates, and track progress. Employees can also view their assigned tasks, mark them as completed, and request feedback. This helps ensure that all tasks are completed on time and that employees are held accountable for their work. Managers can use the task management feature to delegate tasks to specific employees and check their progress.

    Reports and Analytics

    Connecteam offers various reports and analytics that provide real-time data on employee engagement, productivity, and more. Managers can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions and track employee performance and productivity over time.

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Try Connecteam here!


    • Easy to use 

    • Quick setup

    • Comprehensive HR management

    • Securely store employee data


    • Needs internet or wifi access to work


    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. BambooHR — Good for small to medium businesses with uncomplicated payroll needs

    Screenshot of the Bamboo HR webpage

    BambooHR is a human resources software that provides a suite of tools for small and medium-sized businesses. It includes features such as employee information management, onboarding, time tracking, performance evaluations, and benefits administration. BambooHR’s ESS includes an employee well-being feature that lets your employees share how they feel about all aspects of working for your company, and the onboarding feature allows new employees to connect with teammates for community and support. 

    Key Features

    • Single source of data for employee management
    • Access permission based on roles
    • Email notifications
    • Employee performance metrics


    • Custom HR reports
    • Easy process for making requests


    • Outdated UI
    • Limited payroll functionality


    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  3. Zoho People — Good for businesses of all sizes

    A screenshot of the Zoho People homepage

    Zoho People is a cloud-based Human Resource Management software that offers employee self-service portals, performance management, attendance tracking, recruitment management, and more. The software helps businesses streamline their HR processes and improve efficiency. The ESS portal includes core HR functions, such as accessing personal information and managing benefits, but it also provides a learning and development feature that enables your employees to engage with dynamic learning content for career enhancement, which can improve employee retention. 

    Key Features

    • Customizable HR workflows
    • Rich content options
    • Different learning styles
    • Automated tasks


    • Easy to use
    • Reduced work for HR


    • Poor customer support
    • Limited features


    Starts at $1.25/user/month Trial: Yes — 30-day Free Plan: Yes

  4. SAP SuccessFactors — Good for large and small businesses

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the SAP SuccessFactors webpage

    SAP SuccessFactors is a cloud-based human capital management software suite that helps organizations manage their workforce. It includes modules for recruiting, onboarding, employee performance and development, compensation, benefits, and workforce analytics. It also has a suite of tools for employee engagement and collaboration.

    SAP’s ESS offers core HR and payroll functions as well as employee experience management to give your employees a voice, connection, and empowerment. The career development feature allows employees to upskill and reskill, which is essential in today’s rapidly-evolving business landscape. 

    Key Features

    • Role-based access permissions
    • Custom communication with employees
    • Proactive alerts and notifications
    • Recruitment management


    • Easy to use
    • All-in-one system


    • Sluggish performance
    • Clunky UI


    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  5. InStaff — Good for companies that already have payroll software and don't want to change

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the instaff web page

    InStaff is a cloud-based employee self-service portal and pay stub delivery tool for small and medium businesses that can integrate and synchronize data with existing payroll and ERP systems. It aims to reduce the physical and environmental costs related to printing and delivering pay stubs to employees by processing all aspects of the pay period online. Features include a central location for company announcements, customizable time tracking, and integration with various payroll and ERP systems. It also provides a repository for commonly used files and private file storage.

    Key Features

    • Automated pay stub delivery
    • Repository for common files
    • Customizable time tracking
    • Private file storage for employees


    • Centrally located payroll data
    • Compatible with accounting programs


    • Not mobile-friendly
    • Doesn't contain a payroll solution


    Starts at $20/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. Oracle Cloud HCM — Good for enterprises with over 1,000 employees

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the oracle webpage

    Oracle HCM (Human Capital Management) is a suite of software applications that helps organizations manage their human resources, including recruiting, onboarding, benefits administration, and performance management. The software also includes tools for managing time and attendance, payroll, and compliance with labor laws. Oracle’s ESS focuses on the employee experience by providing opportunities for employee growth and development through training and new experiences. 

    Key Features

    • Applicant tracking
    • Employee database
    • Onboarding
    • Performance management


    • Feature-rich
    • Efficient database management


    • Sluggish performance
    • Problems with updates


    Pricing is not publicly available Trial: No Free Plan: No

  7. Workday — Good for large and small businesses interested in improving people practices

    Screenshot of the Workday webpage

    Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) is a cloud-based software solution that provides organizations with human resources, payroll, and talent management capabilities. It helps companies manage their workforce more efficiently by automating HR processes, streamlining payroll, and providing real-time insights into workforce data.

    Some of the key features of Workday HCM include employee self-service, talent management, performance management, benefits administration, and reporting and analytics. Its employee self-service portal allows employees to provide feedback and participate in leadership development. The data analytics component helps identify what your employees want so you can tailor your initiatives to your workforce. 

    Key Features

    • Recruitment management
    • Employee onboarding
    • Benefits management
    • Training management


    • Robust features
    • Good data visualization tools


    • Difficult to edit entries
    • Lackluster user training


    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Employee Self-Service Portals

Topic Start for free
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $1.25/user/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $20/month
Pricing is not publicly available
Contact vendor for price
Free Trial
Free Plan
Free Up to 10 users
Use cases
Best all-in-one employee self-service portal
Good for small to medium businesses with uncomplicated payroll needs
Good for businesses of all sizes
Good for large and small businesses
Good for companies that already have payroll software and don't want to change
Good for enterprises with over 1,000 employees
Good for large and small businesses interested in improving people practices
Available on
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac

What Is an Employee Self-Service (ESS) Portal?

An ESS portal allows your employees to access and manage their employment information without going through the HR department. They can update their personal information, request PTO, complete employee training, and manage their benefits. An employee portal app reduces the administrative burden on your HR team and improves employee satisfaction and engagement.

Employee self-service software empowers employees by giving them direct access to personal and professional information. It puts them in control of many aspects of their professional development and lets them study or review training materials when it’s most convenient for them.

How Does an Employee Self-Service Portal Work?

An employee self-service portal provides employees 24/7 access to many job-related duties traditionally handled by human resources, such as updating personal information, submitting benefit requests, and completing onboarding training. Employees can view and manage their HR and payroll information through the portal app. 

Each employee has their own login information that connects to their account. Some common features of employee self-service portals include the ability to: 

  • Update personal contact information, such as changes in name, address, phone number, and email
  • Submit time off requests and track leave benefits
  • Request benefit information on insurance, investment accounts, and wellness programs 
  • Easily access company information such as employee handbooks and training programs
  • Log time tracking entries 
  • Download pay stubs and tax information

The Benefits of an Employee Self-Service Portal

An Employee Self-Service Portal offers a variety of benefits.

Efficiency and Convenience

Easy navigation and intuitive design allow employees to quickly find the information or resources they need, saving time and reducing administrative burdens.

Real-time Information

Access to real-time data, such as schedules, pay stubs, and time-off requests, keeps employees informed about their employment status and allows them to make informed decisions.

Streamlined Processes

Integration with other systems, such as HR and payroll systems, ensures that employees have a single source for all their employment-related information, making it easy for them to access the information they need.

Automated HR Processes

Self-service portals can automate HR processes such as onboarding, performance evaluations, and time-off requests, saving time and effort for both employees and HR staff. Employee satisfaction will also be higher if employees have control over their information. 

Improved Communication

An internal messaging system or other communication tools facilitates collaboration and improves employee engagement. Options that include chat, calling, messaging, and video options will be the most valuable.

Career Development

Access to training and development resources, such as online tutorials, e-learning modules, and webinars, helps employees improve their skills and advance their careers.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile-optimized self-service portals can be accessed from any device, including smartphones and tablets, making it easy for employees to access the information they need while on the go.

How Much Does an Employee Self-Service Portal Cost?

The cost of an Employee Self-Service Portal can vary depending on the features and functionality offered, as well as the number of users. Some providers charge a monthly or annual subscription fee based on the number of employees, while others may charge per user or offer tiered pricing plans.

Common pricing structures in this industry include:

  • A basic plan with limited features
  • A standard plan with more advanced functionality
  • A premium plan with additional features and support

For example, some competitors may charge a monthly fee of $5 to $10 per user for a basic plan, $10 to $15 per user for a standard plan, and $20 or more per user for a premium plan.

Connecteam differentiates itself by offering a Small Business Plan that is 100% free for up to 10 users. This plan includes basic features such as employee communication, shift scheduling, and time tracking, making it a more cost-effective option for small businesses. Connecteam also offers more advanced plans at competitive prices compared to many of its competitors, making it the best value. 


What does employee self-service mean?

Employee self-service refers to the ability of employees to access and manage their personal and employment-related information, such as their pay stubs, benefits, and personal details, through an online portal or system. This allows employees to take care of certain tasks and update their information without going through their employer or HR department. This can increase efficiency and reduce administrative workload for both employees and employers.

What activities can an employee complete using employee self-service?

Some common activities that employees can complete using ESS include:

  • Viewing and updating personal information, such as contact information, emergency contact information, and tax withholding information
  • Viewing and printing pay stubs and W-2 forms
  • Enrolling in or making changes to benefits plans, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible spending accounts
  • Requesting time off, such as vacation time or sick leave
  • Viewing and requesting changes to their work schedule
  • Viewing and updating their employee profile
  • Viewing company news and announcements

What are the management benefits of employee self-service systems for human resources and benefits administration?

Employee self-service systems for human resources and benefits administration can provide several management benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Improved accuracy
  • Increased engagement
  • Reduced costs
  • Better data

The Bottom Line on Employee Self-Service Portals

Employee self-service portals have become essential for modern businesses looking to streamline HR processes and improve communication with their workforce. A good software solution can help employers improve retention and engagement by providing a centralized platform for employees to access and update their personal information, track their time-off requests, and stay informed about company policies and benefits.

Connecteam is the best choice for businesses looking to implement an employee self-service portal because its all-in-one platform offers a comprehensive set of features, including HR management, time tracking, and employee engagement tools. Connecteam is a cost-effective solution with pricing plans tailored to businesses of all sizes.