10 Best HR software for small businesses in 2023

There are many HR management tools on the market, so it takes time to study what each of them offers to ensure you pick the right one for your business. 

In this article, we have selected and analyzed the top 10 HR software tools for small businesses. Hopefully, you will be able to find exactly what you need in the following list.

So, if you are looking for the perfect HR software for your business, read on! 

What is HR software?

HR software is a management tool used by HR teams to help them with their day-to-day work. 

These tools help manage various areas of human resources such as:

  • Talent acquisition,
  • Onboarding and offboarding, 
  • Benefits management,
  • Payroll,
  • Tracking employee satisfaction,
  • PTO management,
  • Organizing training courses, and more. 

Why do small businesses need HR software?

No matter the size of the company, the company’s HR department influences the overall organization of work and affects how the company is presented to new recruits. 

The HR team is responsible for building, promoting, and nurturing the company culture. Additionally, the HR team shapes the way recruits and new employees view the company.

So, HR is crucial in attracting new talent and establishing a positive employee experience. This is why every company should make sure that their HR team has the best possible tools and resources to assist them in their work. 

And, a very important tool in their work is the right HR software. Using cloud-based software can have many benefits to everyday work of HR teams. 

Out of 688 HR leaders that took part in PwC’s Human Resources Technology Survey and switched core HR applications to cloud:

  • 89% stated that they have greater control,
  • 86% achieved greater productivity, and
  • 82% said that they saved money.

10 best HR software for small businesses

Out of a great number of HR tools on the market, here is a list of the top 10 HR software best suited for small businesses.

SoftwareBest forFree planPricing (starting from)Available for
PlakyHR requests management✔️$3.99 per user per monthWeb, 
Android, and 
BambooHREmployee satisfaction tracking❌ You can get a price quote from the ownerWeb, 
Android, and 
RipplingManaging a global team$8 per user per monthWeb, 
Android, and 
GustoManaging employees’ finances$40 per month plus $6 per person per monthWeb
TriNet ZenefitsCompensation management$8 per employee per monthweb,
Android, and 

FreshteamOnboarding management ✔️$59 per month plus $1 per employee per monthweb,
Android, and
GoCoLegal compliance$5 per employee per monthweb,
Android, and
JazzHRRecruitment management$39 per month web
ConnecteamManaging a deskless team ✔️$29 a month for the first 30 users + $0.5 a month for each additional userweb, 
Android, and 
EddyLocal businesses management$8 per person per monthweb,
Windows, Chromebook,
Android, andiOS.

Plaky — best for HR requests management

Source: Plaky
Source: Plaky

Plaky is a task management tool you can use to organize all your HR processes. It offers all essential features for free, making it the most affordable HR software option. And if you go for one of Plaky’s paid plans, you’ll get more useful features without breaking the bank.

It is well-organized and user-friendly, so it doesn’t take long to get used to it.

Pros of using Plaky for HR

  • Optimized onboarding process — Plaky offers templates with custom fields to help you manage the employee onboarding process. You can create a card for each newcomer. This card contains all the necessary information about the recruit, such as their position, phone number, status, etc. An HR member is assigned to each task, helping keep the onboarding process organized and making it easy to track progress. 
  • HR request management — Plaky makes it easy to manage many requests that come your way, from vacation and sick leave requests to training requirements. A ready-made template allows you to dedicate a task to each request and sort those requests as needed — for example according to the status of the request, date, or the HR team member assigned to it. 
  • Recruitment management — Applicant tracking is made easy with Plaky’s recruitment template which lets you keep all applicant history in one place, such as previous employment, education, cover letter, CV, etc. With this template you can categorize applications as you see fit — according to the department, job position, time, etc. You can also create a checklist to help make the recruitment process even more transparent and organized.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you are interested in these free Plaky templates, check out the links below: 

Cons of using Plaky for HR

  • It doesn’t offer payroll or electronic signature options
  • It has limited board views and integrations

Available for: web, Android, and iOS 

Type of planPlaky free plan & pricing 
Free trialYes
Free planYes
Paid plansStarting at $3.99 per user per month

BambooHR — best for employee satisfaction tracking

Source: BambooHR
Source: BambooHR

BambooHR is an HR tool that helps you gather information about your employees, keep employee records, manage payroll, time off, and much more. 

It has an essential and advantage plan, plus optional add-ons.

Pros of using BambooHR for HR

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS) — ATS is a recruitment tool that allows you to work collaboratively on hiring new talents. There are options of custom permissions, in-system messaging, and automatic alerts to keep the process running smoothly.
  • Employee Satisfaction — BambooHR Employee Satisfaction survey helps you see into the minds of your employees and find out how happy they are with their workplace. It is anonymous, which means people can give honest feedback without fear of retribution. Bamboo then classifies the answers using keywords into positive, neutral, and negative. 
  • Mobile app — You can use BambooHR mobile app to send or approve time-off requests, check out the calendar to see who is in or out of the office, or send notifications to all employees.  

Cons of using BambooHR for HR

  • ATS, e-signatures, onboarding, offboarding, and employee satisfaction surveys are available only in the advance plan and not in the essential plan. 
  • Time tracking, payroll, and performance management are available only as optional add-ons. 

Available for: web, Mac, Windows, Android and iOS

Type of planBambooHR free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planN/A
Paid plansYou can get a price quote from the owner

Rippling — best for managing a global team

Source: Rippling
Source: Rippling

Rippling’s HR Cloud has a wide range of useful features, and it gathers and unifies all your HR data allowing you to operate everything from one place. 

Pros of using Rippling for HR

  • Global payroll — This feature enables you to pay every worker in their local currency without delay. Moreover, it automatizes the process of complying with local laws, as well as the process of filing taxes for all your employees around the world. 
  • Benefits administration — It automatically enrolls new employees in your benefits system and manages your COBRA and ACA compliance work. 
  • Learning management — You can organize training courses for your team without hiring external agencies or lecturers. Rippling has 1,000+ courses to choose from, but if you can’t find what you need you can upload your own. It also stores all employee’s certifications upon finishing the training courses. 

Cons of using Rippling for HR

  • There is no free plan or free trial available.
  • Some of the Rippling products are not included in the price you pay per user per month, but are charged through a monthly base fee. 

Available for: web, Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS 

Type of planRippling free plan & pricing
Free trialNo
Free planN/A
Paid plans Starting at $8 per user per month

Gusto — best for managing employee’s finances

Source: Gusto
Source: Gusto

Gusto is an HR management tool that keeps all your HR-related information in one place — from hiring and onboarding to benefits, payroll, and time and attendance. 

It doesn’t offer a free plan, but it has three different pricing plans. 

Pros of using Gusto for HR

  • Time and attendance — This feature is very useful because all approved hours are automatically added to payroll. Moreover, it has geolocation tracking, which allows you to choose locations where your workers can clock in and out. This is especially handy for businesses with on-site contractors, such as construction workers. 
  • Employee surveys — With Gusto, you can send monthly surveys to see how your employees are feeling. Then, you can analyze the results over time and see if there are any reasons for concern or areas that need improvement. 
  • Gusto Wallet app — Every employee that uses Gusto can use this app for free to manage their finances and view paychecks and tax documents. Another useful feature of the app is that people can automatically put their money toward a savings goal. It supports up to 5 savings goals at a time. 

Cons of using Gusto for HR

  • Customer support is available only Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • Tax-advantaged accounts and health insurance aren’t available in 11 U.S. states: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Available for: web

Type of planGusto free plan & pricing
Free trialNo
Free planN/A
Paid plansStarting from $40 per month, plus $6 per person per month

TriNet Zenefits — best for compensation management

Source: TriNet Zenefits
Source: TriNet Zenefits

TriNet Zenefits is a platform that incorporates HR, Benefits, and Payroll. It helps you keep track of all your employee-related information in one place. Its Essentials plan includes time tracking, automated onboarding, scheduling, and other useful features. 

Pros of using TriNet Zenefits for HR

  • Compensation management — With TriNet Zenefits, you can get insight into paychecks from hundreds of thousands small and middle-sized companies. This is very useful information if you are not sure how much you ought to pay your employees. With this up-to-date, anonymous data, you can see how much people earn in various jobs, making it easier to give a competitive, yet affordable offer to potential employees. 
  • Performance review — TriNet Zenefits offers review templates you can use for peer, manager, and 360-degree reviews to get insight into your employees’ performance. Still, if none of the templates fit your company’s needs, you can customize review forms and save them as templates to use next time. 
  • Payroll — An intricate payroll system syncs new employees to payroll and prorates their payments, calculates time off, reminds you not to miss a payroll, uploads bonuses and compensation for entire teams at once, and more.

Cons of using TriNet Zenefits for HR

  • Payroll is available only as an add-on for $6 per employee per month.
  • Compensation management and performance management aren’t part of the Essentials plan.

Available for: web, Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. 

Type of planTriNet Zenefits free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planN/A
Paid plansStarting from $8 per employee per month

Freshteam — best for onboarding management

Source: Freshteam
Source: Freshteam

Freshteam is one of the products of Freshworks. It’s an HR platform that focuses on hiring, onboarding, and managing employee information and time off. It has a free plan and 3 paid plans to choose from.  

Pros of using Freshteam for HR

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS) — Freshteam’s ATS includes candidate sourcing and resume screening, which help make your recruiting process more automated and efficient. Instead of having to manually go through a large number of resumes and sort them based on skills, experience, or education, the software does it for you. It also provides you with a database to store talented candidates that didn’t fit what you were looking for at the time but may be a good choice for a position in the future. 
  • Onboarding — The onboarding process is simplified by sending automated emails, documentation, forms, and policies to be signed. Freshteam offers templates for documents, emails, or letters making your work even simpler.  
  • Time off policy management — You can create automated approval workflows to save time and set up a time off policy that fits your company. Freshteam allows you to have different policies for different teams, departments, or workers in a different country. This is excellent if you have a global team to manage.

Cons of using Freshteam for HR

  • It doesn’t offer an in-app payroll feature.
  • Unlimited time off policies are available only in Pro and Enterprise plans, while the free plan doesn’t have any, and the Growth plan offers only 2 time off policies. 

Available for: web, Android, and iOS.

Type of planFreshteam free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planYes (for up to 50 employees)
Paid plansStarting from $59 per month, plus $1 per employee per month
Source: GoCo
Source: GoCo

GoCo is HR software focused on small businesses, and it offers custom plans based on your needs. Still, all plans include onboarding, hiring, MagicDocs (for document management), and employee self-service.

Pros of using GoCo for HR

  • HR compliance software — GoCo helps you be compliant with current laws. It makes it easy to keep track of IRS compliance, employment eligibility, federal and state taxes, and PTO compliance, among other regulations. It even offers a vaccine tracking system you can use to ensure your company is keeping up with COVID-19 regulations.
  • Benefits administration — Through GoCo, you can manage employee benefits such as life, accident, and disability services, health, vision, dental, retirement plans, and commuter benefits. 
  • GoCo Reports — You can organize, visualize, and analyze your employee data quickly and efficiently. Data is organized with filter, sort, and group options, while visualization is made easy with metric, line and area, pie and donut, and bar and column charts. 

Cons of using GoCo for HR

  • Its custom paying plans mean that, aside from the basic features, you have to pay more for each additional feature you want to include in your plan. 
  • No system to track employee satisfaction. 

Available for: web, Android, and iOS. 

Type of planGoCo free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planN/A
Paid plansStarting from $5 per user per month

JazzHR — best for recruitment management

Source: JazzHR
Source: JazzHR

JazzHR is an applicant tracking system that helps you glide through the recruitment process without stress. It automates the process and makes it easier to communicate with the hiring team and keep everyone’s feedback in one place. All of this saves you valuable time and money. 

Pros of using GoCo for HR

  • JazzHR Marketplace — In JazzHR Marketplace, you can find providers in various fields such as assessment, video interviewing, HR consultancy, payroll solutions, and many more. 
  • E-signatures and digital paperwork — JazzHR speeds up the hiring process by digitizing all the necessary paperwork and automating e-signatures. It also helps you cut down on in-person meetings with digital signature requests. 
  • Collaborative hiring — JazzHR makes it easier to discuss job candidates by putting each team member’s input about the candidate in one place and allowing team members to rank candidates. 

Cons of using GoCo for HR

  • The Hero Plan includes only 3 job postings, and every additional job posting is charged $9 per month.
  • It doesn’t have a mobile app. 

Available for: web

Type of planJazzHR free plan & pricing 
Free trialYes
Free planN/A
Paid plansStarting from $39 per month 

Connecteam — best for deskless teams

Source: Connecteam
Source: Connecteam

Connecteam is an employee app that offers HR and people management solutions. It is a mobile-first app that makes it a good choice for businesses with employees who don’t work behind a desk. 

 Pros of using Connecteam for HR

  • Employee training — Through Connecteam, you can easily share various types of training materials like PDF files, documents, links, images, videos, etc. with all employees. You can follow that up with a quiz to test the understanding of the material. Moreover, you can create a knowledge hub with company policies, tips, handbooks, and catalogs that everyone can access in their mobile apps. 
  • Recognition and rewards — Connecteam helps you celebrate your employees’ achievements and show that you appreciate them. You can share pre-made recognition messages or create your own, praise one person or an entire team, announce employee of the month, and even give out gift cards as a reward.
  • Timeline app — With this app, you can track an employee’s entire timeline in the organization. It includes all evaluations, courses they’ve taken, and salary raises. 

Cons of using Connecteam for HR

  • Users can view and edit their personal profiles only in the expert paying plan. 
  • There is a fixed price for the first 30 users, so it may not be an affordable option for really small teams.

Available for: web, Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. 

Type of planConnecteam free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planYes (up to 10 users)
Paid plansStarting from $29 a month for the first 30 users + $0.5 a month for each additional user.

Eddy — best for local teams

Source: Eddy
Source: Eddy

Eddy is an HR platform created with local businesses and frontline workers in mind. This platform includes:

  • Eddy Hire,
  • Eddy People,
  • Eddy Payroll, and
  • Eddy Learn.

It offers a wide range of HR solutions including time tracking, automated hiring reports, PTO management, etc.

Pros of using Eddy for HR

  • Organized job postings — You can use Eddy to post job advertisements on all relevant job boards and on your career page. And, if you don’t have one, you can create it using Eddy and link it to your website. 
  • Candidate experience — You can create a schedule page in which candidates can book their own interviews and automate communication with candidates using email templates.
  • Onboarding packages  — With Eddy, you can make the first day of work easier for new employees with personalized messages, task lists, and electronically signable documentation. 

Cons of using Eddy for HR

  • It isn’t made to support global businesses, so it doesn’t offer country-specific payroll options. 
  • There is no quiz or survey option to inquire about worker’s satisfaction with the company.

Available for: web, Mac, Linux, Windows, Chromebook, Android and iOS.

Type of planEddy free plan & pricing
Free trialYes
Free planN/A
Paid plansStarting from $8 per person per month

Conclusion: Choose the right HR software for your business

HR software platforms are invaluable tools for businesses and companies that aim to optimize their employee management systems. They help HR teams in all stages of work and improve people management. 

Since every business is different, not every HR software will suit every business’ needs. This article highlights the most important positive and negative sides of HR software tools, along with the pricing options. 

If you study this list thoroughly, you will surely find HR software to fit your business. 

✉️ Has this article helped you choose HR software for your company? Can you think of any other software out there that might be a good addition to this list? Contact us at blogfeedback@plaky.com and let us know, and we might include your ideas in some of our future posts. If you can think of anyone who would be interested in this article, share it with them.