The best hr software for small businesses helps streamline time-consuming tasks. Read our guide to discover the 6 best options and find which is right for you.

Human resource (HR) management includes more than just payroll and recruitment. However, it can be difficult and time-consuming for small businesses to handle recruitment, onboarding, benefits management, record-keeping, and employee development with limited resources. Plus, it can be a real hassle trying to stay compliant with constantly changing labor laws and regulations. 

Businesses with employees spread out in the field face even more pressure, as it’s tough to do all this and keep scattered staff updated, motivated, and engaged.

Thankfully, HR software can help. In this article, we examine the 6 best human resource software for small businesses to help you choose the right one for your needs.

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

Our Top Picks

  1. Connecteam streamlines HR processes, enhances employee engagement and provides real-time insights for small businesses

  2. Good for payroll management

  3. Good for HR and payroll functions

What to Look For in a HR Software for Small Businesses

There are many options for HR software for small businesses. A few key features separate the best options from the rest of the pack.

  • Employee information management. Look for software that allows you to easily manage employee information like contact details, job information, and HR documents.
  • Self-service tools for employees. Your HR app should enable staff to view the total hours they’ve logged in a given pay period as well as their upcoming pay. Employees should also be able to request sick leave and paid time off (PTO), access company information, and update their personal details all from within the app.
  • Performance management features. Choose software that tracks the growth of your staff throughout the employee lifecycle and lets you provide feedback to your team.
  • Training and onboarding tools. Effective HR software will make it easy to create onboarding and training courses and add surveys, quizzes, and forms to reinforce key points.
  • Document management tools. Your HR app should make managing documents simple. For example, prioritize software that allows you to set expiration dates and receive automatic alerts when documents are about to expire so you can ensure you remain compliant with laws and regulations.
  • Surveys and polls. Easily collect feedback, gauge workers’ satisfaction, and keep your team engaged.
  • Employee rewards and recognition features. Boost employee satisfaction and increase retention by recognizing and rewarding your team’s hard work. Good HR software will allow you to send customizable messages and badges publicly, like on your company feed or privately through direct messages. Staff rewards, like tokens that can be exchanged for products, can make your employees feel even more appreciated.
  • Payroll integrations. Having your HR platform integrate with your payroll software saves a ton of time and headaches. Connecteam, for example, integrates directly with Gusto and QuickBooks Online.

The 6 Best HR Software for Small Businessess of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one HR software for small businesses

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Connecteam's HR&People Management webpage

    Connecteam is the best human resource software for small businesses. It’s an all-in-one platform that provides you with everything you need to manage, communicate with, engage, schedule, and train staff. 

    Connecteam has many powerful features to improve HR tasks, such as the built-in time clock, knowledge base, onboarding hub, training platform, and more.

    Let’s look at how Connecteam can enhance your HR operations.

    Easily manage important HR documents

    Connecteam’s Documents is a feature for managers to store, update, and ensure compliance for employee files. You can gather required documents directly on the platform and contact employees for updates and reminders during the onboarding process with just a click. Documents helps speed up onboarding and getting new hires in the field.

    Plus, Documents is easy to set up and allows you to quickly find any document. You can even set expiration dates and easily check that certifications are up to date to ensure compliance. 

    Enhance staff engagement and company culture

    Connecteam facilitates company-wide updates, shout-outs, and important news. You can limit responses on the company feed to ensure messages remain easy to read. Alternatively, you can let staff react and comment on posts to increase engagement.

    Connecteam makes it easy to collect staff feedback, too. You can measure staff motivation, satisfaction, and connection through surveys that employees can complete on mobile and submit in real-time.

    Also, with Connecteam, it’s easy to provide recognition of achievements and add rewards that enable staff to purchase gift cards. You can show appreciation privately through a message or highlight accomplishments in your company feed.

    Knowledge base keeps everyone informed

    Connecteam’s Knowledge Base acts as a digital library your staff members can use to learn about important business practices, policies, and more. 

    With Connecteam’s mobile app, employees can access the knowledge base anywhere and at any time. The knowledge base replaces regular in-person meetings and eliminates a lot of paperwork. It’s also an engaging way for new hires to become familiar with your company culture and policies.

    Connecteam also provides unlimited storage, so your valuable files remain safe, and you don’t need to pay for any expensive onsite storage. Additionally, you can use the permissions feature to protect information from getting lost or changed. For added security, Connecteam uses end-to-end encryption and runs 256-bit SSL.

    Make onboarding a breeze

    Connecteam makes it easy to onboard employees. You can store and share handbooks, offer letters, and instructional videos that new hires need to get up and running fast. Connecteam also gives HR staff a place to safely store regulatory and personal files. Plus, you can check staff progress in completing onboarding tasks.

    You can also design orientation programs that bring new hires up to speed and create customized quizzes, surveys, and forms that meet your onboarding needs. Additionally, with access via mobile, onboarding becomes more engaging and convenient for employees.

    Keep developing your team’s skills

    With Connecteam, there’s no need to pay for expensive training courses. Instead, you can create training materials from existing documents, PDFs, or media files. You can link these to external sources like DropBox, Google Drive, YouTube, or your website.

    Connecteam’s mobile app lets you split training material into focused sections. This makes it easy to complete courses on a mobile device. Your employees can refer back whenever needed and continue from where they left off during a previous session. 

    Keeping track of training progress is also easy with Connecteam. You’ll be able to quickly check course completion status and send push notifications if necessary. You can even use the Quiz function to check understanding. 

    Time clock app makes tracking working hours easy 

    Connecteam’s Time Clock app offers many powerful HR solutions. It can track work hours and time spent on specific projects. It also features digital timesheets, which help eliminate payroll errors, and helps you time and money by automatically calculating break times, overtime, and absences.

    The time clock app allows staff members to punch in and out from any location—vital when your workforce is spread out at different locations. Its real-time GPS mapping functionality also helps prevent time theft. 

    Read more about the best time-tracking apps for small businesses in our in-depth review.

    Stay connected with chats and an employee directory

    Connecteam’s in-app Chat is easy to use, and staff can send messages to specific people or groups as needed. Seek clarification, ask questions, provide project updates, and more in just a few taps.

    Additionally, the platform’s built-in employee directory makes contacting a group of people effortless—you simply click on everyone you want to contact. You can even track who has read important messages. 

    Pros

    • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface

    • Supports 11 different languages

    • Full-featured mobile and desktop apps

    • Quick and responsive customer support

    Cons

    • Needs internet or wifi access to work

    Pricing

    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. Rippling — Good for payroll management

    Available on

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

    Rippling is one of the best HR software for small business in the USA. The platform has features for time and attendance monitoring, payroll, and benefits administration.

    It also has an applicant tracking system and tools for onboarding, learning management, employee data management, and compliance reporting.

    Rippling’s per-user charge is relatively high compared to its competitors, making it an expensive option for larger teams.

    Learn more about Rippling

    Key Features

    • Time and attendance tracking
    • Time off management features
    • Track progress of documentation and tasks
    • Can create courses

    Pros

    • Integrates with 400+ apps
    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Can become expensive for larger companies
    • Lacks advanced functions

    Pricing

    Starts at $8/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  3. Namely — Good for HR and payroll functions

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Namely webpage

    Namely has several HR features, including analytics, benefits administration, and payroll and time management tools. The platform centralizes HR information, has an automated payment system, and allows you to create reports and export data.

    Namely doesn’t have an applicant tracking system, and you’ll need to contact the provider directly by phone for pricing information.

    Learn more about Namely

    Key Features

    • Automated onboarding functions
    • Unlimited roles and permissions
    • Electronic signature capabilities
    • Tracks applicants during hiring process

    Pros

    • Simple interface
    • Reporting options

    Cons

    • Limited customer support
    • Lacks pricing transparency

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: No Free Plan: No

  4. Gusto — Good for employee benefits management

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Gusto webpage

    Gusto is among the best HR software for small business in the USA. Its payroll and reporting systems cater to this market. For example, Gusto can automatically file taxes with the IRS and provides guidance on compliance requirements.

    With Gusto, you can manage the employee onboarding process and payroll processing, too. The platform can also help provide employee benefits.

    Unfortunately, Gusto lacks staff scheduling options and real-time reporting.

    Learn more about Gusto

    Key Features

    • Payroll processing
    • Direct deposit
    • Vacation leave management
    • Payroll reporting

    Pros

    • Runs payroll for employees and contractors
    • Automatic tax filing and compliance guidance

    Cons

    • Per-person pricing can become costly for a small business HR platform
    • Reports of poor customer service

    Pricing

    Starts at $40/month + $6/person/month Trial: No Free Plan: No

  5. Bamboo HR — Good for employee payroll

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Bamboo HR webpage

    BambooHR stores and manages employee information and tracks deductions, withholdings, and employee benefits.

    You and your employees can also use BambooHR for self-assessments, manager reports, goal-setting, and colleague feedback. Additionally, you can create custom reports that allow managers to better assess staff performance and provide guidance and training for underperformers. 

    Unfortunately, BambooHR doesn’t offer a free plan. Also, you need to contact the company directly for pricing information.

    Learn more about Bamboo HR

    Key Features

    • Direct deposit
    • Candidate profiles
    • Candidate tracking
    • Benefits management capabilities

    Pros

    • Centralized employee database
    • Offers e-signature capability

    Cons

    • Lack of pricing transparency
    • Phone support isn’t available on the basic plan

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. Zoho People — Good for scheduling and compliance

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Zoho People webpage

    Zoho People is last on our list of the 6 best HR systems for small businesses. It allows HR professionals and department managers to schedule work hours and process time off requests. You can also include automatic shift rotations to better accommodate staff needs.

    Zoho People tracks timesheets and provides payroll software, stores scheduling details in a central location, and ensures compliance with regulations concerning time off and breaks. 

    Unfortunately, Zoho People’s scheduling function doesn’t allow staff to trade shifts. The platform also doesn’t have an in-app chat, so it might not be ideal for frontline workers or deskless teams.

    Learn more about Zoho People

    Key Features

    • 360º feedback for performance reviews
    • Automatic shift rotations
    • Recruitment management functions
    • Task management

    Pros

    • Schedules are stored in a centralized location
    • Affordable small business HR platform

    Cons

    • Limited customer support
    • Lacks communication features for staff

    Pricing

    Starts at $1/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

Compare the Best HR Software for Small Businessess

Topic Start for free
Reviews
4.8
4.9
4.2
4.6
4.6
4.3
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at $8/user/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $40/month + $6/person/month
Contact vendor for price
Starts at $1/user/month
Free Trial
yes
14-day
yes
no
no
yes
yes
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
no
no
no
yes
Use cases
Best all-in-one HR software for small businesses
Good for payroll management
Good for HR and payroll functions
Good for employee benefits management
Good for employee payroll
Good for scheduling and compliance
Available on
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android

What Is HR Software for Small Businesses?

With HR software, small businesses can simplify their HR processes. Most platforms include features for automating tasks like payroll, performance management, compliance, onboarding, benefits administration, and more. 

Many software options also offer tools to make HR documents available anytime and anywhere, and have features that help you support employee development and engagement, such as training courses, quizzes, and in-app chats. Plus, this software can streamline recruiting processes and improve the accuracy of HR data.

How Does HR Software for Small Businesses Work?

HR software includes tools that automate routine HR tasks, such as time and attendance tracking as well as onboarding. It can identify problems and enable you to manage your human resources functions more effectively.

This software can work either on its own or can be integrated with other software programs as part of an overall HR solution. 

Some platforms offer many HR tools, while other options focus on a specific function, such as payroll or time tracking. This flexibility makes it easy for any sized business to use HR software to help save time and eliminate errors.

Some HR software also come with an HR mobile app so you can handle HR tasks on the go.

The Benefits of HR Applications for Small Businesses

By using HR software, small businesses can experience many benefits. These tools can help:

  • Simplify recruiting. Without HR automation tools, it can be challenging to plan and manage recruitment campaigns. This is particularly true for smaller businesses that may have less time and fewer resources for recruiting. Using HR software, you can better understand the types of candidates you need for jobs and the types that are applying. These insights can help you improve your recruitment process and experience better outcomes.
  • Make onboarding easier. With HR software, gathering onboarding documents is easy. You can share videos and files that bring new staff up to speed on company policies and processes.You can also create orientation materials and forms, surveys, and quizzes to reinforce important details. New hires can access these documents on their devices from anywhere, making onboarding more convenient.
  • Support employee development. Most human resources software solutions let you create and administer training programs and add quizzes, surveys, and forms for a more engaging learning experience. You can even receive employee performance reports to help identify potential areas of improvement and add transparent standards for promotions and staff evaluations.
  • Encourage business growth. You can also use HR tools to prepare performance reports, track employees’ time, and complete payroll processing. Having an easy, reliable way to access this important information leads to better decision-making.
  • Communicate with your team. HR software with a real-time chat feature allows you and your team to communicate about progress updates, ask questions and offer answers, and handle attendance issues instantly.

How Much Do HR Apps for Small Businesses Cost?

The cost of HR applications for small businesses depends on several factors, such as the features it includes and the number of users it accommodates. 

Some HR systems for small businesses are priced at a fixed monthly cost and have an additional cost per employee. For example, Gusto HR charges $40 monthly, plus $8 per user. 

For comparison, Connecteam has very competitive pricing, with plans starting at only $29 per month for up to 30 users—plus just $0.50 per user after that. Connecteam also offers a free-for-life Small Business Plan for companies with up to 10 workers.

FAQs

How can I choose the right HR software?

The best HR software for you depends on several factors. Before making a decision, consider the following questions:

  • How many staff members will be using the software? 
  • How tech-savvy is your team?
  • What features do you need most? 
  • What’s your budget?

Are there any free HR software options for small businesses?

Yes, there are free HR apps for small businesses available. Generally, free software supports a limited number of users before you have to upgrade to a paid plan. Connecteam offers the best free plan, supporting up to 10 users for life.

Which HR software for small businesses is the best?

Connecteam is the best HR software for small businesses. It can help with scheduling, communication, time tracking, and so much more. It’s an all-in-one work management solution that offers a comprehensive suite of features and provides excellent value for your money.

The Bottom Line On HR Software for Small Businesses

Using HR software, small businesses and larger companies alike can benefit greatly. These systems make onboarding easier, ensure compliance, support employee development, and much more. The right software can boost productivity, improve communication, and encourage business development.

Connecteam is the best HR software for small businesses and the most comprehensive employee management tool available today. It’s simple to use, very affordable, and can save you time and money while eliminating errors. With extra features for training and onboarding, project management, and so much more, Connecteam is a complete all-in-one solution.

Get started by signing up for Connecteam’s 14-day free trial or subscribing to one of our paid plans.